Ko-Lincicome, Lewis-Park headline British groups

By Randall MellJuly 28, 2015, 6:56 pm

TURNBERRY, Scotland – The Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played at Trump Turnberry for just the second time in the event’s 39-year history. Karrie Webb won it the first time it was played on the course in 2002.

Here are five groups to watch (all times ET):

Lydia Ko, Brittany Lincicome, Mika Miyazato: 1:41 a.m., Thursday; 6:26 a.m. Friday

Ko, 18, is playing the Women’s British Open for just the fourth time. Her best finish in the championship came in her first appearances as an amateur in 2012, when she tied for 17th at Royal Liverpool. She was T-42 and T-29 in her other two appearances. Lincicome is going for her second major of the year after winning the ANA Inspiration in the spring. Miyazato is looking for her first major championship title.

Michelle Wie, Laura Davies, Ai Miyazato: 1:52 a.m., Thursday; 6:37 a.m., Friday

Wie is still playing hurt, but she put up a good showing in her title defense finishing 11th at the U.S. Women’s Open despite limping through pain in her left hip, knee and foot. She called playing Turnberry one of her “bucket list” wishes. Davies was just inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and if she wins this week, she’ll qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame. She needs 27 points to make it into the LPGA Hall and she’s been stuck on 25 since her last LPGA victory in 2001. A major title is worth two points. Miyazato has struggled the past couple seasons and didn’t even qualify to play the U.S. Women’s Open last month.

Ricoh Women’s British Open: Articles, photos and videos

Mo Martin, Gerina Piller, Jessica Korda: 2:03 a.m., Thursday; 6:48 a.m., Friday

Martin is the defending champion. She loves playing in the wind, and she should see plenty of it this week on the rugged coast of South Ayrshire. Martin’s trying to make the U.S. Solheim Cup team and is paired with two other players fighting to make the team. Piller holds down the eighth and final spot on the U.S. points list. Martin and Korda are both fighting to crack the team with just three events left to qualify.

Karrie Webb, In Gee Chun, Georgia Hall: 2:25 a.m., Thursday; 7:10 a.m., Friday

Webb has won the Women’s British Open three times, once after it was designated a major. Chun comes in hot having won the U.S. Women’s Open three weeks ago and a Korean LPGA Tour event last week. Hall is an LET rookie from England. She won the British Ladies Amateur in 2013.

Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz: 6:59 a.m. Thursday, 2:14 a.m., Friday

Park, the Rolex world No. 1, has won six majors but they don’t include the Women’s British Open. Lewis won the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews two years ago. Munoz is looking for her first major and to build momentum for the Solheim Cup. 

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Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated” while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

“I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

“No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

“We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”