Wie defending, Tseng the favorite in Canada

By Associated PressAugust 24, 2011, 8:51 pm

MIRABEL, Quebec – Michelle Wie will defend her title, while Yani Tseng is the favorite at the Canadian Women’s Open.

The 22-year-old from Taiwan has dominated with four victories this season, including wins in three of the last six events.

“World No. 1 has been my goal since I was 12,” Tseng said Wednesday. “To become No. 1 is very exciting.”

Tseng tops the LPGA money list with $1.7 million and ranks first in scoring average (69.63), average driving distance (269.3 yards) and top-10 finishes (nine in 14 tournaments).

The Canadian Open, which gets underway Thursday at Hillsdale Golf Club, is a tournament she’s never won.

Tseng tied for sixth in Edmonton in 2007 in her LPGA debut and placed third in 2008 after a case of nerves cost her the lead with a final-round 77 in Ottawa. She was 33rd the following year in Calgary and missed the cut last year in Winnipeg.

“I was so nervous because I didn’t know anything about the LPGA or anything about the field and playing the best players in the world,” she said of her debut. “But I learned a lot. I made double on the last hole. I lost a lot of money. That’s the first time I go ‘Wow, one shot makes a lot of difference on the LPGA Tour.”’

She finished 13th last week at the Safeway Classic in Oregon, and chalked it up to jet lag after returning from Taiwan.

For the 21-year-old Wie, the Canadian Open was only her second win in three years on the tour. Tseng has already won five majors, including this year’s LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open, which she won for a second straight time.

“It is very motivating to see someone like Yani get really good over the last year and half,” said Wie, who will focus full-time on golf after she graduates in March from Stanford with a communications degree. “It’s kind of something I want to see about myself. I want someone to say next year how good I’ve become.”

The tournament will field 19 of the world’s top 20 players for an event that lost its major status in 2000 but still has major prize money at $2.25 million.

The contenders include Cristie Kerr, the 2006 winner, who is second on the money list, and Suzann Pettersen, the 2009 champion. Pettersen rallied from a nine-stroke deficit on Sunday to win the Safeway Classic.

Lorie Kane of Canada closed with a 68-67 last year to finish tied for 11th. She’s the last Canadian to win an LPGA tournament, back in 2001.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t thinking that I would very much like to win, because that’s why I’m here,” said the 46-year-old Kane. “To hoist the CN Canadian Women’s trophy would be fantastic.”

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Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.

The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

“Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.