Moreno leads by one on shortened course

By Doug FergusonMay 25, 2013, 2:13 pm

PARADISE ISLANDS, Bahamas – Paola Moreno and Lindsey Wright took the same, simple approach on the winding road through the Ocean Club in the Bahamas LPGA Classic.

They didn't care that the makeshift course was only 12 holes because of flooding. They didn't pay attention to a routing that had them going from the back nine to the front nine and then repeating the process. And it didn't bother them that they played only 24 holes in two days.

''It's different,'' Moreno said Saturday. ''I'm not going to say it's usual. But I can't control the holes that they want us to play. The only thing that I really want to do is put myself out there and bring the best attitude and my 'A' game, hopefully.''

That's worked beautifully so far for the Colombian.

Moreno kept bogeys off her jumbled scorecard for the second straight day for a 4-under 41, giving her a one-shot lead over Wright going into the final, 12-hole round.


Video: Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic highlights


Wright, who played earlier Saturday, had seven birdies for a 7-under 38.

''I am just focused on what I can control right now,'' said Moreno, who was at 9-under 81. ''The only thing that matters right now is the first tee shot on No. 1 – or No. 10, whatever hole we're playing tomorrow. And I'm just excited to be there.''

Cristie Kerr did enough to at least get in range. She was among 10 players within three shots of the lead, though they have six fewer holes to make up ground.

Because of severe flooding earlier in the week on the Ocean Club, the LPGA is using the holes available. In this case, it's a 12-hole course that starts on the back nine at No. 10, jumps over to the front nine for four holes that are out of order, heads over to a stretch on the back nine and finishes along the ocean at No. 8.

The final round now goes from a par 45 to a par 47.

The par-5 18th hole is in good enough shape to be playing as the closing hole, giving this inaugural event at least some semblance of normality. It will replace No. 4, which also is a par 5 but has been played as a par 3 because of a bunker caved in by the rain.

The best thing Moreno achieved on a sun-filled Saturday – at least as far as the tournament was concerned – was finishing.

It was critical for all the players to finish two rounds (24 holes) going into the final round or it would have been unlikely to complete 36 holes by Sunday to make this official. The LPGA Tour was determined to play an official event for Pure Silk and the Bahamas Tourism Ministry, the two title sponsors of this new tournament.

Stacy Lewis, the No. 2 player, was trying to get close to the leaders and isn't sure she did enough. Two late birdies gave her a 3-under 42, though she was five shots behind. That feels like a larger deficit given the shortened course.

''It's strange,'' Lewis said. ''By the time you get into a rhythm, the round is over. You can make a lot of birdies. You just have to get off to a good start.''

Wright had the kind of round that Lewis and so many others could use on Sunday.

The Australian didn't realize she finished her round with six straight 3s on her scorecard. She could name the holes where she made her seven birdies until calling her caddie over for help. She just knows she played some pretty good golf.

''I didn't know what was going on,'' Wright said. ''I just play. That's probably how we should do it all the time.''

Inbee Park played a game that didn't resemble the No. 1 player in the world, at least not the closing holes. She played the last four holes in 8 over.

It started when she was left of the 14th green (the ninth hole) when she went to play a chip and her caddie realized he left the club on an adjacent par 3. She barely reached the green and made bogey. Then, she fanned her tee shot on the par-3 second (No. 10) some 30 yards right of the green. It really turned ugly on the next par 3, with a lake that should not have come into play with a back pin. Park hit 4-iron twice into the water, coming up some 40 yards short of the flag. She finally made quintuple-bogey 8.

Park finished with a fairway metal that she snap-hooked into the ocean.

The Ocean Club appears to have nearly recovered, though a few holes aren't suitable to play. And because there is no cut this week – the LPGA Tour felt that would be unfair after only 24 holes – the decision was to keep it at 12 holes to make sure everyone finished.

Going to Monday wasn't an option because several players have U.S Women's Open qualifying early next week.

''Look, the way I see it, it's the same for everyone,'' Wright said. ''There's always complaining. You just can't have a tournament without that. I think it's a shame, because the course on Monday, Tuesday, it was brilliant. It's a shame we're playing 12 holes, but I think for the Bahamas and for Pure Silk, it's the right thing to do. We're here to play golf. We're not here to party. Do that early on in the week.''

Kerr is coming off a win two weeks ago in Kingsmill and hopes to keep the momentum going as the tour heads into a big part of the season. There are three majors in the next few months, capped by a return to St. Andrews.

''It feels like a shootout,'' Kerr said. ''We only have 12 holes every day, and you've got to go as low as you can. I did my job today.''


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Woods talks about Ryder Cup prospects in third person

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 1:47 pm

Conversations between Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods have gotten a little awkward.

That’s what happens when Woods, the U.S. Ryder Cup vice captain, needs to assess the prospects of Woods, the player.

