Power Rankings: Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open

By Will GrayJuly 10, 2013, 2:50 pm

While the PGA Tour remains in America's heartland this week, the European Tour stages one of its biggest events at Castle Stuart with the British Open now just days away. A world-class field will tee it up in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, hoping to get a feel for links golf in Scotland before heading to Muirfield next week.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including former champion Win McMurry.

Jeev Milkha Singh returns as defending champion, a title he won last year in a playoff over Francesco Molinari. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Inverness:

1. Ernie Els: With the defense of his British Open title on the horizon, the South African is clearly rounding into form, with a T-4 finish at Merion followed by a win in Germany. While much of Els' success in this event came at Loch Lomond, he has made the cut in two of three appearances at Castle Stuart, including a T-25 result in 2011.

2. Francesco Molinari: The Italian clearly feels comfortable at Castle Stuart, with last year's runner-up performance coming on the heels of a fourth-place showing in 2010. Molinari has four top-25 finishes in his last six starts, including a tie for 18th last week in France.

3. Shane Lowry: The Irishman made headlines earlier this year when he ousted Rory McIlroy at Dove Mountain, but his success in this event is well-established, with top-15 finishes in each of the last three years at Castle Stuart. Lowry's game appears to be in order, as he enters off a T-5 showing at The Irish Open just two weeks ago.

4. Matteo Manassero: Among the hottest players in the world, the young Italian has five top-25 finishes in his last six overall starts, including a breakthrough win at Wentworth. He tied for 36th at Castle Stuart a year ago but appears poised to take his game to a new level.

5. Henrik Stenson: The Swede is in the midst of an impressive comeback season, one that is likely to continue this week in an event where he tied for eighth in 2012. His T-21 finish at Merion was followed by a top-10 result in Munich, and Stenson is one of several in this week's field hoping for another high result before heading to Muirfield.

6. Phil Mickelson: Trying to predict Mickelson's performances this year has largely been an exercise in futility, but he's still likely to contend this week despite a missed cut in West Virginia a week ago. A mainstay in this event regardless of venue, Lefty's result has gotten progressively better in the three years at Castle Stuart, including his tie for 16th a year ago.

7. Nicolas Colsaerts: The 'Belgian Bomber' has a pair of top-25 finishes in his last three worldwide starts, including a tie for 10th at the U.S. Open. Having tied for third at Castle Stuart in 2011, Colsaerts sits among the top 10 on both the PGA and European Tours in driving distance and among the top 25 in GIR percentage.

8. Padraig Harrington: The three-time major champion appears to have no issue with the venue change for this event, having tied for 14th in 2011 and tied for 16th a year ago. Harrington surprisingly missed the cut in the Irish Open his last time out, but has an established track record of playing well the week before a major.

9. Alexander Noren: The Swede is quietly having a successful summer, with top-10 finishes in three of his last six starts on the European Tour, including ties for fourth at both the Nordea Masters and BMW International Open last month. Noren led after 36 holes last year at Castle Stuart, ultimately tying for third, just one shot out of the playoff between Singh and Molinari.

10. Martin Laird: A winner on the PGA Tour earlier this season in San Antonio, Laird will have the support of fans this week in his native land. He's found success in this event three of the last four years, including a tenth-place showing in 2010 and a tie for 16th last year, when he was firmly in contention before fading with a final-round 74.

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Ko part of 5-way tie for Mediheal lead

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:20 am

DALY CITY, Calif. - Lydia Ko was back on top at Lake Merced.

Ko shot a 4-under 68 on a chilly Thursday morning at the LPGA Mediheal Championship for a share of the first-round lead. Jessica Korda, Caroline Hedwall, In-Kyung Kim and Su Oh joined Ko atop the leaderboard in the LPGA's return to Lake Merced after a year away.

''This is a golf course where you need to drive the ball well and putt well,'' said Ko, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic winner at the course in 2014 and 2015.

Ko eagled the par-5 fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. The New Zealander has 14 LPGA wins, the last in July 2016.

''It's nice to come back to a place where you feel super-welcomed,'' Ko said. ''It just brings back a lot of great memories. ... My family and friends are here this week, so I'm hoping that I'm going to continue the solid play.''

She turned 21 on Tuesday.

''I don't think I feel a huge difference, but I know turning 21 is a huge thing in the U.S.,'' Ko said, ''So, I'm legal and I can do some fun things now.''

Korda, playing alongside Kim a group ahead of Ko, also eagled the fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. Korda won in Thailand in February in her return from reconstructive jaw surgery.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


''The score says one thing and my hands say another,'' Korda said. ''It was really cold out there today, so it was good that I stuck to kind of my process. ... Actually, this is still some of the nicer conditions that we've played in compared to the past. I'll take the cold as long as there's no rain.''

Hedwall and Kim each had five birdies and a bogey.

''I just love the city. It's really nice,'' said Hedwall, from Sweden. ''It's sort of a European-style city with all the shopping going on downtown and stuff. I love it here. I even like this weather, suits me really well, too.''

Oh had a bogey-free round. The Australian was the only one of the five players tied for the lead to play in the afternoon.

