Rain Washes Out Opening Round of ANZ Ladies
The Royal Pines resort course, already saturated by four days of rain, received a further 1.7 inches in just 15 minutes Wednesday, causing officials to declare the course would be unplayable by the scheduled start of play at 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
'A cut will be made after 36 holes Saturday, with the top 65 and ties to play the final round Sunday,' tournament spokesman Brendan Moloney said.
More than 16 inches fell before Wednesday's downpour, meaning no practice rounds could be played on Monday or Tuesday.
The pro-am Wednesday nearly dodged the downpour. The morning group played under cloudy skies, but golfers in the afternoon grouping were called off the course with about three holes to play when a fierce thunderstorm hit the area.
The washout delayed the continuation of a rivalry between Australia's Karrie Webb and Shin Ji-Yai of South Korea.
Last year, Webb needed a course-record 62 on the weekend to put her in position for a two-stroke win over Shin at Royal Pines. Last week at Kingston Heath in Melbourne, Webb beat Shin on the second hole of a playoff to win her fourth Australian Open.
Ai Miyazato, Japan's top golfer, and three-time Australian Masters champion Laura Davies of England will also be leading contenders.
The 20-year-old Shin is ranked No. 7 -- the highest international ranking of any South Korean player, and she doesn't play on the LPGA Tour. There are 45 South Koreans playing on the LPGA Tour this season -- out of 121 international players -- and 33 South Koreans are ranked in the top 100.
'She's definitely got the talent,' Webb said of Shin. 'Obviously she showed that by how impressive she played last week. Shooting 67 on Sunday was no mean feat on that golf course.'
Webb shot 67 as well, making birdies on 16 and 17 when Shin was already in the clubhouse two strokes clear of the Australian.
'As far as finishes go, it hasn't been too many (tournaments) that I have played that I have looked at the leaderboard and known that I have got not that many holes left and still need to pick up a couple of shots,' Webb said.
'That was the most exciting thing for me -- I was able to switch it on when I needed to and make those couple of birdies.'
Webb has won the Masters seven times at Royal Pines -- four in a row from 1998 to 2001, in 2005 and last year.
The Australian says she's relaxed after an eight-week break before last week's Australian Open.
In 2006, Webb had five wins in 21 tournaments in a renaissance year, including 13 top 10 finishes. Last year, her best finish was a second place -- at the LPGA Championship -- and she had just six top 10s in 21 events.
'It was easy to enjoy good golf, not so easy to enjoy bad golf,' Webb said. 'It just got frustrating, and the more I felt I was close and the results were not coming, the more you want to see the results. By the end of the year, I was just really tired of beating myself up and worn down from that.'
She never thought of retirement.
'I want to play for another five or six years at least,' Webb said. 'I wouldn't do it if I wasn't enjoying it and I wasn't enjoying it last year. So I've just got to change a few ways and try to be less of a perfectionist.'
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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36
SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.
He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.
''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''
Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.
Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.
Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.
Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.
Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.
The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.
Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.
''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''
The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.
''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.
Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2
RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.
Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.
''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''
On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.
''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.
Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.
''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''
Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.
''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''
Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.
First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.
Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing
Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.
Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:
Mike Leach hates golf. Why? Because "it's boring and I don't care where that ball goes." And because he doesn't need practice swearing. pic.twitter.com/hmybj1411Y— Lindsay Joy (@SWXLindsayJoy) April 18, 2018
As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:
• “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”
• "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”
• "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."
• “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”
So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.
Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco
RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.
Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.
The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.
Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.
Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.