For Korean women, Olympic pressure is stifling

By Randall MellApril 21, 2016, 11:15 pm

DALY CITY, Calif. – So Yeon Ryu knows what Olympic fever can do.

It seems as if every golf fan in her native South Korea is stricken with it.

She knows the brilliant 9-under-par 63 she shot Thursday to take the early lead at the Swinging Skirts Classic will lead folks back home to begin calculating what a victory Sunday could do for Ryu’s hopes of making the Korean Olympic team, and she dreads the feverish projections.

It’s like the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro have become the be all and end all of Korean golf.

“That just makes me crazy,” Ryu said.

Two months ago, Ryu was No. 8 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, which put her fourth in the Korean Olympic rankings, which gave her a grip on Korea’s final qualifying spot into the games, but the Korean rankings move from week to week like a maddening game of musical chairs.

Somebody’s always squeezing in and somebody’s always getting squeezed out.

How tight is the competition to make the Korean Olympic team? Ten of the top 20 players in the world rankings are Koreans. The teams won’t be finalized until July 11.

Ryu has watched a young, new cast of Koreans surge in the Olympic rankings, bumping her down to No. 11, which makes her sixth in the Korean rankings, two spots outside the qualifying standard. Inbee Park, Sei Young Kim, In Gee Chun, Ha Na Jang and Amy Yang rank ahead of Ryu.

Ryu is so weary of the Olympic obsession, she quit looking at the rankings.

“I just keep thinking about negative things when I think about the Olympics, so I really try not to think about it,” Ryu said.

Ryu is trying to keep her focus on what she can control, posting scores. First off Thursday on the back nine, Ryu posted a record score. Her 63 was a Swinging Skirts tournament course record at Lake Merced Golf Club, bettering the 65 Brooke Henderson shot in the second round last year. Thursday’s fast start left Ryu two shots ahead of Japan’s Haru Nomura and four ahead of China’s Xi Yu Lin and the Netherlands’ Christel Boeljon.

With Lake Merced’s firm fairways and greens, and its thick rough, players were expecting tough scoring conditions.

“I saw So Yeon’s score, and she was 7 under through 10,” said Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko, who opened with a 68 in her bid to win this event for the third consecutive year. “I said, `Wow, that course is easy, whatever course she’s playing.

“She’s really a consistent player. Obviously, everything was going right today. For her to shoot a score like that, that’s really impressive.”

After opening with a par, Ryu birdied seven of the next eight holes to turn in 29. She ended up hitting 11 of 14 fairways and all but one green in regulation.

Ryu, 25, burst onto the American scene in 2011, when she won the U.S. Women’s Open as a Korean LPGA Tour player. She’s seeking her fourth LPGA title, her first since winning the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August of 2014. She did win twice last year, once on the KLPGA Tour and once on the Ladies European Tour.

In a bid to improve her game this off season, Ryu hired a new coach, Cameron McCormick, Jordan Spieth’s coach. McCormick helped her overhaul her swing.

Yes, Ryu hopes her revamped swing can get her to the Olympics, but she won’t buy into the idea this season’s success rides solely on making the Olympics.

“The biggest thing is Korean media,” Ryu said. “If someone is going to make the Olympics, they're a great player. Then if somebody cannot make it, they're a really bad player.”

Na Yeon Choi, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open champion, knows what Ryu is feeling.

Choi opened with a 68 Thursday but wouldn’t allow herself to think about what a big week would mean to her Olympic hopes. Choi is 20th in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, which makes her the 10th-highest ranked Korean in the world.

“Honestly, I don’t think about it at all anymore,” Choi said. “I remember when I got to No. 2 in the world and was trying to get to No. 1, I remember I had so much stress. When I start worrying about results, it doesn’t help.”

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 9:00 am

Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson