Park wins her second North Texas Shootout

By Associated PressMay 4, 2015, 1:15 am

IRVING, Texas – Inbee Park loves coming to Texas. For the second time in three years, she's leaving the Lone Star State with a trophy.

Two years after winning the LPGA's inaugural North Texas Shootout, Park closed with a bogey-free 6-under 65 on Sunday to win it again, this time by three strokes over Cristie Kerr and Hee Young Park.

''I don't know how I did it, but I did it twice,'' Inbee Park said. ''I love this golf course. ... It seems like it really suits my eye.''

Park, ranked No. 2 in the world, never surrendered the lead after consecutive birdies at the second and third holes at Las Colinas Country Club, finishing at 15-under 269 for her second victory this year and 14th on the tour. This is the fourth season in a row the 26-year-old South Korean player has multiple victories.

Kerr had three consecutive birdies to finish her round of 66. Hee Young Park also had a 66, birdieing the final two holes after her only bogey at No. 16.

''Can't complain,'' the 37-year-old Kerr said. ''I was great mentally. ... I thought I had to shoot at least 5 or 6 under to have a chance, and I did that.''

Lydia Ko, coming off a win last week in California, will maintain the No. 1 ranking even after a closing 71 to tie for 41st at even par. The 18-year-old from New Zealand is donating her $6,241 check to Nepal earthquake relief.

''I didn't know if I was even going to be able to make the cut or even make a donation,'' said Ko, who was just on the line to make the primary cut Friday and secondary cut Saturday. ''Luckily, I was able to play all four days. ... The last three days was a lot of grinding, but I'm happy that I can contribute.''

Lexi Thompson, who shared the third-round lead with Park, closed with a 69 to tie for fourth with Maria McBride (65) at 11 under.

A stroke behind Park midway through the round, Thompson was set to get even again after her approach to about 5 feet at the 415-yard ninth hole. But before making that birdie putt, Park curled in a much longer putt there to get to 12 under.

''That really got me going into the momentum, and that definitely gave me a lot of confidence on the greens,'' Park said. ''I thought maybe today is not the day for me on the putting because it didn't want to go in on the front nine.''

Park was four strokes ahead of Thompson after a 10-foot birdie putt at the 390-yard 15th hole to get to 14 under. Thompson hit her approach through that green and made a bogey.

Park, the HSBC Women's Champions winner in March in Singapore, pushed her career total to nearly $10.8 million with the $195,000 first-prize check.

Angela Stanford, who lives in nearby Fort Worth and attended TCU, was at 10 under after a 69. That was a stroke ahead of a trio of defending champion Stacy Lewis (67), Juli Inkster (67) and Karrie Webb (70).

It was the first top-10 finish since 2011 for Inkster, the 54-year-old Solheim Cup captain and 31-time tour winner.

McBride made only $49,315 in her 32 previous starts since 2012, when the Swede had her last top-10 finish. The tie for fourth will net her $61,259 after a round with two eagles, and just missing a third on the final hole.

Brooke Henderson, the 17-year-old Canadian who nearly made a playoff last week in San Francisco and was the second-round leader in Texas, opened Sunday with a birdie to get to 9 under and match the leaders who had not yet teed off.

But Henderson was out of contention after a three-hole stretch that started with a bogey at the par-5 third hole, where her approach settled in a concrete culvert under a city street between holes. She double bogeyed the par-3 fourth after her tee shot went in the water, then had another bogey at the fifth hole.

Henderson's 73 left her in a tie for 13th at 6-under 278.

The LPGA has denied Henderson a membership waiver to its minimum age requirement of 18. To make the field in Texas, she took an overnight flight after finishing the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and then had to endure a qualifying round stretched over two days because of weather before a playoff.

''It has been a long week,'' she said. ''I'm excited to sort of go and relax a little bit while I caddie for my sister in South Carolina. But it's been a lot of fun and I wouldn't change it for the world.''

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DJ, McIlroy, Spieth listed as PGA betting favorites

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 1:38 pm

Three majors are in the books, but there's still one more trophy up for grabs in two weeks' time.

While next year The Open will signal the end of the 2019 major season amid a revamped calendar, this is the final year that the PGA Championship will be held in August. The tournament returns next month to Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis, which last hosted the PGA when Nick Price won in 1992 and hasn't hosted a PGA Tour event since Camilo Villegas won the 2008 BMW Championship.

Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published PGA betting odds shortly after the final putt dropped at Carnoustie and Francesco Molinari left with the claret jug. Topping the board are a trio of major champions: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, all listed at 12/1.

McIlroy won the PGA in both 2012 and 2014, while Spieth needs only the Wanamaker Trophy to round out the career Grand Slam. Johnson has recorded four top-10s in the PGA, notably a T-5 finish at Whistling Straits in 2010 when a few grains of sand kept him out of a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.

Fresh off a T-6 finish in Scotland, Tiger Woods headlines the group listed at 16/1, behind only the three co-favorites as he looks to win a 15th career major.

Here's a look at the betting odds for a number of contenders, with the opening round of the PGA just 17 days away:

12/1: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth

16/1: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

18/1: Justin Rose

20/1: Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day

30/1: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Paul Casey

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson

80/1: Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner

100/1: Ian Poulter, Thomas Pieters, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Brandt Snedeker, Charley Hoffman

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Molinari moves to No. 6 in world with Open win

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:31 pm

After breaking through for his first career major title, Francesco Molinari reached some rarified air in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Rankings.

The Italian's two-shot win at Carnoustie moved him up nine spots to No. 6 in the world, not surprisingly a new career high. But it's also a quick ascent for Molinari, who has now won three of his last six worldwide starts and was ranked No. 33 in the world after missing the cut at The Players Championship two months ago.

A share of second place helped Xander Schauffele jump from No. 24 to No. 18 in the updated standings, while the same result meant Kevin Kisner went from No. 33 to No. 25. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy both went up one spot after T-2 finishes to No. 2 and No. 7, respectively - a new career high for Rose.

The drama in the rankings unfolded at No. 50, as Tiger Woods moved up 21 spots to exactly No. 50 following his T-6 finish. While some projections had him moving to 51st, Woods was able to sneak into the top 50 just in time to qualify for a return to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as the top 50 in the rankings both this week and next qualify for Akron.

That includes Zach Johnson, last year's runner-up who was not yet qualified but moved from No. 52 to No. 49 this week. It also includes Kevin Chappell, who went from 61st to 47th with a T-6 finish in Scotland.

Despite missing the cut at Carnoustie, Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for another week followed by Rose, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Molinari is now at No. 6, with McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day rounding out the top 10.

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Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar

13. Kevin Kisner

14. Tony Finau

15. Brian Harman

On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

European Points

1. Francesco Molinari

2. Justin Rose

3. Tyrrell Hatton

4. Tommy Fleetwood

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Thorbjorn Olesen

Russell Knox

Eddie Pepperell

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Alex Noren

3. Rory McIlroy

4. Paul Casey

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sergio Garcia

Ian Poulter

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.