A special celebration for Kaymer in Arizona

By Associated PressMarch 9, 2011, 12:14 am

DORAL, Florida (AP)—Martin Kaymer celebrated his rise to world No. 1 withoutever leaving America.

The 26-year-old German has a home in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is where hespent last week after his runner-up finish in the Match Play Championship thatallowed him to replace Lee Westwood atop the ranking.

His brother and a friend flew in from Germany, only to tell him the next daythey were leaving for the airport. Kaymer couldn’t figure out why they weregoing home so soon, but he found out when they got to the airport.

They were there to pick up Kaymer’s father, Horst, who joined thecelebration.

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“He says, ‘Next time in Germany, who knows if you’re still No. 1, so I justwanted to take the opportunity to say congratulations,”’ Kaymer said. “Andyeah, the next day he flew out again in Germany. Not a lot of parents do that,and it was nice. I was a 30-hour trip for pretty much 24 hours he was there.”

Kaymer could have lost the No. 1 ranking had Westwood finished third at theHonda Classic, and the battle for No. 1 figures to continue all the way throughto the Masters. Westwood again will have a chance to get back the top spot atDoral.

“I really don’t care,” Kaymer said. “I’ve been No. 1 in the world atleast for seven days. No one can take it away from me.”

The celebration went beyond family.

Kaymer said he received a call last week from two-time Masters championBernhard Langer , who was No. 1 when the world ranking made its debut in 1986.Langer lasted three weeks at the top and never returned.

“He just said he’s very proud of how he kept everything together, that Ihave a very good family and people around me who keep everything in line, that Inever really lose my focus on things,” Kaymer said.

He said Langer told him that not many athletes have good people around him,and to keep his circle as small as possible. They also talked about playing apractice round at Augusta National.

TOUR DEPTH: Europe has the top four players in the world ranking. Thestrength of the PGA Tour might come from the likes of Mark Wilson , D.A. Points and Aaron Baddeley .

The PGA Tour still has the strongest fields, according to how many rankingpoints are allocated. Through two months, only twice has a European Tour eventoffered more points—Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Another statistic that might show depth of the PGA Tour comes from itswinners.

Seven of the 10 winners were ranked out of the top 100 in the world. Theexceptions were Bubba Watson (No. 33 when he won Torrey Pines), Luke Donald (No.9 when he won the Match Play) and Wilson, who was No. 91 when he won the PhoenixOpen. Wilson had been No. 237 when he first won this year at the Sony Open.

On the European Tour, all but two of its winners were ranked outside the top50—Thomas Bjorn (No. 134 when he won the Qatar Masters) and Shiv ShankarPrasad Chowrasia (No. 497 when he won the Avantha Masters in India).

“I think the fields are so deep nowadays,” Rory McIlroy said. “And thedifference between the top 10 players and the top 200 players … there’s notthat much difference. If you lined everyone up on a range, you couldn’t tell thedifference, really.”

It could be a case where Europe has strong fields among the top two dozen,while the PGA Tour is strong all the way to the bottom.

TIGER’S NEW DIGS: Tiger Woods says he is close to moving into his new homein south Florida, and it sounds as though the most exciting part of that is hispractice facility.

“It’s phenomenal,” Woods said on his website.

His design team built a short-game practice area that features four greens,six bunkers of various depths and sand, along with a video center and a puttingstudio.

Without any wind, the longest club he can hit is a 7-iron. Woods also saidhe can hit shots from his studio on the second floor.

ERNIE’S DILEMMA: Ernie Els was fitted for a Presidents Cup uniforms twoweeks ago at the Match Play Championship, although he still hasn’t decided wherehe will be playing Nov. 17-20.

The South African Open, where he is the defending champion, has been movedto the same date as the Presidents Cup in Australia, leaving Els uncertain,along with being a little irate.

Els said is spoke to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem last week, and thatFinchem is meeting with European Tour chief George O’Grady and South Africanchief Gareth Tindall.

“It’s basically in their hands and it’s a bit of an issue to resolve,” Elssaid. “Somebody is going to have to move a date or something.”

But he at least recognizes the problem of such a crowded schedule at the endof the year.

The European Tour wants to end its season with the Dubai World Championship,which already has been pushed back because of the Presidents Cup. Previously,two South African events were held in December and were considered the start ofthe next season.

The top five players in the International team standings are South African,and all played in the South African Open last year.

“It could be quite something,” Els said.

LOCAL CADDIE: Alastair Presnell hired a local caddie for the Nationwide Tourevent in Panama two weeks ago, and it became somewhat of a distraction in thefinal round.

The Australian Associated Press reports that the caddie’s cell phone rangfive times during the first seven holes, and Presnell’s patience finally ranthin.