''It was cold and pretty windy out there and, because it's got a lot of elevation, it kind of swirls in the middle like in the low areas, so it was tough,'' Oh said. ''I hit the ball really solid today. Then the ones I missed, I made really good up-and-downs.''

Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull and Celine Herbin shot 69.

''This course is very challenging, especially when the wind picks up,'' the third-ranked Thompson said. ''It's chilly, so it's a little longer of a course. Some of the par 5s are reachable, so you try to take advantage of that, but pars were good and just take the birdie chances as you can get them.''

Moriya Jutanugarn, the winner Sunday in Los Angeles for her first LPGA title, had a 71 playing with former Stanford student Michelle Wie and ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg. Wie had a 74, and Lindberg shot 79. Ariya Jutanugarn matched her sister with a 71, playing in the group with Ko.

Top-ranked Inbee Park matched playing partner Brooke Henderson with a 72. The third member of the afternoon group, second-ranked Shanshan Feng, shot 73.

Juli Inkster shot 72. The 57-year-old Hall of Famer grew up in Santz Cruz, starred at San Jose State and lives in Los Altos. She won the last of her 31 LPGA titles in 2006.

Stacy Lewis had a 74 after announcing that she is pregnant with a due date of Nov. 3. She plans to play through the Marathon Classic in July and return for a full season next year.

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Glover, Reavie share Zurich lead with Chinese pair

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:04 am

AVONDALE, La. - Chez Reavie had quite a few good moments at TPC Louisiana on Thursday. So did teammate Lucas Glover.

In best-ball format, the most important thing was those moments came on different holes.

Reavie and Glover teamed to shoot a 12-under 60 for a share of the Zurich Classic lead with China's Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng.

''Chez started well and I picked it up in the middle of the back nine,'' Glover said. ''He closed it off and then we both played really well on the front. Just kind of ham and egged it, I guess, as they would say.''

Reavie and Glover each had six birdies in the best-ball format, pushing through soggy weather early in the round before conditions cleared at TPC Louisiana. Six teams are two shots back in a tie for third after shooting 62.

''We were just rolling,'' Reavie said. ''I think we're comfortable. We like to laugh and have a good time when we're playing golf, and it definitely helps.''

Zhang and Dou birdied four of their final five holes. Dou made a 31-foot putt on No. 9 to cap the impressive rally and jump into the lead with Reavie and Glover.


Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


Tony Finau-Daniel Summerhays, Chris Paisley-Tommy Fleetwood, J.J. Henry-Tom Hoge, Michael Kim-Andrew Putnam, Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown and Troy Merritt-Brendon de Jonge shot 62. Jason Day and Ryan Ruffels shot 64.

It's the first time since last year's Tour Championship that the reigning champs of all four majors have been in the same field. None of them were among the leaders after the first round.

Masters champion Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay had a 65, and British Open winner Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer were at 66.

''I didn't feel like there was really any rust,'' Reed said. ''I felt like I hit the ball all right today. I felt I hit some good quality putts. A couple of them went in, a couple of them didn't.''

This is the second year that two-player teams have competed at the Zurich Classic. The unusual tournament features best-ball play in the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds.

U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Marc Turnesa shot a 67. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley shot a 70.

There are 80 teams in the tournament and the top 35, along with ties, will make the cut after Friday's second round.

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Lewis says she's expecting first child in November

By Randall MellApril 27, 2018, 2:18 am

Stacy Lewis is pregnant.

The 12-time LPGA winner confirmed after Thursday’s first round of the Mediheal Championship that she and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, are expecting their first child on Nov. 3.

Lewis learned she was pregnant after returning home to Houston in late February following her withdrawal from the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a strained oblique muscle.

“We're obviously really excited,” Lewis said. “It wasn't nice I was hurt, but it was nice that I was home when I found out with [Gerrod]. We're just really excited to start a family.”

Lewis is the third big-name LPGA player preparing this year to become a mother for the first time. Suzann Pettersen announced last month that she’s pregnant, due in the fall. Gerina Piller is due any day.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


Piller’s husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, withdrew from the Zurich Classic on Thursday to be with her. Piller and Lewis have been U.S. Solheim Cup partners the last two times the event has been played.

“It's going to be fun raising kids together,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they're best friends and they hang out. But just excited about the next few months and what it's going to bring.”

Lewis, a former Rolex world No. 1 and two-time major championship winner, plans to play through the middle of July, with the Marathon Classic her last event of the year. She will be looking to return for the start of the 2019 season. The LPGA’s maternity leave policy allows her to come back next year with her status intact.

“This year, the golf might not be great, but I've got better things coming in my life than a golf score.” Lewis said. “I plan on coming back and traveling on the road with the baby, and we'll figure it out as we go.”

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Coach scores in NFL Draft and on golf course

By Grill Room TeamApril 27, 2018, 1:47 am

To say that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had a good day Thursday would be an understatement. Not only did his team snag one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft - Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith, who the Bears took with the eighth pick of the first round - but earlier in the day Fangio, 59, made a hole-in-one, sinking a 9-iron shot from 125 yards at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.

Perhaps the ace isn't so surprising, though. In late May 2017, Fangio made another hole-in-one, according to a tweet from the Bears. The only information supplied on that one was the distance - 116 yards.