Stupples returns from TV gig to play LPGA Lotte

By Associated PressApril 15, 2014, 7:24 pm

Karen Stupples habitually waved to the cheering gallery two weeks ago in the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Only this time, the English player was working as an on-course announcer for Golf Channel and the cheers were for the players walking behind her on the 18th hole.

''Crossing the bridge, you have the gallery on the right and Poppie's Pond on the left, and everybody is clapping,'' Stupples said. ''My gut instinct was to wave. So, that was weird.''

It won't be weird this week in Hawaii when the 40-year-old Englishwoman returns to play in the LPGA Lotte Championship. Her enthusiasm for the game recharged by her new broadcasting job, she's making her first tour start since late August.

''I still love the game of golf,'' Stupples said. ''I thought I had lost that. I really did. A couple of years ago it was a real struggle for me to want to play golf or remembering why I loved it in the first place. Now, I've remembered why. It's not about putting the score on the scorecard, but it turned into that.''

She did put some memorable numbers on scorecards 10 years ago when she won her two LPGA tour titles. In the 2004 opener in Tucson, Ariz., she shot 63 in the first and fourth rounds and broke the tour's 72-hole record with a 258 total. In the Women's British Open at Sunningdale that summer, she began the final round eagle-double eagle en route to a 64 and a five-stroke victory.

''What appealed to me is that she is a major champion and also has been playing a full schedule on the LPGA tour,'' said Jack Graham, Golf Channel vice president of live tournaments. ''She wanted to make the commitment to put in the work to learn the ropes in televised golf and is doing a very good job at that.''

Stupples won a Ladies European Tour event in 2009 in Wales and helped Europe win the 2011 Solheim Cup, but struggled to contend the last few years. Last season on the LPGA tour, she made seven cuts in 18 starts and her season best was a tie for 38th.

''When I was playing poorly, I was worried about the score and the money and everything else,'' Stupples said. ''When I stopped having that worry because of the (TV) job, it enabled me to remember it's about how I hit the ball, what I'm doing with the ball, how I'm maneuvering around the course – the chess game that is golf.''

Following the top players and leaders as an announcer has helped her own game.

''You see that they make mistakes,'' Stupples said. ''It's very easy to think that when you're making mistakes back in the pack that you're the only one making them. You think the leaders can't possibly be making them. They're making mistakes, too, but they're just managing their games better.''

She first worked as a broadcaster on BBC's radio coverage of the 2007 British Open.

''It was so much fun. I loved it,'' Stupples said. ''It was just great hanging out with everybody and talking golf, being in the discussion and debate in the media center. I thought, 'This is something I would really love to try to get into.'''

She worked some more big events for the BBC and asked Golf Channel last year at the Hawaii event if she could follow lead on-course commentator Jerry Foltz.

''I put ears on and tailed him around and watched what he did,'' Stupples said.

Then, after missing the cut in Toledo, Ohio, she got a full trial following top-ranked Inbee Park – and nailed it.

''I got to do my first interview that week,'' Stupples said. ''That was the most nerve-wracking thing in my life. I'd always been the one being interviewed.''

The former Florida State player also has done studio work for Golf Channel.

''She's an absolute natural,'' Foltz said. ''There's an art to the job. It's more than just calling golf shots.''

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Sordet opens with 62 to grab lead at Nordea Masters

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2018, 11:23 pm

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Clement Sordet opened with four straight birdies to shoot 8-under 62 and take the first-round lead of the Nordea Masters on Thursday.

Sordet says ''I wasn't really focusing on the score, I was just enjoying it.''

The Frenchman, who shot his lowest European Tour round, has a two-stroke lead over Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Lee Slattery of England.

Hunter Stewart is the highest-placed American after a 5-under 65 left him on a four-way tie for fourth with Christofer Blomstrand, Tapio Pulkkanen and Richard Green.

Defending champion Renato Paratore's hopes of becoming the first player to successfully retain the title look in doubt after the Italian shot 9-over 79 at Hills Golf Club.

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Peterson confirms plans to play Web.com Finals

By Will GrayAugust 16, 2018, 9:17 pm

After flirting with retirement for much of the summer, John Peterson confirmed that he will give it one more shot in the upcoming Web.com Tour Finals.

