Wie Cultivates Elegant Look

By Brian HewittFebruary 11, 2009, 5:00 pm
You wont even have to look closely to see the difference in Michelle Wies golf swing Thursday when she makes her rookie debut on the LPGA in the SBS Open at Turtle Bay. It will, says somebody who knows, be obvious.
Youre going to see a little bit more of an elegant look to her three-quarter shots, said top 100 swing instructor David Leadbetter, who initiated the changes during Christmas break sessions with Wie and has been monitoring them via video since that time. Michelle had been hitting too many punch shots. It was sort of a Tiger stinger. And she relied on it too much.
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie is looking to improve her overall game in 2009. (Getty Images)
This, then, represents a first, of sorts: Somebody un-imitating Tiger Woods in order to get better.
But Leadbetter told GolfChannel.com there is more energy in Wies swing these days. Weve been working on controlling the low shots, he added. But, he said, theyve been doing it in a more flowing way.
Leadbetter stopped short of making predictions for how Wie will fare this week. Shes in very good spirits, he said of his star female pupil. But you never know quite what to expect in the first tournament of the year.
Its always a case of how well she drives the ball. But her swing has gotten better and better. Shes been working out. Shes gotten much stronger and theres been no complaining about injuries.
Wie is still currently enrolled at Stanford, but will leave school to play in Hawaii, Mexico and Phoenix in the run-up to the years first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship the first week of April.
Michelles really excited, Leadbetter said. Were expecting good things. In order to secure a berth into the Kraft Nabisco, Wie must either win before then or climb into the top 30 on the 2009 money list by the Monday of Kraft week.
She is just one of a terrific class of LPGA rookies that includes 2008 Q-School medalist Stacy Lewis, the 54 hole leader at the U.S. Womens Open last year; Vicky Hurst, a dominant force on the Duramed Futures Tour in 2008; and Ji-Yai Shin. Shin won the Womens British and the ADT Championship last year as a non-member of the LPGA.

CONNECTION: It seems like eons ago that young teenager Michelle Wie, now 19, won the 2003 Womens Publinx at Ocean Hammock in Palm Coast, Fl. And heres a fascinating connection:
The winner of the inaugural Womens Publinx was Kelly Fuiks way back in 1977. Fuiks repeated the feat in 1978 and was a co-medalist in 1979.
Fuiks is currently married to the same David Leadbetter who coaches Michelle Wie.
Moreover, Fuiks grew up playing golf at Papago Park, the renowned Arizona muni that also spawned Billy Mayfair and Tom Purtzer, among others. The LPGA recently announced it had shifted its Phoenix event, the last tune-up before Kraft Nabisco, from Superstition Mountain to Papago Park.

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: The San Jose Mercury reports that, according to tournament officials, several CEOs of well-known companies politely declined invitations to participate in this weeks AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
The reason: The appearance of executives taking time off for a televised event at a high-end resort environment during a severe economic downturn may not send the right message.
They dont feel good about being here with their companies laying off people and all, tournament official Ollie Nutt told the newspaper. The entry fee for an amateur is $14,500.

PET PEEVE OF THE WEEK: People who wait until its their turn on the tee to begin telling a story. Nothing promotes slow play more. Theres virtually nothing the other three members of the group can do short of being properly annoyed and telling the player to tell his or her story walking.
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S.Y. Kim leads Kang, A. Jutanugarn in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:24 am

SHANGHAI  -- Sei Young Kim led the LPGA Shanghai by one stroke at the halfway point after shooting a 5-under-par 67 in the second round on Friday.

Kim made six birdies, including four straight from the sixth hole, to move to a 10-under 134 total. Her only setback was a bogey on the par-4 15th.

Kim struggled in the first half of the year, but is finishing it strong. She won her seventh career title in July at the Thornberry Creek Classic, was tied for fourth at the Women's British Open, and last month was runner-up at the Evian Championship.

''I made huge big par putts on 10, 11, 12,'' Kim said on Friday. ''I'm very happy with today's play.''

Danielle Kang (68) and overnight leader Ariya Jutanugarn (69) were one shot back.

Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos

''I like attention. I like being in the final group. I like having crowds,'' Kang said. ''It's fun. You work hard to be in the final groups and work hard to be in the hunt and be the leader and chasing the leaders. That's why we play.''

She led into the last round at the Hana Bank Championship last week and finished tied for third.

Brittany Altomare had six birdies in a bogey-free round of 66, and was tied for fourth with Bronte Law (68) and Brittany Lincicome (68).

Angel Lin eagled the par-5 17th and finished with the day's lowest score of 65, which also included six birdies and a lone bogey.

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'Caveman golf' puts Koepka one back at CJ Cup

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:12 am

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – Brooks Koepka, recently named the PGA Tour Player of the Year, gave himself the perfect opportunity to become the No. 1 player in the world when he shot a 7-under par 65 to move to within one shot of the lead in the CJ Cup on Friday.

At the Nine Bridges course, the three-time major champion made an eagle on his closing hole to finish on 8-under par 136 after two rounds, just one stroke behind Scott Piercy, who was bogey-free in matching Koepka's 65.

With the wind subsiding and the course playing much easier than on the opening day when the scoring average was 73.26, 44 players – more than half the field of 78 – had under-par rounds.

Overnight leader Chez Reavie added a 70 to his opening-round 68 to sit in third place at 138, three behind Piercy. Sweden's Alex Noren was the other player in with a 65, which moved him into a tie for fourth place alongside Ian Poulter (69), four out of the lead.

The best round of the day was a 64 by Brian Harman, who was tied for sixth and five behind Piercy.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

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The 28-year-old Koepka will move to the top of the world rankings when they are announced on Monday if he wins the tournament.

Thomas, playing alongside Koepka, matched Koepka's eagle on the last, but that was only for a 70 and he is tied for 22nd place at 1 under.

Koepka's only bogey was on the par-5 ninth hole, where he hit a wayward tee shot. But he was otherwise pleased with the state of his ''caveman golf.''

''I feel like my game is in a good spot. I feel like the way I played today, if I can carry that momentum into Saturday and Sunday, it will be fun,'' Koepka, winner of the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, said.

''My game is pretty simple. I guess you can call it like caveman golf – you see the ball, hit the ball and go find it again. You're not going to see any emotion just because I'm so focused, but I'm enjoying it.''

Piercy, who has fallen to No. 252 in the world ranking despite winning the Zurich Classic earlier this year with Billy Horschel – there are no world ranking points for a team event – was rarely out of position in a round in which he found 13 of 14 fairways off the tee and reached 16 greens in regulation.

''Obviously, the wind was down a little bit and from a little bit different direction, so 10 miles an hour wind versus 20s is quite a big difference,'' said Piercy, who is looking for his first individual PGA Tour win since the Barbasol Championship in July 2015.

''It was a good day. Hit a couple close and then my putter showed up and made some putts of some pretty good length.''

Australia's Marc Leishman, winner last week at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, shot a 71 and was seven behind. Paul Casey's 73 included a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole and the Englishman is nine behind Piercy.

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

"Obviously the wind didn't blow. It was a different golf course than it was yesterday, you were able to take advantage of these par 5s," said Koepka, who opened in 71 on Day 1. "Felt like it was a lot more gettable. I putted so well, great ball-striking day, great putting day and very pleased with it."

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

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That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"Just keep doing what I'm doing," Koepka said of his plan for the final two rounds. "I'm hitting it well and making putts. I felt like I probably could have shot about 7, 8 under on the front side there, missed a couple. You know, doing everything right and that's what you've got to do and hopefully this wind stays away."

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.

Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.