Yi beats Pressel in playoff at Jamie Farr

By Associated PressJuly 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Jamie Farr Owens Corning ClassicSYLVANIA, Ohio ' The gallery was going wild. There was no question what had happened.
 
Eunjung Yi watched from the 17th tee and knew that Morgan Pressel, playing just ahead of her, had holed a lob wedge from 70 yards for eagle that had erased what had only a few holes earlier had been a six-shot lead.
 
Rather than let her mind wander or allow herself to be distracted by all of the people cheering for Pressel, Yi shut everything out.
 
I didnt think about her, she said. I thought about my golf.
 
Eunjung Yi
Eunjung Yi reacts to her playoff-winning putt at the Jamie Farr. (Getty Images)
Yi recovered to roll in a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Pressel and capture her first LPGA title Sunday in what might be the final Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
 
Pressel, a runner-up for the second time in three years at the Farr, tipped her hat to the winner.
 
She won the tournament, Pressel said. She made a birdie on the playoff hole. I had my opportunities.
 
The 21-year-old Yi, the 2005 U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links winner, began the day with a four-shot lead. She birdied two of the first three holes to go up six shots. Yet she remained oblivious; she never looked at a leaderboard and didnt ask her caddie about her status.
 
I was just focusing on my golf, she said. I didnt see the scoreboards at all. I just hit the driver, the second shots ' I was very centered.
 
Pressel, chasing her third career victory, pulled even by holing that wedge shot on the par-5 17th hole.
 
Yi, from South Korea, finished at 18-under 266 to earn the $210,000 first prize ' more than she had earned in her previous 23 LPGA starts combined. She had missed the cut in four of her seven starts this year and her biggest previous check was just over $11,000 for a 26th-place tie at the Corona Championship.
 
Yi closed with an even-par 71 and Pressel had a 67. Michelle Wie had a career-best 64 to tie for third at 16 under, but lost a chance to put extra pressure on the leaders when she misfired while going for the par-5 18th in two and had to settle for a par.
 
On the playoff hole, the 18th, both Yi and Pressel were in the fairway inside 100 yards away in two. Pressels approach came up short to the back left pin location, ending up on the first cut of rough about 20 feet from the hole. Yi hit a lower, harder shot that stopped 10 feet away.
 
Pressels birdie putt held the line and almost fell as it scooted past on the left edge. She then tapped in for par.
 
After looking over her putt, Yi hit it firmly and ' before the ball even settled into the cup ' she raised both arms in victory.
 
When I hit it, I thought it was going in, she said.
 
The instant Yi left the green she picked up her cell phone and called her father back in Temecula, Calif., who was working at his restaurant, the Minong Korean Barbecue. When she first soared to the lead in the third round, she vowed that if she won the Farr then her father would serve free meals to everyone who came in.
 
Her father, Kuyng Su, was watching the tournament on TV. She let him know that he needed to be ready for a lot of giveaways.
 
Everything, for whoever comes ' all free, she said with a laugh.
 
Pressel trailed by four shots as she went to the 16th tee. But a Yi bogey and a Pressel birdie set the stage for the shot of the day.
 
At the 17th, Pressel was upset by her drive and stopped just short of slamming her driver into the turf. But she was able to chase a 3 wood into the fairway. From there, with 70 yards to the hole, she pulled out a lob wedge on the 513-yard, par-5 hole. The instant she made contact, her caddie, Barry Rock Cesarz, shouted, Go! Go! The ball, however, didnt need any help.
 
It cleared the bunker in the way of the back left pin placement, bounced twice and then rolled into the cup for the eagle that tied her for the lead. Pressel flashed a wide smile, turned to Cesarz and traded a high-five with him.
 
Sometimes you get a little lucky, she said.
 
As her score was posted on the large magnetic sign near the 18th green, the crowd went crazy.
 
Both then parred out to set up the drama that unfolded on the extra hole.
 
Yis playing partner, Song-Hee Kim, had a 25-foot birdie putt at the final hole that would have also put her in the playoff, but she missed it and then missed the comeback putt. Kim, who shot a 69, ended up tied for third with Wie and Seon Hwa Lee (67).
 
Wie made a back-nine rush ' birdieing holes 14, 15, 16 and 17 ' in her 64. But she needed to win the Farr to get into next weeks U.S. Womens Open at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Pa.
 
I feel like Im on the brink of playing extremely well but I still have a lot yet to learn, she said. I have a lot to improve. I want to just keep the same feeling as the last 10 holes that I played and keep moving forward from there.
 
The tournaments contract with its title sponsor, the LPGA and Highland Meadows Golf Club expired after the final round.
 
I certainly hope we can come back, said Pressel, who frequently visited her grandparents in nearby Detroit when she was young. It would be disappointing to not come back, with my family here and so close to where I spent so much time as a kid.
 
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  • Marc Dull (Florida State Golf Association)

    Cops called in bizarre ending to Florida Mid-Am

    By Ryan LavnerMay 20, 2018, 7:16 pm

    In a one-paragraph post on its website, the Florida State Golf Association declared Marc Dull the winner of the 37th Mid-Amateur Championship on May 13 after his opponent – in a tie match with two holes to go – was unable to return because of an “unfortunate injury” sustained during a lengthy weather delay.

