LPGA releases 25-tournament 2011 schedule

By Randall MellJanuary 7, 2011, 2:10 am
LPGA Tour _newThe LPGA will play 25 official money events in 2011, one more than in 2010, according to the schedule released Thursday.

There’s a catch, however.

Though there will be one more “official money” tournament, the new RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup is planned as a special charity event with a unique purse concept. Players won’t actually collect any money from the purse. Instead, all “money winnings” will be passed along to the LPGA Foundation to help fund the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program.

The Founders Cup is designed to honor the pioneering players who started the LPGA. It’s also designed to benefit the LPGA Foundation. Any “money” won by LPGA players will count as “official” in player stats. They’ll also collect Rolex world rankings and Hall of Fame points.

The LPGA Founders Cup is scheduled March 18-20 in Phoenix as the opening event of the U.S. start to the tour schedule. It’s planned as a 54-hole event with a 132-player field at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort.

“I always tell players on tour you have to leave golf better than you found it, and now we’ve created a tournament to do just that,” Whan told Golf Channel when releasing the new schedule. “I went to the players at Springfield (Ill.) at the State Farm Classic and said 'I have a challenge for you. I always tell you we’ve got to leave the game better than we found it. How about one week a year we really play like founders and play for the love of the game? We televise it on the Golf Channel, we have a title sponsor, and everything counts. Rolex rankings count. There’s a mock purse. Every award we have at the end of the season is going on. The only thing different is no one’s getting paid. The only ones getting paid are young girls through the LPGA-USGA Girls’ Golf program.''

Whan said listening to Louise Suggs and other LPGA founders inspired the idea.

“In 2011, it will double the size of this foundation,' Whan said. 'In ’12 and ’13, it will triple and quadruple. Now we have a tournament that does more just celebrate the best players in the world. It creates the future for the next generation.”

If you’re counting official money events that pay LPGA players, it’s a 24-tournament schedule, same as last season.

The 2011 schedule will feature 13 events in the United States, counting the LPGA Founders Cup. That’s one less domestic event than the LPGA played in 2010. As expected, the CVS/pharmacy is gone from the schedule, as is the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, which is taking a one-year’s hiatus. Also, as expected, there are two new international events, the LPGA Imperial Springs event in China and the LPGA Taiwan Championship.

Notably, the schedule also features a new ending, the inaugural Titleholders on Nov. 17-20, replacing the LPGA Tour Championship. The site of the new event was not on the schedule but Whan told Golf Channel that it will be at Grand Cypress in Orlando. The tournament will feature a field filled through a season-long qualifying format. Three qualifiers from every LPGA event will advance to the Titleholders.

Feb. 17-20: Honda LPGA Thailand $1,500,000 Chonburi, Thailand, Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course

Feb. 24-27
: HSBC Women’s Champions $1,400,000 Singapore, Tanah Merah Country Club, Garden Course

March 18-20: RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup Phoenix, Ariz., Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

March 24-27: Kia Classic $1,700,000 City of Industry, Calif., Pacific Palms Resort

March 31-April 3: Kraft Nabisco Championship $2,000,000 Rancho Mirage, Calif., Mission Hills Country Club, Dinah Shore Tournament Course

April 21-24: Tres Marias Championship $1,300,000 Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, Tres Marias Golf Club

April 28-May 1: Avnet LPGA Classic $1,300,000 Mobile, Ala., RTJ Golf Trail, Magnolia Grove, The Crossings

May 19-22: Sybase Match Play Championship $1,500,000 Gladstone, N.J., Hamilton Farm Golf Club

May 28-29: HSBC Brazil Cup $720,000* Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Itanhanga Golf Club

June 3-5: ShopRite LPGA Classic $1,500,000 Galloway, N.J., A Dolce Resort, Bay Course

June 9-12: LPGA State Farm Classic $1,700,000 Springfield, Ill., Panther Creek Country Club

June 23-26: Wegmans LPGA Championship $2,500,000 Pittsford, N.Y., Locust Hill Country Club

July 7-10: U.S. Women’s Open $3,250,000 Colorado Springs, Colo., The Broadmoor, East Course

July 21-24: Evian Masters Presented by Société Générale $3,250,000 Evian-les-Bains, France, Evian Masters Golf Club

July 28-31: Ricoh Women’s British Open $2,500,000 Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland Carnoustie Golf Links

Aug. 4-7: Imperial Springs LPGA $2,000,000 Guangzhou, Guangdong, China Imperial Springs Golf Club

Aug. 19-21: Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola $1,500,000 North Plains, Ore., Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Ghost Creek Golf Course

Aug. 25-28: CN Canadian Women’s Open $2,250,000 Mirabel, Quebec, Canada Hillsdale Golf and Country Club

Sept. 9-11: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G $2,000,000 Rogers, Ark., Pinnacle Country Club

Sept. 15-18: Navistar LPGA Classic $1,300,000 Prattville, Ala., RTJ Golf Trail, Capitol Hill, The Senator

Sept. 23-25: The Solheim Cup Dunsany, Ireland Killeen Castle

Oct. 6-9: LPGA Hana Bank Championship $1,800,000 Incheon, South Korea SKY 72 Golf Club, Ocean Course

Oct. 14-16: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia $1,800,000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club

Oct. 20-23: LPGA Taiwan Championship $2,000,000 Yang Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan Sunrise Golf & Country Club

Nov. 4-6: Mizuno Classic $1,200,000 Shima-shi, Mie, Japan Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club

Nov. 10-13: Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Corona Light $1,100,000 Guadalajara, Mexico Guadalajara Country Club

Nov. 17-20: Titleholders $1,500,000 Orlando, Fla., Grand Cypress Golf Club

Dec. 9:   Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge $1,000,000* Henderson, Nev., Rio Secco Golf Club

*Unofficial money
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Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Web.com Tour.

''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

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Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

“I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

“Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

“I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

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Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

“I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

“I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.

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Hahn: 'My fault for not expecting the worst from fans'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 24, 2018, 8:35 pm

Fan behavior has made headlines all year long on the PGA Tour, and the topic of conversation doesn't look like it’s going away anytime soon.

The latest example came on Friday at the WGC-Dell Technologies March Play, when James Hahn took to Twitter to complain that a fan deliberately yelled in his backswing on the 15th hole during his match with Jason Dufner, which he lost 3 and 2.

“Whether we like it or not, this is where the game is going,” he tweeted. “My fault for not expecting the worst from fans. Just sucks to lose a match that way.”

The two-time PGA Tour winner followed up his original tweet, clarifying that he can expect bad behavior from all golf fans while still loving and respecting them.

He also pointed out a major difference in comparing golf to other sports, saying some PGA Tour players go to far greater lengths than the typical NFL star to engage with fans on a daily basis.

The incident comes on the heels of several recent player run-ins with fans, including Justin Thomas at the Honda Classic, Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Sergio Garcia earlier this week at Austin Country Club.

On Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that inappropriate fan behavior related to alcohol sales is something his staff is monitoring.