Winsday Hot List: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Win McMurryMarch 20, 2013, 1:00 pm

The King shines in the Sunshine State this week as several top players pay homage to Arnold Palmer at the last stop of the Florida swing. A streak is on the line and so is the No. 1 ranking, but many players who have made the Orlando, Fla., area home will be jockeying for the prestigious title – handed out by the man himself – on their own turf. We have you covered with golf’s hottest topics online, on-air and on the course.

1. Stacy Lewis: She rightly takes the No. 1 spot in our rankings this week, capturing the top spot in the world rankings with her scorching come-from-behind victory at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. Lewis is only the second American to claim the honor since the rankings began in 2006 (Cristie Kerr held the position for five weeks in 2010). Lewis also earned Player of the Year in 2012, becoming the first American to do so since Beth Daniel in 1994.


2. American dominance: You have to applaud the red, white and blue. To go along with Lewis’ accomplishment, Americans have won every event played on the PGA Tour this season. The hot streak is at 12, so will it be lucky or unlucky No. 13 this week?


3. King for a Day: As Arnold Palmer holds court this week, Lamkin, the grip company he’s been affiliated with for more than 60 years, kicks off a sweepstakes where one lucky winner will win a VIP trip for two to meet the King in his hometown; play golf at his home course; and win a set of Callaway clubs, Lamkin grips and autographed Arnold Palmer memorabilia. Enter at www.meetarnoldpalmer.com.


4. The First Tee of Central Florida: And speaking of Palmer, he’s making even more dreams come true in central Florida. With a $200,000 donation to The First Tee of Central Florida, he established the Arnold Palmer Scholarship Fund, which will help provide educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, promote healthy choices through the game and ensure that no child ever gets turned away for an inability to pay.


5. Tiger and Lindsey: It’s official. And Facebook official at that! Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn confirmed that the two have been dating for a couple months. They published professional photos of the two of them together (wearing their sponsor’s logos, nonetheless) and asked for their privacy. Now professional photos for an engagement announcement are somewhat the norm these days, but for a dating announcement, that’s new to me. Perhaps social “engagements” attended by the two of them together are in the near future.


6. World ranks: Not only is Woods making headlines with his relationship, but this week’s defending champion can regain the No. 1 ranking with another win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He hasn’t held the top position since October 2010, 29 months ago.


7. Nona Blue: Perhaps the main man in Woods' way to the top at Bay Hill is local resident Graeme McDowell, who has donned blue competing against Woods in the Tavistock Cup for Lake Nona, while Woods has dressed in both Isleworth red and Albany pink. McDowell, who was runner-up to Woods last year at this event, opened a restaurant and bar this past weekend, just outside the gates to his Lake Nona home. If you’re in town, this would be the “who’s who” spot for celebrating victories and drinking away sorrows.


8. Jordan Speith: In just four PGA Tour starts this year, the 19-year-old earned special temporary exempt status for the remainder of 2013 with two top-10 finishes – a T-7 last week in Tampa and a T-2 in Puerto Rico. He joins an elite group of players who have earned their card without advancing through Q-School or the Web.com Tour, including Justin Leonard, Gary Hallberg, Scott Verplank, Phil MickelsonRyan MooreBud Cauley and Woods.


9. South African Golf: We’ve given a nod to the Americans, so it’s only right to acknowledge the other country producing a notable number of winners this season. South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel won the Alfred Dunhill Championship, followed by fellow countryman Louis Oosthuizen, who picked up the title at the Volvo Golf Champions. Other South African winners include Richard Sterne, Darren Fichardt, Dawie Van Der Walt and last week’s champion, Thomas Aiken.


10. Doubling up in the Carolinas: In South Carolina, Hilton Head’s Harbour Town Golf Links, home of the RBC Heritage, will undergo construction for a new clubhouse. Demolition will begin after the 2014 Heritage and is to be completed by the 2015 tournament. And in North Carolina, Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club, site of the Wyndham Championship, will merge with Cardinal Golf and Country Club to create one brand, the Sedgefield Country Club’s Ross Course and Dye Course. The merger will make it the only private club in the nation with both a Donald Ross and a Pete Dye course. It will also feature both Bermuda and bent grass greens, so members can have ideal putting conditions year-round.

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Kang 'going with the flow,' one back of A. Jutanugarn

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 am

SHANGHAI – Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Buick LPGA Shanghai tournament on Thursday.

The Thai player had six birdies in a bogey-free round, including three straight on Nos. 4, 5, and 6.

''I always have so much fun when I play in Asia,'' said Jutanugarm, who added her key was ''just not to expect anything. Just go out have fun and enjoy everything.''

Sei Young Kim and Danielle Kang (both 67) were one shot back, with six other players only two shots off the lead.


Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai


The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

Kang credited her improved play to new coach Butch Harmon.