    Left unreported was what allegedly happened.

    According to a police report (see below) obtained by GolfChannel.com, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office received a call that afternoon from Dull’s opponent, Jeff Golden, who claimed that he’d been assaulted in the parking lot at Coral Creek Club, the tournament host site in Placida. In a statement provided to police, Golden said that he was sucker-punched in the face by Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs.

    Both in his statement to police and in a subsequent phone interview afterward, Golden, 33, said that the alleged incident stemmed from a rules dispute on the ninth hole during the championship match. As he surveyed his putt, Golden asked Dull whether the cup was damaged or if there was loose debris around the edge.

    “Don’t worry about it,” Hibbs reportedly told Golden. “If you’re going to make it, you’re going around it.”

    With tensions already running high because of what he perceived as breaches of etiquette by his opponents, Golden informed the rules official in the group that he believed Hibbs’ statement constituted advice. The penalty was a loss of hole, giving Golden a 2-up lead at the turn.

    At that point, Hibbs told police, he recused himself and returned to the clubhouse. Dull and Golden continued their match, heading to the 17th hole all square when they were pulled off the course because of inclement weather.

    Golden told police that he headed to the parking lot at 2:45 p.m. to retrieve some dry clothes from his car when Hibbs “approached him, apologized, then punched him on the left side of the face,” causing him to fall to the ground.

    “I had a moment where I was happy to see him, because the first thing he said to me was, ‘I want to apologize,’” Golden said last week in a phone interview. “By the time he finished I was being punched.”

    Asked why he believed Hibbs would strike him, Golden said: “It was from the earlier ruling, 100 percent. He had anger toward me because I called him out on a ruling.”

    In a statement given to police, Hibbs, 36, said that he had “been in the clubhouse the entire time and did not batter [Golden], nor was he in the parking lot.” Hibbs, who caddies with Dull at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida, did not return a message seeking comment.

    Police wrote in the report that there were no witnesses to the alleged attack, nor was there any surveillance video from the parking lot. While observing Golden the officer noted “no swelling or abrasions to the face,” but there was “some redness on the inside of [Golden’s] lip.” Hibbs’ hands and knuckles showed “no scrapes or abrasions.”

    Golden, however, said that there were three bloodstains on his shirt and punctures inside his mouth that proved he’d been struck. He also described himself afterward as “dizzy” and seeing “weird shades of colors,” and that the area between his wrist and thumb was “very sensitive” from catching his fall. Still feeling woozy, he met with his doctor the day after the alleged incident and also underwent a CT scan on Friday.

    “I was extremely shaken up,” he said. “I had concussion symptoms.”

    Golden declined to press charges – he said later that he wasn’t given the option, because of a lack of physical evidence – and refused medical attention.

    Reached by phone last week, Dull said that he had no knowledge of the alleged attack and was only made aware once the police arrived. He said he had waited out the delay in a storm shelter.

    “It was shocking,” he said. “[Hibbs] said to me, ‘I didn’t touch the guy.’”

    Once the police left, it was up to the FSGA to determine how to proceed.

    With the course now playable after a two-hour delay, under the Rules of Golf, the players were expected back on the 17th hole.

    Golden asked Dull whether he would concede the match.

    “I said that I wasn’t going to concede,” Dull said. “Why would I concede the match when I was sitting in the shelter, and when I come back someone is accused of being hit?”

    So Golden then decided to concede, handing the Mid-Am title to Dull, the reigning FSGA Amateur Player of the Year.

    “I just wanted to get home,” Golden explained later.

    Asked last week for more details about the final result, Jeff Magaditsch, the organization’s director of tournament operations, said in an email that Golden “expressed concern about a wrist issue” and that “not much additional information is available.”

    A day later, once the details of the police report became available, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

    “Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match,” he said. “I think he was just ready to go.”

    When asked to comment on the alleged attack, Demick said that the police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

    Last week Golden, who qualified for the 2007 U.S. Open and is now a tennis pro at Palencia in St. Augustine, appealed the FSGA’s decision, writing in a letter that tournament officials shouldn’t have accepted his concession.

    Dull said that he was “annoyed by the whole incident.”

    “I think it taints the entire championship,” he said. “It’s unfortunate. No golf tournament should end that way.”

    Getty Images

    Delayed start for Nelson might mean Monday finish

    By Will GrayMay 20, 2018, 6:04 pm

    DALLAS – Inclement weather  pushed back final-round tee times at the AT&T Byron Nelson by more than four hours, increasing the likelihood of a Monday finish in the tournament’s debut at Trinity Forest Golf Club.

    With the field already scheduled to play in threesomes off split tees, the opening tee times for the day got pushed back from 9:23 a.m. CT to 1:23 p.m. because of steady rain in the area. The delay means that the final group won’t start their round until 3:35 p.m. local time.

