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USC (Women), Vanderbilt (Men) Win Third Annual East Lake Cup

By Golf Channel Public RelationsNovember 2, 2017, 12:12 am

Trojans Rally to Overcome 2-0 Deficit in Championship Match to Win Title

Vanderbilt Defeats Two-Time Defending East Lake Cup Champions, Illinois

Arizona State (Women), Oklahoma (Men) Win Consolation Matches

ATLANTA, Nov. 1, 2017 – The University of Southern California (women) and Vanderbilt University (men) claimed the 2017 East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Wednesday, closing out their 2017 fall season schedule with a victory to carry momentum into next spring. The Trojans (No. 2 seed) defeated (No. 1) Stanford 3-2 in the championship match, while (No. 1) Vanderbilt defeated two-time defending East Lake Cup champion (No. 3) Illinois.

Despite Stanford jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the championship match, USC rallied to win the final three matches to claim the victory over its Pac-12 counterpart. Robynn Ree (junior) began the charge with a 1up victory over Stanford’s Shannon Aubert, and USC’s Muni He (sophomore) tied up the match, 2-2, with a 3&2 win over Stanford’s Andrea Lee. Divya Manthena (sophomore) – a walk-on – earned the championship-clinching point for the Trojans, taking down Stanford’s Madie Chou 4&2 to give USC its second victory at the East Lake Cup after winning the inaugural event in 2015.

“I knew we were really the underdogs coming in,” USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. “We stepped up at the right moment. I think this was truly a team effort over the past couple days. It means a lot to bring the cup home. It is special to be here. You know, all we can do is continue to shoot for the stars and try to come back again next year.”

In the men’s championship match, Vanderbilt’s Will Gordon (junior) punctuated his superb week with a 2&1 victory in the opening match to get the Commodores on the board. Harrison Ott (freshman) won his match 1up, which allowed sophomore John Augenstein to earn the clinching point with a 4&3 victory over Illinois’ Giovanni Tadiotto.

“This was a thrilling week for our program,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We had a lot of people who got to watch us on national television, and that is what you dream of. We talked about just finishing the fall out the right way. It’s always fun if you finish on a positive note and take some good energy into the offseason.”

CHAMPIONSHIP:

Women’s: (2) Southern California def. (1) Stanford, 3-2

Men’s: (1) Vanderbilt def. (3) Illinois, 4-1

Stanford (1)                            vs.                   Southern California (2)

Albane Valenzuela (4&2)                             Alyaa Abdulghany

Shannon Aubert                                              Robynn Ree (1up)

Ziyi Wang (5&4)                                            Allisen Corpuz

Andrea Lee                                                     Muni He (3&2)

Madie Chou                                                    Divya Manthena (4&2)

 

Vanderbilt
(1)                        vs.                    Illinois (3)

Will Gordon (2&1)                                        Michael Feagles

Harrison Ott (1up)                                        Brendan O’Reilly

Patrick Martin                         Halved            Nick Hardy

John Augenstein (4&3)                                 Giovanni Tadiotto

Theo Humphrey                      Halved            Dylan Meyer              

In the men’s consolation match, Oklahoma took down Oregon in a repeat of the NCAA Championship finals earlier this year. The Sooners took four of the five matches, with convincing victories from its pair of juniors, Blane Hale (6&5) and Brad Dalke (5&4).

“I’m proud of all our guys,” Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl said. “You know, it’s not just this fall… This has been a phenomenal year. They will continue to grow and develop. Hopefully we can get after it in the spring.”

 On the women’s side, Arizona State earned two outright victories from Olivia Mehaffey (sophomore) and Sophia Zeeb (senior) in the first two matches out to earn two of the necessary three points to win the overall match. Roberta Liti (senior) and Linnea Strom (junior) both halved their respective matches to earn a half point each to get the Sun Devils to the necessary three point total to outlast Northwestern.

“It didn’t matter what we were playing for,” Arizona State head coach Missy Farr-Kaye said. “We were going to go out there and play really hard. This is the last day of [our fall season]. We are trying to stave off being a little tired and a little bit burnt out. [We wanted to] give it everything we’ve got and go out on a really good note to end our fall season.”

CONSOLATION:

Women’s: (4) Arizona State def. (3) Northwestern, 3-2

Men’s: (2) Oklahoma def. (4) Oregon, 4-1

 

Northwestern (3)                   vs.                   Arizona State (4)

Stephanie Lau                                                 Olivia Mehaffey (3&2)

Sarah Cho                                                       Sophia Zeeb (1up)

Janet Mao                                Halved            Roberta Liti

Hannah Kim (3&1)                                       Madison Kerley

Brooke Riley                           Halved            Linnea Strom

 

Oklahoma (2)                        vs.                    Oregon (4)

Garett Reband (2&1)                                    Ryan Gronlund

Riley Casey (3&2)                                         Edwin Yi

Blaine Hale (6&5)                                          Norman Xiong

Brad Dalke (5&4)                                          Donald Kay

Grant Hirschman                                          Thomas Mulligan (5&4)                  

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.

