Matthew Maintains Lead in Hawaii

By Sports NetworkFebruary 17, 2001, 5:00 pm
Scotland's Catriona Matthew carded a one-under 71 Friday to maintain a two-shot lead at six-under-par 138 after 36 holes of the LPGA Hawaiian Ladies Open. Nancy Scranton rebounded from a 76 in the first round to post a tournament-record 64 in round two for a share of second place with Vicki Goetze-Ackerman at minus-four.
 
Matthew began on the back nine at Kapolei Golf Course under the same windy windy conditions that greeted her and the rest of the golfers in Friday's opening round.
 
'I thought the wind had dropped some when I first got here this morning, but it hadn't,' said Matthew, who bogeyed her fourth hole -- the par-four 13th -- after missing the green with her approach.
 
She collected three birdies over the span of seven holes starting at the 17th, the last with a 15-foot putt at the fifth. But another errant approach led to a chip into a bunker and a double-bogey at the par-four sixth, dropping Matthew back to even-par on the day.
 
Matthew took advantage of the 426-yard, par-five seventh, chipping her third shot to six feet and rolling in the putt for the birdie and the two-shot edge.
 
'I feel like I played pretty well today, I just had one bad hole,' said Matthew, who grabbed the lead Thursday with a 67. 'Today I didn't hit it as close, and didn't have quite as many birdies. But I feel like I played well again.'
 
Matthew, a two-time runner-up since joining the LPGA Tour in 1995, is looking for her first victory.
 
Scranton, who also played the back nine first, three-putted the 11th from 60 feet for bogey but was almost flawless the rest of the way, posting 10 birdies against just one other bogey.
 
'I was in the zone,' said Scranton, who made three birdie putts from between 18 and 30 feet, and another four in the eight- to 12-foot range. 'Some days you just see the line.'
 
Scranton made her run toward the top with five birdies over her final six holes Friday, and finished with a score that tied her career-best round.
 
'I think this is the most birdies I've ever made,' she said. 'When I've shot 64 before, I think I had an eagle one time and no bogeys the other.'
 
Goetze-Ackerman had three birdies on her outward nine but bogeyed the third hole to drop back to three-under for the tournament. She made up for the lost stroke with an 11-wood off the tee at the 147- yard, par-three eighth and rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt for joint second and a second-round 69.
 
Wendy Ward, the winner here in 1998, was alone in fourth at three-under after turning in a five-under 67 on Friday.
 
Jenny Rosales and 1997 champ Annika Sorenstam each shot 69s for a share of one-under 143 with last year's runner-up Brandie Burton, who managed a 71.
 
Korea's Hee-Won Han, alone in second after a first-round 69, struggled to a 77 Friday and is eight shots off the pace with six players, including Karrie Webb.
 
Defending champion Betsy King is tied for 39th at plus-five after opening with rounds of 75-74.
 
A total of 77 players made the cut, which came at eight-over 152.
The 54-hole event is scheduled to end Saturday.
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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.


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"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, given how his career has unfolded, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major.

"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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Ahead by four, No. 1 ranking within Koepka's 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), 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 behind overnight leader Scott Piercy 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: 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.

Best of the rest: Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama and Emiliano Grillo signed for 66. Casey went seven straight holes without a par, Matusyama was bogey-free, and Grillo did all his damage on the back nine after nine consecutive pars on the front.

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.

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Watch: Koepka flies ball 330 yards, drives green

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 20, 2018, 4:44 am

It's a good thing par doesn't actually matter in tournament play, because if it did, the PGA Tour would have to consider 350-yard par-3s, and even those might not stop Brooks Koeopka.

Already ahead by two during Saturday's third round at the CJ Cup in South Korea, Koepka drove the green at the par-4 14th, carrying his ball 330 yards to the front edge.

The back-to-back U.S. Open champ would go on to two-putt for birdie and push his lead to three.

... The USGA is going to try that 350-yard par-3 idea, isn't it?

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Bend it like Garcia? Sergio scores in player-caddie soccer match

By Grill Room TeamOctober 20, 2018, 2:44 am

Sergio Garcia has always been able to work his golf ball from left to right, but he's also - apparently - proficient at playing a draw with a soccer ball.

This year's Adalucia Valderrama Masters is suffering through some weather issues. But the highlight of the week - and, according to the Felipe Aguilar, "the year" - was always going to be the event's player-caddie soccer match, which you can see here:

The standout highlight? This bending, left-footed(!) strike from defending champion Sergio Garcia:

"Just a little bit of fun with the caddies and some of the players," Garcia nonchalantly says in the video. "Yeah, just a little bit of running and it was good fun."

Garcia, a diehard Real Madrid fan who kicked off El Clasico in his green jacket back in 2016, has previously appeared in professional matches for CF Borriol, a Tercera Division club in Spain. 

"It's good fun and whenever I'm around I get to practice with them a little bit and play a little bit here and there. This season, I've played probably five games, so not a lot, but I enjoy it," Garcia told CNN back in 2013.