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Stanford, USC (Women) & Vanderbilt, Illinois (Men) Advance to Championship Matches at East Lake Cup; Each Avenge Semifinal Loss at NCAAs

By Golf Channel Public RelationsNovember 1, 2017, 12:26 am

All Four Semifinal Matches Featured Rematch from NCAAs Earlier This Year, and All Four Saw Team that Lost at NCAAs Earn Revenge with Victory Today

 Wednesday’s Championship Matches (Live, 3-6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel): Stanford vs. USC (Women’s); Vanderbilt vs. Illinois (Men’s)

 Consolation Matches: Northwestern vs. Arizona State; Oklahoma vs. Oregon

 

ATLANTA, Oct. 31, 2017 – Revenge was the unanimous theme on Tuesday at the 2017 East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, as all four teams that collectively fell in the men’s and women’s semifinals at the NCAA Championships earlier this year avenged those losses by taking down the very team responsible for ending their national championship hopes. Stanford and USC (women), along with Vanderbilt and Illinois (men) each will advance to tomorrow’s championship match for an opportunity to close out their fall season on a high note. 

WOMEN: (1) Stanford def. (4) Arizona State, 3-2; (2) USC def. (3) Northwestern, 4-1

MEN: (1) Vanderbilt def. (4) Oregon, 4-1; (3) Illinois def. (2) Oklahoma, 3-2

WOMEN’S SEMFINALS

The USC Trojans won its first three matches against Northwestern to clinch a spot in Wednesday’s championship match, with Alyaa Abdulghany (freshman), Robynn Ree (junior) and Allisen Corpuz (sophomore) each winning their match by a 3&2 result. Divya Manthena (sophomore) also won her match (2&1) to earn a fourth point for the 2015 East Lake Cup champions.

“I was definitely happy to see the girls come out [today],” said USC head coach, Andrea Gaston. “They felt a little flat yesterday, and didn’t feel like they played their best. Golf in general, it’s always the ‘what I missed, what I didn’t do well.’ We just said, ‘focus on what you did do well.’ There was a chance to learn a lot about this golf course, go out [today], take that information and use it to our advantage.”

Stanford overcame an 8&7 loss in its first match of the day at the hands of Arizona State’s Olivia Mehaffey thanks to victorious efforts from Shannon Aubert (senior), Albane Valenzuela (sophomore) and Ziyi Wang (sophomore) to defeat the Sun Devils 3-2. Competing in the East Lake Cup for the third consecutive year, the Cardinal on Wednesday will be looking to win the event for the first time.

“It stung a lot in May, so to come out and get a little revenge was good,” Stanford head coach Anne Walker told Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill during the live telecast. “We haven’t faced USC for a long time. I think we’ll just reassess what we did well today. If we can do that tomorrow, I’ll be really happy win or lose.”

 MEN’S SEMIFINALS

Despite Norman Xiong’s (sophomore, Oregon) emphatic 6&4 victory over freshman Harrison Ott, the Vanderbilt Commodores swept the remaining matches to defeat the Ducks 4-1. Will Gordon – Day 1 individual stroke play champion at the East Lake Cup on Monday – led the way with a 4&3 victory in Tuesday’s opening match, while Patrick Martin (junior), John Augenstein (sophomore) and Theo Humphrey (senior) propelled Vanderbilt to Wednesday’s championship match courtesy of victories in each of their respective semifinal matches.

“It certainly feels good,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh told Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe during the live telecast. “We respect Oregon and Coach Martin. Our guys were focused today. I just kind of challenged them last night. I didn’t think I needed to give some huge pep talk. We respect that team because we’ve been in a lot of battles with them. And we knew our best was going to be required.”

On the other side of the bracket, the Illinois Fighting Illini fended off Oklahoma, winning 3-2 to advance to the championship match for the third consecutive year at the East Lake Cup. The two-time champions of the event leaned on its senior tandem of Dylan Meyer – who won the team’s first match of the day – and Nick Hardy, who avenged his loss to Oklahoma’s Grant Hirschman earlier this year at the NCAA Championship. Michael Feagles (sophomore) clinched Illinois’ semifinal victory with the deciding point, beating Brad Dalke 2&1.

