Star on the Rise at Q-School

By Tom AbbottDecember 3, 2008, 5:00 pm
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ' Daytona Beach is a Mecca for race fans, bikers and spring breakers. This week its my place of work. Im here covering the final stage of LPGA Q-School, an annual event, which if truth be told, nobody wishes to play. Its a grueling five rounds where careers are on the line, nerves jangle and dangle, and come weeks end the LPGA will welcome a bunch of new members, eager to make their fortunes ' many of whom will wind up back here in 12 months doing it all again.
The ladies have come from far and wide. The United States is well represented, as you would expect, so too South Korea. It doesnt end there, though: Thailand, Australia, Mexico, Canada, and the list continues ' this is an international affair. Europe can also boast its fair share of players as well; although with its own tour, the need for making it through this extravaganza isnt as pressing as those whove made the trip from South America, for instance.
melissa reid
Photo courtesy of EWGA
One of the more notable Europeans in the field this week is 21-year-old Melissa Reid, from Derby in the midlands of England.
Reid has been playing on the Ladies European Tour this season. She turned pro at the end of 2007 having had a stellar amateur career, capped-off by a British Stroke-Play title and the Smyth Salver awarded to the leading amateur at the Ricoh Womens British Open.
In 2008 Reid entered the pro ranks with a bang, leading the tours Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year race with just one event remaining next week. Reid will have to withdraw from the seasoning-ending Dubai Masters if she makes her card at LPGA Q-School this week. The tour requires all rookies to attend a two-day LPGA seminar on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Mel has done everything but win in 2008. She is a three-time runner-up on the LET and should have taken home the Nykredit Masters in September. A birdie-eagle-eagle finish to Saturdays round left Reid six clear of a field which included Annika Sorenstam. Sunday, though, Reid learned the hard way, missing a 5-foot birdie putt on the final green which would have put her in playoff. She settled for a 73 and another runner-up spot.
The winner in Denmark, Martina Eberl, is also here this week. Like Reid she had to come through the pre-qualifying in September, beating the English woman by two strokes over the four-round event at Mission Hills in California. But this week, its not winning that counts, but doing enough. The top 20 will gain cards at weeks end.
Reid has made headlines in the UK for her work with former England Rugby team boss Sir Clive Woodward. The pair got together after Melissas coach Lawrence Farmer asked his friend Woodward to help Melissa realize some of her tremendous potential. Woodward now happens to be the British Olympic Associations Director of Performance, and he chose Reid to be a live example for some of the techniques he was using to bolster the British Olympic teams performance.
Its an odd combination considering golf isnt even in the Olympics, but Woodward believes golf training is no different than any other sport. Everything I have done with her would be no different to what I would do with a boxer, judo player, swimmer or any world-class athlete he said earlier this year. The pair has been working together for around two years and the progress is evident.
A place on the LPGA for Reid next season would be a nice jump up the ladder of womens golf. She would still be exempt in Europe in 2009 and could set a great schedule and be a true world player. With preference given to LPGA players in two of the years four majors, having LPGA status is essential for Reid if she wants to rise to the lofty goals which Woodward has set for the young star.
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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.

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Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

“I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.