Jutanugarn, 17, making case for LPGA waiver

By Randall MellMay 3, 2013, 3:19 pm

There’s more at stake than just a victory for 17-year-old phenom Ariya Jutanugarn at the Kingsmill Championship this week.

Also hanging in the balance is the possibility of LPGA membership and the reunion of her Thai family.

Jutanugarn jumped out to a hot start Thursday, seizing the first-round lead with a 7-under-par 64. If she wins, she will almost surely petition the LPGA again to seek a waiver of the tour’s rule requiring a member be at least 18. There’s a two-year LPGA membership she can claim with a victory, but only if she’s granted a waiver of the tour’s age restriction. Jutanugarn doesn’t turn 18 until Nov. 23. She petitioned the LPGA last summer for a waiver so that she could go to LPGA Q-School with her 18-year-old sister, Moriya. Ariya was still 16 when she petitioned and was denied.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan is on record saying he wants to see a 16- or 17-year-old win before considering granting a waiver. Given what Jutanugarn is already proving, the commissioner would be hard pressed to deny a second petition for a waiver should Jutanugarn win this week.

With the waiver’s denial, the family was temporarily split this year. Moriya, co-winner of LPGA’s Q-School, travels the LPGA with her mother. Ariya, who won the Ladies European Tour Q-School last winterm, travels the LET with her father.

“It was a little bit sad, because normally we aren’t separate,” Moriya told Golfchannel.com

Moriya leads the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year point standings.

Ariya leads the LET’s Order of Merit, where she won earlier this year. She also leads that tour in scoring.

In just three LPGA starts this year on two sponsor invites and one Monday qualifying berth, Ariya has finished second, third and fourth. She has earned $328,643. If she were a tour member, she would be eighth on the LPGA money list.

If Ariya were an LPGA member, she would lead the LET and the LPGA in scoring. Through 13 rounds, Ariya’s LPGA scoring average is 68.61. Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis came into this week leading the LPGA in scoring with 69.5 scoring averages.

If Ariya doesn’t win, a good finish won't bolster her bid to avoid Q-School and win LPGA membership next year. According to LPGA rules, a non-member can earn membership for 2014 by earning the equivalent of top 40 money by the end of this season. However, a player must be 18 for the non-member winnings to count. Also, only money won in events without a cut counts. Because Ariya isn't 18, the money she wins this year doesn't count toward top-40 equivalency money. Ariya will be eligible for Q-School late this year.

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Key stats from Woods' historic win at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 23, 2018, 10:47 pm

Tiger Woods won his 80th career PGA Tour title on Sunday with a two-stroke victory at the Tour Championship. Here are the key stats from the final round at East Lake.

• 80th career PGA Tour win; first since 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

• Two wins behind Sam Snead for most in PGA Tour history

• Snead was 47 years old when he won his 80th career PGA Tour title (Woods is 42)

• 43-for-45 converting outright 54-hole leads in PGA Tour career

• 24-for-24 converting 54-hole leads of three or more shots

• First win in 1,876 days; 118 players won on PGA Tour between Woods' wins

• Third career Tour Championship victory (most all-time)

• Has won Tour Championship in three different decades (1999, 2007, 2018)

• Fifth PGA Tour event won in three different decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s)

• Projected to move to 13th in World Ranking with victory

• Was ranked 1,199 before beginning of 2017 Hero World Challenge

• Snead won 11 times after turning 43 (Woods turns 43 in December)

• Eighth PGA Tour win in Georgia; fourth-most of any state (Fla., Calif., Ohio)

• Extended lead to four strokes with birdie on first hole of round

• Second in field in strokes gained: putting this week

• First in field in scrambling this week (17-for-24)

• Finished second in FedExCup; was making first Tour Championship start since 2013

• Led field in one-putt percentage this week (51.4%)

• Finishes season first on PGA Tour in strokes gained: approach

(Stats provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.)

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Rose captures FedExCup, $10 million

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 23, 2018, 10:45 pm

ATLANTA – Like the “Price is Right” big wheel, $10 million spun around and around on Sunday, waiting to land on someone. It rolled past Dustin Johnson, looked like it was going to settle on Tiger Woods, and then made a final tick to rest on an ecstatic Justin Rose.

Rose won the FedExCup title on Sunday at the Tour Championship, two-putting for birdie on the par-5 18th to secure the big bonus. Woods, who won the tournament, finished second, with Bryson DeChambeau third.

Rose entered the final round as the projected winner, tied for second in the event, three shots back of Woods. However, it was a struggle from the start for the – now former – world No. 1. Rose made four bogeys and one birdie over his first 15 holes, and when he bogeyed the par-4 16th, the scenario became clear: Play the last two in 1 under or lose the cup.

Final FedExCup results and payout breakdown

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Johnson had an outside shot at claiming the $10 million, but parred the last. He finished in solo third place, four back of Woods.

Woods, meanwhile, was in command of the tournament from the start on Sunday. He played steadily, for the most part, and no one provided a challenge. In order to win the cup, he needed to win the event – which was close to a lock all day – and Rose needed to finish in a three-way tie for fifth or worse.

So, here he was, Rose, tied for SIXTH place on the 18th hole. A birdie and he’d jump into a three-way tie for fourth – as well as into a mountain of cash.

Rose hit the par-5 18th in two and successfully two-putted to clinch the cup. He didn’t win a playoff event, but his MC-2-2-T4 results were good enough, points wise, to capture the season-long race.

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Social media explodes over Tiger's 80th win

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 23, 2018, 10:45 pm

After a five-year hiatus, Tiger Woods made his triumphant return to the winner's circle on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

As evidenced by a quick look at social media, Woods' win set the golf world on fire, with everyone from Jack Nicklaus to Michelle Wie sending their congratulations to the 42-year-old.

Here are the best reactions from a wild Sunday at East Lake, where Woods claimed PGA Tour victory No. 80:

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Highlights: Tiger's final round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 23, 2018, 10:40 pm

Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship on Sunday by two strokes. Here are the highlights from the final round.

Woods got off to a great start with a birdie on No. 1.

He then made eight straight pars to close out the front nine in 1 under par. Woods started the back nine with a bogey at 10, but he rebounded with this birdie at No. 13.

Woods leaked some oil coming in with bogeys at 15 and 16, but this par putt on 17 gave him a crucial two-stroke lead heading to 18.

For the fourth straight day, Woods smoked his drive on 18.

A huge gallery followed Woods up the 18th hole.

Woods missed his birdie putt on 18, but it was an easy par for a two-stroke victory and win No. 80.