Asia Out to Early Lead in the Lexus Cup
'I thought we had some great pairings. Everyone was excited to be here and play here. It just didn't turn out,' said Sorenstam, the International captain. 'We will play better, leave this day behind. We have two more days and 24 more points. I think that's a positive, and we'll focus on that, and put today in the past.'
The teams will play six best-ball matches Saturday at The Vines and the competition will end Sunday with 12 singles matches. In the first events at Tanah Merah in Singapore, the International team won 16-8 in 2005 and Asia won 12 1/2 -11 1/2 in 2006.
'I didn't say anything much,' Asia captain Se Ri Pak said. 'I just tell them to go out and do their best. That's about all we can do about that. Team International is really tough competitors, it's not easy to just go out and play against them. We'll go out there today, do a little work, and come back ready for tomorrow.'
Amy Hung and Ji Yai Shin beat Brittany Lincicome and Maria Hjorth 4 and 2 in the most-lopsided match of the day, while Jee Young Lee and Seon Hwa Lee topped Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis 3 and 2.
'It hurts! It stings! It definitely stings for us,' Gulbis said. 'We felt like the girls went out there and really gave it their best work, so I think we'll think a little about what happened out and come out there tomorrow and show what we've got.'
Pak teamed with In-Kyung Kim to beat Morgan Pressel and Stacy Prammanasudh 2 and 1. Pak is playing with a shoulder injury.
'Actually, it was a little painful,' Pak said. 'I thought it was doing great and stuff in the morning, and on 15, I actually felt that something was going on. Overall, I mean, the results today make it feel a little better.'
In the other matches, Jeong Jang and Shi Hyun Ahn beat Angela Park and Nikki Campbell -- the lone Australian in the International lineup -- 2 and 1, and Sarah Lee and Meena Lee edged Cristie Kerr and Nicole Castrale 1-up.
Kung improved her Lexus Cup record to 5-1-1, tying Sorenstam -- also 5-1-1 -- as the career points leader with 5 1/2 .
'It just happened that we were able to save each other,' Kung said. 'If she hit a bad shot, I played a good one and back and forth. We got a little bit lucky to beat them 3 and 2, but we just went out there and had fun.
Sorenstam was asked if the flies broke her concentration.
'The flies did not bother me. I don't think they bothered the rest of the team,' she said. 'We've been out there a few days this week, so we shouldn't be bothered by them. I'll blame today on the flies.'
Sorenstam also was asked about the numerous birds and kangaroos on the course.
'Yes, we're enjoying the wildlife,' Sorenstam said. 'If tomorrow goes wrong, I'll blame it on the birds.'
Seon Hwa Lee, the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship winner, improved to 4-0-0 in Lexus Cup play.
'I really enjoyed last year and I think I just really like match play and the team play,' the South Korean player said.
Both captains are sticking with the same pairings for the best-best session.
'It's not broken,' Pak said. 'We'll come out and try for the same results again tomorrow.'
Watch: Dechambeau simulates dew on East Lake range
Bryson DeChambeau has certainly lived up to his nickname of "Mad Scientist" since joining the PGA Tour, using his eccentric style to win four events, including the first two tournaments of this year's FedExCup Playoffs.
And he's staying on brand at the season-ending Tour Championship, where he enters as the favorite to capture the FedExCup title.
The 24-year-old was spotted on the East Lake range Tuesday, preparing for potential morning dew on the golf ball this week - by having a member of his team spray each golf ball between practice shots:
Simulating moisture on the ball.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 18, 2018
Bryson being Bryson. pic.twitter.com/uXNadkxTOP
Bryson is using two launch monitors. Hitting brand-new balls straight out of the box. Someone scrubs his clubface before every shot, then spritzes the ball with water to simulate morning dew.— Sean Martin (@PGATOURSMartin) September 18, 2018
While this type of preparation might come off as a little excessive to the average golfer, it's rather mild for DeChambeau, considering that in the last two weeks alone he has discussed undergoing muscle activation tests and measuring his brain waves.
DeChambeau goes off with Justin Rose on Thursday at 2 p.m. He could finish as low as T-29 and still have a mathematical chance of winning the season-long FedExCup.
