Webb Back in Familiar Spot Down Under
Webb's 5-under 67 gave her a two-round total of 136 in the rain-shortened 54-hole tournament at Royal Pines. Two regulars on the Japanese tour -- Australian Tamie Durdin and South Korean Shin Hyun-ju -- were tied with Webb, Durdin after a 67 and Shin with a 68.
Taiwan's Tseng Ya-ni and England's Lisa Hall, both with 69s, were tied for fourth, a stroke back of the leading trio.
One of Webb's biggest putts came on the 16th, when she saved par from 16 feet to stay within a stroke of the lead. Webb missed the green on the par-4 17th, but again saved par.
'I just hit a real bad shot on 16, kind of fat,' Webb said. 'But I made a nice putt, then a good up-and-down on 17.'
Webb said she hasn't been hitting her driver well, 'but on this course, you can get away with it.'
'I was hot and cold today,' she said. 'Tomorrow I'll have to hit another low score. You can't be conservative out there.'
Durdin, who played 26 events in Japan last year, was among the early leaders at Royal Pines last year before fading on the weekend.
She double-bogeyed the par-4 4th hole Saturday after taking a penalty drop when her ball landed in trees and under branches, then her bogey putt lipped out. But she had seven birdies the rest of the way.
Durdin, whose best finish in Japan is a tie for fourth, is aware of her reputation of not being able to remain among the leaders.
'I've had trust and belief issues before and I have then obviously failed at the finish line,' she said.
'But it's a question of believing in what I'm doing, trusting myself. I'm doing that now.'
Webb called Durdin 'the biggest underachiever in Australian golf.'
'She has more talent in her little toe than 90 percent of the field this week,' Webb said.
Shin will begin her fourth year on the Japanese tour this season, where she has two career wins.
She had two bogeys on the back nine -- both on par 3s, including a three-putt on the 16th. But she made a 16-foot birdie putt on the ninth -- her last of the day -- to pull into a tie with Durdin.
'My driving is not that long, so my strong point is my short game,' Shin said through an interpreter. 'I am pleased with the way I am playing.'
Seven players were two shots off the lead: former Duke University player and 2002 NCAA champion Virada Nirapathpongporn of Thailand, who shot a 69, Louise Stahle (67) and Anna Tybring (68) of Sweden, Tania Elosegui of Spain (70), and Carri Woods and Diana D'Alessio of the United States and Marianne Skarpnord of Norway, all after 69s.
Former three-time Masters champion Laura Davies of England shot 69 and was at 139, three shots back.
'I drove the ball much better today, I was always in play,' Davies said. 'I missed a few short birdie putts, which was disappointing, but I'm one of the people still around with a chance to win.'
Ai Miyazato of Japan and Shin Ji-yai of South Korea, who lost to Webb in a playoff in last week's Australian Open at Kingston Heath in Melbourne, each had 69s and were tied in the group with Davies.
Australian Nikki Garrett, who held a one-stroke first-round lead over 10 players, had a 73 Saturday and was four strokes back.
Ko part of 5-way tie for Mediheal lead
DALY CITY, Calif. - Lydia Ko was back on top at Lake Merced.
Ko shot a 4-under 68 on a chilly Thursday morning at the LPGA Mediheal Championship for a share of the first-round lead. Jessica Korda, Caroline Hedwall, In-Kyung Kim and Su Oh joined Ko atop the leaderboard in the LPGA's return to Lake Merced after a year away.
''This is a golf course where you need to drive the ball well and putt well,'' said Ko, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic winner at the course in 2014 and 2015.
Ko eagled the par-5 fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. The New Zealander has 14 LPGA wins, the last in July 2016.
''It's nice to come back to a place where you feel super-welcomed,'' Ko said. ''It just brings back a lot of great memories. ... My family and friends are here this week, so I'm hoping that I'm going to continue the solid play.''
She turned 21 on Tuesday.
''I don't think I feel a huge difference, but I know turning 21 is a huge thing in the U.S.,'' Ko said, ''So, I'm legal and I can do some fun things now.''
Korda, playing alongside Kim a group ahead of Ko, also eagled the fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. Korda won in Thailand in February in her return from reconstructive jaw surgery.
''The score says one thing and my hands say another,'' Korda said. ''It was really cold out there today, so it was good that I stuck to kind of my process. ... Actually, this is still some of the nicer conditions that we've played in compared to the past. I'll take the cold as long as there's no rain.''
Hedwall and Kim each had five birdies and a bogey.
''I just love the city. It's really nice,'' said Hedwall, from Sweden. ''It's sort of a European-style city with all the shopping going on downtown and stuff. I love it here. I even like this weather, suits me really well, too.''
Oh had a bogey-free round. The Australian was the only one of the five players tied for the lead to play in the afternoon.
''It was cold and pretty windy out there and, because it's got a lot of elevation, it kind of swirls in the middle like in the low areas, so it was tough,'' Oh said. ''I hit the ball really solid today. Then the ones I missed, I made really good up-and-downs.''
Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull and Celine Herbin shot 69.
