Wie Struggles Donald Leads at Sony

By Associated PressJanuary 11, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- Luke Donald didn't have much of a following Thursday, so he barely heard any applause even as he made birdies on half his holes for a 7-under 63 and a one-shot lead in the Sony Open.

The crowds were with Michelle Wie. And there wasn't much cheering there, either.

'I heard no noise, really,' Donald said. 'I got one score update -- I wasn't sure if it was true -- 8 over after eight.'

Luke Donald
Luke Donald fired a opening-round 7-under 63 on Oahu.
No, that wasn't true. She was 8 over after nine holes.

Playing the Sony Open for the fourth straight year, Wie hit into the water twice, the bunker twice, clipped two palm trees and didn't hit a fairway until the 15th hole. Headed for her worst score ever, the 17-year-old kept battling and played the back nine in even par for a 78.

That's one stroke better than her opening round a year ago at Waialae.

But it still leaves her chances of making the cut about the same as the second round being postponed by snow.

'Even though I was playing bad, I knew I could always come back if I get the ball in the fairway,' said Wie, who managed that just one time on a breezy day along the shores of Oahu. 'At the end, I actually felt like I was playing golf.'

She was in next-to-last place, five shots clear of Hawaii club pro Abe Mariano (83).

The best score by a Hawaii teen belonged to 16-year-old Tadd Fujikawa, one year younger and a foot shorter than Wie. Fujikawa, who qualified for the U.S. Open last year, opened with a 1-over 71 at Waialae, the same as Kapalua winner Vijay Singh.

K.J. Choi played in stiffer wind in the afternoon, made the turn in 30 and settled for a 64. Will MacKenzie continued riding his wave and, despite being bummed about a three-putt par on the 18th, shot a 65 and was tied for third with Jim Furyk.

Donald is at No. 10 in the world ranking, and his game has looked as though he belongs there. He only has two PGA Tour victories, including the Honda Classic last year, but his confidence is building and his game is tidier than ever.

'I'm getting better every year,' Donald said. 'It has not quite yet resulted in lots of wins, winning majors, that kind of stuff, but I feel like I'm getting a lot closer than I was a year or two ago. I've gotten to the stage where I'm expecting to be up there and contending, and winning each week I play.'

For Wie, expectations are headed the other direction.

Her swing no longer is long and fluid, rather mechanical than when she first played the Sony Open at age 14 and shot 68 in the second round to miss the cut by one shot. Her weakness then was her short game, which is now her strength.

It kept a bad round from being embarrassing on Thursday.

A sign in someone's backyard down the right side of the first hole said, 'Wie??? Why!!!' She never saw it because she duck-hooked her tee shot, fortunate it didn't go onto the practice range. She saved par with a 10-foot putt.

More fortune was on her side at No. 2, when another drive tugged to the left hopped along the rocks framing the lake, then took one last bounce into the rough. That didn't help, though, because the next shot looked like a sharp grounder to second base.

And on the next hole, she pulled another shot into the water and made an 8-foot putt to escape with bogey.

The worst tee shot came at No. 5, yanked some 40 yards left of the fairway into a creek next to the seventh green. That led to double bogey, and she picked up another double bogey on the sixth by twice clipping the palm trees.

And on the par-5 ninth, she sliced it so badly it went off the property and into a canal.

Q-school grad Stephen Marino (68) and Gavin Coles of Australia (71) both suggested that her right wrist might have been hurting Wie more than she let one. Wie has had it wrapped tightly each day, and said she has been going through acupuncture.

'I don't know that her wrist was doing her any good,' Coles said. 'I think she's not letting people know that it's hurting. But she's got a nice short game. She managed very, very well. She has a nice head on her shoulders.'

Wie said she hurt the wrist while hitting off a cart path at the Samsung World Championship in October, and it hasn't healed. She does not know if it's tendons or ligaments causing the pain, but she did not dwell on it.

'Every kind of injury hurts a little bit. It's always in the back of your mind,' Wie said. 'But it is what it is, and I'm not going to make any excuses.'

She didn't make a birdie until a 6-iron through out of the rough and through a gap in the palm trees to 15 feet on No. 12. Her other birdie came on the par-3 17th, where she hit 5-iron into 18 feet.

Playing the back in even par allowed Wie to end a dubious streak of three straight rounds in the 80s competing against the men. She opened with a 79 last year, then followed with a 68 to match her record as the lowest score by a woman on the PGA Tour.

And she still believes that's possible.

She attributed her poor driving to a careless mistake in her setup, which she did not want to describe.

