Rosie Feeling at Cherry Hills

By Mercer BaggsJune 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenThis is it, she says.
 
After 24 years of playing professionally on the LPGA Tour, Rosie Jones says shes hanging up her competitive spikes at the conclusion of the 2005 season.
 
Rosie Jones
Rosie Jones has her sights set on her first major victory in 87 tries.
In the pantheon of sports retirements, Jones farewell tour doesnt exactly rank up there with Dr. Js or Kareem Abdul-Jabbars. Shes not receiving gifts at every tour stop. There are no rattlesnake belts or surfboards or elephant statues or commemorative Harley Davidson motorcycles.
 
But there is one thing Jones would like before she calls it quits.
 
I want to win a major still, she said. Im running out of chances.
 
There are two chances left, to be exact. Her penultimate opportunity will come this week in the U.S. Womens Open at Cherry Hills Country Club.
 
This is Jones favorite event. She loves it so much that she said she may even step out of retirement for one week next year just to play it again.
 
This will mark her 24th Open appearance. She has four top-5 finishes and was runner-up in 1984.
 
Jones is 45 years old. Shes been a member of the tour for over half her life. Shes won 13 times. Shes a likely candidate for her seventh Solheim Cup team. Shes earned nearly $8 million officially.
 
But there is that one glaring omission.
 
While mens golf has the never-ending debate as to who is the best player without a major victory, one modern name really stands out on the women's side.
 
Jones isnt the best female player never to have won a major ' that distinction would have to go to Jane Blalock or Judy Rankin, who won 27 and 26 times, respectively. But few, if any, in todays game have all of Jones qualifications and none of the major victories.
 
I havent let go of my dream of winning a major, she said. I came close at the Nabisco this year finishing second, but I think Im going to have to play a lot better to get past The Big Girl when it comes down to it.
 
The Big Girl, of course, is Annika Sorenstam, who won the Kraft Nabisco Championship by eight shots over Jones, and the McDonald's LPGA Championship, where Jones tied for 31st.
 
This week Sorenstam will be trying to make it 3-for-3 in majors this season. By comparison, Jones is 0-for-86 for her career in the four biggest events.
 
Jones would dearly love to deny Annika the third leg of the Grand Slam. But if it doesnt happen this week, or five weeks later when the final major of the season ' and perhaps the final major of Jones career ' is contested at the Weetabix Womens British Open, then so be it.
 
Im totally satisfied with the way my career has gone and the things that I have accomplished and the goals that I set, she said. I feel blessed with the career Ive had.
 
In many ways, Jones is retiring on her own terms. In some ways, shes being forced out.
 
Jones is still a top-level competitor. Shes played nine events this season and has six top-10s, including a third-place finish last week at the Wegmans Rochester LPGA. Shes also third on the U.S. Solheim Cup points list.
 
So why give it all up now?
 
I hurt, she said. Ive been having some problems with my neck its not allowing me to play and compete as hard as I want and to practice as much as and as hard as I would need to. Its not as much fun when youre playing in pain, and Ive been dealing with it and playing with it ' well, for 10 years, but really bad for the last three years.
 
Jones considered bowing out last year. But she didnt want her career to end on a sour note.
 
Jones had only three top-10 finishes a year ago ' tying her lowest total ever in that department, and was 25th on the money list ' her first finish outside the top 20 in a decade.
 
Last year I was playing hurt quite a bit, and I was struggling a lot, she said. I didnt want to go out feeling bad and looking bad. This year has been great so far.
 
When Im playing well and Im having fun, thats the way I want to go out. I want to walk away from it knowing I gave it my best shot.
 
Not that this year has been without its ailments. She still has a herniated disk in her neck and bulging disks above and below it. But shes playing through it all, and playing quite well.
 
So, would another win change her mind? Or perhaps a maiden major?
 
No, she said. A lot of people look at me and say, Why do you want to quit then? Youre on top of your game. It takes a lot of hard work to be there ' on your body and mentally and time-wise to play golf and to play as a professional. I dont want to do that anymore. Ive been doing it for 24 or 25 years and Im tired, Im hurt.
 
