S.H. Park three back in first event as world No. 1

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November 8, 2017, 12:56 pm

HAINAN, China – Sun Young Yoo carded a 7-under 65 Wednesday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Blue Bay LPGA tournament.

Yoo had seven birdies and hit 12 of 14 fairways in a bogey-free round at Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club. Xiang Sui of China had a 66 to hold the second spot, one clear of five players at 5 under, including American Lizette Salas.

''Swing-wise, I kept the same thing. I just tried to have fun out there, and actually I had a lot of fun today,'' Yoo said.


Full-field scores from the Blue Bay LPGA


Sui fell behind by two strokes with a bogey on the 15th hole, but was able to regain a stroke on the leader with birdies on her last two.

No. 1-ranked Sung Hyun Park had 68 and was in a share of ninth at 4 under.

Defending champion Minjee Lee had six birdies, but she struggled to find consistency as she had five bogeys to finish the round at 71.

Jessica Korda rebounded after a quadruple-bogey on the par-5 third hole, notching six birdies to finish at 1 under.

Fowler hoping unique fall schedule pays off in 2018

November 8, 2017, 9:45 pm

Rickie Fowler has officially put Fall Break on hiatus – at least, for a week.

Fowler is teeing it up this week at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, where he headlines the field and will make his tournament debut. His appearance south of the border is another testament to the strength-of-field requirement instituted last year by the PGA Tour, one that also helped steer Rory McIlroy to the Travelers Championship this summer.

It also continues a trend in recent weeks where Fowler has gone against the grain of other top-ranked stars' picks of where to play during the fall portion of the season. While most big names are sitting at home this week, Fowler will take on El Camaleon along the shores of Playa del Carmen.

Likewise, while his peers were scooping up dollars and OWGR points by the handful during a three-week Asian Swing last month, Fowler was kicking back at home and visiting some of his old stomping grounds.

The beauty of the saturated PGA Tour schedule is that players are afforded an opportunity to forge their own paths. There is no mandate requiring stars to hop a flight to Asia, although the lucrative purses certainly serve as convincing motivation.

In fact, the only other top-10 players who went 0-for-3 on the Asian events last month were Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Spieth still plans to fly across the globe to defend his Australian Open title next month, while McIlroy opted for rest in an effort to get fully healthy.

Which brings us back to Fowler, who had previously been a staple at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China since 2013. Four years ago he spent his fall racking up frequent flier miles, with starts in Malaysia, China, Australia and Thailand all after October 1.


OHL Classic at Mayakoba: Articles, photos and videos


But Fowler is a different player than he was four years ago, and he has different goals. Coming off an exhaustive summer stretch and a raucous week at the Presidents Cup, he opted to put the clubs away. Earlier this week, he told Golf Channel reporter George Savaricas that he had only played five rounds of golf in the six weeks since leaving Liberty National.

“I wanted to look at this fall and winter as a time to create an offseason,” Fowler said Wednesday. “Enjoy the relaxation and get some time in the gym to get ready to go in January.”

Fowler is interrupting that break to make his maiden trip to Mayakoba this week, and he’ll also tee it up later this month at the Hero World Challenge. But afforded essentially three months between the Presidents Cup and Tournament of Champions, he’s making a clear statement that his focus remains on starting fresh for 2018.

His most recent season is difficult to assess. On one hand, he won the Honda Classic to break a lengthy victory drought, authored perhaps the most consistent summer of his career and contended at multiple majors.

On the other hand, he failed to capitalize on those major chances, notably at the Masters and U.S. Open, and his T-26 finish at the Tour Championship served as an ill-timed clunker with $10 million on the line.

Fowler will turn 29 next month, a reminder that he is not quite as young as his annual spring break comrades Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. But barring injury, he remains on the upswing of his prime, and certainly possesses the talent to make runs like Spieth and Thomas have authored in recent years.

The difference will likely boil down to capitalizing on various opportunities. And while Fowler can put in plenty of legwork toward that goal after the ball drops on 2018, his decision to focus on recharging off the course this fall could prove prescient.

Amid a relatively quiet stretch, Fowler has a chance to shake off some rust this week. A trip to sun-splashed Mexico isn’t exactly the most difficult burden to bear, and his appearance is already a win for a tournament looking to bolster its status.

