Younger Pressel playing well at Girls Junior

By Usga News ServicesJuly 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGAWest Hartford, Conn. ' Kyle Roig, 15, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., recorded a 4-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after Mondays first round of stroke play at the 2008 U.S. Girls Junior Championship, being played at the 6,265-yard, par-71 Hartford Golf Club.
 
On the par-5, 500-yard ninth hole, the 18th of her round, Roig hit her approach shot from 80 yards to 8 feet, which she converted to finish ahead of the trio of Stephanie Kim, 16, of Orlando, Fla.; Jennifer Kirby, 17, of Canada; and Samantha Swinehart, 16, of Lancaster, Ohio, all of whom shot 3-under 68.
 
It was a good start for Roig, who is playing in her third Girls Junior.
 
When I woke up I was very calm, said Roig, who represented her native country, Puerto Rico, in the 2006 Womens World Amateur Team Championship. I was very determined and positive to do well today.
 
That determination paid off as Roig recorded six birdies and two bogeys.
 
It takes the pressure off, said Roig of her solid start. I am still going to go out there and try to go low and get medalist. I want to get medalist.
 
Kirby and Kim both eagled the par-5, 481-yard 10th hole to highlight their 3-under rounds. Kirby hit her second shot from 221 yards with a 7-wood to 15 feet, and Kim hit her second shot from 220 yards with a 3-wood to 3 feet.
 
It just all came together today, said Kirby, who is playing in her third Girls Junior. I hit the ball really well and hit a lot of greens, which is pretty vital on this course, and I just made a couple of putts.
 
For Kim, the key was her success on the greens ' she needed just 29 putts during her first round.
 
I was playing great, said Kim, also playing in her third Girls Junior. I wasnt hitting the ball overly well, but I was getting up and down from everywhere.
 
Swinehart, the lone USGA championship rookie among the leaders, had four birdies and a bogey in her first round. Her 68 bested her previous low round by three strokes.
 
Two strokes off the lead is 17-year-old Madison Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla. Pressel, the younger sister of 2005 U.S. Womens Amateur champion Morgan Pressel, had three birdies and one bogey en route to a 2-under 69. She hopes to improve upon the record of her sister, who won 14 matches in six Girls Junior appearances but never took home the trophy.
 
Its my chance to one-up her on something, said Madison with a good-natured smile. Well see how that goes.
 
The 2006 Girls Junior champion, Jenny Shin, 15, of Torrance, Calif., finished at 1-over 72 and 2007 winner Kristen Park, 16, of Buena Park, Calif., finished with a 73.
 
Park said she didnt feel any additional pressure being the defending champion.
 
I try not to feel pressure from that because that might affect how I play, said Park, who is trying to become the first repeat winner since Holly Stacy won three consecutive championships from 1969-71.
 
Despite being one of the better-known players in the field, 2008 USA Curtis Cupper Kimberly Kim, 16, of Pahoa, Hawaii, also said pressure was not a factor.
 
Maybe if I were a serious golfer, there would be more pressure, said Kim, who in 2006 at age 14 became the youngest U.S. Womens Amateur champion in history. But Im not.
 
Her game, however, remains serious. After recording one birdie and four bogeys on her first nine holes, she came back with two birdies on her second nine to finish at 1-over 72.
 
It was a mess on the front, said Kim, who is vying to become the seventh golfer to win the Girls Junior and Womens Amateur. On the back I settled down and played better.
 
Following a second day of stroke play Tuesday, the U.S. Girls Junior field will be reduced to 64 players for match play. The first and second rounds of match play are scheduled for Wednesday, the third and quarterfinal rounds will be played Thursday, the semifinal matches are on Friday, and the 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday.
 
Related Links:
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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.


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    “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.

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    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.


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    Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

    Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

    But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

    Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

    “It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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    After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

    In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

    No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

    Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

    “I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

    Let it go.

    Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

    “I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

    It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

    During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

    Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

    “It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

    McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

    It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

    “I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

    The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

    Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

    The only thing left to do?

    Let it go.