Wies birdie barrage good for share of lead

By Brian HewittDecember 4, 2008, 5:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ' Who ever thought the Michelle Wie Traveling Circus could become the calm in the eye of the storm that suddenly surrounds golf?

Wie Watch ' LPGA Q-School

Round 2
Behind the scorecard: David Leadbetter has told Michelle to feel like shes swinging a 5-iron when she hits her driver.The swing thought is working. She hit 11 of 14 fairways.
Quotable: Its ball contact, said playing competitor Alison Walshe, when asked what impressed her most after playing in the same threesome as Wie two straight days.
Sights and sounds: Wies agent Jill Smoller saying she believes Michelle is heading to Orlando next week, then LA, then back to Hawaii. Which means she wont be returning to Stanford for final exams that begin next week. Smoller said she believes Wie turned all her final exam papers and project requirements in before arriving here.

Yes, its come to this:
In Australia, Adam Scotts falling off surfboards and out of tournaments.
In Scotland, Colin Montgomerie is driving his car much more wildly than he ever drove his golf ball.
And in California, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing an absurd 9 percent surtax on golf rounds and golf carts.
To: The state capitol in Sacramento.
From: The sport of golf.
Message: Our Arnolds smarter than yours.
Meanwhile back at LPGA Q-School, Michelle Wie restored a certain sense of golfing order. She fired a 65 Thursday on the wide open Champions Course at LPGA International to gain a share of the lead after two rounds of the 90-hole marathon that will end Sunday with 20 women earning their tour cards for 2009.
Wie birdied four of her last five holes to forge a tie with Japans Shiho Oyama at 10-under par. And she made it look easy by hitting 11 of 14 greens, 13 of 18 greens and needing only 24 putts.
She made it look waaaayyy too easy. She looked preternaturally too calm. She made it look Wiesy.
Her parents, who didnt speak a word to each other during the round, were seen unobtrusively high-fiving when it was all over ' an emotional outburst way over the top by their protective standards.
For her part Michelle Wie chose not to talk to the media. This was her modus operandi at her previous stage of Q-School. And she has informed LPGA officials there will be no interviews from her here until Sunday.
So it was left to Alison Walshe, one of her two playing competitors the first two days, to assess this glimmer of greatness the golf world has been waiting so long to see: Its her ball contact, Walshe said. Its consistently sound. She rarely makes mistakes. Steady. It was what I expected.
Barring something entirely unforeseen, Wie will earn her card this week. In fact the emphasis will soon switch to whether or not she can actually finish first in the 140-player field.
First place money is a mere $5,000. But Wie hasnt won a golf tournament since 2003 when, as a 13-year-old, she captured the U.S. Womens Publinx at Ocean Hammock just 30 miles up the road in Palm Coast. Shes way overdue.
Expect Wies stiffest challenge to come from Stacy Lewis. Lewis added a second round 66 on the tougher Legends Course to her opening 69 and sits one shot off the lead at 8-under.
Lewis and Wie are polar opposites. Michelle is tall, Stacy is not. Michelle has dark hair, Stacys is blonde.
Michelle was a sensation in her early teens. Stacy suffered from scoliosis as a youngster and needed fusion surgery. She still wears a back brace most of every day.
But dont be surprised if these two end up dueling each other on the weekend here and for many years in womens golf.
Now, if we can just get our Arnold to talk some sense into the Left Coasts Arnold, there might be a chance to completely restore order to the game.

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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”