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Articles filed under LPGA

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  • Inbee Park falls 8 shots behind at St. Andrews Aug 2, 2013 6:18 PM
    Inbee Park caught bad end of the draw at St. Andrews, made worse by not having her best golf. Before she can think about a chance to make history as the first golfer to win four professional majors in the same season, Park faced a more immediate concern Friday afternoon in the Women’s British Open — how to make up an eight-shot deficit against Na Yeon Choi.

  • Not his style, but Konerko really deserves fitting send-off Aug 1, 2013 10:00 PM
    If Paul Konerko decides to hang him up after the season, here's hoping he gives the fans fair warning so they can show their appreciation for a player who has meant so much to his team and his city. That and more White Sox talk in this week's Spellman's Scorecard.

  • Park, seeking 4th straight major, opens with 69 Aug 1, 2013 6:50 PM
    Wearing a black rain suit and a soft smile, Inbee Park looked calm as ever standing before the imposing Royal & Ancient clubhouse just moments before she teed off Thursday in the Women’s British Open. Only after her unsteady round of 3-under 69 did Park reveal perhaps the biggest surprise at St. Andrews. She was nervous.

  • Park refreshed at NW Arkansas Championship Jun 20, 2013 6:35 PM
    Top-ranked Inbee Park will tee off Friday at the NW Arkansas Championship after a week in Florida, a much-needed bit of rest after a difficult LPGA Championship win two weeks ago.

  • Choi shoots 67, leads LPGA Championship by a shot Jun 7, 2013 7:18 PM
    Not a late band of rain, a soggy course, nor those pesky orange flags could deter Chella Choi. Not with her father on the bag.The 22-year-old South Korean, who has never won on the LPGA Tour, shot a 5-under 67 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Morgan Pressel after the first round of the rain-delayed LPGA Championship.

  • At 42, LPGA’s Jeray ready to make her move Apr 16, 2013 1:11 PM
    Berwyn golfer Nicole Jeray is the lone Chicago golfer on the LPGA Tour. While she's also one of the oldest at age 42, she's making strides with the help of her longtime swing instructor, Dr. Jim Suttie. The former NIU golfer, who is one of the straighest off the tee, believes she finally has solved some issues with her short game. Len Ziehm catches up with Jeray as she prepares for three straight tournaments.

  • International Crown a great response to Solheim Jan 26, 2013 8:07 PM
    Jerry Rich and the Solheim Cup, along with 120,000 fans who came out to witness the biennial women's professional golf event in 2009, made an impressive and lasting impression. And, as Mike Spellman explains, the new International Crown competition coming in 2016 to the Sugar Grove course could leave an even bigger one.

  • World-class golfers returning to Rich Harvest Farms Jan 25, 2013 8:08 AM
    The Ladies PGA Tour is returning to Chicago — but it won't be until 2016. And then it will be for the staging of an extraordinary new team event, the International Crown. Mike Whan, the LPGA commissioner, announced Thursday the tournament will make its debut in Owings Mills, Md., in 2014, and the second staging will be in the summer of 2016 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Jerry Rich, owner and designer of the Rich Harvest private facility that hosted the record-setting 2009 Solheim Cup matches, was a leader in making the new event happen.

  • Bob Frisk’s favorite sports quotes of 2012 Dec 28, 2012 10:08 AM
    Former Daily Herald Sports legend Bob Frisk returns with his annual treat: his favorite sports quotes of the year. Check out the gems he tucked away in his desk drawer at home throughout the year, and pick out your favorite. We guarantee a few of them will make you laugh.

  • Bob Frisk’s favorite sports quotes of 2012 Dec 28, 2012 10:03 AM
    Former Daily Herald Sports legend Bob Frisk returns with his annual treat: his favorite sports quotes of the year. Check out the gems he tucked away in his desk drawer at home throughout the year, and pick out your favorite. We guarantee a few of them will make you laugh.

  • 2 local golfers take different pro tour paths Dec 7, 2012 7:42 PM
    Rarely does a Chicago golfer get through a qualifying school for any of the professional tours. This year, though, two did — and their roads to success couldn't be much more different. Len Ziehm shares the success stories of Wilmette's Eric Meierdierks, a 27-year-old with only one PGA start to his credit, and Berwyn's Nicole Jeray, 42, who has made it back to the LPGA Tour for the 19th time.

