Notes 05 Champ Ousted Pressel on Wie

By Associated PressJuly 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Defending champion Marisa Baena of Colombia and runner-up Meena Lee of South Korea won't be around for the final two days of the second HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
 
Baena was eliminated by Paula Creamer 5 and 3 Friday, while Lee was ousted about an hour later by Morgan Pressel 2 and 1, setting up a third-round match between the American teenagers on Saturday.

'I think my confidence wasn't there,' said Baena, who beat Lee 1-up in last year's final.
 
Pressel hired Hamilton Farm caddie Brian McKinley before the tournament and the pair worked well together, combining for six birdies against Lee. McKinley, a former Ohio University baseball player, also caddies at Augusta National.
 
'He's been helpful calming me down,' Pressel said of McKinley. 'He's competitive.'
 
Lee said Pressel played very well.
 
'She put in a lot of long putts,' Lee said. 'I think I played decent, but it was just that Morgan played better than me.'
 
MORE PRESSEL ON WIE
Morgan Pressel was miffed when fellow teenager Michelle Wie got a special exemption for the recent U.S. Women's Open. She also had some thoughts about Wie getting a lot of attention at the Women's World Match Play tournament.
 
'She is a great player and the public is fascinated with the fact that she hits the ball a long way and that's she's very tall and wants to play with the men,' Pressel said Friday.
 
'All those things go together into making her the celebrity icon that she is,' Pressel added. 'And she plays great when she's out here and it helps us when she plays. We just all wish she would play more.'
 
Wie is playing in the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic next week.
 
40-SOMETHING CROWD THINNING
Of the five 40-year-olds left in the field at the start of the second round, only 46-year-old Juli Inkster -- the oldest -- survived.
 
Inkster posted a 4-and-3 victory over Catriona Matthew of Scotland, setting up a third-round match against Marcy Hart, a 28-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz.
 
'I played a lot more consistent today and I got a little better start,' Inkster said. 'Catriona just ran out of gas. She's pregnant. She made a couple of bogeys on 10 and 12 and that put me up a couple and then I made a good putt on 14 for a birdie.'
 
The 40-year-olds who didn't make it past the second round were Liselotte Neumann (40) of Sweden, Lorie Kane (41) of Canada, Helen Alfredsson (41) of Sweden and Laura Davies (42) of England.
 
Hart beat Neumann 4 and 3; Si Ri Pak of South Korea beat Kane 1-up; Pat Hurst beat Alfredsson 4 and 2 and Mi Hyun Kim of South Korea beat Davies 5 and 4.
 
'She missed six greens and I missed one and she won 5 and 4,' Davies said. 'Pigsick, really, that's about it.'
 
SHORT DAY FOR HURST
U.S. Women's Open runner-up Pat Hurst finally got a break. After playing 111 holes in the last eight days, she only had to go 16 in beating Helen Alfredsson 4 and 2.
 
It marked the first time in six matches in this 2-year-old tournament that she didn't have to go the distance.
 
'My feet are a little sore,' said Hurst, who next will play No. 4 seed Karrie Webb, a 5-and-4 winner over Gloria Hee Jung Park.
 
DIVOTS
The survivors of the second round are guaranteed at least $25,000 apiece. The second-round losers got $10,000. The top five seeds -- Annika Sorenstam, Michelle Wie, Lorena Ochoa, Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer -- all advanced to the third round along with No. 8 Juli Inkster. Ochoa rallied from 4-down at the turn to beat Karine Icher of France, 1-up. ... The lowest seed left in the 64-player field is Marcy Hart, a former North Carolina player who is winless in six seasons on the LPGA Tour.
 
Related Links:
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    After Further Review: Nelson lost in the shuffle?

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 3:40 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the Nelson's future ...

    If the goal was “different” by bringing the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest, consider it achieved. But bringing a world-class field south of Dallas could still be tricky.

    Yes, the tournament can always rely on local resident and AT&T spokesman Jordan Spieth to throw his hat in the ring. But even with Spieth strolling the fairways this week, the field strength was among the worst all season for a full-point event.