“Oklahoma is a great team, we all know that,” Illinois head coach Mike Small told Golf Channel’s Steve Burkowski on Tuesday night. “And Vanderbilt is just as strong or stronger, so we’ve got a big day tomorrow.”

WEDNESDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP & CONSOLATION MATCHES SCHEDULE:

Women’s Championship Match: (1) Stanford vs. (2) USC

Men’s Championship Match: (1) Vanderbilt vs. (3) Illinois

Women’s Consolation Match: (3) Northwestern vs. (4) Arizona State

Men’s Consolation Match: (2) Oklahoma vs. (4) Oregon

Golf Channel’s live coverage of Wednesday’s championship and consolation matches will air from 3-6 p.m. ET. Golf Central Pre-Game (2-3 p.m. ET) will preview each match and provide updates on matches already in progress.

SEMIFINAL RESULTS:

Women’s Division

(1) Stanford def. (4) Arizona State, 3-2

(2) USC def. (3) Northwestern, 4-1

Stanford (1)                            vs.                               Arizona State (4)

Madie Chou                                                                Olivia Mehaffey (8&7)

Shannon Aubert (1up)                                              Sophia Zeeb

Andrea Lee                                                                 Linnea Strom (1up)

Albane Valenzuela (1up)                                          Roberta Liti

Ziyi Wang (4&3)                                                        Madison Kerley

 

USC (2)                                    vs.                              Northwestern (3)

Alyaa Abdulghany (3&2)                                         Sarah Cho

Robynn Ree (3&2)                                                    Stephanie Lau

Allisen Corpuz (3&2)                                                Brooke Riley

Muni He                                                                      Hannah Kim (3&2)

Divya Manthena (2&1)                                             Janet Mao                   

Men’s Division

(1) Vanderbilt def. (4) Oregon, 4-1

(3) Illinois def. (2) Oklahoma, 3-2

Vanderbilt (1)                         vs.                               Oregon (4)

Will Gordon (4&3)                                                    Edwin Yi

Patrick Martin (2&1)                                                Ryan Gronlund

Harrison Ott                                                             Norman Xiong (6&4)

John Augenstein (1up)                                             Donald Kay

Theo Humphrey (3&2)                                             Thomas Mulligan

 

Oklahoma (2)                          vs.                              Illinois (3)

Blaine Hale                                                                 Dylan Meyer (3&2)

Garett Reband (3&2)                                                Giovanni Tadiotto

Riley Casey (1up)                                                      Brendan O’Reilly

Grant Hirschman                                                         Nick Hardy (6&4)

Brad Dalke                                                                  Michael Feagles (2&1)

Presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the East Lake Cup Collegiate Match Play Championship is a three-day competition that features the eight semifinalists – including reigning NCAA national champion Oklahoma (men) and Arizona State (women) – reconvening at historic East Lake Golf Club.

For more information about the East Lake Cup, please visit the tournament website www.golfchannel.com/eastlakecup. Stay connected with the championship using the hashtag #EastLakeCup.

USGA/Chris Keane

Even with broken driver, Salinda beats Hagestad at U.S. Am

By Ryan LavnerAugust 17, 2018, 2:52 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – With a trip to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals on the line, and with the Pacific Ocean staring him in the face, Isaiah Salinda piped a 330-yard drive down Pebble Beach’s 18th hole.

Not a bad poke with a replacement driver.

Salinda’s Round of 16 match against Stewart Hagestad got off to a rocky start Thursday afternoon with an awkward tee shot on the second hole.

“The ball came out weird, with no spin,” said Salinda’s caddie and former Stanford teammate, Bradley Knox. “He said, ‘Yeah, that felt weird.’”

Salinda looked at the bottom of his Callaway Epic driver and noticed a crack.