I love golf. I love being out here. I love the tour and Im going to miss it dearly, but there are other parts of my life that I want to explore and have time to do. This is a great time. I think my body is telling me, Stop, cut it out; leave me alone!
 
Jones, one of the few openly gay athletes in any sport, said that she hopes to continue working with her sponsor, Olivia, a travel agency that caters to a gay clientele. She also said that television commentating might be an option; though, she added, You need to be quick-witted. I dont know if I have that good TV voice.
 
If she did enter the television booth, she could certainly add plenty of insight and perspective. In a quarter of a century, shes played alongside everyone from Kathy Whitworth to Michelle Wie.
 
Jones is proud of her past ' to have played alongside so many great players and to have lasted as long as she has. And shes excited about the future ' for both herself and the tour.
 
Ive played with some great players throughout the years, she said, and I think with the younger players coming up, theyre just getting bigger and better and bolder. Its going to be great. I think its going to be some great golf.
 
Im just glad Im leaving, she added with a laugh. Its a good time to retire.
 
Email your thoughts to Mercer Baggs
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
  • Getty Images

    Spieth shares Hartford lead; Rory 1 back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 10:35 pm

    Just a few miles north but light years removed from the difficulty of Shinnecock Hills, the PGA Tour returned to week-in, week-out normalcy with the Travelers Championship. Here's what happened in the first round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.:

    Leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-7), Jordan Spieth (-7), Rory McIlroy (-6), Peter Malnati (-6), Brian Harman (-6)

    What it means: The two biggest names in the field, Spieth and McIlroy, are looking for a boost of confidence after missing the cut in the U.S. Open. Their scores look good, but McIlroy won't be happy about closing with a bogey.

    Round of the day: Johnson and Spieth both put up 7-under 63s. Johnson, after a relatively pedestrian 2-under front nine, caught fire on the back, making six consecutive birdies on holes 11-16. A three-putt bogey at the 17th ended the run, and he parred the last for his 63. Spieth, the defending champion, put up two birdies and an eagle on the front and four more birdies on the back. Like Johnson, he had only one blemish, a bogey-5 on the drivable par-4 15th when he hooked his drive into the water on the left.

    Best of the rest: McIlroy, Malnati and Harman each shot 64. Malnati eagled the 15th and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17 and a back-nine 29. Harman had a rare birdie on the 444-yard 18th for his 64, but McIlroy threw away a shot at the closing hole to fall out of a share of the lead. His right foot slipped as he was hitting his approach shot, and he missed the green. After taking a drop to get away from a sprinkler head, he was unable to get up and down.

    Biggest disappointment: Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this event, could manage no better than an even-par 70. Two-under through 11 holes, he bogeyed three of the next four.

    Shot of the day: Can we safely say that Spieth likes the bunkers at River Highlands? Last year he got up and down from one at the 18th hole to get into a playoff, then he holed out from the same bunker to win the playoff. On Thursday he worked his magic at the par-5 sixth hole, sinking his sand shot for eagle.

    Biggest storyline going into Friday: Most eyes will be on Spieth and McIlroy, to see if they're over they're U.S. Open funks and gearing up for The Open Championship.

    NBC Sports Group to Showcase Top Players in Women's Golf With Comprehensive Coverage of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, June 25-July 1

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 21, 2018, 9:35 pm

    Golf Channel and NBC to Combine for More Than 40 Hours of News, Tournament and Instruction On-Site from Kemper Lakes Golf Club, Most in Tournament History 

    KPMG Ambassador Phil Mickelson to Join Golf Central on Monday, June 25 Live from Soldier Field 

    Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani to Headline KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Wednesday, June 27

     

    ORLANDO, Fla., June 21, 2018 – Featuring one of the strongest fields of the year, NBC Sports Group will dedicate more than 40 hours of comprehensive on-site news, tournament and instruction coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – most in tournament history – Monday, June 25 - Sunday, July 1. Taking place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club near Chicago, the third LPGA Tour major of the season will be headlined by World No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Lexi Thompson, ANA Inspiration champion Pernilla Lindberg and defending champion Danielle Kang. In 2017, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was the most-watched women’s major championship of the year. 

