Bae Wins Futures Tour Title In a New Hampshire

By Futures Tour MediaJuly 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
Futures TourCONCORD, N.H. -- For those who have watched second-year player Kyeong Bae compete, there is no mistaking whose voice she hears most often. Bae's father, Chan Soo Bae -- a former professional soccer player for Spain's Real Madrid -- doubles as the player's caddie and van driver, as well as her biggest cheerleader and most outspoken critic.
Remarkably, young Bae has the calm ability to hear it all and remain largely unaffected by her demonstrative dad. But on Sunday morning, it was the quiet voice of her mother that pulled her daughter aside before the final round and delivered three words: Just trust yourself.
When the $65,000 Laconia Savings Bank Futures Golf Classic ended with a nail-biting finish, Kyeong Bae, 20, waved for her mother to join her in the trophy photo. Mi Ja Kim, a former world-class table tennis player, politely bowed, waved off her daughter, then finally dashed to the green for the photo. The family portrait was snapped and Kyeong Bae's second season win was complete.
'It was fantastic,' said Bae of Seoul, Korea, who fired a three-under-par final round of 69 to win by one shot at 209 (-7). 'My mom arrived [in the United States] four days ago and she gave me really great important thoughts for today.'
For most of the round, however, it was not Bae who led the charge at the 6,283-yard Beaver Meadow Golf Course. Compatriot Bo Mi Suh, also of Seoul, entered today's final round with a two-shot lead, which she maintained for most of her front nine. But Suh spent the day wrestling with her approach shots, carding a final-round 74 (+2) with only one birdie and three bogeys -- the last an untimely blunder that cost Suh the tournament.
Throughout the afternoon, players had moved in and out of the shared lead alongside Suh, who scrambled for pars and gambled for birdies on her back nine. By the time Suh reached her 14th hole, Bae, Kristy McPherson of Conway, S.C., and top-ranked Seon-Hwa Lee of Chonan, Korea all were deadlocked with Suh at seven under par. Lee bogeyed the 15th hole to fall out of the lead, then Bae later bogeyed the same hole to leave only Suh and McPherson tied at the top.
But bogeys on 16 and 17 knocked McPherson out of the lead, handing Suh the lead alone once again. McPherson drained a 12-foot birdie on the 18th, but it was little consolation for missed par putts from two feet and eight feet on two of her last three holes.
'Those three holes -- 16, 17 and 18 -- are good holes, but of course I'm disappointed to take two bogeys in that stretch,' said McPherson, who shot a final-round 69 to tie for second at 210 (-6). 'I guess if you miss a two-footer, you can bogey any of them.'
After Lee's birdie attempt on the 18th hole spun out of the cup, ending her last chance to join the leaders, the only player standing between Suh and her first Futures Tour win was Bae. And as expected, the quietly tenacious Bae birdied the 16th hole from 27 feet to once again draw even with Suh for the lead at seven under.
'My direction on my iron shots was not good all day today, but I still thought I could win,' said Suh, 24, now in her fourth Futures Tour season.
Suh patiently plodded along, then watched as Bae gave back a shot with a bogey on the 17th hole when she misread her three-foot par putt and dropped to six-under par for the tournament.
'That made me mad,' said Bae. 'I had no choice but to be aggressive on the last hole.'
Suh held a one-stroke lead when their final group arrived at the par-four 18th tee. But when Suh's drive sailed into the right trees, Bae saw her opening. She knew if she made birdie on the final hole, she could force a playoff. What she didn't anticipate was that Suh might not be able to scramble, as she had all day, on this last hole.
Suh had played a similar punch shot out of the woods earlier in the round on the 10th hole to save par, so she felt confident standing over her second shot. But when her punched 7-iron landed 85 yards short of the hole, Suh knew she had to hit her sand wedge close. She knocked her shot to three feet and marked her ball to wait for Bae's putt.
Seeing Suh's trouble in the right trees, Bae steered her drive down the left side of the fairway on 18 and hit her approach shot to within 27 feet of the hole -- the same distance she'd had two holes earlier with her birdie putt on No. 16.
'I told myself to just try to make a good stroke on 18 like I had done on 16 -- to not be greedy, but to just make a good stroke,' said Bae.
And good stroke it was, rolling uphill on a double-breaking line and falling into the hole for birdie. Now, Suh had to make her three-footer for par to join Bae in a sudden-death playoff. But Suh's par putt stayed left of the hole, giving Bae the win with the two-shot swing.
'She's a good player, but I was surprised that she made that putt [on the 18th hole],' said Suh, who settled into a tie for second with McPherson and Lee at 210 (-6). 'I felt more pressure to make mine.'
And with her winner's check for $9,100, the Lakeland, Florida-based Bae moved into the No. 2 position on the season money list behind Lee.
All it took were a few quiet words of encouragement from her mom earlier in the day. That, and a little trust in herself when she needed it most.
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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

“This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

“I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

“I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

“We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”