Se Ri Pak returns to form grabs State Farm lead

By Associated PressJune 4, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LPGA Tour _newSPRINGFIELD, Ill. ' The young South Koreans on the LPGA mention the late nights glued to the television set watching Se Ri Pak when they see her. They tell her they idolized her growing up.
 
It all brings a smile to Paks face, gives her a big boost. Along with that comes this awkward revelation.
 
To them, Im an old lady, she said.
 
The Hall of Famer shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead with fellow South Korean Jee Young Lee in the State Farm Classic.
 
A five-time major winner, the 31-year-old Pak is seeking her first top-10 finish in 10 starts this year. If she does, itll come against a field that features 49 of the LPGAs top 50 money winners.
 
Kris Tamulis opened with a 67, and Natalie Gulbis, Suzann Pettersen and Anja Monke shot 68s at Panther Creek in the final tuneup for the McDonalds LPGA Championship next week at Bulle Rock in Maryland.
 
Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer were in a large group at 69, and Michelle Wie shot a 70. Kraft Nabisco winner Brittany Lincicome was in danger of missing the cut after opening with a 75.
 
Pak, however, was on target.
 
Seeking her 25th LPGA win and first since the 2007 Jamie Farr Classic, she had six birdies ' three on the final four holes ' in tying her lowest round this year.
 
Lately, my games been getting pretty settled down ' getting closer and closer each week, said Pak, who has finished no higher than 13th this year and is 44th on the money list.
 
With the seasons second major next week, the timing is pretty good. Pak won the 2006 event at Bulle Rock, beating Karrie Webb in a playoff.
 
Pak began the day by hitting a sand wedge to 15 feet on par-5 first and completed her round with a flurry, birdying three of the final four holes.
 
She was at 3 under when she hit a good tee shot and drove a wedge to about 10 feet for the birdie on the par-4 15th and two-putted from 35 feet for birdie on the par-5 16th. She finished the round with a 7-iron to about 15 feet on 18.
 
Relatively unknown, Lee tied for 10th at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay in February and tied for ninth at the MasterCard Classic the following month. Now, shes off to a good start at the State Farm ' a bogey on the par-3 14th aside. She finished the day by knocking a 6-iron 6 feet from the cup for a birdie on No. 9.
 
Not long after that, Pak joined her in the lead.
 
I feel great, Pak said. I have a lot of confidence about my game. The last couple weeks Ive been so close, but I cant really score well because my putting was (poor).
 
To that end, in a stroke of good luck, she went back to the Never Compromise putter she used early in her career and the change seemed to pay off.
 
Seems pretty good to find it deep in the closet, said Pak, who has a deep, talented field close behind her.
 
Gulbis, who started on No. 10, was at 5 under and challenging for the lead before bogeying the par-4 eighth. Her second shot clipped the trees and settled in the rough to the right side, but she almost saved par on the hole with a 60-foot putt that slid just past the cup.
 
This is a very important stretch for a couple different reasons, Gulbis said. Its a big purse. Next week is a major. But this is a Solheim Cup year. Every single spot, every single point, every single stroke could be the difference between you making the Solheim Cup.
 
For most of the day, she seemed locked in.
 
Wie, who was in Gulbis group, had the distance off the tee but was a bit wild in the long and short games and let her frustration show.
 
She yelled Youre kidding me! when her chip shot on No. 13 sailed about 25 feet beyond the cup, before saving par. There was more frustration and a similar cry 'Youve got to be kidding me! ' on No. 8 when she chipped a shot past the green to a bunker on the left side. She bogeyed that hole and No. 9 to fall to 2 under.
 
Not a great round. Not a bad one, either.
 
She certainly was feeling better than she did after leaving this course last year, when she was one stroke off the lead after three rounds but got disqualified for failing to immediately sign her scorecard. That spoiled a good shot at her first tour victory, which shes still seeking.
 
I do know that there are high standards, Wie said. I have very high standards myself so I think its great that people have high expectations of me. You know, when those expectations start to drop, then Ill start to have a problem.
 
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”