Notes Intertachen Has a New Look

By Associated PressJune 27, 2008, 4:00 pm
U.S. WomenEDINA, Minn. -- The USGA was up to its new tricks Friday, moving up several tees to places where players did not practice. It not only made the holes shorter, it changed the angle of attack off the tee.
 
There was nothing drastic like the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where the 14th hole could play 435 yards or 277 yards. But the tee markers were moved up 36 yards on the tough 17th, making it play 405 yards. Tees also were moved up 25 yards on the 10th and 19 yards on the 13th, both par 5s.
 
The idea behind No. 17 was to allow players to take on the bunkers down the left side, and it sure did make a difference.
 
Annika Sorenstam decided to hit driver, but she pulled it left and hit a tree before it fell into the deep rough. Her next shot clipped a tree again, leaving her in the rough. From there, the Swede did well to knock it onto the green and two-putt from 60 feet for a bogey.
 
Paula Creamer, who is much shorter than Sorenstam off the tee, played a 3-wood to the right side of the fairway, a long iron onto the green and two-putted from 18 feet.
 
When the tee is in the back, nobody can carry the bunker on the left, Sorenstam said. I dont know if you saw the pin today, but its tucked way back there on the left. And if you are not way out to right'which then, you put the bunker and the rough into play'you dont have a good angle in. Its one of those holes you have to be smart, but conservative.
 
The idea on the 10th and 13th holes was to make players think about going for the green in two. The pin was back right on the 10th, bringing an oak tree and the pond to the right into play. Sorenstam drilled a 3-wood to 20 feet and two-putted for eagle.
 
Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen both hit 3-wood off the tee on the 504-yard 13th. Creamer hit driver, then a fairway metal that ran across the fairway but well short of the water. That left her a sand wedge to the green.
 
The golf course played totally different than it did yesterday, Creamer said. A lot of tees moved up. Well see how it is tomorrow.
 
FALLBACK PLAN:
Finlands Minea Blomqvist shot a 4-under 69 on Friday to climb into second place when play was halted by weather. If the 23-year-old cant manage to carve a career out as a golfer, she can always rely on her caddying skills to pay the bills.
 
Blomqvist hasnt played since the McDonalds LPGA Championship in the first week in June because she has been spending her time caddying for fiancee Roope Kakko on the Challenge Tour in Europe.
 
Im a perfect caddie, Blomqvist said with a smile. You know, I have like two top-10s as a caddie. So if this doesnt work out, Ill go for that.
 
With his girlfriend caddying for him, Kakko finished tied for seventh at the Open de Saint Omer two weeks ago, earning Blomqvist a nice little commission from the $20,124 purse.
 
Of course, you know, Blomqvist said with another giggle. Im not cheap.
 
The pair has been dating for seven years now, despite the surname Blomqvist is set to inherit. Kakko, she said, is a Finnish word for a rather dubious bodily function.
 
You should feel bad for me about this surname because its not very nice, she said. So Im not very happy about that, if were going to stay together.
 
Speaking of translations, an irreverent Blomqvist was asked about the contention by Swedes that Finns talk funny. She didnt hesitate to fire back.
 
Swedes are so good in golf because in golf you need an empty mind, and theres nothing going on in their heads, Blomqvist said playfully. So thats why they play good.
 
SHOT OF THE DAY
Choosing the shot of the day from a field so large can be difficult. Not this time.
 
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc of France hit a hole-in-one on the 164-yard, par-3 12th. Her 7-iron rolled right into the hole, which was located on the right side near the front of the green, for the 20th known ace in U.S. Womens Open history.
 
She said the shot was a beautiful 7-iron that landed on the green, about five paces from the hole, and rolled slowly into the hole.
 
Meunier-Lebouc also birdied No. 18, but had seven bogeys on her first 14 holes of the day. She was 4-over with four to go when play was suspended because of bad weather.
 
Meunier-Lebouc has twice won the LPGA Tour, at the State Farm Classic in 2002 and the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2003.
 
PLAYING TO THE CROWD:
Several players used their wardrobes to pay homage to Interlachens home in Minnesota.
 
Swedens Sophie Gustafson wore a Minnesota Twins shirt and cap while Sorenstam was decked out in a maroon and gold outfit from her apparel line. Its the color scheme of the University of Minnesota, and former football coach Glen Mason was among those in attendance on Friday.
 
When asked if her outfit choice was a coincidence, Sorenstam said, You think everything is luck?
 
No. There is a reason that Im wearing it.
 
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    Watch: Strong start, rough finish for Koepka

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 4:45 pm

    U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

    Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.


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    After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.


    A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead. That, however, sparked a wild ride to the finish line as he also bogeyed Nos. 5, 7 and 9, and birdied the sixth. It totaled to a second-nine, 2-over 37 and an overall score of 2-under 68.

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    Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

    Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

    ''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on jarrodlylegolf.com. ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

    ''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

    Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

    Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

    He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

    Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

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    Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

    SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

    The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

    The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

    Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.


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    Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

    McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

    David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

    Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

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    Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

    Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

    While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


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    “It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

    Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

    “I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”