''We just kind of simplify the game a lot,'' the American said. ''Just trying to calm it down and get back to how I used to play. Just more feel golf. Thinking less mechanics and going with the flow.''

Kang tied for third last week at the KEB Hana Bank championship in Incheon, South Korea.

''Today's round went very smooth,'' Kang said. ''Coming off very good momentum after last week, and I've been hitting the ball really well, playing great. I've just been trusting my game and just keep giving myself birdie chances. They kept rolling in.''

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Sharpshooting Reavie (68) leads tough CJ Cup

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 9:34 am

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – Chez Reavie overcame cool, windy conditions for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on Thursday.

In the breezy conditions, the back nine of the course posed the most difficulty, but the 36-year-old American made two birdies and negotiated it in 35 after starting on the 10th tee, and then picked up three shots on his final nine.

Danny Willett and Si Woo Kim shot 69 while the large group at 70, and tied for fourth, included Ian PoulterNick Watney and Michael Kim.

Brooks Koepka, playing in his first tournament since being voted PGA Tour Player of the Year, shot 71 and was in a group three strokes behind and tied for 11th, which included Paul Casey and Hideki Matsuyama.

Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Defending champion Justin Thomas had a 73, as did Jason Day, Ernie Els and J.B. Holmes.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


Marc Leishman, who won last week's CIMB Classic in Malaysia, and Adam Scott had 75s.

Reavie's only PGA Tour win came at the 2008 Canadian Open, and he finished second in back-to-back starts last year in Phoenix and Pebble Beach, losing at Phoenix in a playoff.

''It was a great day, I hit the ball really well,'' Reavie said of Thursday's round. ''The wind was blowing really hard all day long so you had to really start the ball well and keep it out of the wind. Luckily, I was able to do that.''

Despite the windy conditions, Reavie found all 14 fairways off the tee and hit 15 out of 18 greens in regulation, which he felt was the key to a good score.

''It's tough because once you get above the hole with this wind, it's really hard to chip it close,'' he said. ''The more greens you can hit, the better and that was key to my game.''

Willett, who has struggled with injuries and form since winning the 2016 Masters and has dropped to No. 342 in the world, made five birdies and two bogeys in his 69. Willett has just one top-five finish since finishing second in the Italian Open in September 2016.

Having committed to play on the PGA Tour by taking up membership this season, Willet said it was important to make a quick start to the season.

''I've done two tours for a couple of years, and it's very difficult,'' Willett said. ''We committed to play on the PGA Tour, to play predominantly over here this year and next. It's nice to kind of get in and get some points early if you can.''

The second of three PGA Tour events in three weeks in Asia has a 78-player field and no cut. Only 19 players broke par on Thursday.

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Koepka takes edge over Thomas in race for world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 5:50 am

Brooks Koepka got the inside track against Justin Thomas in their head-to-head battle this week for world No. 1.

Koepka shot 1-under 71 on Thursday at the CJ Cup, while Thomas shot 1-over 73.

Chez Reavie leads after 18 holes at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea, following a 4-under 68.

Koepka, currently world No. 3, needs to win this week or finish solo second [without Thomas winning] in order to reach the top spot in the rankings for the first time in his career. Thomas, currently No. 4, must win to reclaim the position he surrendered in June.

One week after 26 under par proved victorious in Malaysia, birdies weren’t as aplenty to begin the second leg of the PGA Tour’s Asian swing.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


In chilly, windy conditions, Koepka and Thomas set out alongside one another – with Sungjae Im (73) as the third – on the 10th hole. Koepka bogeyed his first hole of the day on his way to turning in even-par 36. Thomas was one worse, with two bogeys and a birdie.

On their second nine, Koepka was steady with two birdies and a bogey to reach red figures for the day.

I felt like I played good. I hit some good shots, missed a couple putts early and kind put myself in a little bit of trouble on the back nine, my front, but rallied pretty nicely," Koepka said. "I felt like I found a bit of rhythm. But it's a difficult day, anything under par, level par is a good score out there today. I'm pleased with it.

Thomas, however, had two birdies and a double bogey on his inward half. The double came at the par-4 fourth, where he four-putted. He nearly made up those two strokes on his final hole, the par-5 ninth, when a wild approach shot [as you can see below] traversed the contours of the green and settled 6 feet from the hole. But Thomas missed the short eagle putt and settled for birdie.

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Watch: Thomas' approach takes wild ride on CJ Cup green

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 5:17 am

Two over par with one hole to play in Round 1 of the CJ Cup, Justin Thomas eyed an eagle at the par-5 ninth [his 18th].

And he nearly got it, thanks to his ball beautifully navigating the curves of the green.

Thomas hit a big draw for his second shot and his ball raced up the green's surface, towards the back, where it caught the top of ridge and funneled down to within 6 feet of the hole.



Unfortunately for Thomas, the defending champion, he missed the eagle putt and settled for birdie and a 1-over 73.