Oh grabs first win at LPGA State Farm Classic

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
State Farm Classic Logo 2007SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- When a red-eyed Michelle Wie left the clubhouse at Panther Creek Country Club on Saturday, it looked like she took all the drama the State Farm Classic had to offer with her.
 
The 18-year-old golfer, on the verge of playing her way onto the LPGA Tour and playing her best golf of the year, was disqualified for failure to sign her scorecard.
 
But Sunday afternoon, a pair of young golfers did their best to fill the gap.
 
Second-year pro Ji Young Oh of South Korea won her first tournament Sunday, sinking a 6-inch putt for par to win the State Farm Classic in a playoff over 19-year-old Taiwanese rookie Yani Tseng.
 
Tseng, the leader coming into Sunday, chipped her third shot over the green and into the rough, then pitched her ball to about 6 feet from the cup.
 
But the 20-year-old Ohs third shot, from just inside the rough, left her with the tap-in that gave her the win.
 
Oh, who spoke English with reporters for much of the tournament, resorted to an interpreter after the overtime because she said she was floored by the win.
 
I would love to do this interview in English, she said through the interpreter, but my mind is totally blank.
 
Tseng, who shot a 66 in each of the first three rounds before her even-par 72 on Sunday, said after her loss that her nerves got the best of her Sunday.
 
I really feel nervous, she said. Its my first time (to open a round) at the top of the leaderboard.
 
Tseng, who won the LPGA Championship for her first career victory, said three of her closest losses'as a pro and an amateur'have come to South Koreans.
 
I really dont like playing with Koreans, she joked.
 
Oh was among the steadiest golfers this week at Panther Creek Country Club.
 
She shot a 66 each of the first two rounds to stay quietly just behind the leaders. Then she shot a 69 Saturday to set herself up just behind Tseng.
 
Oh, like much of the field, struggled with heat and wind Sunday, bogeying three holes. But she still managed six birdies and, as Tseng melted on the playoff hole, Oh calmly chipped in close and tapped in the winner.
 
I wasnt all that nervous, she said. Starting this week, from the first day, Ive been playing pretty well.
 
Na Yeon Choi finished in third place at 17 under for the tournament after shooting a 4-under 68 Sunday.
 
On a day dominated by youth, Chinese LPGA rookie Shanshan Feng shot a 9-under 63'the second best round of the tournament along with Christina Kims first round'and finished the tournament at 16 under par, tied for fourth place with Stacy Prammanasudh and Hee-Won Han.
 
Wie was disqualified after she finished her round Saturday'a 5-under-par 67 that had her a stroke off the lead'for failing to sign her scorecard a day earlier.
 
Wie was chased down by a tournament volunteer after she left the course at the 9th hole without signing her card, something required by golfs rules. LPGA officials say they didnt learn about Wies miscue until after play started Saturday morning.
 
A win or high finish would have all but guaranteed her enough money to finish in the top 80 LPGA players this year, the cutoff for automatic inclusion in next years tour.
 
Wie, a part-time golfer and full-time student at Stanford, played at the State Farm on a sponsor exemption. The LPGA allows non-touring players six of those a year, and Wie has one left.
 
She has said she would play at the Canadian Womens Open next month.
 
Wie was playing what might have been the best golf of the tournament, and the best shes played this year.
 
Oh, though, said Wies absence didnt cheapen her win.
 
I didnt think about it much, Oh said. No one knows how well she would have played.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - LPGA State Farm Classic
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Golf Australia says the family of five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has announced his death. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win the British Open, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by American Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit. he won nine times in 1985.

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    USC's Gaston leaves to become head coach at A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.