What’s more telling is the litany of events that Fowler has already skipped. It’s never easy to pass up on guaranteed prize money, not to mention FedExCup points that could prove valuable 10 months from now.

But while the wraparound schedule affords few opportunities to truly rest and unwind, Fowler has created one this fall. It comes at a cost, sure, but he has also played long enough on Tour to weigh the benefits of both options and choose accordingly.

On the heels of a good-but-not-quite-great season, Fowler has started this new campaign with some R&R and time in the gym. He’ll get back to the on-course grind this week, but it may be months before the value of his unique fall itinerary choices comes to fruition. 

Article Tags: Rickie Fowler

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Watch: Snake battles mongoose on course at Nedbank

By Grill Room TeamNovember 8, 2017, 8:00 pm

We're no wildlife experts, but based on this video clip that the European Tour spotted from former pro Andrew Coltart, we're gonna take a wild guess that snakes and mongooses (mongeese?) don't exactly get along.

One might even call them the Capulets and the Montagues of the animal kingdom.

But regardless of what you call them, video of the two creatures going at each other on the course at this week's Nedbank Challenge in South Africa is wildly entertaining:

So if you're keeping score at home, we've seen monkeys, a snake and a mongoose on the course at Gary Player Country Club. With four days of action left, there's no telling what else might show up. Possibly even some golf.

Article Tags: Grill Room

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Olympic officially announced as PGA, Ryder venue

By Will GrayNovember 8, 2017, 7:07 pm

The PGA of America officially introduced The Olympic Club in San Francisco as the future site of the 2028 PGA Championship and 2032 Ryder Cup.

The announcement confirmed a report last week from the San Francisco Chronicle noting that the club, which has hosted the U.S. Open five times including 2012, has shifted allegiances from the USGA to the PGA of America.

With nearby TPC Harding Park set to host the 2020 PGA, this adds another Golden State venue into the PGA of America's rotation. Olympic will also become the first-ever course in Northern California to host the Ryder Cup, and the first anywhere in California to host the biennial matches since Eldorado Country Club in 1959.

"This is a special moment for our association, to return the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup to the West Coast," said PGA of America president Paul Levy. "We're excited to showcase The Olympic Club and its Lake Course, and combine them with the many tastes, sights and sounds that make San Francisco and the Bay Area so distinct."

The announcement took place Wednesday at Olympic's clubhouse, and it included former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds presenting the Wanamaker Trophy while San Francisco mayor Ed Lee presented the Ryder Cup.

Olympic will still host the 2021 U.S. Women's Open, and the club was reportedly in the running to host the 2027 U.S. Open. But when those negotiations stalled, the USGA awarded the '27 host site to nearby Pebble Beach, which will also host the U.S. Open in 2019.

According to a Chronicle report, Olympic could stand to benefit financially from its defection. The report notes that the club could make upwards of $15 million combined from hosting the PGA of America's two marquee events, while another U.S. Open was only expected to earn between $2 million and $3 million.

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Watch: Japan's PM falls into bunker while with Trump

By Jason CrookNovember 8, 2017, 6:40 pm

President Donald Trump showed off his golf swing on Twitter after a recent round with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama, but it wasn't the only high lowlight of the day caught on camera.

A Japanese TV station posted some footage of the action on Twitter Tuesday, in which they caught Prime Minister Abe, 63, falling over backwards into a bunker shortly after he hacked his ball out of it:

この動画、消されまくってて、知らない方がいるってわかったので、もう一度。
転んだのは仕方ない。
でもね、貴重な外交の時間を、こんな使い方して、翌日の昼食会の挨拶で、
安倍「昨日はドナルドとゴルフを楽しみ、夕食はイヴァンカ夫人を交えて~」
メラニア夫人に失礼だろ。
滅茶苦茶だよ、安倍。 pic.twitter.com/RpiDToG30n

— umekichi (@umekichkun)

As for Trump, well, he didn't even appear to notice as he kept walking right on down the fairway. And if Abe is anything like anyone who has ever taken an embarrassing tumble, he'd probably prefer to keep it that way.

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