Goosen Jumps 18 Spots in World Golf Rankings

By Sports NetworkJune 20, 2001, 4:00 pm
Retief Goosen, crowned U.S. Open Champion after posting a two-shot victory over Mark Brooks in an 18-hole playoff on Monday, vaulted 18 spots to 26th on the official World Golf Rankings.
The 32-year-old South African's overtime triumph managed to wipe away a disastrous three-putt from 15 feet at the 18th hole in Sunday's fourth round. Goosen missed the second putt in the sequence -- a mere two-footer -- that would have given him the win in regulation.
However, Goosen dominated the playoff with timely birdies and a number of gutsy up-and-downs to open a five-shot advantage. Brooks cut Goosen's lead to three after a two-shot swing at the 17th, but Goosen needed only to bogey the last hole to secure his first win in the U.S. and his first in a major championship.
Top-ranked Tiger Woods, who finished a surprising 12th in defense of his 2000 U.S. Open title, still holds a big lead over No. 2 Phil Mickelson. Woods came up short in his quest for a record fifth straight major title, while Mickelson continued his streak of major disappointments.
The lefthander, just two shots off the pace heading into Sunday's round at Tulsa's Southern Hills, carded five birdies over the final 10 holes to blow up to a 75. He tied for seventh, six shots back of Goosen and Brooks, for his 13th top-10 finish in a major.
Mickelson will get his next shot in one month at the British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, where he tied for 41st in 1996. He has never finished in the top-10 at a British Open; his best showing was a share of 11th place last year at the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Ernie Els, a South African who also captured his first title on U.S. soil in a playoff at a U.S. Open, remained in third place, followed by Fiji's Vijay Singh and England's Lee Westwood.
Els defeated Loren Roberts and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie in the extra session at sweltering Oakmont in 1994. He also went on to win the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional.
Davis Love III moved up one spot to No. 6 in an exchange of positions with David Duval. Spain's Sergio Garcia stayed in eighth, while Montgomerie and Hal Sutton rounded out the top-10 in the rankings.
Canadian Mike Weir climbed one place to 11th. Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland also made a one-spot move up to 12th, followed by Tom Lehman, who was 11th last week.
The next five players held their positions from last week. The unique-swinging Jim Furyk stands in 14th, followed by Michael Campbell of New Zealand, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Zimbabwe's Nick Price and the 18th-ranked David Toms.
Angel Cabrera of Argentina moved up from 22nd to 19th on the strength of his tie for seventh at Southern Hills. It marked his best finish in just two appearances in the U.S. Open. He tied for 37th at Pebble Beach last year.
Colorful Swede Jesper Parnevik dropped one spot to 20th, while Paul Azinger climbed two spots to 21st after tying for fifth in Tulsa. Mark Calcavecchia and Ireland's Padraig Harrington are 22nd and 23rd, respectively.
Stewart Cink, who finished solo third at the Open, stayed in 24th place. Cink had a chance to make it a three-way playoff on Monday, but missed a gimme putt of his own on the 18th green Sunday.
Rocco Mediate moved up three places to 25thin the world. Only one shot back heading into the final day of the season's second major, Mediate struggled to a two-over 72 and finished alone in fourth.
Runner-up Brooks, who hadn't notched a top-five finish since winning the 1996 PGA Championship in extra holes, vaulted 101 spots, from 195th to 94th.
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Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.

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Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

However, he never saw it go in.

Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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Trio lead Kia Classic; Davies shoots 82

By Associated PressMarch 23, 2018, 3:01 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Laura Davies had a nightmare round days after contending for a title at age 54, and Caroline Hedwall, Jackie Stoelting and Hee Young Park topped the Kia Classic leaderboard.

Davies shot a 10-over 82 on Thursday at rainy Aviara Golf Club - four days after tying for second behind Inbee Park in the Founders Cup, and five days after shooting a 9-under 63 in the Phoenix event.

Fighting Achilles tendon and calf problems in her left leg, Davies opened double bogey-bogey-par-bogey. She bogeyed Nos. 9, 10 and 12, had another double on 15 and bogeyed 16. The 82 was the World Golf Hall of Famer's highest score on tour since also shooting 82 in the 2013 Marathon Classic. On Monday, she jumped 208 spots to No. 155 in the world.

