Wie could boost LPGA with breakthrough win

By Associated PressMay 6, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LPGA Tour _newWILLIAMSBURG, Va. ' When LPGA administrators and players gathered last weekend in Virginia, one of the most-discussed topics was ways for all the players to help draw more fans to their game by being more visible outside the ropes.
 
Of course, it wasnt lost on some that there just happens to be a 19-year-old rookie who could make a splash on the course, too. Imagine the buzz for Michelle Wies first tour win.
 
Wouldnt hurt, Hall of Famer Judy Rankin said.
 
The sophomore at Stanford has long been the most hyped player in womens golf, a phenom before she was a teenager who tried using competition against her peers merely to hone her game with a real goal of taking on the men, first on the PGA Tour, and then at The Masters.
 
But while the millionaire many times over always seemed to contend in majors on the LPGA, and even twice shot 68 in the PGA Tours Sony Open, her last victory came in the U.S. Womens Amateur Publinx ' at age 13.
 
Now, shes a rookie on the LPGA, and trying to be just one of the girls.
 
This year definitely feels like a fresh start, she said Tuesday at Kingsmill, site of this weekends Michelob Ultra Open. It got me more excited about playing, especially playing every week. I just have a new mindset. It feels like a new opportunity and its a lot of fun.
 
Her goals and demeanor, which once drew criticism, are more measured, too.
 
Just have fun, try my hardest at every moment, not think too much about the future, she said after a practice round Tuesday. Obviously I want to win a couple, but I think the most important thing for me is just to have fun and relax out there and good golf will follow.
 
Wie declined to speculate what impact a breakthrough victory would have ' I dont know what it would cause, but hopefully good things would happen, she said 'but Rankin and others think the boost it could give the womens game in a sagging economy would be sizable.
 
First of all, people are going to be happy to see this phenomenal talent finally begin to reach her potential, Rankin said. Secondly, because of her age, because she is so young, people are going to be happy to see her overcome the difficulties of the last few years.
 
Thirdly, shes just so flat-out talented and good, its going to make the competition on this tour so much keener. And shes been this way since she was about 14. She bears the burden of having the most potential of anybody anyone has ever seen at such a young age.
 
Fellow Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez said fans often approach her with the same questions.
 
They always ask me: `Whats going on with Michelle Wie? Lopez said. I mean, that is the main topic a lot of times when people come up and ask me what Im doing on the tour.
 
Clearly, the years without winning have hardly curtailed fans fascination with the regal 6-footer with the graceful swing, the posing finish and the long, purposeful stride.
 
When she contended in her debut this season in the SBS Open in Hawaii, the tours Web site got the second-most traffic on a weekend in its history, LPGA spokesman David Higdon said.
 
No. 1? The 2006 Evian Masters in France, when a then-16 year old Wie led by two shots with seven holes to play before faltering and losing by one shot to Karrie Webb.
 
This season, Wie is 22nd on the money list with $142,756 through four events.
 
No one would have guessed when she won the U.S. Amateur Publinx title at 13 that Wie would still be chasing her first LPGA victory six years later, but Wie prefers to think of herself as just one of the players on tour these days, and to let her play determine where she fits.
 
I think its great that people think so highly of me that they have expectations, and I have really high expectations for myself, she said. Im trying my hardest to fulfill my own expectations and trying to become the best I can be.
 
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    DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

    The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

    Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

    He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

    Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


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    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”