Rookie MJ Hur tops Suzann Pettersen in playoff

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2009, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newNORTH PLAINS, Ore. ' Rookie M.J. Hur made a 6-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole of the Safeway Classic on Sunday to beat Suzann Pettersen for her first LPGA victory.
 
Hur pumped her fist and started laughing after sinking the putt on the par-4 No. 17 hole at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club north of Portland. Then a friend chased the South Korean around the green, trying to douse her with champagne.
 
Hur shot a final-round 65, while Pettersen and veteran Michele Redman each shot a 67 to finish at 13-under 203 and set up the playoff.
MJ Hur at Safeway Classic
M. J. Hur celebrates her winning birdie putt to defeat Suzann Pettersen on the second playoff hole Sunday of the Safeway Classic. (Getty Images)
Redman, whose last tour victory came in 2000, was knocked out when she missed a short putt for par on the first playoff hole, the par-4 No. 18.
 
Hur, who competed on the Futures Tour last season, had played in 13 previous tournaments this season, making the cut six times.
 
After a foot-long putt for par to finish her round, she quickly exited the course. But rather than retreat somewhere to watch Pettersen and Redman finish their rounds, she hung out in the clubhouse before heading for the putting green.
 
Asked to explain her calm demeanor, Hur smiled and said: Nothing to lose.
 
Pettersen and Redman each birdied No. 17 to help set up the playoff.
 
Pettersen had four straight birdies to surge atop the leaderboard and at one point take a three-stroke lead, but a double bogey on the par-5 No. 15 hurt her.
 
The native of Norway had not won since 2007, when she won five tour events. She was a runner-up at the Corona Championship earlier this year and had eight top-10 finishes before Sunday.
 
While ominous clouds and scattered downpours marked the first two rounds, brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the 80s marked the last day. Michelle Wie, Ai Miyazato and Seon Hwa Lee all finished two shots off the leaders at 11-under 205.
 
Wie finished the final round with a 66. Playing her first full season on the tour, Wie was runner-up in the season-opening tournament in her home state of Hawaii.
 
She said shes been gaining confidence, boosted by her performance in the Solheim Cup. The United States defeated the European team in the competition last weekend in Sugar Grove, Ill.
 
Its not really pressure, she said about getting her first victory. I just want it to happen already.
 
Rookie Anna Nordqvist, who won the LPGA Championship earlier this year, was a one-stroke leader going into Sundays final round. She shot a 72 to finish at 10 under.
 
Defending champion Cristie Kerr finished well back at 5 under with a 72.
 
The tournament was moved this year to the Ghost Creek course at Pumpkin Ridge, about a 20-minute drive west of Portland. It had been played the past 19 years at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, near the Portland International Airport.
 
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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”