Worried that they'd have to play the rest of the round with only a 3-wood, Knox called a Callaway equipment rep, told him the issue, and was relieved to hear he'd meet them at the back of the third tee. Salinda teed off the next hole with a 3-wood – he’d taken driver there all week – and wound up in a tricky spot, on the side of a mound, leading to a bogey.

“Then they came over and cranked the driver,” Knox said. “It was like a NASCAR pit crew.”

The replacement driver was nearly identical – same head, same loft, same weighting – except for the lie angle. The new one was a degree flatter than his gamer, which led to a few more pulled shots than usual.

“It took a little while to recover the mindset that we’d had the rest of the week,” Knox said.


Match scoring from U.S. Amateur

U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


Salinda downplayed the equipment malfunction – “I just had to adjust, and it wasn’t really a problem” – but he didn’t play well early. After trailing for just one hole during his first two matches, he was 4 over par and 2 down through 10 holes against Hagestad, the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion who’d finally made match play after eight previous failed attempts.

On 11, Salinda finally got going, stuffing a wedge shot to 10 feet and recording his first birdie. He followed with three clutch pars before another good approach on 15, leading to a conceded birdie to square the match.

On the home hole, Salinda bombed his drive about 30 yards past Hagestad and had 220 yards to the flag. It was a perfect 4-iron distance, and he sent a rocket into a blinding sunset.

“I never saw it,” Salinda said. “I told my caddie: ‘Where is that? I have no idea.’ But it felt good.”

A lone voice shrieked as the ball landed on the green. They knew the shot had to be tight. Years ago, Stanford senior Chris Meyers had made an albatross on 18 for a walkoff victory with Lee Janzen at the PGA Tour Champions’ First Tee Open. Knox thought they’d come close to duplicating the feat.

“Probably almost had a Chris Meyers,” Knox said, chuckling, as they walked up the fairway.

The shot never had a chance to drop – turns out the spectator was well-lubricated – but it still was only 35 feet away, for eagle. Salinda cozied his putt to a few feet and could only watch as Hagestad’s last-ditch 25-footer stopped a rotation short of the cup.

The Round of 16 victory continued a breakout summer for Salinda. His 15th-place showing at the NCAA Championship kick-started a three-month stretch in which he’s finally taken his game to the next level.

“He’s shown flashes of brilliance before,” Knox said, “and he’s had the game. But now he has the consistency and the confidence that it’ll come back time and time again.”

Salinda shot 62 in the third round and won the Pacific Coast Amateur, which boasts one of the strongest fields of the summer. Then he finished third in stroke play at the Western Amateur before a quarterfinal loss in match play.

Now he’s one step closer to his biggest victory yet – even with a backup driver.

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Salas (62) leads LPGA's Indy Women in Tech

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 12:50 am

INDIANAPOLIS - Lizette Salas' waited 77 minutes to line up her 4-foot putt to take the lead Thursday at the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

She refused to let the weather delay get to her.

When the 29-year-old California player returned to the course, she quickly rolled in the birdie putt, finished her round with another birdie at No. 18 and took a two-shot lead over Angel Yin and Nasa Hataoka with a course record-tying 10-under 62.

''I didn't even think about it the entire time,'' Salas said. ''I was hanging out with Danielle (Kang) and she was giving me her silly dad jokes. So it definitely kept my mind off of it. I was really excited to be back and to finish off with a birdie, from off the green, was the icing on the cake.''

It's the lowest score by a female player at the Brickyard Crossing.

Defending champion Lexi Thompson opened last year's inaugural tournament with a 63, one shot off of Mike McCullough's 62 in the PGA Champions Tour's 1999 Comfort Classic.

But the way the saturated 6,456-yard course played Thursday, Salas needed virtually every putt of her career-best round to reach the top of the leaderboard.

The morning starters took advantage of overnight rain by shooting right at the pins.

And nobody made a bigger early splash than Yin, the 19-year-old Californian who finished second in last year's rookie of the year race.

