Vijay Leads Tiger by Two in Boston

By Sports NetworkSeptember 4, 2004, 4:00 pm
NORTON, Mass. -- Vijay Singh has a very good chance to overtake Tiger Woods atop the World Golf Rankings next week and his play on Saturday took him a step closer.
Singh, who won the PGA Championship last month, fired an 8-under 63 to take the lead midway through the Deutsche Bank Championship. He stands at 11- under-par 131 and leads by two over Woods, John Rollins and Bill Haas at the TPC of Boston.
If Woods does not finish in the top-seven, Singh will become No. 1. If Woods does finish within the top-seven, Singh would become No. 1 if he ties or beats him.
'I'm aware of it, but I'm not concerned about it,' said Singh. 'It's not going to affect me one way or the other if I overtake him or not. Yeah, if I win this tournament, I'll be No. 1; fine. But what would that change for me? I'll go out there next week and do it all over again.'
Woods posted a 3-under 68 on Saturday, while Rollins carded a 66 and Haas, son of Ryder Cupper Jay Haas, shot a 7-under 64.
Ryan Palmer, who shared the first-round lead with Woods, shot a 2-under 69 and is tied for fifth place with Shigeki Maruyama (66) at 8-under-par 134.
All players are chasing Singh as he chases Woods in the World Rankings.
Singh got off to an amazing start in Saturday's second round. He holed out from 91 yards for an eagle at the first, then ran home a 6-foot birdie putt at No. 2.
'With a start like that, I guess you can be very aggressive,' said Singh. 'I was feeling pretty good out there when I started off. '
His run of strong golf continued at the fourth when his pitching wedge approach stopped 4 feet from the hole. Singh converted the birdie try, then two-putted from 20 feet for birdie at the seventh.
Trouble loomed for Singh at the par-3 eighth. He three-putted from 30 feet for a bogey, but still made the turn at 4-under 32.
Singh regained his form at the 10th when his 9-iron second shot left him with a 15-foot birdie putt. He made that, then collected back-to-back birdies from the 12th, including a tap-in at 13.
He missed the green at the par-3 16th, but putted in for birdie from 30 feet. Singh went long with his approach at 17 and he putted down to 4 feet. He missed the par putt, but still had a one-shot lead with a chance to extend it at the par-5 closing hole.
Singh found the fairway at 18, then hit a 6-iron 15 feet over the flag. His eagle putt died right, but Singh tapped in for birdie and the two-shot advantage.
'I've been driving the ball well so far, if I keep doing that, you know, my chances are good,' said Singh. 'Ever since the move to the conventional putter, I have a lot more confidence in my putts. I'm putting well and that's giving me a lot of freedom to attack the pins and be aggressive on my chip shots.'
Woods reached the green in two at the par-5 second. He two-putted from 15 feet for the birdie, but found trouble two holes later. Woods drove into the hazard on the right and took a drop. He hit a 6-iron to 20 feet and two-putted for the bogey.
Woods soared up the leaderboard with his play late on the back nine. He got a favorable bounce from the right rough at 13 and made birdie from 9 feet. Woods failed to land in the fairway off the tee at 15, then missed the putting surface with a 9-iron. He chipped in from 15 feet for his third birdie of the round.
The unofficial tournament host missed the green at 16 and never recovered, bogeying the hole and falling to 7 under for the championship. Woods made an improbable birdie from close to 60 feet at the 17th and birdied 18 to get into a share of second place.
'I thought I played decent,' said Woods. 'I didn't play as well as I did yesterday, but controlled the ball where I missed the ball properly. Didn't make any putts on the front nine, but I got it going on the back.'
With Woods' run of 264 consecutive weeks atop the World Rankings in jeopardy, Woods has a simple philosophy.
'The No. 1 ranking, it takes care of itself just by winning tournaments,' said Woods, who has only one victory this season, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. 'If you win consistently, you don't have to worry about it.'
Rollins, who won the Canadian Open two years ago, tallied three birdies on the front side, then mixed three birdies and a bogey in a five-hole span on the back to get into a share of second.
Bill Haas collected six birdies on the back nine and is in position for win No. 1 on the PGA Tour. Will he talk to his father, who is competing on the Champions Tour at Pebble Beach, for advice on what it takes to get into the winner's circle?
'He won't say much,' said Bill Haas. 'He's letting me learn it on my own. He learned it on his own. There's nothing that he can say to me that's going to make me play any better; it's all me.'
Charles Howell III (68) and Frank Lickliter (67) share seventh place at 7-under-par 135, while defending champion Adam Scott (67), Hank Kuehne (68) and Jay Williamson (68) are a stroke further back at minus-6.
The 36-hole cut fell at even-par 144 and David Duval made his first cut since the FBR Capital Open last June. He two-putted from 40 feet at the 18th to shoot a 1-under 70 and make the cut on the number.
'I was nervous a little bit,' said Duval, who was the last player to be ranked No. 1 before Woods in 1999. 'It's a different nervous. I shot 59, I've won an Open and played Ryder Cups. I was like, 'come on, you can two-putt.''
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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 charges 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.

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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.

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    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.