  • Choi wins final LPGA Tour event of the year Nov 18, 2012 4:42 PM
    U.S. Women’s Open champion Na Yeon Choi won the Titleholders on Sunday to turn a great season into her best one yet. Locked in a battle with So Yeon Ryu along the back nine, Choi pulled away with a wedge that had to hit a tiny spot on an elevated green with three tiers. It came off perfectly, spun to 3 feet for birdie and Choi took it from there. She closed with two pars for a 2-under 70 and a two-shot victory. The 25-year-old from South Korea won for the second time this year, and she captured the two biggest paychecks on the LPGA Tour. She won $500,000 at the Titleholders, pushing her season earnings to a career-best $1.9 million. Ryu, honored this week as the LPGA Rookie of the Year, hit 3-wood into about 25 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 13th to tie for the lead. But on the next hole, she didn’t account for the wind making her 30-foot birdie putt faster than it looked. The putt went some 6 feet by the hole, and a three-putt bogey cost her a share of the lead. She never caught up. Brittany Lincicome also closed with a 70 at The TwinEagles Club for finish alone in third. Karrie Webb had a 69 to finish another shot behind. Inbee Park was never in the hunt, though she still felt plenty of pressure in the final LPGA Tour event of the year. She needed to make sure she didn’t stumble in the final round to capture the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average, and she handled that with ease. Park had a 70, while Stacy Lewis had a 74. Lewis is the first American since 1994 to be LPGA Player of the Year. Park took the Vare Trophy and money title, the only woman to earn more than $2 million this year. Sunday, however, belonged to Choi. “I’m really happy with how I played this season,” Choi said. “I won my first major and even this tournament is very big for me. I think I can have even bigger expectations now and think I deserve it.” She is becoming known as “Big Apple” because of her initials — NYC — and she sure knows how to pick the right fruit when it comes to prize money. Choi showed she had the mettle to win big events with her first major this summer at Blackwolf Run in the U.S. Women’s Open, the biggest purse in women’s golf. And she finished off the year with a solid putting stroke in the final round, and a delicate touch with a wedge on the reachable par-4 16th. She wanted to go for the green, a risky play if she didn’t pull it off. Her caddie, Jason Hamilton, suggested a 3-wood to the left side for the best angle into the green, and Choi took it from there. Ryu was on the right side of the fairway, and her pitch shot up two tiers didn’t quite clear the last ridge and rolled off the green. “My putting wasn’t really great,” Ryu said. “Na Yeon is a great player, and I’m just a rookie, just starting this season. It was quite tough. Na Yeon was great.” It capped off another banner year for South Koreans. They won three of the four majors and finished 1-2 on the money list. The timing couldn’t have been better for Choi. Her mother came over to help her buy a house in Orlando, and this was the first time she saw her daughter win outside South Korea. And with a $500,000 check, Choi smiled and said, “I think I can buy bigger than I thought.” There were a few nervous moments early, particularly on the third hole, that put the tournament up for grabs. Choi pulled her approach some 30 yards left of the green, surrounded by steep slopes. Her chip failed to reach the green, and she two-putted for double bogey. There was a four-way tie for the lead among Choi, Ryu, Lincicome and Ai Miyazato, with Webb only one shot out of the lead. Moments later, Choi seized regained the lead with a 3-wood from 240 yards that landed some 20 yards short of the green and bounced onto the putting surface, rolled next to the flag and stopped just inside 10 feet away. She holed that for eagle and never trailed again. Ryu took on a front bunker with a tee shot to 10 feet for birdie on the 12th, but Choi followed her with a 9-iron into 3 feet. Choi struggled with her irons, particularly wedges into the par 5s on the back nine, but she came up big with the toughest one of all. “I was very nervous last night,” Choi said. “I told people that leading the tournament, there’s always extra pressure. Even on front nine, when I had the double bogey and tie for first place, I felt more comfortable than leading. Maybe that sounds a little weird. I like chasing somebody, and then I can play more aggressive.” She was aggressive until she tapped in for par on the final hole for the win, the third time in four seasons that she has had at least two victories. It put a smile on her face as she heads to Orlando for some house-hunting.

  • Suzann Pettersen wins Taiwan Championship Oct 28, 2012 4:45 PM
    YANG MEI, Taiwan — Suzann Pettersen won the Taiwan Championship on Sunday for her second straight LPGA Tour victory, rallying to beat Inbee Park by three strokes. Pettersen closed with a 3-under 69 in wind and drizzle on the at Sunrise course. The Norwegian finished with a 19-under 269 and earned $300,000 for her 10th LPGA Tour title. “It is a great win for me, especially coming back from behind in tough conditions like today,” Pettersen said. “I just focused on every shot and stuck to my game plan.” Last week in South Korea, she beat Catriona Matthew in a playoff. “I tee it up every week to try and win,” Pettersen said. “Obviously, winning last week gave me perhaps a bit more confidence believing that what I do is the right thing. ... I don’t think I’ve enjoyed myself so much on the golf course like I have the last three or four weeks, so I think that might be a huge part of it. Really playing with my heart, playing with my instinct, even on the last shot. Just being aggressive.” Park shot a 74. The South Korean won two weeks ago in Malaysia for her second victory of the year and leads the money list. “Today, I hit the ball good, I think,” Park said. “Just, putts just didn’t fall. I mean I holed a lot of putts the last three days, so I guess today was just unlucky day. Just try to take the things from this week and go on to next week.” Local favorite Yani Tseng had a 71 to finish third at 15 under. The top-ranked Taiwanese player won the event last year. “I really enjoyed this week to coming back home and play the LPGA tournament here,” Tseng said. “ So many fans out here to cheer for me and to give me 100 percent support, so I really, really appreciate that. I can’t wait to come back next year to play well.” She won three of the first five tour events this year, then struggled before finishing third in the last two events. “I know I didn’t finish where I wanted to, but it’s getting better and I think it’s getting better slowly, so I’m very happy what I play right now,” Tseng said. “I always have something that I can improve on like every day, so I’m very happy to see my game right now and feel very confident and going to play Japan next week, so hopefully I’ll have a good week, too.” Matthew was fourth at 14 under after a 70. Cristie Kerr was the only American in the top 12, shooting a 73 to tie for sixth at 9 under. Michelle Wie had a 76 to tie for 23rd at 1 under.

