Webb Leads Field at Canadian Womens Open
The tournament at Summerlea Golf and Country Club marks the 31st year the LPGA has played in Canada. The LPGA's first event here was the 1973 La Canadienne, which later became the Peter Jackson Classic and the du Maurier Classic.
The field vying for the first-place prize of $180,000 includes LPGA Tour Hall of Fame members Amy Alcott, JoAnne Carner and Beth Daniel. In addition, Weetabix Women's British Open champion Karrie Webb, Laura Diaz, Se Ri Pak, Rachel Teske, Mi Hyun Kim, Janice Moodie, Gloria Park and Cristie Kerr are looking for another 2002 Tour win, while Rosie Jones, Meg Mallon and Grace Park are looking for their first wins of the season.
The field features eight of the top 10 and 16 of the top 20 on the LPGA Tour money list.
Canadian players on the LPGA Tour participating in this week's event are Angela Buzminski, Dawn Coe-Jones, A.J. Eathorne, Gail Graham, Nancy Harvey and Lorie Kane.
This week's field includes nine top players from the Bank of Montreal Canadian Women's Tour (BMCWT). Following the tour's season-ending event two weeks ago, exemptions were awarded to the winner of each BMCWT event, plus the top players from the money list and the top amateur.
Leading off the list of exemptions is Quebec native Isabelle Beisiegel, who won on the BMCWT in May and took top honors in the Order of Merit money ranking. Other exemptions went to tournament winner Chris Greatrex of Vancouver, B.C., and top finishers in the Order of Merit Laura Witvoet, Carrie Vaughan, Shelly Stouffer, Jennifer Wyatt, and Mary Lee Cobick. Eom Ji Park of Vancouver claimed the amateur exemption.
Liz Early also earned a spot in the field by virtue of her BMCWT win earlier this year, but chose to decline her exemption as she strives to reach the top 10 on the Futures Tour.
In last year's event, Kelly Robbins, along with Jones and Pak, shared the first-round lead after each fired 7-under-par 65s. Robbins and Jones held on to share the lead after both recorded 69s in the second round, but in the third round, it was only Robbins who was able to hold onto the lead heading into the last day. Robbins, who was looking for her first win since 1999, was tied with Annika Sorenstam at 13-under-par after Sorenstam carded a third-round, tournament-low 64 (-8).
In the final round, Sorenstam got off to a quick start with a birdie on the first hole despite an 82-minute rain-delay prior to the start. The Swede ignored the soggy conditions and was able to widen her lead to seven strokes by the 14th hole.
Robbins closed to within five strokes of Sorenstam with back-to-back birdies on holes 15 and 16, and although Sorenstam faltered with bogeys on the final two holes, Robbins' birdie on the 18 fell two shots shy of overcoming Sorenstam's lead.
Sorenstam finished at 16-under-par to claim her sixth of eight tournament titles in 2001. Robbins' second-place finish was her best of the season. Canada native Kane climbed up the leaderboard with a final-round, 2-under-par 70 to finish in a tie for third place with Pak at 276 (-12).
Romo turns in even in PGA Tour debut
After stumbling out of the gates, Tony Romo has found his footing in his PGA Tour debut.
Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies from Nos. 4-8 while playing alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.
The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:
Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Romo, who plays to a plus-0.3 handicap, said earlier in the week that he expected some jitters once it came time to put a tee in the ground.
"You'll be nervous on Thursday on the first tee. Just going to be," Romo said. "I've got to get through the first three or four holes. If I can handle the nerves on the first three or four holes, I think that I'll settle in and hopefully just play the way I've been playing."
Click here to watch live first-round action on Golf Channel.
Kim's missing clubs show up at sporting goods store
More than a month after they were lost on an American Airlines flight, the clubs I.K. Kim used to win last year's Ricoh Women's British Open turned up on the sale rack of a California sporting goods store.
Kim's clubs became lost in late January when she flew from Miami to San Diego, with the airline suggesting she simply rent a new set. A few weeks later, Kim shot a "What's in the bag" television segment which according to a Golfweek report caught the eye of three good samaritans in the San Diego area.
The three men recognized Kim's clubs for sale at a local Play It Again Sports, with the major winner's tools listed at $60 each. The store even had Kim's tour bag, complete with her LPGA player badge. Kim filmed the reunion with her bag - containing wedges and a few hybrids, minus the head covers - at the Carlsbad police station:
What’s in my bag now?! They were selling at Play it again ... only $60 each in San Diego. Jack, Jeff, Paul watched my video with @alisonwhitaker1 in Singapore and found my remaining clubs and brought it back to me @lpga_tour this week at Aviara!! Btw... Where is the head covers? They might sell separately?Never mind.
Kim was back in southern California this week for the Kia Classic, where she'll begin play Thursday morning at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.
WGC-Dell Match Play: Scoring, live stream, standings
New dad Garcia removes shoes, wins match
AUSTIN, Texas – In one of the day’s most explosive matches, Sergio Garcia rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to defeat Shubhankar Sharma, 1 up, at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The duo halved just nine holes on Day 1 at Austin Country Club, with Garcia going from 2 up through four holes to 1 down with five holes to play.
But the Spaniard rallied with five birdies over his final eight holes and pushed his record to 20-17-1 in the Match Play. He also gave himself his best chance to advance out of pool play since the format began in 2015.
The victory continued what has already been a memorable week for Garcia, whose wife, Angela, gave birth to the couple’s first child last Wednesday.
“I already feel like I’m a winner after what happened on Wednesday,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it's something that we're so, so happy and proud of and enjoying it as much as possible.”
The highlight of Garcia’s round on Wednesday came at the 12th hole when he took a drop on a cart path. After considering his options, he removed his shoes and hit his approach from 212 yards to 29 feet for a two-putt birdie to halve the hole.
“I have spikes. So if I don't take my shoes off, I'm going to slip. It's not the kind of shot that you want to slip,” Garcia said. “I had tried it a couple of times on practice swings and I was already slipping a little bit. So I thought I would just take my shoes off, try to get a little bit in front of the hole and it came out great.”