Peterson, 29, had planned to walk away from the game and begin a career in real estate in his native Texas if he failed to secure PGA Tour status before his medical extension expired. His T-13 finish last month at The Greenbrier appeared to be enough to net the former NCAA champ at least conditional status, but a closer look at the numbers revealed he missed out by 0.58 points in his last available start.


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But Peterson was buoyed by the support he received from his peers at The Greenbrier, and when he got into the Barbasol Championship as a late alternate he decided to make the trip to the tournament. He tied for 21st that week in Kentucky, clinching enough non-member FedExCup points to grant him a spot in the four-event Finals.

Last month Peterson hinted that he would consider playing in the Finals, where 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season will be up for grabs, and Thursday he confirmed in an Instagram post that he will give his pro career "one last push."

The Finals kick off next week in Ohio with the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and will conclude Sept. 20-23 with the Web.com Tour Championship. Peterson will be looking to rekindle his results from 2013, when he finished T-5 or better at each of the four Finals events while earning fully-exempt status as the top money earner.

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Lyle honored with sand sculpture at Wyndham

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 16, 2018, 9:00 pm

Jarrod Lyle passed away last week at the age of 36 after losing his third battle with cancer.

And after a PGA Championship filled with tributes to the Australian, the Wyndham Championship found its own way to keep his legacy alive at the North Carolina Tour stop.

Next to the Wyndham Championship and PGA Tour logos carved into the sand on site at Sedgefield Country Club is Lyle's name and the "Leuk the Duck" mascot. The duck has become synonymous with Challenge, an organization that supports kids with cancer.

Fellow Aussie Stuart Appleby posted the display on social media:

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Lyle was also remembered in a more traditional manner on the first tee, where his bag and trademark yellow bucket hat were prominently displayed.

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Yin (64) steps into spotlight on Day 1 in Indy

By Randall MellAugust 16, 2018, 7:49 pm

American fans will be quick to embrace a young new winner with the U.S. ranks shrinking in women’s golf this summer.

With some of its biggest stars dealing with injuries, swoons or away on maternity leave, the American game could use a boost.

And here comes Angel Yin . . .

She is a major talent looking to break through this week at the Indy Women in Tech Championship. Still a teenager at 19, she moved into early position Thursday to try to win her first title.

With a spectacular start, Yin looked as if she might give the game a pair of 59s on the same day, with Brandt Snedeker posting one at the Wyndham Championship. Yin birdied eight of the first nine holes at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis before cooling on the back nine. She still shot 8-under-par 64, good for the early lead.

“It just felt good,” Yin said. “Everything was working.”

Yin was knocking down flagsticks on the outward nine.

“I had nine putts on the front nine, which is incredible,” Yin said. “Never had that many little putts.”

With Brickyard Crossing a big hitter’s park, Yin took advantage. She’s one of the longest hitters on tour, ranking fifth in driving distance (272.2 yards per drive).


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Yin has made runs at winning this year. She tied for fourth at the Mediheal Championship in April. She finished third at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the end of June, but then missed the cut in three of her next four starts, including the Ricoh Women’s British Open in her last start.

“I was really happy how everything came together [today], because I have been playing well,” Yin said. “I just haven't been scoring.”

Yin introduced herself to the world stage making the American Solheim Cup team last year. She wowed fans and teammates alike bombing her driver in an impressive rookie debut.

“She is fearless,” two-time Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis said going into last year’s Solheim Cup. “The shots she can hit, nobody else can hit. She probably doesn’t quite know how to manage it yet, is the only thing holding her back.”

While Yin is seeking her first professional title, she has won as a pro. She claimed the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic on the Ladies European Tour at the end of last season.

Ying has been a big deal in Southern California for a while now. At 13, she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run. At 14, she won a junior qualifier to get into the ANA Inspiration and made the cut. At 15, she Monday qualified to get into the LPGA’s Kia Classic. At 16, she won the AJGA’s Annika Invitational, finished runner up in the U.S. Girls’ Junior and played on the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team.