Yang Lee share lead at LPGA Tour Championship

By Associated PressDecember 3, 2010, 4:34 am
LPGA Tour _newORLANDO, Fla. – Two South Koreans atop the leaderboard at the LPGA Tour Championship came as no surprise. They just weren’t the two everybody expected.

Stealing the spotlight from two others vying for a historic player of the year honor, Amy Yang and Seon Hwa Lee each shot a 5-under 67 on Thursday to share the clubhouse lead when the opening round was called for darkness.

No pressure on them.

“This week is good,” Hwa Lee said, smiling.

The bigger challenge falls on their two more acclaimed countrywomen.

Jiyai Shin and Na Yeon Choi are in contention to become the first South Korean to take home the LPGA’s player of the year award, a huge honor in a golf-crazed country that sent swarms of media to cover them this week. But Shin (77) and Choi (73) each got off to a disappointing start, leaving them well off the pace.

Julieta Granada finished two shots off the lead on a chilly day at Grand Cypress Golf Club that had many players wearing earmuffs and winter hats with temperatures dipping into the low 40s just before dawn. There were four players three shots off the pace.

“I just tried to make par every hole because the fairways, the rough are longer and thicker, and the greens are fast and slope a lot,” Yang said. “I just tried to play safely.”

This year’s season-ending event doesn’t have the usual script.

For the first time in a decade, Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam won’t win player of the year now that they’re retired. That leaves five in the field with an opportunity to take home the tour’s top honor and – along with Suzann Pettersen – perhaps the No. 1 world ranking.

So far, none of them has seized the moment.

American Cristie Kerr (71), Yani Tseng (75) of Taiwan and Ai Miyazato (80) of Japan – the only others who could win the player of the year award – all struggled in the conditions. Choi was 4 under through 12 holes, but she gave back five shots over the next three holes.

“I don’t think it was one bad shot,” Choi said. “I feel like I left some shots out there. Luckily, we’re all so close and still have a chance.”

Choi and Shin also are the only players in the running for the money title. So far Choi has earned $1,814,558 for a $34,790 lead over Shin.

The chilly conditions, by Florida standards, made greens firm and fast. But it was the course, a Jack Nicklaus-design that was renovated between 2007-08 with more undulating greens, that really made things difficult.

Even some of the more seasoned pros couldn’t believe the course bears Nicklaus’ name.

“He must have been having a very bad day,” quipped Laura Davies, who shot an opening-round 70. “Someone went mental on the greens.”

The field doesn’t have much time to make a push.

The LPGA Tour Championship is applying the same format it used last season, cutting to the lowest 70 scores and ties after 36 holes and an additional cut after 54 holes to the lowest 30 players and ties. That makes the margin for error even slimmer.

“Especially with the cold weather again (Friday),” Yang said. “Another safe game, yeah. At least I’ll try.”

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

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

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.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

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

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.