    Through the partnership with KPMG, the PGA of America and the LPGA Tour, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been elevated to become one of the most impactful weeks of the year in women’s golf,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content, Golf Channel. “As the broadcast partner for the championship, we strive to elevate our coverage each year to celebrate not only the best players in women’s golf but also female leaders in the workplace through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.” 

    BROADCAST TEAM: Live tournament coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks, joined by Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch in the broadcast booth. Tom Abbott will report from an on-course tower, with Kay Cockerill, Jerry Foltz and Mark Rolfing walking the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews. 

    NBC SPORTS GROUP TO IMPLEMENT POPULAR “PLAYING THROUGH” ENCHANCED COMMERCIAL BREAKS: Making its debut on NBC at the Ryder Cup in 2016, Golf Channel and NBC will implement the popular “Playing Through” enhancement in an effort to elevate the viewing experience for fans tuning in to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. NBC Sports Group is partnering with several national advertisers to present select commercial breaks in utilizing “Playing Through,” which will employ a split-screen model for a select number of national commercial breaks. This enhanced break will display both the commercial with audio as well as a continuous feed of the tournament action. 

    COMPREHENSIVE ON-SITE NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Golf Central and Morning Drive, will provide comprehensive, wraparound news coverage throughout the week, produced on-location at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. In addition to daily shows, Golf Central will present special player news conference shows Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, at 5 p.m. ET. 

    Rich Lerner will anchor Golf Central’s live coverage alongside LPGA major champion Karen Stupples and Arron Oberholser beginning Wednesday, June 27, with Lisa Cornwell reporting and conducting player interviews. Chantel McCabe will set the stage each day on Morning Drive with on-site interviews and analysis, with Paige Mackenzie joining her Monday-Wednesday. 

    PHIL MICKELSON TO JOIN GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM SOLDIER FIELD MONDAY, JUNE 25: Kicking off KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week will be the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge, taking place at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday, June 25. KPMG Ambassadors Phil Mickelson and Mariah Stackhouse along with athletes from the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Fire, Red Stars and Skywill be conducting a special clinic and skills challenge event with local youth organizations. Mickelson will join Golf Central live from Soldier Field on Monday following the conclusion of the skills challenge. 

    SCHOOL OF GOLF ON-SITE AT KEMPER LAKES: School of Golf will air Tuesday at 7 p.m. from on-site at Kemper Lakes Golf Club, with Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal hosting a special short-game episode. Scheduled guests include 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn and her coaches, Golf Channel Academy coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, as well as LPGA major champion Morgan Pressel.  

    KPMG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Golf Central will offer news coverage of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site Wednesday, June 27, featuring an assembly of accomplished leaders in sports, business, politics and media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. 66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani will headline the gathering. NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya will serve as master of ceremonies. The summit will be streamed live on Wednesday on Golf Channel Digital. In addition, portions of the summit also will be streamed via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live. 

    DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded editorial content during KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week. GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell will report from Kemper Lakes Golf Club with columns and daily blogs, and Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will contribute to Golf Channel’s social media platforms with exclusive behind-the-scenes content throughout the week. Golf Channel and NBC also will integrate social media throughout the telecasts, incorporating social media posts from players and fans using the hashtag #KPMGWomensPGA. 

    News and tournament action surrounding the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online via Golf Channel Digital. Fans also can stream NBC Sports’ coverage of live golf via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.

     GOLF CHANNEL / NBC LIVE TOURNAMENT AIRTIMES(all times Eastern):

    Thursday, June 28

    Round 1

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Friday, June 29

    Round 2

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Saturday, July 30

    Round 3

    3-6 p.m.

    NBC

    Sunday, July 1

    Final Round

    3-6 p.m.

    NBC

     

    The PGA of America and KPMG joined forces with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to create a world-class major championship that not only sustains the 60-year legacy of the former LPGA Championship, but also aims to elevate women on and off the golf course. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship provides a platform to inspire the next generation of women leaders through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and the KPMG Future Leaders Program.

     -NBC Sports Group-

    Getty Images

    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

    Getty Images

    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”