Notes Tough break for Calc

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2010, 3:18 am

Open 125wST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Mark Calcavecchia assumed he had lost his ball. Then he assumed someone had found it. The search turned into a fiasco on the par-5 ninth hole and derailed his round.

The 1989 British Open champion, who began Saturday in second place, took a quadruple-bogey 9 after being assessed two penalties worth three shots over a ball that disappeared into a gorse bush.

“It was unfortunate for Calc there,” playing partner Louis Oosthuizen said. “He had a tough few holes.”

Calcavecchia’s drive landed in a bunker, and he had to play out sideways. His third shot, from the fairway, sailed right and disappeared into the gorse. Thinking the ball was lost, Calcavecchia played a provisional and then went to search for the first ball.

Told his ball had been found, Calcavecchia picked up the provisional. But then he discovered the found ball wasn’t his, and he wasn’t able to locate it before the five-minute limit expired.

That meant Calcavecchia took the stroke-and-distance penalty (two shots) under the lost-ball rule, and lost another stroke on the penalty for lifting a provisional without authority.


 

NEXT BIG THING?: Growing up in South Korea and Australia, Jin Jeong was fascinated by links golf and wondered how he’d fare in conditions so different from what he was used to playing in.

Pretty well, thank you.

The 20-year-old amateur is tied for 12th going into Sunday’s final round at the British Open. At 4 under, he’s 11 strokes behind leader Louis Oosthuizen, but only three from fourth place. Justin Rose (fourth, 1998) and Chris Wood (fifth, 2008) are the only amateurs to manage top-five finishes recently.

“Not great. Not too bad,” Jeong said after his 2-over 74 Saturday. “I had (some) disappointing shots and putts. But I had some good shots, as well.”

Jeong, who moved to Melbourne from his native South Korea three years ago, earned his trip to St. Andrews last month by winning the British Amateur Championship. His 5-and-4 victory over James Byrne of Scotland made him the first Asian champion in the tournament’s 125-year history.

It also completed a sweep of the amateur majors by Korean-born golfers. An Byeong-hun won the U.S. Amateur, and Han Chang-won was the Asian Amateur champion.

“I always hoped that my first major would be the Open,” Jeong said after his win at Muirfield. “It means everything. It’s a dream come true.”

Such big expectations can make for a big case of nerves, but not for Jeong. He’s played with the poise of someone far older, and it’s not until he takes off his sunglasses and baseball cap that he looks his age. His booming drives are comparable to anyone’s – he drove the green on 18 on Saturday – and if he’s lacking anywhere it’s on the greens.

He missed several birdie putts, often burning the edge of the cup.

“I am nervous,” Jeong said. “But I’ve played so many amateur tournaments, and I was nervous there, too. I learned how to control it.”


 

BETTER MOOD: As disappointed as Rory McIlroy was with the way his round ended, it was sure better than Friday’s finish.

A day after blowing up with an 80, the first-round leader came back with a 3-under 69 on Saturday. The score would have been even better if not for a double bogey on No. 17 after a gust of wind put his approach shot up against the wall behind the green.

“It was great to come out and play nicely the way I did there today,” McIlroy said. “I felt as if I responded quite well to the way everything happened yesterday.”

At 4 under for the tournament, McIlroy is 11 strokes behind leader Louis Oosthuizen. But, as the Northern Irishman learned Thursday, weather can be as big a factor as talent at the Old Course.

The 21-year-old hotshot tied the major-championship record Thursday morning with a 9-under 63 in pristine conditions. But with the wind howling Friday afternoon, McIlroy plunged off the leaderboard. No player had ever shot such a high score after going so low the day before in a major tournament.

McIlroy looked every bit the kid during his miserable round Friday, scuffing the ground with his feet, rolling his eyes and grimacing in disgust. After so much success so early in his career, how he responded to the setback would go a long way in determining his score Saturday.

“It would have been very easy to let yesterday’s round sort of linger, and I just completely got it out of my head,” said McIlroy, who said he ordered room service, watched a little TV and then went to bed. “I think just the response to what happened yesterday was probably the most pleasing thing.”


 

CLOSE TIES: Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson have more in common than their final-round pairing. Stenson’s caddie is Fanny Sunesson, who also happens to be part of Kaymer’s coaching team.

