Spotlight on Wie and other rookies in SBS field

By Associated PressFebruary 11, 2009, 5:00 pm
2006 SBS OpenKAHUKU, Hawaii ' At nearly every turn at Turtle Bay, there are posters of Annika Sorenstam covered in leis, proudly celebrating the 70th of her 72 titles in her spectacular LPGA career.
 
With the 2008 SBS Open champion enjoying retirement, several youngsters are vying to make their mark, including a special class of so-called rookies.
 
The group includes Jiyai Shin, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst and Michelle Wie, who was happy to be home, confident and looking for a fresh start to her career when play begins Thursday in the season-opening event.
 
These four rookies that we talk about headlining the rookie class, every single one of them feel capable of sweeping the LPGA, tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens said. Theyre fearless. Theyre not typical rookies.
 
Wie appeared relaxed during her pro-am round Wednesday, joking with her caddie, signing autographs and comfortably crushing drives like in years past.
 
I feel like its a whole new beginning for me. Its a completely new slate, Wie said. Im not going to think about the past and not even going to think too much of the future. Im just really excited for this week, for tomorrow, and Im just going to think about what I can do best for each moment.
 
While the rookies have all made a name for themselves through winning on different levels, none of them come close to having the endorsement deals, bank account and fame of Wie, who for years has been looking to add to her trophy case.
 
Wie, who first played an LPGA event at age 12, is trying to change that and said shes been working on her game constantly.
 
The games a funny thing. One day it feels really good and other days you have to work hard on it, she said. But Ive been working on it really hard So hopefully my games a lot better than it was, ever before. Im really excited to show that.
 
Wie said the rookies are all unique in their own way with different histories, but she realizes the competition is getting stiffer. She is surrounded by young up-and-coming stars.
 
The 20-year-old Shin, who was referred to by a member of the Korean media as super rookie, is coming off a phenomenal year where she became the first non-LPGA member to win three events. Shins victories include the Womens British Open and the season-ending ADT Championship. She also has 20 titles on the Korea LPGA.
 
Lewis, who turns 24 next week, is the oldest of the four rookies. The Q-school winner turned pro in June and competed in seven LPGA events. She had two top-10 finishes, including a tie for third in the U.S. Womens Open. Before turning pro, she went 5-0 in the Curtis Cup last summer and also starred at the University of Arkansas, where she won 12 events and was the 2007 NCAA champion.
 
Hurst dominated the Duramed Futures Tour last season, winning five times in 13 starts to earn rookie and player of the year honors.
 
The 18-year-old Hurst, from Melbourne, Fla., said she feels no resentment at all toward Wie.
 
I just try to stay focused with my plan and my goals and stay focused on what I want to achieve this week and this year, Hurst said. Weve all taken different paths, all the rookies this year. I think you can never say whos done it better.
 
Hurst said shes now competing on a whole new level, but shes just trying to keep the attitude that she made it here just like everyone else.
 
Im going in with an open mind, seeing how the first tournament goes and then take it from there, Hurst said. Probably previous years when I played LPGA events it was more intimidating, but now that Im out here, this is my new family.
 
The SBS marks Wies first event as a full-fledged member of the LPGA. It also is her first LPGA start since July when she was disqualified from the State Farm Classic, one shot behind going into the final round, when it was determined she left the scoring area without signing her card after the second round.
 
She also opened 2008 in Hawaii at the Fields Open, where she closed with a 6-over 78 to tie for last among the 74 players who made the cut.
 
She played the first SBS in 2005 as a 15-year-old amateur and tied for second at Turtle Bay with Cristie Kerr, two strokes behind winner Jennifer Rosales. Wie was the lone amateur in the field and the only player to shoot under par for three rounds.
 
It also was at Turtle Bay in 2006 that she became the first female to win a local qualifying tournament for the U.S. Open. She earned the first of three spots into the sectionals.
 
Then came wrist injuries in 2007 that shook her confidence and her promising game. But she ended 2008 at Q-school on a high note, where she earned her LPGA card.
 
I guess its the home factor. I just play well (here), said Wie, who grew up about an hour-drive away.
 
Besides the talented rookies, there are several seasoned veterans like 2007 champion Paula Creamer, who finished second on the money list behind top-ranked Lorena Ochoa last year after winning four events.
 
Its hard to believe. Im 22 and considered a veteran now, Creamer said.
 
Yani Tseng, the 2008 rookie of the year and LPGA Championship winner, also is entered. A year ago at Turtle Bay, Tseng was ranked 133rd in the world. Today, shes No. 2.
 
The SBS is the first of 30 events on the LPGA Tour this year, down from 34 in 2008. The loss of the four events represents nearly $10 million in prize money being erased.
 
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    Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

    Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

    “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

    Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

    “I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

    Getty Images

    TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:

    • THAT WAS AWESOME!

    At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

    • Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

    • This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

    • One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

    • On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    • Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

    • One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

    • In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

    Yes, yes it is.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

    It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

    Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

    Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

    Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

    Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

    No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.


    No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.


    No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.


    No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.


    No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.


    And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.


    Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.


    Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.