Park completes eligibility for LPGA Hall

By Associated PressJune 10, 2016, 2:19 am

SAMMAMISH, Wash. - Inbee Park could finally crack a smile, even if she was five shots behind leader Brooke Henderson.

No more nerves or anxiety whether Park's injured thumb would hold up, the South Korean star was never more excited to make bogey than on the 18th to finish off the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship on Thursday - the round that made her eligible for the LPGA Hall of Fame.

''I was quite nervous this morning. I don't think I was this nervous when I was going for a major championship,'' Park said. ''This is a very, very special feeling. And I'm really going to enjoy Hall of Fame.''

Park's score of 1-over 72 didn't really matter. It left the three-time defending champion of the event well back of Henderson, who shot a 4-under 67 in her morning round.

At age 27, Park is the youngest player to qualify for the Hall of Fame. She completed the final eligibility requirement by playing the first round of her 10th event of her 10th season. She has won seven major titles and has 17 LPGA Tour victories.

Park has been dealing with inflammation in the tendon and ligaments of her left thumb, but overcame the discomfort to be on the leaderboard for most of the first round before making the bogey on the final hole.

As she walked off the putting surface, Park celebrated with family, Hall of Famers, fellow competitors and tour officials. Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak, Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb were among the crowd greeting Park and welcoming her to an exclusive club in women's golf. Park is only the 24th player in the LPGA Hall of Fame and first since Pak in 2007.


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''It definitely came quicker than I thought. And it obviously wasn't easy to get there,'' Park said. ''There were some very hard moments, and very successful moments altogether and made me who I am right now.''

The last time Park played a competitive round she shot 84 at the Volvik Championship in Michigan on May 27 and withdrew after the first round, the second consecutive tournament she pulled out of early.

Park was tied for second at 2 under after rolling in a 20-foot birdie putt on the ninth. She scrambled for pars to start the back nine, making a 15-footer on the 11th after hitting her drive into the rough.

Park bogeyed the 12th and 14th holes to fall back to even par. She missed a short birdie putt at No. 17 and pulled her second shot from the fairway on the 18th and missed a 20-footer for par.

''The score is obviously not the greatest, but I'm satisfied with the score today,'' Park said.

Henderson did her part in trying to steal the attention from Park. The 18-year-old Canadian, ranked fourth in the world, sparked her round by making an ace on the 13th hole - her fourth hole of the day - hitting a 7-iron from 155 yards to the left side of the green. The shot caught the apron and funneled directly to the cup.

''It really helped out a lot and gave me momentum for the rest of the day,'' said Henderson, who won a car that she gave to sister and caddie Brittany.

Henderson was at 3 under after making a birdie at the difficult par-4 18th - her ninth hole of the day - and overcame struggles with her driver on her second nine that caused her to drop two shots. Henderson birdied three of her final four holes.

''Making the turn I was a little shaky,'' Henderson said. ''Hit a couple of bad drives. But I was able to scramble, get up-and-down a couple of times that really saved my round and then finished really strong.''

Henderson won in Portland last year and has nine top-10 finishes this season.

Christina Kim and I.K. Kim followed at 69. Christina Kim was at 2 over after three holes before rallying on her second nine.

''This place has absolutely drained me. I'm very, very thankful I was able to play early today,'' said Christina Kim, fourth last week in New Jersey after finishing second the previous week in Michigan.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko had an even-par 71 in a round that featured 14 pars, two birdies and two bogeys. Both of Ko's bogeys came after she missed the fairway and had to pitch out from the trees.

Ariya Jutanugarn, the winner of her last three starts, was tied for fourth at 70. She played alongside Park.

Stacy Lewis shot a 73. Down to seventh in the world, the 31-year-old American is winless in 50 starts since June 2014. She has 10 runner-up finishes during the drought and 23 overall.

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson bogeyed four of her first five holes in a 75.

Michelle Wie shot a 78, making a double bogey and five bogeys. She's winless since the 2014 U.S. Women's Open and hasn't had a top-10 finish in 36 events.

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Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

“To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.