Got that?

Sunesson has worked with Kaymer for more than five years, helping the 2007 European rookie of the year with everything from course management to travel. She’s been Stenson’s caddie for the last 3 1/2 years, on the bag when he won last year’s Players Championship.

Sunesson was Nick Faldo’s caddie when he won four of his five major titles, including the 1990 and 1992 British Opens. The 1990 Open was played right here at St. Andrews.

“She’s very experienced. She won four majors with Nick, so she knows what she’s doing,” Stenson said. “She’s very hardworking and dedicated, and she wants to win as bad as I do.”


 

OFF THE WALL: For a brief moment, Miguel Angel Jimenez made St. Andrews look like a putt-putt course.

The Spaniard tried to loft his ball over a pot bunker in front of the 17th green, only to see it go flying over, bounce off the road and up against a stone boundary wall. The ball was maybe six inches from the wall, Jimenez said, leaving him no room to take a swing.

So he turned around and banged the ball off the wall, sending it ricocheting onto the green.

“I angled it and had to hit it hard,” Jimenez said. “My right hand is still a little bit hurt.”

But the circus shot did little for his scorecard. Jimenez took a double bogey after two-putting, and is tied for 18th at 3 under.


 

DALY WATCH: Another bad outfit, another bad round for John Daly.

The 1995 champion, who matched his best score at the British Open with a 66 Thursday, failed to break par for a second straight day Saturday. His 2-over 74 would have looked even worse if not for two birdies on the last three holes.

And for those keeping track, Daly traded the garish paisley-patterned pants he wore the first two days for ones with red-and-black zebra stripes.

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Arizona caps an improbable journey with a title

By Ryan LavnerMay 24, 2018, 3:49 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Five hours before the final match at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Arizona coach Laura Ianello sat cross-legged on a couch in the Holiday Inn lobby and broke down four times in a half-hour interview.

It’s been that kind of exhausting season.

From poor play to stunning midseason defections to a stroke-play collapse, Ianello has felt uneasy for months. She has felt like she was losing control. Felt like her carefully crafted roster was coming apart.

So to even have a chance to win a NCAA title?

“I know what this team has gone through,” she said, beginning to tear up, “and you don’t get these opportunities all the time. So I want it for them. This could be so life-changing for so many of them.”

A moment that seemed impossible six months ago became reality Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Arizona continued its magical run through the match-play bracket and knocked off top-ranked Alabama to capture its third NCAA title, with junior Haley Moore – who first rose to fame by making the cut at an LPGA major as a 16-year-old – rolling in a 4-footer to earn the clinching point in extra holes.

All throughout nationals Arizona was fueled by momentum and adrenaline, but this was no Cinderella squad. The Wildcats were ranked ninth in the country. They won twice this spring. They had four medalists. They were one of the longest-hitting teams in the country.

But even before a miracle end to NCAA stroke play, Arizona needed some help just to get here.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, texted Ianello that she was turning pro. It may have been a gift to her parents, for their years of sacrifice, but it was a lump of coal in Ianello’s stocking.

“I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “It was devastating.”

Even more bad news arrived a few weeks later, when junior Gigi Stoll told Ianello that she was unhappy, homesick and wanted to return to Portland, Ore. Just like that, a promising season had gone off the rails.

Ianello offered her a full release, but Stoll looked around, found no other suitors and decided to remain with the team – as long as she signed a contract of expected behavior.

“It was the most exhausting two months of my life,” Ianello said. “We care so much about these freakin’ girls, and we’re like, Come on, this is just a small, little picture of your life, so you don’t realize what you’re possibly giving up. It’s so hard to see that sometimes.”

Stoll eventually bought in, but the rest of the team was blindsided by Quihuis’ decision.

“We became even more motivated to prove we were a great team,” said junior Bianca Pagdanganan.

It also helped that Yu-Sang Hou joined the squad in January. The morale immediately improved, not least because the players now could poke fun at Hou; on her fourth day on campus she nearly burned down the dorm when she forgot to add water to her mac-and-cheese.