“We’re talking about myself in the third person a lot,” he said with a chuckle Tuesday at the Northern Trust Open. “That’s one of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

“I’m one of the guys on the short list, and sometimes I have to pull myself out of there and talk about myself in the third person, which is a little odd.”


The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos


After placing second at the PGA Championship, Woods finished 11th on the U.S. points list with just eight months of tournament results. Three of Furyk’s four captain’s picks will be announced after the BMW Championship in three weeks, and barring a late injury, it’s almost a certainty that Woods will be one of those selected.

Still, Woods was named in February as an assistant for his third consecutive team competition, even though he told Furyk at the beginning of the year that he envisioned himself as a player on the 2018 squad.

“I’m very close to making that happen,” he said. “It’s been a long year, and that’s been one of my goals, to make the team. To be a part of that team you have to be one of the 12 best players, and I’m trending toward that.”

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Woods on busy schedule: 'It's about pacing myself'

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

At the beginning of the year, Tiger Woods was anxious to see how his fused back would hold up to tournament play.

Now he’s in the midst of one of his busiest stretches in years.

With the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup likely to be added to his schedule over the next few weeks, Woods could play seven events in a nine-week span.


The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos


“That is a lot of golf,” he said Tuesday at The Northern Trust. “It’s about pacing myself and making sure I don’t practice too much, don’t overdo it and make sure my training schedule goes well.

“One of the hardest things this year has been finding the right balance. As the summer has gone on, I’ve gotten better and felt better. This is a pretty important stretch.”

Woods has already played 14 events – his most since 2013, when he had 16 starts.

He’s committed to playing the first three playoff events, beginning with this week’s event in New Jersey. There’s a week off after the BMW Championship, and at No. 20 in the FedExCup standings, Woods doesn’t need to do much to punch his ticket to East Lake. He’s also virtually assured of being a U.S. captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, held in France the week after the Tour Championship.

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Tiger Tracker: The Northern Trust

By Tiger TrackerAugust 21, 2018, 1:00 pm

Tiger Woods begins his FedExCup Playoffs run at this week's Northern Trust. We're tracking him at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.


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Stock Watch: Will Bjorn buy or sell slumping Sergio?

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 12:07 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Sneds (+9%): It doesn’t always happen, a Tour player shooting 59 and then finishing it off with a W, so it was satisfying to watch Brandt Snedeker go wire to wire at the Wyndham. An in-form Sneds now should edge out Kevin Kisner for one of Jim Furyk’s final captain picks.

Viktor Hovland (+6%): Watching the Oklahoma State junior maul the field at the U.S. Amateur, a question arose: How does the fifth-ranked player in the world not win more often? The U.S. Am was just his second title, anywhere, outside of Norway. That could all change, after he proved to himself that he could handle the best field and the stiffest challenge.

Lexi (+4%): She once again was penalized – for playing preferred lies in a different fairway – but Thompson still shot 17 under and tied for 12th in her first start since a self-imposed break to recharge her batteries. In the media tent she was refreshingly honest about the difficulties of being a 23-year-old superstar who never went to college and whose life is consumed by golf. Here’s hoping she can find a better balance (like, say, Michelle Wie) over the next few years.

Tyler McCumber (+3%): The world rankings don’t reflect it, but McCumber is playing the best golf of anyone in the world right now. In his past four starts on the Canadian circuit, he’s gone win-win-3rd-win and shot 90 under par with a scoring average of 65.88 and just two rounds higher than 68.

Nick Taylor (+1%): Playing for his Tour card, Taylor shot a bogey-free 63 Sunday at the Wyndham – with an eagle and birdie in his last four holes – to jump from 129th to 119th in the standings. That’s clutch.


FALLING

Billy Hurley III (-1%): A winner two years ago at Tiger’s event, Hurley is now headed back to second stage of Web.com Q-School after finishing 201st in the standings – by a point. A tough break for one of the game’s good dudes.

Kevin Stadler (-2%): He reminded us of the dangers of slamming clubs, after the head of his 7-iron flew off and struck a spectator in the head, requiring stitches. It was a scary scene – “It’s been a while since I’ve seen so much blood,” said playing partner Shaun Micheel – that could have been even worse.

Sepp Straka (-3%): There were plenty of stories of heartbreak at the Web.com Tour regular-season finale, perhaps none as crushing as Straka, who went 5 over for his last seven holes (including three consecutive bogeys to finish) to drop outside of the top-25 bubble.

Sergio (-4%): At last, some signs of life – his tie for 24th in Greensboro was his best finish on Tour since March – but he still didn’t make the playoffs, and it still might not be enough to sway Thomas Bjorn. For the captain it may come down to a question like this: Who would you rather have in Paris, Sergio or Russell Knox?