SoCal memorial held for the late Blasberg

By Associated PressMay 19, 2010, 7:34 pm

CORONA, Calif. – LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg, whose sudden death last week at age 25 remains a mystery, was remembered during a public memorial service in her hometown Wednesday as a passionate competitor with a playful side and a generous heart.

Family members, friends and LPGA golfers praised Blasberg in person and on video during the service at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona where she played as a high school athlete. Two golf bags stitched with her name stood by her silver coffin.

She was “goofy, fun-loving and ultra-competitive,” Chase Callahan, her agent, told a standing room-only crowd.

“She was a machine when it came to smacking drives down the fairway … she never missed,” he said.

Blasberg had her bags packed for a tournament in Alabama when she died suddenly on May 9 at her home in Henderson, Nev., about 15 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The cause of her death has not been stated pending blood and tissue tests that could take a month or more to complete. Police have not said whether they suspect foul play but have not ruled out any cause, including suicide.

Speakers at the service mentioned her drive and the years she spent learning the game. A burial followed in Corona Del Mar.

They also mentioned her puckish sense of humor and childlike side.

Arden Czyzewski, an executive with Puma who helped choose her to represent its clothing line, noted that in her LPGA biography she mentioned she loved “drawing hearts and stars” as well as snacking, sleeping, cooking, reading tabloids and added, “I think I’m addicted to shopping.”

Her golf coach at the University of Arizona, Greg Allen, said that she loved his wife’s homemade cornbread and always had a “perfect bow in her hair to match today’s outfit.” He also said the woman he knew as Skip – the nickname given to her because she could not skip – was so enthusiastic about golf that once she showed up for a 6 a.m. golf tournament at 2 a.m.

Blasberg was “the girl who could floor you with a grin,” said friend Shane Bacon.

LPGA players remembered her fondly in videos played at the service.

Friend and longtime LPGA player Irene Cho presented her parents with a flag signed by golf tour contestants that came from Blasberg’s last tournament in Mexico.

Her parents wept as they talked about their daughter. Her mother, Debbie Blasberg, held her daughter’s Yorkie, Wynnston, in her arms as she urged the attendees to remember their own children, saying that even if their children were only leaving to go to the next room, “just tell them you love them because you don’t know the next time you’re going to see them.”

Her father, who had coached her, said that on the day of her death he texted her “How’s everything?” but never got a response. Just before midnight that day he heard a knock at the door. It was the Corona police and he learned she was dead. He and his wife went to Las Vegas and stayed overnight at his daughter’s home.

“We had lost something that we had shared and created,” he said, including “a piece of our very spirit.”

“I love her beyond the bounds of earth,” he said.

Blasberg was in her sixth season on the LPGA.

She was a former junior golf standout, an All-American in 2003 and 2004. She was the 2003 NCAA Freshman of the Year and 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year while at the University of Arizona.

She turned professional in June 2004, and won once on the Duramed FUTURES Tour before qualifying for the LPGA Tour in 2005.

Her best year on Tour was 2008, when she earned a career-best tie for eighth at the SBS Open in Hawaii and more than $113,000 in winnings, the LPGA said.

Blasberg played in one event this season, tying for 44th in the April 29-May 2 Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."