Pressel takes early lead in Arkansas

By Associated PressSeptember 11, 2010, 12:28 am

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ROGERS, Ark. – On her way to the lead Friday in the Northwest Arkansas Championship, Morgan Pressel enjoyed chatting with an unusual playing partner.

Pressel and Juli Inkster played alongside 17-year-old Daniel Watkins from The First Tee program. A dozen players from the youth development organization are joining the pros during the first two rounds in a best-ball competition that is taking place alongside the LPGA tournament.

“We had a lot of fun out there,” said Pressel, winless since the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic. “It didn’t really come out until the last hole when he admitted to me that he was very nervous about the spectators and didn’t want to kill anybody. I told him that Tiger hits it all over the place, too, and has a lot more spectators than we do, so not to worry about it.”

Although some of Watkins’ shots went astray, he played well enough to maintain a good pace of play, and Pressel seemed to enjoy a carefree round at Pinnacle Country Club. She shot a 5-under 66 to take a one-stroke over Yani Tseng, Gloria Park and Na Yeon Choi. Michelle Wie, coming off a victory in the Canadian Women’s Open, was another stroke back along with Suzann Pettersen, Janice Moodie, Danielle Downey and Jee Young Lee.

This is the first time the LPGA has tried this setup, with First Tee players joining the pros during competitive rounds.

“Juli was more a coach than I was,” Pressel said. “I’m sure a lot of the girls were hesitant to want to play with juniors, as it might be a distraction. But as you could see in my game today, it loosens you up.”

Pressel, also the 2007 Kraft Nabisco winner, finished with birdies on Nos. 8 and 9. She hit 15 greens in regulation and missed only one fairway to move to the top of a loaded field. After the event, the tour is off until Oct. 7, and with the exception of Paula Creamer (thumb injury) all of the top players are playing.

Tseng, who won the Women’s British Open and the Kraft Nabisco this year, is off to a good start as she tries to get back on track. Since winning the British, she finished tied for 45th at the Safeway Classic and missed the cut at the Canadian Women’s Open.

Tseng birdied No. 18, a 515-yard par 5. Her second shot, a 3-wood from 233 yards, landed around the front of an elevated green.

“I think I killed that shot,” Tseng said. “It was like 245 into wind, so I hit a great shot there. I just couldn’t see my ball so my caddie said my ball was just running back to front edge and I made a good two-putt there.”

On the same hole, the big-hitting Wie came up short of the green with her second shot and settled for par.

“I didn’t birdie any of the par 5s today and I bogeyed one of them, so I definitely need to do better,” Wie said.

Other big names at Pinnacle include Cristie Kerr (72), Ai Miyazato (71) and Jiyai Shin (71).

Thursday’s pro-am was canceled because of bad weather, but it was hot and muggy Friday, enabling the course to dry out. The top four players on the leaderboard all teed off in the morning, when scoring conditions appeared more favorable.

“I’m not sure that that had so much to do with it drying out, or just that there was quite a bit of wind when we first teed off,” said Paige Mackenzie, who played in the afternoon and shot 72. “For our first three quarters of our round, or first two thirds of our round, we had quite a bit of wind.”

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

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Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.


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Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.



“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”