Teen Star Wins 4th Futures Tour Event of 08
Hurst, winner of four events in eight entries, claimed the top prize of $11,200 and finished the tournament with a three-round total of 209 (-7).
She won by eight shots over special invitee Natalie Sheary (71) of West Hartford, Conn., an amateur and sophomore at Wake Forest University, who is close friends with Hurst. Sheary finished her second event with the Duramed FUTURES Tour at 219 (+1) after tying for 19th in last years CIGNA Golf Classic.
With wins in McAllen, Texas, Decatur, Ill., and Hammond, Ind., Hurst became the first player to win four events in a season since LPGA Tour pro Song-Hee Kim earned five victories in 2006. Hurst was the only player to finish under par for the tournament and joined Sheary and Jenny Suh of Fairfax, Va., as the three players to finish with an under-par final round.
Hurst came into Sundays round two shots back to rookie M.J. Hur (81) of Seoul, South Korea, who retained the lead through the first two rounds. But just as it was on Saturday, when she saw a five-stroke lead shrink to a two-shot advantage, Hur struggled from the start on Sunday with two bogeys on her first three holes and three consecutive bogeys on holes nine through 11.
Hurs first shot of the day was pulled left, and after saving par on her first hole, she was unable to put together any momentum during the day. Hurs errant drives along with a two-stroke penalty for removing sand to improve her lie on the 13th hole erased hope of her second career Tour victory.
The wind didnt bother me that much today, but I just couldnt do anything right, Hur said.
Just like the swirling winds Hurst overcame in Hammond, Ind., she mastered the problematic gusts that plagued the field on Sunday. Still, the rookie would not say the wind was worse than Saturdays gusts.
I just tried to focus on my own game today, Hurst said. Ive been hitting the ball really well all week and I wanted to put it to good use when it counted.
Hurst took the lead for the first time on the front nine with a birdie on the sixth hole and rolled home a 55-foot birdie putt to extend her lead to three shots. She led by as many as six shots, adding a birdie on the 11th hole. She spun her approach shot with backspin within five feet on the par-4 18th hole, setting the stage for her final birdie putt.
Next up for the 18-year-old Hurst is the LPGA State Farm Classic next week in Springfield, Ill., an exemption from her victory at the Michelob ULTRA Duramed FUTURES Players Championship in Decatur, Ill., the Tours major championship. Hurst didnt feel any extra pressure knowing she will be absent from the Tour next week in Syracuse, N.Y.
I go out there and treat every tournament the same, Hurst said. I just wanted to focus on my game.
Hurst will be wearing one of her signature Kangol hats stitched with the Duramed logo next week and gave fans a glimpse by wearing it during Saturdays second round.
Ive never worn something that someone has asked me to wear, Hurst said. When Im out there wearing it, Ill be proud of the Duramed FUTURES Tour for supporting me.
Sheary entertained Hurst at her home earlier this week, saying when theyre together, golf is the last thing they talk about. The friends couldnt have scripted the results any better, and were proud of the fact that they shared the top two spots on the leaderboard.
Im so proud of Vick because shes won three and is on her to way to number four, said Sheary after finishing her round. I hit the ball the same all three days, and other than a mess on 16 yesterday, I thought I played the course pretty smart.
The Duramed FUTURES Tour moves on to Syracuse, N.Y., next week for the Alliance Bank Golf Classic, set for July 18-20.
'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team
“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.
Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey
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.
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.”
'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse
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.”
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.”
Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'
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.”
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.”