Looking for Magic at Disney

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Funai Classic at the Walt Disney World ResortTiger Woods wasnt around for the final two rounds of last years Funai Classic at Walt Disney World. And he wont be around for the first two this year.
 
Woods, for just the second time since he turned professional 10 years ago, has opted to skip this weeks event, which is contested just down the road from his home in Windermere, Fla.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has twice won at Disney, including his second career TOUR win in 1996.
Its the second time in the last three years that Woods, who won here in 1996 and 99, has decided not to make the short drive to Lake Buena Vista. He also failed to compete in 2004, when he was still in honeymoon mode.
 
Last year, he gave it a go and actually missed the cut. After playing 142 PGA TOUR events without missing a cut, he did so earlier in the year at the Byron Nelson Championship. Ten starts later, he had another weekend off.
 
Woods has been off since winning his sixth straight TOUR event at the WGC-American Express Championship three weeks ago. He is not expected to tee it up again ' and go for No. 7 ' until the season-ending TOUR Championship.
 
With the big cat away, the TOURs mice are ready to play for some big cheese in the land of Mickey.
 
This is one of only two full-field events remaining on the 2006 TOUR calendar, meaning just two more opportunities for players to earn card for 07 and spots in the TOUR Championship field in Atlanta.
 
Count Bart Bryant among those in the latter group. Bryant is the defending champion at the season finale, but has not yet qualified for the field, which is open to the top 30 players on the money list following next weeks Chrysler Championship.
 
Bryant is currently outside the top 60 on the money list and would need to win this weeks first-place prize of $828,000 to vault into the top 30.
 
Bryant, however, has not had much success in this event. He has played it nine times and has never finished better than tied for 16th. Because of his record, hes not among our top 5 favorites to win the big mouse ears this week.
 
These are:
 
Vijay Singh
Singh is three starts away from closing out a disappointing campaign. Hes won only once this season and has dropped to fifth in the world rankings. But a win this week ' or over the next three weeks ' can add a little salve to his wounded pride. Singh is trying to continue a streak of four straight multiple-win seasons. This will be his eighth appearance at Disney. He won in 2003 and was runner-up in '04.
 
Lucas Glover
Were it not for a near-miraculous 45-foot bunker hole-out last year on the 72nd hole, Tom Pernice, Jr. would be the defending champion. But Glovers ball did go from sand to cup for birdie and a one-stroke victory ' his first on the PGA TOUR. Glover will now try and become the first player since Tim Simpson (1990-91) to retain his title. He has yet to add a second victory to his resume since leaving Disney, but this is as good a place as any for him to earn win No. 2. Aside from his triumph last year, Glover also tied for 10th in 2004. All eight of his rounds at Disney have been in the 60s.
 
Carl Pettersson
Pettersson will be defending his title next week down the road in Tampa. Hed like to bring with him another trophy from Orlando. Pettersson validated his maiden TOUR win at the 05 Chrysler Championship with a victory in this years Memorial Tournament. His last two Disney appearances have resulted in a tie for 10th and a tie for 15th.
 
Sean OHair
OHair tied for 50th in his first Disney appearance a year ago. But, at the time, he was more concerned with enjoying all of the attractions with his wife and daughter. Now, hes likely to be more focused as he looks to avoid a sophomore shutout. OHair, the reigning Rookie of the Year, has only two top-10s this season ' but they have both come over the last couple of months. If he spends a little more time on the range this week instead of at Epcot, he may have a chance for a second TOUR title.
 
Camilo Villegas
This event is contested over two courses, the Magnolia and the Palm. Both are par-72 layouts, but the revamped Magnolia, at 7,516 yards, is about 500 yards longer than the Palm. And being the host course, players will get three looks at the Mag. Power is usually of great benefit at most tournaments, and this one is no exception. Villegas, who averages over 302 yards off the tee, has plenty of strength. A win this week would likely wrap-up Rookie of the Year honors for the former Florida Gator.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Funai Classic at Walt Disney World
  • Getty Images

    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.



    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

    Getty Images

    Wallace holds off Olesen to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''


    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open


    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.

    Sunghyun Park (left) and Minchel Choi (right). Getty Images

    Choi, Park qualify for Carnoustie from Korean Open

    By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 2:54 pm

    Two players - Minchel Choi and Sanghyun Park - qualified for next month's Open Championship at Carnoustie via the Open Qualifying Series on Sunday.

    Choi (69) held off Park (66) to win the Korean Open by two shots.

    This was the Qualifying Series debut for the Korean Open, whiched awarded Open Championship exemptions to the tournament's top two finishers inside the top eight and ties who were not already qualified.

    Choi, the 532nd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, punched his ticket in his first professional win.

    Park, the 146th in the world, is a six-time Korean Tour champion who has already won twice this season. 

    Both players will be making their first ever major starts.

    “I am absolutely honored to be playing in The Open and I wanted to win this championship to give me [that] opportunity," Choi said. "I cannot believe that I have won today. I am so happy and excited."

    “It is a great honor to have qualified for The Open and make my first appearance in the championship," Park added. "I’ve watched The Open on television every single year and I can’t really believe that I have qualified, it is amazing."

    The Open Qualifying Series continues next week at the Open de France, where as many as three exemptions will be awarded to the three leading players inside the top 10 and ties who are not already qualified.

    The 147th Open will be held at Carnoustie from July 19-22.

    Getty Images

    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.