She opened with five straight birdies and shot 8-under 28 on the front nine. Only a par on No. 6 prevented her from becoming the sixth LPGA player to shoot 27 on nine holes. South Korea's Mi Hyang Lee did it most recently at the 2016 JTBC Founders Cup.

Yin also tied the third-lowest nine-hole score in relation to par in tour history.

Her only bobble came with a bogey on No. 13 and she closed out her best career round with a birdie on No. 18.


Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship


''I have never done that before,'' she said. ''I had nine putts, I think, on the front nine, which is incredible. I've never had that many little putts. But it just felt good. Everything was working.''

Last year's runner-up for rookie of the year has never won an LPGA Tour title in her home country though she did win in a playoff at Dubai on the Ladies European Tour.

Everybody seemed to find their groove Thursday.

Eighty-eight of the 143 players shot under par and 54 were 3-under or better.

And with more rain in the forecast Thursday night and Friday, the scores could go even lower as a star-studded cast chases down Salas, Yin and Hataoka.

Four players, including Kang and Jane Park, are three shots behind.

Seven players, including last year's tournament runner-up Lydia Ko, are four shots back. Ko was tied with Yin for the lead - until she knocked her tee shot on the par-4, 16th into the water. She wound up with a double bogey and birdied the final hole to finish with 66.

After taking a monthlong break to recover from physical and mental exhaustion, Thompson looked relaxed and comfortable in her return to the course. She shot 68.

''It was hard for me to take the break because I didn't want to show weakness,'' she said. ''But at the same time, it takes a lot of strength to acknowledge that you need that kind of break and just take time for yourself, especially when you're in the spotlight like this.''

Salas, meanwhile, started fast with an eagle on the par-5 second and finished with a flurry.

She birdied three straight holes on the front side to get to 5-under, added birdies at Nos. 12 and 14 to get to 7-under and then birdied the final three holes - around the approaching storm - to put herself in contention for her first title since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

''I have been just striking the ball really well this entire year, and just glad some more putts dropped today,'' she said. ''I was really refreshed. I didn't practice at all last week, and I was just really eager and excited to be back.''

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Sordet opens with 62 to grab lead at Nordea Masters

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2018, 11:23 pm

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Clement Sordet opened with four straight birdies to shoot 8-under 62 and take the first-round lead of the Nordea Masters on Thursday.

Sordet says ''I wasn't really focusing on the score, I was just enjoying it.''

The Frenchman, who shot his lowest European Tour round, has a two-stroke lead over Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Lee Slattery of England.

Hunter Stewart is the highest-placed American after a 5-under 65 left him on a four-way tie for fourth with Christofer Blomstrand, Tapio Pulkkanen and Richard Green.

Defending champion Renato Paratore's hopes of becoming the first player to successfully retain the title look in doubt after the Italian shot 9-over 79 at Hills Golf Club.

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Peterson confirms plans to play Web.com Finals

By Will GrayAugust 16, 2018, 9:17 pm

After flirting with retirement for much of the summer, John Peterson confirmed that he will give it one more shot in the upcoming Web.com Tour Finals.

Peterson, 29, had planned to walk away from the game and begin a career in real estate in his native Texas if he failed to secure PGA Tour status before his medical extension expired. His T-13 finish last month at The Greenbrier appeared to be enough to net the former NCAA champ at least conditional status, but a closer look at the numbers revealed he missed out by 0.58 points in his last available start.


Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

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But Peterson was buoyed by the support he received from his peers at The Greenbrier, and when he got into the Barbasol Championship as a late alternate he decided to make the trip to the tournament. He tied for 21st that week in Kentucky, clinching enough non-member FedExCup points to grant him a spot in the four-event Finals.

Last month Peterson hinted that he would consider playing in the Finals, where 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season will be up for grabs, and Thursday he confirmed in an Instagram post that he will give his pro career "one last push."

The Finals kick off next week in Ohio with the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and will conclude Sept. 20-23 with the Web.com Tour Championship. Peterson will be looking to rekindle his results from 2013, when he finished T-5 or better at each of the four Finals events while earning fully-exempt status as the top money earner.