Fewer goals but more consistency for Thomas in 2018
ATLANTA – After winning last year’s FedExCup, Justin Thomas was asked about his goals for the season and he quickly went to his phone.
A list of 13 “goals” had been typed in, a rundown that ranged from qualifying for the Tour Championship to finishing in the top 10 in half of the circuit’s statistical categories. Nearly every goal had a “Y” next to it to denote he’d accomplished what he wanted.
Thomas was asked on Tuesday at East Lake how his goals are shaping up this season.
“I haven't looked in a while. I really haven't. I'm sure if I had to guess, I'm probably around 50 to 60, 70 percent [have been completed],” he said. “I definitely haven't achieved near as many as I did the previous year. But we still have one week left to knock a big goal off.”
Thomas pointed out that although he didn’t add to his major total this season or win as many times as he did last year, he still feels like he’s been more consistent this year.
He has more top-25 finishes (19) than he did last year (14), missed fewer cuts (two compared to six last season) and has improved in nearly every major statistical category.
“It's been a really consistent year, and I take a lot of pride in that,” Thomas said. “That's a big goal of mine is to improve every year and get better every year, so if I can continue in this direction, I feel like I can do some pretty great things the rest of my career.”
Woods' probation for reckless driving ends one month early
Tiger Woods' year-long probation stemming from last year's DUI arrest has been terminated a month early.
According to Sam Smink of WPTV, Woods, 42, was let off probation early for successfully completing all regular and special conditions of his probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving and entering a diversion program last October.
Under the conditions of the program, Woods was required to pay a $250 fine and court costs, attend a DUI school and undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program. He was also subject to random drug and alcohol testing under the program.
#UPDATE: The PBC State Attorney ends #TigerWoods' probation one month early, as of 9/12. Woods was in the first time DUI offender program. While in the program, Woods had random drug/alcohol testing and was not able to consume alcohol. @wptv #wptv https://t.co/bkt3jC3Pfe pic.twitter.com/XASPJFVQtx— Sam Smink (@samsminkWPTV) September 18, 2018
The 14-time major champ was arrested on charges of DUI in May of 2017 after he was found unconscious behind the wheel of his parked Mercedes-Benz in Jupiter, Fla.
Although tests showed Woods was not under the influence of alcohol at the time, he admitted to taking several pain and sleep medications to cope with his fourth back surgery which was performed in April.
Since his arrest, Woods has returned to competition, rising to 21st in the Official World Golf Ranking after a pain-free campaign in 2018.
Players wrapping their heads around FedEx changes
ATLANTA – Even players who have known the details of the PGA Tour’s plan to dramatically change the way it crowns a FedExCup champion were still digesting the details on Tuesday at the Tour Championship.
“I think it’s maybe easier to follow for people at home. Kind of definitely strange and very different to be on 10 under par starting on the first tee,” said Justin Rose, who begins this week’s finale second on the points list.
Next year when a new strokes-based system will decide the season-long race, Rose would begin his week at East Lake 8 under, two strokes behind front-runner Bryson DeChambeau and eight shots ahead of Nos. 26-30 on the points list.
Most players said the new format will be an improvement over the current model, which is based on a complicated points structure. That’s not to say the new plan has been given universal support.
Under the current format, the 30th-ranked player has a .4 percent chance of winning the cup, while the first player on the points list has a 27 percent chance. Those odds remain virtually identical under next year’s strokes-based format.
“I’m not saying the 30th guy should have the same shot as the fifth guy, but just make the odds a little bit better. Give them a 5 percent chance,” Billy Horschel said. “The strokes could be distributed differently. Maybe put the leader at 6 under [instead of 10 under] and then you go down to even par. Five or six shots back, over four days, you still have a chance.”
There will no doubt be a period of adjustment, but after more than three years of planning, most players were pleased with the general elements of the new plan if not all of the details.
“It's never going to be perfect,” said Justin Thomas, last year’s FedExCup champion and a member of the player advisory council. “No system in any sport is ever going to be perfect, and the Tour has done such a great job of talking to us and trying to get it as good as possible. But it's just hard to understand the fact that you could be starting behind somebody else and still somehow win a golf tournament or an official win.”