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S.H. Park takes advantage of ultimate Evian mulligan

By Randall MellSeptember 15, 2017, 1:43 pm

Sung Hyun Park made the most of her reprieve Friday at the Evian Championship.

After her nightmarish start to the event on Thursday was scrubbed clean when LPGA officials decided to wipe away first-round scores after a weather suspension, Park made the most of Friday’s re-start.

Park shot 8-under-par 63 to take the early lead through the morning wave. She was 6 over through five holes in wind and rain Thursday when play was scrubbed.

Rolex world No. 1 So Yeon Ryu experienced just the opposite effect in the re-start.

Ryu was eight shots ahead of Park before play was halted Thursday. She’s 12 behind Park now. Ryu was 2 under through six holes when play was erased. She shot 75 on Friday.

The LPGA also decided Thursday to shorten the championship to 54 holes, which leaves just two rounds for players to catch Park.

There’s more than a major at stake this week for Ryu, Park, Lexi Thompson and other top players. The Rolex world No. 1 ranking and Rolex Annika Major Award hang in the balance. So does a chance to go up in the Rolex Player of the Year race.


Evian Championship: Articles, video and photos

Full-field scores from the Evian Championship


If Park wins this week, she will take the No. 1 ranking from Ryu. She will also take the Annika Major award, and she will take the top spot in the POY standings, with double points up for grabs in a major.

“If you are So Yeon Ryu, you have to feel some kind of injustice that all your hard work was wasted and Sung Hyun Park’s poor play was completely wiped away,” Golf Channel analyst Karen Stupples, winner of the 2004 Women’s British Open and a former player director on the LPGA Board, said during Friday’s broadcast. “It makes a lot of people feel kind of empty and a bit hollow, really, but there are so many things that go on in the background and in the back room, that we are just not able to be part of. None of us really know what went on there, apart from the commissioner, the players he talked to, the rules officials and the sponsors. Ultimately, as a spectator, I feel kind of empty by it, and the whole thing leaves me a little bit upset, really.”

Park, who won the U.S. Women’s Open in July, made seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey in Friday’s round. She was three shots ahead of Katherine Kirk and four ahead of I.K. Kim and Jessica Korda with the afternoon wave going off. Lydia Ko opened with a 68.

Park hit eight of 13 fairways and all but one green in regulation.

“I forgot about yesterday,” Park said. “I just focused on my play today.”

Even Park said she didn’t expect her poor start to get wiped clean.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn't surprised,” Park said.

Korda had a share of the lead with Ryu when Thursday’s first round was washed away but got herself back in contention Friday.

“I was annoyed until about 9 p.m. last night, and then I was like, ‘All right, screw it, when I wake up, it's a new day. What's done is done,’” Korda said.

Korda is making her first start since withdrawing after the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with a left forearm injury, which caused her to miss the Solheim Cup.

Korda was also eight shots ahead of Park on Thursday. Now, she’s four behind her.

“It sucked because I was playing so well yesterday, and some people weren't playing so well yesterday that are playing well today, and there's nothing I can do about that,” Korda said. “I just need to concentrate on myself.”

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

• “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

• "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

• "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

• “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.


Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.