“On the eighth tee, Alastair told his caddie to throw it in the bush,”said Mathew Goggin , who played in Presnell’s group. “So the caddie literallythrew it in the bush and walked off.”

Goggin wound up winning by one shot over Presnell and Darron Stiles .

STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the four major champions from 2009, Y.E. Yang is theonly player to qualified for the World Golf Championship at Doral.

FINAL WORD: “When will I win again? Whenever it happens, it happens. I’mjust going to keep trying to progress.”—Tiger Woods.

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Alabama faces 'buzzsaw' Arizona for NCAA title

By Ryan LavnerMay 23, 2018, 2:00 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – There was no way Laura Ianello could sleep Monday night, not after that dramatic ending at the NCAA Women’s Championship. So at 12:15 a.m., the Arizona coach held court in the laundry room at the Holiday Inn, washing uniforms and munching on mozzarella sticks and fried chicken strips from Sonic, her heart still racing.

Ianello got only three hours of sleep, and who could blame her?

The Wildcats had plummeted down the team standings during the final round of stroke-play qualifying, and were 19 over par for the day, when junior transfer Bianca Pagdanganan arrived on the 17th hole.

“Play the best two holes of your life,” Ianello told her, and so Pagdanganan did, making a solid par on 17 and then ripping a 6-iron from 185 yards out of a divot to 30 feet. There was a massive leaderboard positioned to the right of the par-5 18th green, but Pagdanganan never peeked. The only way for Arizona to force a play-five, count-four playoff with Baylor and reach match play was to sink the putt, and when it dropped, the Wildcats lost their minds, shrieking and jumping over the ropes and hugging anyone in sight.

Watching the action atop the hill, Alabama coach Mic Potter shook his head.

“I was really glad we didn’t win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed,” he said, “because they’re a buzzsaw with a lot of momentum.”

Given new life, Arizona dispatched Baylor by three strokes in the playoff, then turned its attention to top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


Facing two first-team All-Americans, the Wildcats beat them, too, continuing the curse of the medalist. In the afternoon, worried that the adrenaline would wear off, Ianello watched her squad make quick work of Stanford, 4-1.

“They’ve got a lot of great momentum, a lot of great team energy,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “They thought they were going home, and now they’ve got a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with an edge.”

After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday at Karsten Creek, Arizona now has a date with Alabama in the final match of this NCAA Championship.

And the Wildcats better rest up.

Alabama looks unstoppable.

“They’re rolling off a lot of momentum right now,” Ianello said. “We know Alabama is a good team. But they’re super excited and pumped. It’s not the high of making it [Monday]; now they’ve got a chance to win. They know they have to bring it.”

Even fully rested, Arizona will be a significant underdog against top-ranked Alabama.

After failing to reach match play each of the past two years, despite being the top overall seed, the Tide wouldn’t be stopped from steamrolling their competition this time.

They roughed up Kent State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then frontloaded their lineup with three first-team All-Americans – Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight – in their semifinal tilt against Southern Cal.

Potter said that he was just trying to play the matchups, but the move sent a clear signal.

“It gets pretty tedious when you never miss fairways and hole a lot of putts and your opponent knows that you’re not going to spray it,” Potter said. “That’s tough to match up against.”

They breezed to the first three points, draining any drama out of the semifinals. Of the 99 holes that Bama’s Big 3 played Tuesday, they trailed after only two.

“We’re always consistent,” Stephenson said, “and that’s exactly what you need in match play. Someone has to go really low to beat us.”

That Arizona even has that chance to dethrone the Tide seemed inconceivable a few months ago.

The Wildcats had a miserable fall and were ranked 39th at the halfway point of the season. On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, sent a text to Ianello that she was turning pro. Once she relayed the news, the team felt abandoned, but it also had a newfound motivation.

“They wanted to prove that they’re a great team, even without her,” Ianello said.

It also was a case of addition by subtraction: Out went the individual-minded Quihuis and in came Yu-Sang Ho, an incoming freshman whom Ianello described as a “bright, shining light.”

Because incorporating a top-tier junior at the midway point can be intimidating, Ianello organized a lively team retreat at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, where they made vision boards and played games blindfolded.

They laughed that weekend and all throughout the spring – or at least until Pagnanganan made that last-ditch eagle putt Monday. Then tears streamed down Ianello’s face.

Folding uniforms after midnight, she regaled Alabama assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel with stories from their emotional day on the cut line, not even considering that they might face each other two days later for a national title. She was too delirious to ponder that.

“I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby,” Ianello said. “But we’re going off of adrenaline. This team has all the momentum they need to get it done.”

Yes, somehow, the last team into the match-play field might soon be the last team standing.

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Pairings, tee times set for championship match

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

“We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.


Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)