Tseng, 22, becomes youngest to win four majors

By Associated PressJune 26, 2011, 11:33 pm

ROCHESTER, N.Y.  – Yani Tseng left no doubt she's the best female player in the world, running away with the LPGA Championship by 10 strokes Sunday and, at 22, becoming the youngest to win four LPGA majors.

The top-ranked Tseng closed with a 6-under 66 to finish 19-under 269 at Locust Hill Country Club, matching the LPGA record low score at a major in winning $375,000 at the $2.5 million event. And her dominating performance came a year after Cristie Kerr shot the same score to win the tournament by a whopping 12 strokes.

Dottie Pepper (1999 Kraft Nabisco) and Karen Stupples (2004 Women's British Open) also finished at 19 under.

Tseng bettered Se Ri Pak, who was 24 when she won her fourth major. For the star from Taiwan, it was her eighth career LPGA Tour victory, second in a row and third of the season. She has three other victories this year, sweeping the Australian Open and Masters and winning in Taiwan.

Morgan Pressel (71) finished second. Kerr (69), Suzann Pettersen (67) and Paula Creamer (69) tied for third at 8 under.

'Yani's doing what I did last year. Obviously, it's hard to beat,' said Kerr, who rallied late with a birdie on No. 16 and an eagle on 17. 'I'm not surprised. Yani's a great player. She's in the prime of her career. She's found her stride at a young age.'

Wearing a smile for much of the day, Tseng raised her arms and tipped her hat as she was greeted by the gallery upon arriving at the 18th green.

In winning her second LPGA Championship, she moved into a tie for 15th among women with four majors, joining a group of six others, including Laura Davies and Meg Mallon.

By comparison, Annika Sorenstam was 24 when she won the first of her 10 majors - the 1995 U.S. Women's Open. Patty Berg was 23 when she won her fourth major in 1941, but before the LPGA was formed in 1950. Tseng's also ahead of Tiger Woods, who didn't win his fourth major until he was 24.

Men or women, Tseng's performance drew comparisons to Rory McIlroy, given that the up-and-coming Northern Irish star is also 22 and won last week's U.S. Open by eight strokes.

Tseng went wire-to-wire as the tournament leader after opening with rounds of 66, 70 and 67. In holding one-shot leads after each of the first two rounds, Tseng began running away from the field on Saturday in building a five-shot edge.

It's a lead she doubled by the time she made the turn Sunday.

The only hiccup for Tseng came during a what-else-can-go-wrong opening hole. She pulled her tee shot into the left rough, appearing to be bothered by the click of a shutter of a photographer standing behind her. Then Tseng had to wait five minutes to stew over her ball as Pressel sought a ruling from an official to move her ball because a sprinkler was affecting her stance just off the first green.

Tseng landed her second shot just outside the ropes in the gallery and, with the rattling noise of a freight train nearby, she settled for a bogey 5.

With that out of the way, Tseng proceeded to burn up the course, starting at No. 2, where she landed her approach shot to within two feet of the pin. That began a run of Tseng scoring birdies on five of her next seven holes. Tseng added three more birdies on the back nine, while bogeying 13.

She had a chance to get to 20 under, but missed a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

Tseng finished with 27 birdies, six bogeys and a double bogey. She hit 38 of 56 fairways and 57 of 72 greens in regulation.

No one else was close. Tseng's playing partner, Cindy Lacrosse, unraveled. She was 5 over on Sunday to tumble into 14th.

Pettersen had the best round among those at the top of the leaderboard, getting to 9 under for the tournament before a bogey on No. 18.

Tseng's first LPGA Championship came during her rookie-of-the-year season in 2008, when the event was played at Bulle Rock in Maryland. She's won three of the past six majors after taking the Kraft Nabisco and Women's British Open last year.

Missing only a U.S. Open title victory, Tseng will have an opportunity to complete her career slam in two weeks at Colorado Springs, Colo.

Sarah Kemp shot even-par 72 in a round that featured her acing the 161-yard No. 5. It was the 14th hole in one in the Rochester tournament's 35-year history, and first since Soo-Yun Kang did it on No. 7 in 2008.

Stupples had the day's low round of 65, which vaulted her into a tie for 34th at 1-over 289 for the tournament.

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U.S. captures Junior Ryder Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2018, 12:29 am

The U.S. defeated Europe, 12 ½ to 11 ½, in the Junior Ryder Cup at Golf Disneyland at Disneyland Paris.

