Kent State Captures FirstEnergy Collegiate
RAVEENA, Ohio -- The Kent State University mens golf team won its second tournament of the 2002-03 season, this time it was their home event, the FirstEnergy Collegiate. The Golden Flashes took the crown for 11th time in school history with a blistering final round of 278. Kent State finished ahead of Miami University by 18 strokes and third-place Wright State University by 20 shots. The University of Toledos Brad Heaven defeated Kent State sophomore Peter Laws (Mississauga, Ontario/Our Lady of Mount Carmel) with a par on the first playoff hole to take the individual crown.
Kent State received outstanding performances from Laws (69-70-71=210) and freshman Ryan Yip (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll), who fired a final-round 67 even though suffering through a bad back. Kent State also counted even-par 70s from junior Chris Miller (New Philadelphia, Ohio/New Philadelphia) and sophomore Joe Hurtuk (Bedford, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel) to miss the single-round scoring record by only two shots.
Laws started out three-over par on the first two holes, but rebounded with a birdie on three. A bogey on four put him two strokes behind Heaven after four holes. A bogey on nine by Heaven cut the lead to one heading to the back nine. Heaven bogeyed 10, but birdies on 11 and 12 put him up two strokes. Laws cut the lead to one with birdies on 13 and 15 after Heaven birdied 14. The two would tie after Laws birdied the par-5 16th and Heaven would par out. The two would go to a playoff on the first hole. Laws hit his drive left, almost going into the pond while Heavens drive was center cut. Laws hit his approach to a shorter distance, but was straight downhill, while Heaven had a left to right break. Heaven hit his lag to three feet, while Laws went by about four feet. Laws putt was pulled while Heaven made his and picked up his second victory in as many weeks.
Yip finished in fourth place after shooting the days best round of 67. Yip didnt birdie a hole until the ninth, but then birdied 11, 16 and 17 while bogeying 18. This is his second straight week in the top five, as he tied for fourth place at the Kepler Intercollegiate last weekend. Miller tied for 11th place after being back in the lineup. He shot rounds of 74-73-70=217. Hurtuk tied for 26th place with scores of 76-76-70=222. Sophomore Steve Lohmeyer (Dayton, Ohio/Oakwood) also tied for 26th place with scores of 74-73-75=222.
The Golden Flashes have six players competing as individuals and senior Scott Vallina (Langeloth, Pa./Burgettstown) led the way with a tie for 32nd place after scores of 75-75-73=223. Junior Sean Howell (Erie, Pa./McDowell) tied for 39th place with scores of 73-74-79=226. Freshman J.D. Schonhoft (Canton, Ohio/Central Catholic) tied for 61st place with rounds of 78-79-75=232. Freshman Joe Meglen (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) tied for 66th place with scores of 78-77-80=235. Sophomore Matt Boumphrey (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/West Geauga) finished in 70th place firing rounds of 80-79-78=237 while sophomore Jake DeHart (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) tied for 72nd place with scores of 83-77-79=239.
The Golden Flashes will next play at the Bruce Fossum Invitational April 26-27, in East Lansing, Mich.
1. KENT STATE 291-288-278=857
2. Miami 292-285-298=875
3. Wright State 297-293-287=877
4. Penn State 300-289-289=878
5. Toledo 293-290-296=879
6. Eastern Kentucky 301-289-293=883
7. Xavier 290-290-304=884
8. Eastern Michigan 294-297-301=892
9. Akron 302-294-298=894
10. Northern Illinois 309-293-295=897
11. Ball State 293-302-305=900
12. Bowling Green 293-304-308=905
13. Ohio 304-299-304=907
14. Marshall 303-303-310=916
15. Manitoba 314-324-318=956
Top-10 Individuals plus KSU
1. Brad Heaven (Toledo) 70-69-71=210*
2. Peter Laws (KSU) 69-70-71=210
3. Brandon Brown (EKU) 73-70-69=212
4. Ryan Yip (KSU) 74-72-67=213
t-5. John Schones (WSU) 73-71-71=215
t-5. Brad Pemberton (EMU) 72-72-71=215
t-5. P. Wilkes-Keier (BSU) 69-70-76=215
t-8. Jim Fuller (PSU) 74-70-72=216
t-8. Korey Mahoney (EMU) 70-73-73=216
t-8. Ted Neville (PSU) 74-70-72=216
t-11. Chris Miller 74-73-70=217
t-26. Joe Hurtuk 76-76-70=222
t-26. Steve Lohmeyer 74-73-75=222
t-32. Scott Vallina 75-75-73=223
t-39. Sean Howell 73-74-79=226
t-61. J.D. Schonhoft 78-79-75=232
t-66. Joe Meglen 78-77-80=235
70. Matthew Boumphrey 80-79-78=237
t-72. Jake DeHart 83-77-79=239
*won in playoff
Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond
Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.
She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.
Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.
After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.
“The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.
Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).
It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.
“I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”
Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.
“The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”
Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.
It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.
“I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”
Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic
CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.
The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.
''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''
She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.
''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''
Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.
''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.
Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.
Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.
Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.
Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.
''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''
She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.
''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''
Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.
DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history
AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.
Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.
“He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”
Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.
The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.
It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.
Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi
BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.
Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.
''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''
He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.
''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''
Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida
''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''
Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.
''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''
Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.
Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.
Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.