''This course is very challenging, especially when the wind picks up,'' the third-ranked Thompson said. ''It's chilly, so it's a little longer of a course. Some of the par 5s are reachable, so you try to take advantage of that, but pars were good and just take the birdie chances as you can get them.''
Moriya Jutanugarn, the winner Sunday in Los Angeles for her first LPGA title, had a 71 playing with former Stanford student Michelle Wie and ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg. Wie had a 74, and Lindberg shot 79. Ariya Jutanugarn matched her sister with a 71, playing in the group with Ko.
Top-ranked Inbee Park matched playing partner Brooke Henderson with a 72. The third member of the afternoon group, second-ranked Shanshan Feng, shot 73.
Juli Inkster shot 72. The 57-year-old Hall of Famer grew up in Santz Cruz, starred at San Jose State and lives in Los Altos. She won the last of her 31 LPGA titles in 2006.
Stacy Lewis had a 74 after announcing that she is pregnant with a due date of Nov. 3. She plans to play through the Marathon Classic in July and return for a full season next year.
Glover, Reavie share Zurich lead with Chinese pair
AVONDALE, La. - Chez Reavie had quite a few good moments at TPC Louisiana on Thursday. So did teammate Lucas Glover.
In best-ball format, the most important thing was those moments came on different holes.
Reavie and Glover teamed to shoot a 12-under 60 for a share of the Zurich Classic lead with China's Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng.
''Chez started well and I picked it up in the middle of the back nine,'' Glover said. ''He closed it off and then we both played really well on the front. Just kind of ham and egged it, I guess, as they would say.''
Reavie and Glover each had six birdies in the best-ball format, pushing through soggy weather early in the round before conditions cleared at TPC Louisiana. Six teams are two shots back in a tie for third after shooting 62.
''We were just rolling,'' Reavie said. ''I think we're comfortable. We like to laugh and have a good time when we're playing golf, and it definitely helps.''
Zhang and Dou birdied four of their final five holes. Dou made a 31-foot putt on No. 9 to cap the impressive rally and jump into the lead with Reavie and Glover.
Tony Finau-Daniel Summerhays, Chris Paisley-Tommy Fleetwood, J.J. Henry-Tom Hoge, Michael Kim-Andrew Putnam, Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown and Troy Merritt-Brendon de Jonge shot 62. Jason Day and Ryan Ruffels shot 64.
It's the first time since last year's Tour Championship that the reigning champs of all four majors have been in the same field. None of them were among the leaders after the first round.
Masters champion Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay had a 65, and British Open winner Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer were at 66.
''I didn't feel like there was really any rust,'' Reed said. ''I felt like I hit the ball all right today. I felt I hit some good quality putts. A couple of them went in, a couple of them didn't.''
This is the second year that two-player teams have competed at the Zurich Classic. The unusual tournament features best-ball play in the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds.
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Marc Turnesa shot a 67. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley shot a 70.
There are 80 teams in the tournament and the top 35, along with ties, will make the cut after Friday's second round.
Lewis says she's expecting first child in November
Stacy Lewis is pregnant.
The 12-time LPGA winner confirmed after Thursday’s first round of the Mediheal Championship that she and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, are expecting their first child on Nov. 3.
Lewis learned she was pregnant after returning home to Houston in late February following her withdrawal from the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a strained oblique muscle.
“We're obviously really excited,” Lewis said. “It wasn't nice I was hurt, but it was nice that I was home when I found out with [Gerrod]. We're just really excited to start a family.”
Lewis is the third big-name LPGA player preparing this year to become a mother for the first time. Suzann Pettersen announced last month that she’s pregnant, due in the fall. Gerina Piller is due any day.
Piller’s husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, withdrew from the Zurich Classic on Thursday to be with her. Piller and Lewis have been U.S. Solheim Cup partners the last two times the event has been played.
“It's going to be fun raising kids together,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they're best friends and they hang out. But just excited about the next few months and what it's going to bring.”
Lewis, a former Rolex world No. 1 and two-time major championship winner, plans to play through the middle of July, with the Marathon Classic her last event of the year. She will be looking to return for the start of the 2019 season. The LPGA’s maternity leave policy allows her to come back next year with her status intact.
“This year, the golf might not be great, but I've got better things coming in my life than a golf score.” Lewis said. “I plan on coming back and traveling on the road with the baby, and we'll figure it out as we go.”
Coach scores in NFL Draft and on golf course
To say that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had a good day Thursday would be an understatement. Not only did his team snag one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft - Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith, who the Bears took with the eighth pick of the first round - but earlier in the day Fangio, 59, made a hole-in-one, sinking a 9-iron shot from 125 yards at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.
Perhaps the ace isn't so surprising, though. In late May 2017, Fangio made another hole-in-one, according to a tweet from the Bears. The only information supplied on that one was the distance - 116 yards.
Who knew defensive wizard Vic Fangio was also a golf wizard? He sank a 116-yard hole-in-one over the weekend. Congrats, Coach! pic.twitter.com/qNQTMfDsDF— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 30, 2017