Hedwall, Stoelting and Park shot 66 in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills. Ariya Jutanugarn, also coming off a second-place tie in Phoenix, was a stroke back with 2015 champion Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim and Nicole Broch Larsen.

Hedwall closed her bogey-free round with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth. The Swede played her final 10 holes in 6 under. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions.

''I hit it really well and started making a couple putts in my back nine,'' Hedwall said. ''I'm really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the rest of the days.''

Stoelting finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th. She had seven birdies and a bogey.

''I hit a lot of fairways,'' Stoelting said. ''I don't necessarily hit if far, but keeping it in the fairway is super key this week. The rough is much thicker this year than last year.''

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Hee Young Park birdied the final three holes, finishing on No. 9.

''The greens are really soft,'' Park said. ''So, easier on the second shot.''

The 40-year-old Kerr had a bogey-free round.

''I like this golf course,'' Kerr said. ''I think it's a tough golf course and you can't fall asleep on any shot. I mean, it's just a really great course. The layout. The rough is high. You got to pay attention. I think that's maybe why I play a little better here than some other places.''

Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 31 on the front nine.

''It's rain today and a little bit windy, but my irons help me a lot,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just start to make some putts. ... It's pretty tough for me. I always feel like the course here is really hard because the greens really bumpy, and you're not going to hit far here.''

Lydia Ko and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu topped the group at 68.

Ko also played her final nine in 31. She missed the cut last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.

''I holed some really good putts on my back nine,'' Ko said. ''I didn't hit the ball fantastic, but just being able to hole some good birdie putts was key.''

She won the 2016 event at Aviara.

''This is a pretty tough golf course,'' Ko said. ''Putting is a huge key around this course where if you do miss a green, making those clutch par putts and then making those birdie opportunities that you get.''

Jennifer Song and Jeong Eun Lee also shot 68. Brooke Henderson had a 69, and Lexi Thompson a 70.

Inbee Park was at 71 with Singapore champion Michelle Wie and 2014 Kia winner Anna Nordqvist. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng had a 72, playing alongside Park. Defending champion Mirim Lee shot 74.

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With old clubs returned, Kim (and new clubs) starts strong at Kia

By Randall MellMarch 23, 2018, 1:53 am

Almost two months after her golf clubs went missing, the same clubs she used to win last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, In-Kyung Kim was happily reunited with them this week.

She fetched them and her golf bag two days ago at the Carlsbad, Calif., police department.

A man bought them as a used set from a sporting goods store in the area, with Kim’s LPGA I.D. still in the golf bag.

Notably, Kim celebrated with a return to the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Kia Classic.

Kim opened with a 5-under-par 67, though she didn’t use her newly rediscovered clubs. She stayed with the replacement set that she put together after her clubs went missing. Her Women’s British Open clubs never showed up after she got off a plane in Southern California upon her return home from the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

“It was really difficult at first,” Kim said of getting used to her new set of clubs. “I really worked hard, like worked a lot, went to the factory like a dozen times.”

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Kim said she made several visits to the factory folks, trying to get the loft and lies of her new clubs just the way she wanted, close to the configuration that helped her win the Women’s British Open.

“They were like, `I.K., are you ever happy?’” Kim said.

Actually, only five of Kim’s “lost” clubs turned up with her golf bag at that sporting goods store. Still, Kim was happy to get three wedges, two hybrids and her golf bag back.

“It’s kind of good to have a conclusion,” Kim said.

Kim can thank a “What’s in the bag?” segment with Ladies European Tour TV analyst Alison Whitaker for leading to the retrieval of her clubs. Kim explained to Whitaker how her clubs went missing during the telecast of the HSBC Women’s World Championship three weeks ago.

A golf fan in the San Diego area saw Golf Channel’s telecast of that segment.

“One of his friends bought the tour bag,” Kim said. “The other friend knew about my story, and he was like, `No, dude, that's not for selling. It's stolen.’”

Kim was delighted to meet the men who returned her clubs when she picked them up at the Carlsbad Police Department.

“Just good for me,” Kim said.