'If I just get everything right, get the ball in the fairway -- get the ball anywhere in play, actually -- I think I can definitely tear this golf course up,' she said.

Divots
Arron Oberholser withdrew for the second straight week with a back injury and was replaced by Brendon DeJonge of South Africa, who made his PGA Tour debut in tough circumstances. He was in Charlotte, N.C., at 2 p.m. Wednesday when told he was in the field, arrived in Honolulu at 3:45 a.m. and stayed up a few hours before teeing off. He opened with a 69. ... Wie didn't have the best turnaround. J.B. Holmes went 40-30 to finish at even par.

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    Koepka: Second-place finishes becoming 'annoying'

    By Al TaysMay 28, 2018, 12:02 am

    Brooks Koepka didn't go down without a fight.

    Trailing Justin Rose by four shots going into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational, Koepka shot his second 7-under 63 of the week - and made up precisely one shot. He finished solo second at 17 under par, three shots behind Rose.

    He could only marvel at the Englishman's performance in closing with a 6-under 64.

    "It was pretty impressive," he said. "Justin played well. Hat's off to him. Any time you can come into a lead with four shots and play the way he did today, that's impressive."


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    Although Koepka was pleased with his own play - especially his putting - he said it felt "annoying" to come in second. Again.

    "I feel like we've had so many second-place finishes," he said. "Always seem to run into a buzz saw, whatever it is."

    Since May of 2016, Koepka has five solo second-place finishes and one T-2. But he also has a U.S. Open title, won last year at Erin Hills. He'll attempt to defend that title June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills. "It's nice to finally be playing well and get going into the season," he said. "Kind of peaking right where I need to be."

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    Minjee Lee birdies 18 to win on her birthday

    By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:59 pm

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Minjee Lee's task was simple: A birdie on No. 18 would win her the tournament. It was a manageable par 5, the easiest hole on the course in the final round.

    After a good drive, her second shot came closer to trouble than much of the gallery probably realized.

    ''I almost clipped the tree,'' Lee said. ''I overcut it a little bit, but it finished out in a good position.''

    Lee's shot came to rest just to the right of the green, and from there it was a simple chip and putt for the birdie that gave her a one-stroke win over In-Kyung Kim at the LPGA Volvik Championship on Sunday. Lee, who turned 22 on Sunday, won for the first time since 2016. It was the Australian's fourth career victory.

    Lee three-putted for a bogey on No. 17, dropping into a tie with Kim, who finished her round about the same time. So Lee needed a birdie to win on 18. The 18th hole was 470 yards Sunday. There were 44 birdies there in the final round.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    ''The tee was up,'' she said. ''I was pretty confident that I could get there in two if I had a good drive.''

    Lee made her winning putt from about 3 feet. She finished at 4-under 68 and 16 under for the tournament. Kim (67) shot a 32 on the back nine and birdied No. 18, but it wasn't enough to force a playoff at Travis Pointe Country Club.

    ''I kind of knew that 16 was the number and I mean, I give my best,'' Kim said. ''I make some good shots and birdies.''

    Moriya Jutanugarn (65) finished third at 14 under.

    Lee took a two-stroke lead into the final round, and that was her margin over playing partner Stacy Lewis before Lewis (71) bogeyed No. 7 and 8. Kim emerged as the biggest threat to Lee when she birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine. Lewis is playing four months' pregnant with her first child.

    Kim and Lee were briefly tied at 15 under, but then Lee made a tap-in birdie on the par-5 14th, while Kim bogeyed 15. Lee saved par on 15 despite a wayward drive into a bunker.

    ''I wasn't sure where I was score-wise then. That par 5 is reachable in two, so I think a lot of people would have made birdie there,'' Lee said. ''The next tee shot I just pulled into the bunker. ... I think that was really important for me to hole that par putt just to keep the momentum going.''

    Lee had gone 38 consecutive holes without a bogey before making one on the par-4 17th. That, combined with Kim's birdie on 18, left the two golfers tied, but Lee still had the 18th to come.

    Su Oh (68) and Lindy Duncan (69) finished at 13 under, and Megan Khang (67) was another stroke back. Lewis finished at 11 under along with Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and Danielle Kang (70).

    Lewis birdied three of the first six holes, but Lee did as well.

    ''It's hard to get close when somebody does that,'' Lewis said. ''She played great all day and played solid. When she needed to make a par putt, she did, and didn't make any mistakes.''

    Lee lost this event by one stroke last year. Shanshan Feng, the 2017 winner , finished tied for 21st this time.

