Trio Lead in France Wie Up and Down

By Sports NetworkJuly 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Evian MastersEVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- Americans Pat Hurst and Brittany Lincicome posted matching rounds of 6-under-par 66 Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Evian Masters with Korea's Eun Hee Ji.
Christina Kim was joined by Jin Joo Hong and Kyeong Bae in a tie for fourth at minus-5. Six more players are tied for seventh at 3-under-par 69 at Evian Masters Golf Club.
Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel
Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel each opened with 1-over 73s. (Getty Images)
Defending champion Karrie Webb opened with a 2-under-par 70 and is tied for 13th. Annika Sorenstam, a two-time winner here, mixed five birdies and four bogeys in a round of 71. She is tied for 16th with Laura Davies and Rachel Hetherington among others.
'I think I played really well,' Sorenstam said. 'I had a lot of good chances today and I'm very disappointed because I think I played better than what the score says.'
World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa birdied the final two holes to shoot even-par 72, where she was joined by U.S. Women's Open winner Cristie Kerr and nine others.
Michelle Wie returned to action for the first time since withdrawing from the U.S. Women's Open with an injured wrist. The young Hawaiian had a solid front nine with seven pars and two birdies. Around the turn, she struggled with a double-bogey and a bogey to card a 73 that left her tied for 37th.
Hurst, whose best finish here was a tie for 18th in 2004, got her round going with birdies on one and four. She tripped to the only bogey of her round at the par-5 ninth. Around the turn, Hurst recovered that lost stroke with a 2-foot birdie putt on 11.
After a par at 12, Hurst birdied the 13th to move to 3 under. She birdied the 16th, then closed with a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to jump into a share of the lead.
'I played steady out there,' said Hurst. 'I started out with a birdie so that got me off on the right foot. I played pretty steady and just kept it down the middle and on the green and made some putts.'
Lincicome, who won the Ginn Open earlier this year, parred the first five holes. She caught fire from there with birdies on six and seven before knocking her second within a foot at the par-5 ninth. She kicked that in for eagle to turn in 4 under.
Around the turn, Lincicome birdied No. 12, but gave that stroke back with a three-putt bogey at the par-3 14th. She came right back to birdie 15 and closed with a birdie at the last.
'I figured if I got it up there somewhere around minus-7, I would be close,' Lincicome stated. 'I three-putted on No. 14, but had to wait for like 30 minutes on the tee box, so I was a little out of rhythm. You lose your feel a little faster.'
Ji got off to a fast start as she holed a 9-iron from 130 yards out for eagle on the par-4 third. She came right back with a birdie No. 4. Birdies on the seventh and ninth gave Ji the lead at minus-5.
She stumbled to a bogey on the par-4 10th. Ji rolled in consecutive birdie putts from the 12th, but faltered to a bogey on 15. Ji gained a share of the first-round lead with a birdie at the 18th.
Mi Hyun Kim, who won the SemGroup Championship earlier this year, is one of the seven players tied for seventh. She stands alongside Diana D'Alessio, Sophie Gustafson, Linda Wessberg, Sun Ju Ahn and Jeong Jang.
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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

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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.