Thorpe Grabs Lead Play Suspended

By Sports NetworkSeptember 15, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Constellation Energy ClassicHUNT VALLEY, Md. -- Jim Thorpe fired a 6-under-par 66 on Friday to take the lead during the suspended first round of the Constellation Energy Classic.
Heavy rain stopped play at 4:27 p.m. ET Friday and a short time later, it was decided to call the action for the day. It was the second time weather forced play to be called as the start of the tournament was delayed almost three hours.
Thirty-six players will return to Hayfields Country Club on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. to complete the first round. The second round is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.
Unfortunately, showers are forecast for the area on Saturday.
Massy Kuramoto, Tom Jenkins and Walter Hall are knotted in second place at 4-under-par 68. Two-time winner this season Brad Bryant, Mark Johnson and Walter Hall are all 4-under par, but have yet to complete the opening round.
Two golfers are making their Champions Tour debuts this week and one availed himself nicely. Chip Beck posted a 3-under-par 69, while Scott Hoch, who has been sidelined for over a year with a wrist injury, carded an even-par 72 on Friday.
Thorpe did not get off to a great start on Friday as he three-putted the first green en route to a bogey. He missed an 8-footer for birdie at the second, but things turned around quickly.
He knocked a 7-iron to a foot to set up a birdie at the par-3 third. Thorpe reached the par-5 fifth green in two with a 3-wood and tapped in a 3-foot eagle putt to move to 2 under par for the championship.
'The eagle got things going for me,' said Thorpe, an 11-time winner on the elder circuit.
He hit another spectacular 7-iron, this time to set up a 4-foot birdie putt at the seventh. Thorpe parred out on the front nine to make the turn at minus-3.
On the second nine, Thorpe three-putted for another bogey at the 12th. That would be the last miscue for the 57-year-old.
He hit a pitching wedge to 2 feet for a birdie at the 13th and made it back- to-back birdies when he drained a 30-footer at the 14th. Thorpe polished off three birdies in a row at 15 when his pitching wedge approach stopped 12 feet from the stick.
Thorpe padded his lead at the par-5 closing hole. He sank a 17-footer for birdie to move two clear of the field, with more first-round golf still to be played.
'The course played very, very long today,' said Thorpe. 'The greens were really slow. I got myself into position now. The weather will play a major role in what happens this weekend.'
Thorpe has won two tournaments a year for the last three seasons, but has yet to break through in 2006. He finished as the runner-up at the Ford Senior Players Championship, but this has not been the kind of year Thorpe has grown to expect.
'I hadn't really played well this year, but it's been a little better the last four to six weeks,' acknowledged Thorpe. 'I reunited with my caddy today and he's been a very positive guy for me.'
Beck was joined in eighth place by the tour's second-leading money winner Jay Haas, two-time winner this season Tom Kite, Tom Purtzer, R.W. Eaks, Dave Eichelberger and Mark Lye.
Graham Marsh, Keith Fergus, Bruce Summerhays, Ron Streck and 2004 champion Wayne Levi are also 3-under par, but are still on the course.
Defending champion Bob Gilder is 2-under par through 15 holes.
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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.

    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off Olesen to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''

    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open

    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.

    Sunghyun Park (left) and Minchel Choi (right). Getty Images

    Choi, Park qualify for Carnoustie from Korean Open

    By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 2:54 pm

    Two players - Minchel Choi and Sanghyun Park - qualified for next month's Open Championship at Carnoustie via the Open Qualifying Series on Sunday.

    Choi (69) held off Park (66) to win the Korean Open by two shots.

    This was the Qualifying Series debut for the Korean Open, whiched awarded Open Championship exemptions to the tournament's top two finishers inside the top eight and ties who were not already qualified.

    Choi, the 532nd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, punched his ticket in his first professional win.

    Park, the 146th in the world, is a six-time Korean Tour champion who has already won twice this season. 

    Both players will be making their first ever major starts.

    “I am absolutely honored to be playing in The Open and I wanted to win this championship to give me [that] opportunity," Choi said. "I cannot believe that I have won today. I am so happy and excited."

    “It is a great honor to have qualified for The Open and make my first appearance in the championship," Park added. "I’ve watched The Open on television every single year and I can’t really believe that I have qualified, it is amazing."

    The Open Qualifying Series continues next week at the Open de France, where as many as three exemptions will be awarded to the three leading players inside the top 10 and ties who are not already qualified.

    The 147th Open will be held at Carnoustie from July 19-22.

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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.