Rachel Heck, 16, of Memphis, Tenn., clinched the winning half-point on the 18th hole with a 12-foot birdie putt that halved her match with Annabell Fuller, 16, of England.

"It was the most incredible experience of my life," said Heck, a Stanford commit who last week made the cut in her second LPGA major, the Evian Masters.

Michael Thorbjornsen, 16, of Wellesley, Mass., the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, drove the green on the 315-yard 18th hole, the ball stopping within 5 feet of the pin. His eagle putt completed 2-up win over 15-year-old Spaniard David Puig and ensured that the U.S. would retain the Junior Ryder Cup, as the defending champion needs only a tie (12 points) to maintain possession of the trophy.

Singles results

Match 1 - Lucy Li (USA) def. Amanda Linner (EUR), 4 and 3

Match 2 — Rasmus Hojgaard (EUR) def. William Moll (USA), 1 up

Match 3 —  Ingrid Lindblad (EUR) halved Rose Zhang (USA)

Match 4 – Nicolai Hojgaard (USA) def. Canon Claycomb (USA), 4 and 2

Match 5 — Yealimi Noh (USA) def. Emma Spitz (EUR), 3 and 2

Match 6 —  Ricky Castillo (USA) def. Eduard Rousaud Sabate (EUR), 3 and 1

Match 7 – Emilie Alba-Paltrinieri (EUR) def. Erica Shepherd (USA), 2 up

Match 8 — Michael Thorbjornsen (USA) def. David Puig (EUR), 2 up

Match 9 – Alessia Nobilio (EUR) def. Alexa Pano (USA), 2 and 1

Match 10 —  Robin Tiger Williams (EUR) def. Cole Ponich (USA), 2 and 1

Match 11 – Annabell Fuller (EUR) halved Rachel Heck (USA)

Match 12 — Conor Gough (EUR) def. Akshay Bhatia (USA), 1 up

 

TOUR Championship Final Round Becomes Most-Watched FedExCup Playoffs Telecast Ever and Most-Watched PGA TOUR Telecast of 2018

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 25, 2018, 6:48 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., (Sept. 25, 2018) – NBC Sports Group’s final round coverage of the TOUR Championship on Sunday (3:00-6:19 p.m. ET) garnered a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 7.8 million average viewers, as Tiger Woods claimed his 80th career victory, and his first in five years. The telecast’s TAD was up 212% vs. 2017 (2.5m). Television viewership posted 7.18 million average viewers, up 192% YOY (2.46m) and a 4.45 U.S. household rating, up 178% vs. 2017 (1.60). It also becomes the most-watched telecast in the history of the FedExCup Playoffs (2007-2018) and the most-watched PGA TOUR telecast in 2018 (excludes majors).

Coverage peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. ET with 10.84 million average viewers as Woods finished his TOUR Championship-winning round and Justin Rose sealed his season-long victory as the FedExCup champion. The peak viewership number trails only the Masters (16.84m) and PGA Championship (12.39m) in 2018. The extended coverage window (1:30-6:19 p.m. ET) drew 5.89 million average viewers and a 3.69 U.S. household rating to become the most-watched and highest-rated TOUR Championship telecast on record (1991-2018).

Sunday’s final round saw 18.4 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports Digital platforms (+561% year-over-year), and becomes NBC Sports’ most-streamed Sunday round (excluding majors) on record (2013-’18).

Sunday’s lead-in coverage on Golf Channel (11:54 a.m.-1:25 p.m. ET) also garnered a Total Audience Delivery of 829K average viewers and posted a .56 U.S. household rating, becoming the most-watched and highest rated lead-in telecast of the TOUR Championship ever (2007-2018). Golf Channel was the No. 2 Sports Network during this window and No. 7 out of all Nielsen-rated cable networks during that span.

 This week, NBC Sports Group will offer weeklong coverage of the biennial Ryder Cup from Le Golf National outside of Paris. Live From the Ryder Cup continues all week on Golf Channel, surrounding nearly 30 hours of NBC Sports’ Emmy-nominated live event coverage, spanning from Friday morning’s opening tee shot just after 2 a.m. ET through the clinching point on Sunday. The United States will look to retain the Ryder Cup after defeating Europe in 2016 (17-11), and aim to win for the first time on European soil in 25 years, since 1993.

