Notes: Webb out of funk; Crows and a Bison stampede

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2011, 10:41 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Karrie Webb can’t explain why her game has suddenly rounded back into shape.

The seven-time major winner found herself in a funk in recent seasons, winning just once over the past four years heading into 2011. But this season she’s already captured two titles.

Webb shot a 1-under 70 in her first round to remain within striking distance of the leaders.

“It’s nothing specific,” the 36-year-old Webb said of her resurgence. “It’s just golf. You’re not that far away, but your scores say you are.”

When asked if she would take three more rounds like the one she turned in Friday morning, Webb didn’t hesitate.

“Yeah, I would,” said Webb, who won the U.S. Open in 2000 and ’01.

Good enough to win on this challenging course?

“I didn’t have the foggiest idea what score would win this week,” Webb said. “I’ve never been very good at predicting it. But I would think that would put me with a good chance.”


NOTHING TO CROW ABOUT: Sun Young Yoo had a crow swoop down on the ninth fairway and pick up her ball, moving it about 2 feet.

She ended up dropping the ball near the original spot and playing on.


BISON STAMPEDE: North Dakota State’s Amy Anderson is treating the U.S. Open like any other tournament.

Only with way more pressure and fans.

Anderson didn’t allow the setting to intimidate her, finishing the first round at 2-under 69.

“It’s exciting; hasn’t sunk in,” Anderson said.

Anderson credits her early success to her brother’s ability to decipher the tricky greens at the Broadmoor. Serving as her caddie, Nathan Anderson, who also plays golf for the Bison, has been right on with his reads.

“He’s really analytical, figures things out a lot better than I would. He has a great mind for that,” Anderson said.

Anderson has a large contingent of family and friends following her around this week.

“They’re out there supporting me,” she said. “Even if I miss a putt or whatever, they’re just excited for me, cheering for me. It makes it fun, when I hit a great shot or a putt.”


NO TAGALONG HERE: The amateur who plays for Pepperdine University was supposed to be the tagalong in a group that featured Yani Tseng, world’s No. 1 player, and defending champion Paula Creamer.

Instead, Danielle Kang captured her share of the spotlight in the morning round Friday, finishing tied with Creamer and one stroke ahead of Tseng, who’s attempting to complete a career Grand Slam this week.

Little did Tseng and Creamer realize, but Kang also was paying close attention to them, carefully studying how they handle the pressures of a U.S. Open.

Mental notes to help her down the line.

“They’re very patient and steady,” Kang said. “They make mistakes, but they save them and save shots.”

Kang didn’t do too bad in that area herself. She had one bad hole, a double bogey on No. 14, along with two bogeys in the first round. But she also had three birdies.

Not a bad way of coping with an early case of the nerves.

“I still had a queasy feeling going into the second hole,” Kang chuckled.

The nerves quickly dissipated for the 18-year-old. That was due, in part, to the social nature of Tseng, who chatted with Kang all the way through the round.

The conversations ranged from family life to when Kang might turn pro. The chats were calming for Kang.

“I’m really talkative. For me to not talk is hard,” said Kang, who qualified for the U.S. Open in 2007 as a 14-year-old and again last year when she was one of just six amateurs to make the cut.

Kang didn’t have a chance to chat with Creamer, who was concentrating on her round.

“I didn’t want to bother her,” Kang said.

The gallery following the threesome was the largest of any on the course. And while the cheers were split between Creamer and Tseng, there were some shouts for Kang as well, the relative unknown in the group.

“That was exciting,” Kang said. “I loved it. There were so many people. I wanted to take a picture, but I can’t take my phone out.”


UNDER THE WEATHER: After waking up sick to her stomach Friday, 13-year-old Mariel Galdiano briefly thought about withdrawing from the tournament.

“But we spent so much money to get here,” she said. “So I got up, went out there and played.”

Even 10 minutes before her round started back up Friday, Galdiano was questionable to take the course. She drank some peppermint iced tea to settle her stomach and gave it a shot.

“She looked pretty bad this morning,” said her father, Roger, who also served as her caddie. “Maybe it was a combination of altitude and not being in a daily routine. But I’m just glad she finished the first round.”

The teenager from Pearl City, Hawaii, is the youngest player in the field this week.

Galdiano was 6 over through 13 holes when play was halted Thursday because of weather. She struggled to find her groove Friday morning, going 8 over on the last five holes to finish her opening round with a 14-over 85.

“I just wasn’t feeling good,” she said. “I didn’t have much time to warm up.”


CHIP SHOTS: Betsy King, who won the U.S. Open in 1989 and ’90, finished her first round with a 12-over 83. At 55, she’s the oldest player in the field. … Karen Stupples briefly shared the first-round lead at 3 under but made three bogeys over the final four holes to finish 1-over 72.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."