United we stand

By Rex HoggardSeptember 10, 2011, 2:00 pm

Everyone remembers.

The college student whose simple world had just been complicated to the extreme, the young adult who was haunted by images of passenger planes turned into weapons of mass destruction and especially the businessman who has spent a decade trying to make sense of it all.

Whatever byproduct or baggage that was born from Sept. 11, 2001, the single certainty is that everyone remembers where they were when the world changed.

For Lucas Glover the events of 9/11 crashed into his idyllic college world just after a morning coaching education class during his senior year at Clemson. The future U.S. Open champion was in his room when a friend called.

“My best friend and I would go to lunch at 11:15 (a.m.), that was our deal. So I got back to the room and he called me and said, ‘Put on the TV.’ I had no idea. It was between the two impacts (at the World Trade Center),” Glover recalls.

Glover spent the next eight hours or so in Clemson’s fundraising offices watching the unexplainable. He went out and got everyone in the office lunch, then dinner, because there was nowhere else to go.

“We were amazed and in awe. I’ve said it 100 times, I could have gone and enlisted that day,” he says. “You hit every range of emotion in one day, maybe in an hour for some people.”

An ocean away Trevor Immelman had just sat down to have lunch in a London-area pub with his future wife, Carminita, when the aspiring young European Tour player was shaken by the news.

“It was a nice day and our server came up to us and was like, ‘Man, you won’t believe it … someone just flew into the World Trade Center,’” Immelman remembers.

But the South African didn’t watch the events unfold in horrific HD clarity like most of the world. Instead he gazed out of the window of his apartment and was fixated by a single thought.

“I had an apartment that was on the flight path to Heathrow (airport) and I watched those planes come in and wondered what was going through the people who were on those planes minds,” he says. “It must have been pretty scary for those people.”

For Rich Davies it would be the confluence of two similarly tragic events eight years apart that would set him on a unique path. The native South African learned of the attacks during a meeting in his Charlotte, N.C., offices, and while others spent the next few days shell-shocked and sullen, Davies marveled at how the attacks drew out the best in America.

It was a thought that returned to him eight years later when a close friend’s plane crashed on the way to New York City. That accident occurred on Sept. 11, 2009.

“The message to me was pay attention to that date,” Davies says.

From the second tragedy was born Golf 9/12. Davies, who moved his family from South Africa in 1982, had two objectives for the new organization: honor his lost friend and find a way to rekindle the unity that swept across Americana on Sept. 12, 2001.

“The day after, for me, it was special because the reasons my family came to America were never more evident than on 9/12,” says Davies, a North Carolina developer. “The entire nation displayed the kind of unity that is always under the surface but doesn’t always come out.”

On Monday players across the country will tee off in what is essentially a nationwide event linked by smart phones and powered by a unique scoring application. But the competition is secondary to what Davies and fellow co-founder Johan Immelman, Trevor’s father, hope to accomplish.

The plan, in bullet form, is to rekindle that post-9/11 patriotism one foursome at a time.

“The idea is not to just have a fun day but to remember and reflect on what you felt like on the day after,” Davies says.

Glover remembers Sept. 12 with almost the same clarity as he does 9/11.

“The unity and the passion our people had was impressive,” Glover says. “I don’t think another day or another incident will ever do that to our country again. Especially as divided as we are now.”

As does fellow Golf 9/12 ambassador Trevor Immelman, who can equate the national unity the organization is looking to reawaken to the post-apartheid days in South Africa when then-President Nelson Mandela used the national rugby team to mend a fractured country, a watershed moment that was the basis for the movie “Invictus.”

“(Mandela) always said, sport has the ability to unify a country and a group of people,” Immelman says. “We’re just trying to tap into some of that.”

It’s why Davies decided golf was the perfect medium. Golf courses across the country can be used to bring players together through camaraderie and competition and a universal scoring application was made available to participants through the organization’s website (golf912.org).

Funds raised from Monday’s event, each player makes a $12 donation, have been earmarked for four charities – the Armed Forces Fund, which provides financial assistance to military families; the 9/11, Pentagon and Flight 93 memorials; local first-responder organizations and what Davies calls a global initiative.

“We hope to provide funds to various international organizations on a grass-roots level that will help keep something like 9/11 from happening again,” he says.

But most of all Davies & Co. want Golf 9/12 participants to remember, not the shock and sadness of the initial attacks but the sense of unity and purpose that permeated the American psyche on Sept. 12, 2001.

“So many people had forgotten what we thought was important,” he says. “This is a chance to remind everyone of what we’re capable of doing.”

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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Ciganda is attempting to win her third LPGA title and first since the 2016 season, when she won two tournaments in a one-month span. Kim is chasing her eighth career LPGA win and second title of the 2018 season.

''I want to win because I didn't win last year,'' Ciganda said. ''I love playing in Asia. It's good for long hitters, playing quite long, so I'm quite comfortable.''

Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai

Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).

Yin and Altomare have yet to break through for their first LPGA win. A win in Shanghai would make either player the ninth first-time winner of the 2018 season, which would tie 2016 for the third highest number of first-time winners in a season in LPGA history.

''I love competing,'' Yin said. ''That's why I'm playing, right? I'm excited to be in contention again going into Sunday.''

Local favorite Yu Liu was seventh after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."

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Koepka has his chance 'to earn' his way to No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:09 am

There won't need to be any wonky math involved. He won't have to settle for finally reaching the the top via some kind of mathematical reset while he's sitting at home on the couch (or more likely working out in the gym).

No, Brooks Koepka on Sunday in South Korea will have a chance to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking the way every player would most want to - with a victory.

On the strength of a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 Saturday, Koepka will enter the final round of the CJ Cup four clear of Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, with six more players five behind.

The tournament is Koepka's to lose, and so too is the No. 1 ranking. So long as Justin Thomas doesn't somehow defend his title from 12 shots back, Koepka can supplant Dustin Johnson atop the rankings with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

"It was something I wanted to do. I always wanted to become World No. 1 in a week that I was playing," Koepka said Saturday. "I thought like I could really earn it and not have a week off where it just so happens that you bump up. No, it would be very special, and to do it here would be nice and hopefully get to world No. 1 and cap it off with a win, I don't think there would be much better."

It would be a fitting end to this breakthrough year for Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title and then added his third major victory at the PGA Championship en route to claiming the PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award. Oddly enough, considering his status a three-time major winner and an impending No. 1, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major; his only regular Tour win to date was his first, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"My confidence has always been pretty high," Koepka said. "Anytime you can win three majors you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. To do what I've done over the last two years has been special, but I'm looking to build on that."

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Koepka ahead by four, with No. 1 ranking in his grasp

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 5:48 am

Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Piercy (-9), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)

What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One off the lead to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Round of the day: After contending last week at the CIMB, Shubankhar Sharma rebounded from opening rounds of 74 and 75 with a nine-birdie, 8-under 64 to move up 45 spots into a tie for 26th through 54 holes.

Best of the rest: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.

Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.

Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.