 

-NBC Sports Group-

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Tiger Woods names his Mount Rushmore of golf

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 25, 2018, 6:29 pm
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Mickelson savoring his (likely) last road game

By Rex HoggardSeptember 25, 2018, 3:49 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Phil Mickelson lingered behind as his foursome made its way to the ninth tee during Tuesday’s practice round.

He needed the extra practice, no doubt. He’s one of just six players on the U.S. Ryder Cup team with even a modicum of knowledge about Le Golf National, but the likely reason for Lefty’s leisurely tempo was more personal.

The 2019 Ryder Cup will likely be Mickelson’s last road game as a player.

He’ll be 52 when the U.S. team pegs it up at the 2022 matches in Rome. Although there’s been players who have participated in the biennial event into their golden years – most notably Raymond Floyd who was 51 when he played the ’93 matches – given Mickelson’s play in recent years and the influx of younger players the odds are against him.

“I am aware this is most likely the last one on European soil and my last opportunity to be part of a team that would be victorious here, and that would mean a lot to me personally,” Mickelson said on Tuesday.

It’s understandable that Mickelson would want to linger a little longer in the spotlight of golf’s most intense event.

For the first time in his Ryder Cup career Mickelson needed to be a captain's pick, and he didn’t exactly roar into Paris, finishing 30th out of 30 players at last week’s Tour Championship. He’s also four months removed from his last top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.


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Although he’s reluctant to admit it for Mickelson Le Golf National looks every bit a swansong for the most accomplished U.S. Ryder Cup player of his generation.

In 11 starts at the Ryder Cup, Mickelson has a 26-16-13 record. Perhaps more telling is his 7-3-1 mark since 2012 and he holds the U.S. record for most matches played (45) and is third on the all-time list for most points won (21.5), just two shy of the record held by Billy Casper.

Mickelson’s record will always be defined by what he’s done at the Masters and not done at the U.S. Open, but his status as an anchor for two generations of American teams may never be matched.

For this U.S. team - which is trying to win a road Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993 - Lefty is wearing many hats.

“You know Phil and you know he's always trying to find a way to poke fun, trying to mess with someone,” Furyk said. “He's telling a story. Sometimes you're not sure if they are true or not. Sometimes there's little bits of pieces in each of those, but he provides some humor, provides some levity.”

But there is another side to Mickelson’s appeal in the team room. Although he’s never held the title of vice captain he’s served as a de facto member of the management for some time.

“At the right times, he understands when a team needs a kick in the butt or they need an arm around their shoulder, and he's been good in that atmosphere,” Furyk said. “He's a good speaker and good motivator, and he's been able to take some young players under his wing at times and really get a lot out of them from a partner standpoint.”

In recent years Mickelson has become something of a mentor for young players, first at the ’08 matches with Anthony Kim and again in ’12 with Keegan Bradley.

His role as a team leader in the twilight of his career can’t be overstated and will undoubtedly continue this week if Tuesday’s practice groupings are any indication, with Lefty playing with rookie Bryson DeChambeau.

As DeChambeau was finishing his press conference on Tuesday he was asked about the dynamic in the U.S. team room.

“We're going to try and do our absolute best to get the cup back,” he said.

“Keep the cup,” Lefty shouted from the back of the room, noting that the U.S. won the last Ryder Cup.

It was so Mickelson not to miss a teaching moment or a chance to send a subtle jab delivered with a wry smile.

Mickelson will also be remembered for his role in what has turned out to be an American Ryder Cup resurgence.

“Unfortunately, we have strayed from a winning formula in 2008 for the last three Ryder Cups, and we need to consider maybe getting back to that formula that helped us play our best,” Mickelson said in the Scottish gloom at the ’14 matches. “Nobody here was in any decision.”

If Mickelson doesn’t step to the microphone in ’14 at Gleneagles in the wake of another U.S. loss and, honestly, break some china there probably wouldn’t have been a task force. Davis Love III likely wouldn’t have gotten a second turn as captain in ’16 and the U.S. is probably still mired in a victory drought.

Lefty’s Ryder Cup career is far from over. The early line is that he’ll take his turn as captain in 2024 at Bethpage Black – the People’s Champion riding in to become the People’s Captain.

Before he moves on to a new role, however, he’ll savor this week and an opportunity to win his first road game. If he wants to hang back and relish the moment so be it.