Pak leads through two rounds of Wegmans LPGA

By Associated PressJune 8, 2012, 11:13 pm

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – When Se Ri Pak rolled in a par putt on her final hole of the second round at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, she smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.

Playing in her first tournament since injuring her left shoulder in early April, the Hall of Famer shot a 1-under 71 on Friday to take a one-shot lead.

'I'm happy to be back in this seat,' Pak said. 'Before I teed off, I knew it was tougher because of the wind. It was very difficult. I tried not to make big mistakes. I'm very happy about the finish. I got a couple of great up and downs.'

Pak was at 3-under 141, one shot ahead of Inbee Park (70), Paula Creamer (72), Mika Miyazato (72), and Sandra Gal (71).


Mell: Locust Hill beating down the field

Video: Round 2 highlights from Locust Hill


Defending champion Yani Tseng followed her opening 76 with a 75 to finish the two rounds at 7-over 151 and barely made the cut in a tournament she dominated a year ago.

'I did my best,' Tseng said. 'I hung in there.'

It was difficult for Pak and everybody else. After reaching 4 under with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, Pak struggled through the front nine, making bogey at the par-3 seventh when she drove the right rough in front of the green and couldn't get up and down. She did salvage par on four straight holes on the front, though, after some errant shots to stay in front of the pack.

'Right now, I'm still not 100 percent,' said Pak, who often shook her left arm as the day wore on. 'I'm slowly better every day. I know it'll take a little while. I'm just trying to not push myself out there too much. Out of an injury, you don't have high expectations.'

First-round leaders Beatriz Recari, Giulia Sergas and Ryann O'Toole, fell off the pace on a day that a swirling wind added yet another challenge on the narrow Locust Hill Country Club course. Sergas and O'Toole shot 76, and Recari had a 78.

Cristie Kerr, the runaway winner in 2010, was 2 over after a 76. Slumping Michelle Wie missed the cut with rounds of 74 and 82.

For the second straight day, nobody was able to make a charge as a swirling wind added yet another challenge on the narrow Locust Hill Country Club course, forcing players and caddies to drop blades of grass to check the direction of the breeze before nearly every shot on a sunny, warm day.

A day after only 16 players broke par, just 12 did on Friday, and again only three broke 70. Eun-Hee Ji (68) had the lowest round of the two days and was in a six-way tie at 143. Mi Jung Hur and Karin Sjodin each shot 69 as the top of the leaderboard remained a logjam with 24 players within four shots of Pak. The cut was at 7 over, five strokes more than last year when Tseng shot 19 under and won by 10 shots.

Playing in a threesome with Creamer and Stacy Lewis, Tseng birdied No. 1 and seemed ready to make a surge, avoiding the thick rough that has transformed the course into a real challenge for the entire field.

Tseng hit four of her first five fairways and reached six of the first seven greens in regulation. She easily could have made three more birdies but missed short tries at Nos. 3, 4, and 5. Her drive at the par-3 fifth hole landed a foot from the pin and rolled slightly away, and she slid her 5-foot birdie try just past the left lip of the cup after Lewis had made birdie from nearly the same distance.

'I play so good the front nine,' Tseng said. 'Didn't make any putts. It could be so much a better score today.'

The frustration showed, and Tseng's tee shot at the par-4 sixth hole prompted a yell of “Fore!' from the officials as it sailed into the left rough. Tseng salvaged a par but bogeyed No. 7, then rallied with consecutive birdies to reach 2 under at the turn.

Tseng self-destructed on the back nine with five bogeys.

'I was shocked,' Lewis said. 'It's probably the worst I've seen Yani play over two days straight. Usually, if she has a bad day, she bounces back the next day. It wasn't the usual Yani.'

Lewis struggled, too, making four birdies and four bogeys to finish at even par for the second straight day.

'Today, the wind was brutal,' Lewis said. 'Once we hit nine, from then on it was blowing pretty hard. It was really hard, a lot harder than yesterday. In the middle of the back nine, I think I was counting down the number of holes we had left.'

The trio did have a few fleeting moments. All three birdied the par-3 ninth hole, Lewis chipping in from the fringe, and the large gallery following them roared in approval.

The celebration was short-lived. Lewis and Creamer each managed just one birdie and one bogey on the back side and finished the day pretty much where they started.

At least they were in the hunt.

'People knew how hard it was. They were struggling through it with us,' said Lewis, who won two of her previous three starts. 'You miss the fairway by an inch and you have no shot. You're making bogey at best. You have to keep your focus - you're going to make a bogey, you're going to make a bad swing - and just move on. I'm hanging in there.'

When Creamer blasted out of a sand trap at No. 16, sand blew back in her face as she watched her ball roll well past the cup and made bogey. A birdie at the par-5 17th hole left her at even par for the day.

'Where I'm at right now, I feel pretty good,' said Creamer, whose last victory on tour was the 2010 U.S. Women's Open. 'I've played well, I've played solid. I've made my mistakes, but at the same time I'm right in contention. There's a lot of golf left.'

Not for Grace Park. After 13 injury-plagued years on the LPGA, the 33-year-old South Korean announced her retirement.

'This last back nine I think I gave it my all,' said Park, who made the cut and said she planned to finish the tournament. 'I started to get tears in my eyes. It was very emotional.'

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”