Early on Ianello and assistant Derek Radley organized a team retreat at a hotel in Tucson. There the players created Oprah-inspired vision boards and completed exercises blindfolded and delivered 60-second speeches to break down barriers. At the end of the session, they created T-shirts that they donned all spring. They splashed “The Great Eight” on the front, put the state of Arizona and each player’s country of origin on the sleeves, and on the back printed their names and a slogan: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“I can’t think of anything else that better embodies this team,” Radley said.

This spring, they rallied together and finished no worse than fourth in a tournament. Through three rounds of stroke play here at the NCAA Championship, they used their distance advantage and sat third in the standings. Then they shot 17 over par in the final round, tumbling outside the top-8 cut line.

They were down to their final chance on the 72nd hole, needing an eagle to tie, as Pagdanganan lined up her 30-footer. She dramatically drained the putt, then gathered her teammates on the range.

“This means we were meant to be in the top 8,” she said. Less than an hour later, they beat Baylor in the team playoff to earn the last match-play berth.

Ianello was so amped up from the frenetic finish that she slept only three hours on Monday night, but they continued to roll and knocked off top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals, beating a pair of Player of the Year contenders, Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, in the process. In the afternoon semifinals, they jumped all over Stanford and won easily.

It was a cute story, the last team into the match-play field reaching the final match, but a stiffer challenge awaited the Wildcats Wednesday.

Alabama was the top-ranked team in the country. The Tide were a whopping 110 under par for the season, boasting three first-team All-Americans who were so dominant in their first two matches that they trailed for only two of the 99 holes they played.

Ianello already seemed to be bracing for the result on the eve of the final match.

“Win or lose,” she said, “this has been a hell of a ride.”

But their wild ride continued Wednesday, as Hou won four holes in a row to start the back nine and defeat Alabama’s best player, Lauren Stephenson, who had the best single-season scoring average (69.5) in Division I history.

Then sophomore Sandra Nordaas – the main beneficiary after Quihuis left at the midway point of the season – held on for a 1-up victory over Angelica Moresco.

And so Arizona’s national-title hopes hinged on the success of its most mercurial player, Moore. In the anchor match against Lakareber Abe, Moore jumped out to a 2-up lead at the turn but lost the first three holes on the back nine.

By the time Radley sped back to help Moore, in the 12th fairway, she was frazzled.

“But seeing me,” Radley said, “I saw a sense of calm wash over her.”

Moore played solidly for the rest of the back nine and took a 1-up lead into the home hole. She didn’t flinch when Abe hit one of the shots of the entire championship – a smoked 3-wood to 12 feet to set up a two-putt birdie and force extras – and then gave herself 4 feet for the win on the first playoff hole. She sank the putt and within seconds was mobbed by her teammates.

In the giddy aftermath, Ianello could barely speak. She wandered around the green in a daze, looking for someone, anyone, to hug.

The most trying year of her career had somehow ended in a title.

“At some moments, it felt impossible,” she said. “But I underestimated these young women a little bit.”

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Pac-12 continues to dominate women's golf

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 3:04 am

Arizona's national women's golf championship marked the fourth consecutive year in‌ which the women's Division I national title was won by a Pac-12 Conference team. All four championships were won by different schools (Stanford, 2015; Washington, 2016; Arizona State, 2017; Arizona, 2018). The Pac-12 is the only conference to win four straight golf championships (men or women) with four different schools.

Here are some other statistical notes from the just-concluded NCAA Div. I Women's Golf Championship:

• This is the second time that Arizona has won the national title the year after rival Arizona State won it. The last time was 1996.

• Arizona now has three women's golf national championships. The previous two came in 1996 and 2000.

• Arizona is only the sixth school to win three or more Div. I women's golf championships, joining Arizona State (8), Duke (6), San Jose State (3), UCLA (3) and USC (3).

• Arizona's Haley Moore, who earned the clinching point on the 19th hole of her match with Alabama's Lakareber Abe, was the only Arizona player to win all three of her matches this week.

• Alabama's Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight also went 3-0. Gillman did not trail in any match.

• Since the match-play format was instituted in 2015, Arizona is the lowest seed (8) to claim the national title. The seeds claiming the national championship were Stanford (4) in 2015; Washington (4) in 2016; and Arizona State (3) in 2017.

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High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

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Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

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