    With sunset in the Dallas area scheduled for 8:23 p.m., the leaders will likely have just under five hours to complete their rounds or face returning to the course Monday morning. Threesomes have been used for each of the first three days, and in part because of the intricacies of the new layout rounds have routinely approached 5 hours and 30 minutes in duration.

    Should play spill over into Monday, those playing next week’s event will face one of the Tour’s shortest commutes, with Fort Worth Invitational host Colonial Country Club less than an hour away.

    Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise share the 54-hole lead at 17 under, four shots clear of the field. They’ll be joined in the final trio by Australia’s Matt Jones, who is tied for third with Kevin Na.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Tiger 'drops mic' in long drive contest

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 20, 2018, 12:44 am

    Tiger Woods is in Las Vegas this weekend for the 20th annual Tiger Jam charity event that benefits his foundation.

    During the tournament on Saturday afternoon, Woods challenged World Long Drive competitor Troy Mullins to a long drive contest.

     

    A post shared by TROY MULLINS (@trojangoddess) on May 19, 2018 at 1:25pm PDT

    Safe to say it looks like Tiger won.

    Getty Images

    Sunday showdown for Wise, Leishman at Nelson

    By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 11:40 pm

    DALLAS – While the swirling Texas winds may still have their say, the AT&T Byron Nelson is shaping up to be a two-horse race.

    With a four-shot gulf between them and their closest pursuers, co-leaders Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise both stepped up to the microphone and insisted the tournament was far from over. That it wouldn’t revert to a match-play situation, even though the two men didn’t face much pressure from the pack down the stretch of the third round and have clearly distanced themselves as the best in the field through 54 holes.

    But outside of an outlier scenario or a rogue tornado sweeping across Trinity Forest Golf Club, one of the two will leave with trophy in hand tomorrow night.

    That’s in part because of their stellar play to this point, but it’s also a byproduct of the tournament’s new and unconventional layout: at Trinity Forest, big numbers are hard to find.

    Even with the winds picking up during the third round and providing the sternest challenge yet, the field combined for only 16 scores of double bogey, and nothing worse than that.


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

    AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


    There’s irony in a course called Trinity Forest offering a tree-less test, sure, but there are also no water hazards in play here. For the most part, players have been maxing out with bogey – and Leishman and Wise have combined for only six of those so far this week.

    If someone from the chase pack is going to catch them, the two sharing the pole position aren’t going to do them any favors.

    “I don’t really want to give them a chance,” Leishman said. “I’d love to go out and shoot a low one and make Aaron have to shoot a good score tomorrow to beat me, which, I fully expect him to shoot a good score.”

    While Leishman has been somewhat of a late bloomer on the PGA Tour, with only one win across his first eight seasons, he now has a golden opportunity to add a third trophy in the last 14 months. He has felt right at home on a sprawling layout that reminds him of a few back in his native Australia, and he’s part of a Down Under invasion on a leaderboard that also includes Matt Jones (-13) and Adam Scott (-9).

    While Wise briefly held sole possession of the lead, Leishman has seemingly held an iron grip on the top spot since opening his week with a blistering 61.

    “Before last year, I was a pretty slow starter. I always got off to a slow start Thursday, or I’d be fighting to make the cut and have a good weekend to slide into the top 10,” Leishman said. “Getting into that round straight away on the first tee rather than the ninth green or something, which sounds like a really basic thing, but it’s something I didn’t do very well until last year.”

    But as Leishman acknowledged, he likely can’t count on a stumble from Wise to help finish off a wire-to-wire victory. As the youngest player to make the cut this week, Wise is facing a challenge of taking down a top-ranked Aussie for the second time in as many starts.

    While he came up short at the Wells Fargo Championship, tying for second behind Jason Day, he remains supremely confident that he can put those hard-earned lessons to use this time around.

    “I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” Wise said. “It will obviously be a huge day for me. I feel like having one go at it already, I’m a little more confident going into it this time.”

    Even among the landscape of the Tour’s promising next wave, Wise stands out as a particularly young gun. Still only 21, he could feasibly be heading to Karsten Creek next week with his Oregon Duck teammates to close out his senior season with another NCAA championship appearance.

    But Wise turned pro after winning the NCAA individual title as a sophomore, and he steadily worked his way through the professional ranks: first a win on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, then one last summer on the Web.com Tour.

    Now he’s poised to turn what he described as a “lackluster” season before his Quail Hollow runner-up into one that defies even his own expectations.

    “Absolutely, I am way ahead of the curve. It’s pretty hard to do what I’ve done at such a young age. Only a few have done it,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”

    An unpredictable Coore-Crenshaw layout will have one more day to star, and outside of Wise the top six names on the leaderboard have at least one Tour win to their credit. But after the two men traded punches on a firm and fast afternoon, it sure feels like the final round is shaping up to offer more of the same.

    For Leishman, it’s a chance to add another notch to some quickly expanding credentials; for Wise, it’s an opportunity to win on the one level he has yet to do so.

    “It’s golf, at the end of the day. If you play better than everyone else, you’re going to win,” Wise said. “That’s why I play it. That’s why I love this sport, and tomorrow is nothing different.”