    The debut of the sprawling, links-like layout likely did little to sway the undecideds, with only the third round offering the challenging conditions that course co-designer Ben Crenshaw had envisioned. And the schedule won’t do them any favors next year, as a revamped itinerary likely puts the Nelson right before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

    The course will inevitably get better with age, and Spieth expects positive word of mouth to spread. But it might be a while before the stars truly align for an event that, for the moment, feels lost in the shuffle of a hectic schedule. – Will Gray


    On Jordan Spieth's putting ...

    Jordan Spieth’s putting is plainly bad right now, but it isn’t going to stay this bad forever.

    He is the second ranked player on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, just like he was last year. This putting slump has lingered, but it’s unfathomable to think this guy just forgot how to putt.

    Sooner rather than later he’s going to remember he’s Jordan Spieth and the 40-footers are going to start pouring in. He’ll be telling Greller to go get the ball because he’s too far away and the tee is in the other direction.

    Bottom line, the ball striking is for real and the putting slump will pass. He’ll win soon – maybe even as soon as this week. – Nick Menta


    On golf and gambling ...

    On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court over tuned a federal ban on sports betting in most states, a move the PGA Tour and many professional sports leagues embraced as a tool to both build fan interest and grow revenue.

    Experts estimate sports betting could become a $150-$200 billion annual industry, and even a small piece of that could be significant for golf, but there will be risks.

    Unlike any other sport, golf is played on multiple fields simultaneously, which inherently creates risks when gambling is introduced to the equation. Although the Tour has gone to great pains to head off any potential problems, like all bets gambling comes with great rewards, and great risks. – Rex Hoggard

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    Wise continues whirlwind ascent with first win

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 3:13 am

    DALLAS – Still shy of his 22nd birthday, Aaron Wise continues to prove himself to be a quick learner.

    Wise went from unheralded prospect to NCAA individual champ seemingly in the blink of an eye while at the University of Oregon. After eschewing his final two years of eligibility in Eugene, he won in Canada on the Mackenzie Tour in his third start as a professional.

    He continued a quick learning curve with a win last year on the Web.com Tour to propel him to the big leagues, and he didn’t flinch while going toe-to-toe with Jason Day two weeks ago, even though the result didn’t go his way.

    Faced with another opportunity to take down a top-ranked Aussie, Wise made sure he got the job done Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson – even though it took until dark.

    With mid-day rains turning a firm and fast layout into a birdie barrage, Wise seamlessly switched gears and put his first PGA Tour title on ice in impressive fashion with a bogey-free 65. Deadlocked with Marc Leishman to start the day, Wise made six birdies in his first 10 holes and coasted to a three-shot win as the leaders barely beat the setting sun to avoid an anticlimactic Monday finish at Trinity Forest Golf Club.


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

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    As it turned out, the hardest part of the day was enduring the four-hour weather delay alongside his mother, Karla, as his afternoon tee time turned into a twilight affair.

    “She was talking to me in the hotel about what a win could mean, what a second could mean, kind of taking me through all that,” Wise said. “I was like, I’ve got to calm down. I can’t just sit here. I said, ‘You’ve got to go.’ I kind of made her leave the room.”

    Wise displayed some jitters right out of the gates, with a nervy three-putt par on the opening hole. But with several players going on birdie runs to turn what seemed like a two-man race into a much more wide-open affair, Wise went on a tear of his own with four birdies in a row on Nos. 7-10.

    That gave him a window over Leishman and the rest of the chase pack, and he never looked back.

    “I talked to myself and kind of made myself trust my putting,” Wise said. “These greens out here are really tricky, and for me to roll those putts in on 8 and 9 really kind of separated things.”

    Leishman had held at least a share of the lead after each round, and the 34-year-old veteran was looking for his third win in the last 14 months. But a bogey on No. 10 coincided with a Wise birdie to boost the rookie’s advantage from two shots to four, and Leishman never got closer than three shots the rest of the way.

    “He holed putts he needed to hole, and I didn’t,” Leishman said. “Hit a couple loose shots where I could have probably put a bit of pressure on him, and didn’t. And that’s probably the difference in the end.”

