Whaley First Woman to Play In PGA Club Pro
The pioneers are the LPGA founders, she said. Its just a privilege to go there and be a part of it.
It is the PGAs Club Pro Championship. There is Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Ky. The CPC will be played this week, and there is one thing that makes this edition stand out from all the rest ' a woman will be playing. Susie Whaley will suspend her duties for one week at Blue Fox Run Golf Club is Avon, Conn., to tee it up with the men.
Im nervous, of course, but its an excited nervous, Whaley said. Im looking forward to it.
The top 25 players at the CPC go on to the PGA Championship. Whaley, despite the excellence of her play until now, wont be eligible because she has elected to play shortened tees, approximately 85-90 percent of the maximum course length. Had she chosen the longer tees and finished in the top 25, though, she would have become the first woman ever to start in a mens major championship.
She is more than satisfied, though, to be competing.
I just love competitive golf, she said. For me, its just another tournament. Ive been playing against guys since I was in high school ' I was on the boys high school golf team. So its not necessarily the boy-man-woman thing ' its more of an issue of me just wanting to compete, putting the number on the board and see where it falls.
Whaley was breathless as she spoke between phone calls at Blue Fox Run. I hope you will pardon me ' Im the only one here and this phone is ringing off the wall, she said. Between telephone interruptions, however, she revealed her life facts:
Whaley was born in Cherry Hill, N.J., and raised in Syracuse, N.Y. She started playing at age nine at the urging of her parents, both of whom played golf. Following her graduation from high school, she attended the University of North Carolina and played golf there until graduation in 1989. She played the LPGA Tour in 1990 and 93 before embarking on a career as a club professional.
That started almost five years ago as an assistant pro in Bloomfield, Conn., and she was chosen as head professional at Blue Fox Run in January.
Whaley is a two-time runner-up at the Reebok PGA Womens Stroke Play Championship. She is heavily involved in teaching and playing, as well as her administrative duties as head pro. The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division holds a tournament for the women. That, she confessed, was the real reason she entered the CPC qualifier.
I was really trying to get ready for the LPGA section event, she said, and I was using (the Club Pro qualifier) to get competitive, to get ready.
She didnt actually believe she would earn a trip to Valhalla. I started at the sectional level, she said, and I qualified there. Then I went to New Jersey and actually made it. Whaley shot a 77 in the final round to cap her tournament total of 300 - and Louisville became her destination.
But ultimately, she is still aiming for the womens championship.
That goal has eluded me so far ' I would like to win the LPGA Teaching and Club Pro Championship, she said. Ive played five, finished in the top five the last four years, and finished second once.
Whaleys husband, Bill Whaley, is also in golf administration. He is general manager and director of golf at the TPC at River Highlands, which happens to host a PGA Tour event.
Unfortunately, the Canon Greater Hartford Open (at River Highlands) is the same week as the CPC championship, so he wont be joining me, she said. Whaley also has two daughters, ages eight and five.
But for one week, Whaley wont be just a club pro, a wife, or a mom ' she is one of 36 PGA pros playing for the championship. She will be the initial one, the first woman to play with the men at the mens tournament.
I feel like its a real privilege to be going down there and playing as the only female, she said. I just feel fortunate.
Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.
Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.
4:15AM ET: Gavin Green
4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed
4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose
4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton
4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley
5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner
5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson
5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)
5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood
5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello
6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford
6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma
6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele
6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood
6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na
6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin
7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim
7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira
7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters
7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li
7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker
7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink
8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook
8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris
8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim
8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari
8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson
8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell
9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka
9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott
9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren
9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone
9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett
10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler
10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell
10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau
10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen
10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele
10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood
11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”