    The LPGA has had a different winner in each of its 13 tournaments this year. The U.S. Women's Open starts Thursday at Shoal Creek.

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    Spieth: Improvement is 'right around the corner'

    By Al TaysMay 27, 2018, 10:50 pm

    Not that Dallas native Jordan Spieth didn't enjoy the two-week home game that is the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Fort Worth Invitational - he certainly did. But he's eager to get out of town, too.

    "It was a great showing these last couple weeks by the fans," Spieth said after closing with a 2-under 68, a 5-under total and a T-32 finish. "Obviously extremely appreciative here in DFW. Wish I could do more. These couple weeks can be a bit taxing, and it's awesome to kind of have that support to carry you through.

    "So, you know, I had a great time these couple weeks on and off the golf course as I always do, but I'm also really excited to kind of get out of town and kind of be able to just go back to the room and have nothing to do at night except for get ready to play the next day."


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    Spieth will have that experience this coming week in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Memorial. He's hopeful of improving on his T-21, T-32 finishes the past two weeks, and he thinks the main thing holding him back - his putting - is ready for a turnaround.

    "I think good things are about to come," he said. "I feel a good run coming for the second half of the season. Today was - each day I've felt better and better with the wedges and the putter and the short game; today was no different. My only bogey being just kind of trying to do too much on a par-5; 3-wood into the hazard.

    "So, you know, I'm getting into where I'm not making bogeys, and then soon - the not making bogeys is great, and soon I'll get back to the five, six birdies around and shoot some low rounds.

    "So I know it's right around the corner."

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    Broadhurst fires 63 to easily win Senior PGA

    By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:45 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Paul Broadhurst wishes he had played this well in his 23 years on the European Tour.

    ''I know a lot more about my swing now and I guess you get that with age and experience,'' the 52-year-old Englishman said after shooting an 8-under 63 on Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship by four strokes and match the best 72-hole score in tournament history.

    Broadhurst finished at 19-under 265 at Harbor Shores for his second senior major victory. The 63 was the best fourth-round score by a winner. Rocco Mediate also shot 19 under at Harbor Shores in 2016.

    Also the 2016 British Senior Open winner, Broadhurst led the field with 26 birdies and passed third-round co-leaders Tim Petrovic and Mark McCarron with a 4-under 31 on the back nine.

    Petrovic was second after a 69. McCarron had a 70 to tie for third at 14 under with Jerry Kelly (65).


    Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


    Broadhurst earned a career-high $585,000 for his fourth PGA Tour Champions victory and moved to the top of the money list. He won six times on the European Tour, was a 1991 Ryder Cup player for Europe and has three European Senior Tour victories.

    ''It was really a special week,'' he said. ''It got a little bit tense out there. I knew I was playing well but I didn't seem to making any progress against Tim Petrovic. He was side-by-side on the back nine it seemed.''

    He learned his lead was three strokes standing on the 18th tee when his caddie asked a television announcer.

    ''So we put my driver away and reached for the rescue club,'' he said. ''If I made a 5 there that would be fine.''

    Broadhurst started the round two strokes behind Petrovic and McCarron, birdied the first hole and was tied with Petrovic for the lead by the turn. He took his first lead with a birdie on the 12th hole, led by two after 16 and birdied the final two holes, including a dramatic 40-foot putt for birdie at the 18th hole.

    ''I guess it would have been a bit of anti-climax if I would have three-putted the last green, but that would have given Tim a chance of holing his second shot,'' he said. ''I actually spoke to my caddie about that going down the last - we don't want to three-putt and five him the opportunity because stranger things have happened in golf. To see it go in the middle of the hole was just a special feeling.''

    Petrovic said missed birdie putts on Nos. 7 and 8 were costly, but it might not have mattered with the way Broadhurst was playing.

    ''In hindsight it was all for naught,'' he said. ''He was so far ahead of us. Hat's off the guy. It was a great week - we just got beat. When he made the putt on 18 ahead of us I almost started clapping in the fairway and waving a white towel. It was well-deserved. That was great playing. He won the championship for sure.''

    Broadhurst shot 72 in the first round, started rolling in putts with a 66 in the second round and was 15 under on the weekend. In addition to the leading 26 birdies, he topped the putts per greens in regulations numbers for the tournament as well with a 1.574 average.

    ''I wasn't aware I made that many birdies,'' he said. ''That's pretty impressive around this course.''

    He said his game has long been unpredictable.

    ''I'm not blessed with a consistent swing like Bernhard Langer, but when it's on, it works,'' he said. ''If I'm putting well, then anything can happen, really.''