    Instead of sitting next to a trophy in Dallas, Wise could have been closing out his senior season next week with an NCAA appearance at Karsten Creek. But the roots of his quick climb trace back to the Master of the Amateurs in Australia in December 2015, a tournament he won and one that gave him confidence that he could hold his own against the best in the world. He returned to Eugene and promptly told his coach, Casey Martin, that he planned to turn pro in the spring.

    The same dogged confidence that drove that decision has been the guiding force behind a whirlwind ascent through every rung of the professional ladder.

    “I just have a lot of belief in myself. I didn’t come from a lot. A lot of people don’t know that. I didn’t get to travel a bunch when I played junior golf,” Wise said. “Kind of all along it’s been very, very few moments to shine and I have had to take advantage of them.”

    Despite that belief, even Wise admits that he’s “shocked” to turn only his second real chance to contend at this level into a maiden victory. But fueled by the memories of a close call two weeks ago, he put the lessons learned at Quail Hollow to quick use while taking the next step in an increasingly promising career arc.

    “It was awesome, everything I dreamed of,” Wise said. “To walk up 18, knowing I kind of had it locked up, was pretty cool.”

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    Grace celebrates birthday with final-round 62

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:51 am

    DALLAS – Branden Grace celebrated his 30th birthday in style, making the biggest charge of the final round at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

    Grace closed out a 9-under 62 as the sun began to set at Trinity Forest Golf Club, moving from outside the top 10 into a share of third place, four shots behind Aaron Wise. It equaled Grace’s career low on the PGA Tour, which he originally set last summer at The Open, and it was one shot off Marc Leishman’s course-record 61 from the opening round.

    “Good birthday present. It was fun,” Grace said. “Little bit of imagination, little bit of luck here and there. You get more luck on the links golf course than maybe on a normal golf course.”


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

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    Weeks after Grace’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, he now has his best result on the PGA Tour since winning the RBC Heritage more than two years ago. As a world traveler and former Presidents Cup participant, the South African embraced an opportunity this week to go off the beaten path on an unconventional layout.

    “It feels like a breath of fresh air coming to something different. Really is nice. I really enjoyed the golf course,” he said. “Obviously I think we got really lucky with the weather, and that’s why the scores are so low. It can bite you if it settles in a little bit in the next couple years.”

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    Scott barely misses qualifying for U.S. Open

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:33 am

    DALLAS – A birdie on the 72nd hole gave Adam Scott a glimmer of hope, but in the end even a closing 65 at the AT&T Byron Nelson wasn’t enough to earn an exemption into next month’s U.S. Open.

    Scott entered the week ranked No. 65 in the world, and the top 60 in next week’s rankings automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills. The cutoff was a big reason why the 2008 tournament champ returned for Trinity Forest’s debut, and midway through the final round it seemed like the Aussie had a shot at snagging a bid at the 11th hour.

    Scott needed at least a solo ninth-place finish to pass an idle Chesson Hadley at No. 60, and while his 5-footer on the 18th green gave him a share of sixth place when he completed play, he ultimately ended up in a three-way tie for ninth at 15 under – barely short of a spot in the top 60.


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

    AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


    “I tried to make the most of really favorable conditions today, and I did a pretty good job of it. Just never really got a hot run going,” Scott said. “I feel like I struggled on the weekend reading the greens well enough to really get it going, but I think everyone but the leaders did that, too. They’re not the easiest greens to read.”

    Scott has played each of the last three weeks in an effort to earn a U.S. Open exemption, and he’ll make it four in a row next week when he returns to the Fort Worth Invitational on a course where he won in 2013. Scott still has another chance to avoid sectional qualifying by earning a top-60 spot at the second and final cutoff on June 11 following the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

    Scott has played 67 majors in a row, a streak that dates back to 2001 and is second only to Sergio Garcia among active players. While he’s prepared to play each of the next three weeks in a last-ditch effort to make the field, he’s taking his schedule one event at a time with the hope that one more good result might take care of business.

    “I’ll play next week and hopefully play really well, and give myself a bit of cushion so I can take a week or so off and try to prepare the best I can for the U.S. Open,” Scott said.