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Gooch chooses 'life over a good lie' with gators nearby

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:31 pm

AVONDALE, La. – A fairway bunker wasn’t Talor Gooch’s only hazard on the 18th hole at TPC Louisiana.

Gooch’s ball came to rest Thursday within a few feet of three gators, leading to a lengthy delay as he sorted out his options.

Chesson Hadley used a rake to nudge two of the gators on the tail, sending them back into the pond surrounding the green. But the third gator wouldn’t budge.

“It woke him up from a nap,” Gooch said, “and he was hissing away and wasn’t happy.”

The other two gators remained in the water, their eyes fixed on the group.


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“I’m sure we would have been fine, but any little movement by them and no chance I would have made solid contact,” he said.

A rules official granted Gooch free relief, away from the gator, but he still had to drop in the bunker. The ball plugged.

“I chose life over a good lie in that situation,” he said.

He splashed out short of the green, nearly holed out his pitch shot and made par to cap off an eventful 6-under 66 with partner Andrew Landry.

“It was my first gator par,” he said. “I’ll take it.”

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Koepka's game 'where it should be' even after injury

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:18 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Brooks Koepka didn’t look rusty Thursday while making six birdies in the first round of the Zurich Classic.

Making his first start in four months because of a torn ligament in his left wrist, Koepka and partner Marc Turnesa shot a 5-under 67 in fourballs at TPC Louisiana.

“It felt good,” Koepka said afterward. “It was just nice to be out here. I played pretty solid.”


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The reigning U.S. Open champion felt soreness in his wrist the week after he won the Dunlop Phoenix in the fall. He finished last at the Hero World Challenge in December and then the following month at the Tournament of Champions before shutting it down.

He only began practicing last week and decided to commit to the Zurich Classic after three solid days at Medalist. He decided to partner with one of his friends in South Florida, Marc Turnesa, a former PGA Tour winner who now works in real estate.

Koepka hasn’t lost any distance because of the injury – he nearly drove the green on the 355-yard 16th hole. He’s planning to play the next two weeks, at the Wells Fargo Championship and The Players.

“I feel like I’m playing good enough to be right where I should be in April,” he said. “I feel good, man. There’s nothing really wrong with my game right now.”

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Like a tattoo: Ko shares early Mediheal lead

By Randall MellApril 26, 2018, 10:45 pm

Lydia Ko put herself in early position Thursday to try to extend her birthday celebration through Sunday at the LPGA Mediheal Championship.

Ko, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is off to a strong start at Lake Merced Golf Club, where she has a lot of good memories to draw upon as she seeks to regain the winning form that made her the greatest teen phenom in the history of the women’s game.

With a 4-under-par 68, Ko moved into a four-way tie for the lead among the morning wave in the first round. I.K. Kim, Jessica Korda and Caroline Hedwall also opened with 68s.

All Ko has to do is look at her right wrist to feel good about returning to San Francisco. That’s where she tattooed the date April 27, 2014, in Roman numerals. That’s how she commemorated her Swinging Skirts victory at Lake Merced, her first title as an LPGA member. She won there again the following year.

“This is a golf course where I've played well,” Ko said. “The fans have been amazing. They’ve been super supportive every single time I've come here, even since I played the U.S. Juniors here.”


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


Ko made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Lake Merced in 2012.

“It just brings back a lot of great memories,” she said.

Ko got this week off to a good start with friends from South Korea and New Zealand flying to California to surprise her on her birthday. She was born in South Korea and grew up in New Zealand.

“Turning 21 is a huge thing in the United States,” Ko cracked. “I’m legal now, and I can do some fun things.”

Ko is looking to claim her 15th LPGA title and end a 21-month winless spell. Her ball striking was sharp Thursday, as she continues to work on improvements under her swing coach, Ted Oh. She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

“My ball striking's been getting better these last few weeks, which has been really nice,” Ko said at week’s start. “But then I've been struggling with putting, which was the aspect of the game that was going really well. I feel like the pieces are there, and just, sometimes, the hardest thing is to kind of put all those pieces together. Just have to stay patient, I know there are a lot of good things happening.”

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Watch: Rose drops trou despite gator danger

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 26, 2018, 10:12 pm

We all know how fashion-conscious pro golfers are, and sometimes that even trumps modesty.

Take Justin Rose, whose tee shot on the par-3 third hole in Thursday's opening round of the Zurich Classic found the water. But the ball was close enough to shore for Rose to try to play it. Not wanting to get his light-colored pants dirty - what is up with all the white pants on Tour these days, anyway? - he took them off to play the shot.

If there were any gators in the water hazard - and this being Louisiana, there almost certainly were - they showed no interest in the Englishman.

It was only appropriate that Rose should strip down for a shot, as his partner, Henrik Stenson, famously did the same thing (to an even greater degree) at Doral in 2009.

Finally, just to provide some closure, Rose failed to get up and down.