  • Lewis beats out Thompson in Navistar LPGA Classic Sep 23, 2012 6:31 PM
    Stacy Lewis won the Navistar LPGA Classic on Sunday for her third LPGA Tour victory in five months and second in Alabama, closing with a 3-under 69 to beat defending champion Lexi Thompson by two strokes.

  • Ryder Cup contenders ready for short break Sep 11, 2012 12:06 PM
    There's a rare break in the PGA Tour season this week, and that's a good thing, says Daily Herald golf columnist Len Ziehm. The best players are tired after playing three straight weeks of FedEx Cup playoff events, and they're welcoming a rest before the big two-week stretch coming up: The Tour Championship in Atlanta followed by the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club. Tiger Woods admits he's ailing despite a good showing in the BMW Championship. He was limping after some bad shots, suggesting his surgically repaired left knee isn't completely healed.

  • Kudos to Maciaszek for two-plus decades of excellence Aug 30, 2012 9:01 PM
    The Scorecard says goodbye to a co-worker, looks at the Cubs by the numbers and offers though on the Bears and the menu for a Labor Day weekend.

  • Better system for picking U.S. Ryder Cup team Aug 14, 2012 10:31 PM
    The first phase to determine who will be playing in next month’s Ryder Cup matches at Medinah is over. Point standings, accumulated over two years, determined the eight automatic berths on the U.S. team after Sunday’s PGA Championship was completed. Those earning spots were Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. In past years the U.S. captain named his picks the day after the PGA, but that was changed this time. U.S. captain Davis Love III will name four (as opposed to just two in the past) picks Sept. 4 in New York. The new system is much better than the old, in that it allows the captain to pick the players who are playing the best leading into the biennial matches. That means Love can analyze play in three tournaments, two of them part of the pressurized FedEx Cup playoffs, before filling out his roster for the Sept. 25-30 spectacular at Medinah. Love will be looking for experienced — and hot — players for his four selections. The automatic eight are short on experience. Dufner, Bradley and Simpson have never played in the biggest team competition in golf and Watson and Kuchar have played only once. Love will want some veterans to back them up, even though Mickelson — the last of the automatic qualifiers — will make his ninth straight appearance. That’s a record for consecutive, as well as all-time, appearances. Though he wouldn’t say it at Monday’s news conference, Love is sure to name Steve Stricker to the team. Stricker was 10th on the point list but is Woods’ preferred partner. Hunter Mahan, one spot in front of Stricker and a two-time winner this season, figures to make the U.S. squad for the second time as a captain’s pick. The other two picks are up for grabs, with performances in this week’s Wyndham Championship and the first two FedEx playoff events — The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship — critical in Love’s view. He will make his picks on the Tuesday of the third FedEx tourney, the BMW Championship. It will be held at Crooked Stick in Indianapolis this year after having a home at Cog Hill in Lemont. The Western Golf Assn. wanted to move its PGA Tour stop out of Chicago this year to avoid oversaturation with the Ryder Cup. If Love is worried about experience, he could pick Jim Furyk (11th in the point standings) or even dip into the Champions Tour ranks for Fred Couples. If he wants an exciting young star, Ricky Fowler and Dustin Johnson would be possibilities. Unfortunately there won’t be a local player on the U.S. squad. Mark Wilson, D.A. Points and Kevin Streelman loomed as possibilities, however remote, early in the year, but Wilson was in 23rd place in the standings with Points 31st and Streelman 69th. All were too far back to merit consideration. The European team is chosen differently, with captain Jose Maria Olazabal making only two picks, both on Aug. 27, the day after the Johnnie Walker Championship concludes in Scotland. Ten members of the European team are chosen off point standings that are finalized after the Johnnie Walker event. Big week for NU: Northwestern’s golf programs had an impact far beyond the college level last weekend. Two NU alums — Chris Wilson (2007) and Scott Harrington (2003) — went to a playoff to determine the title in the Web.com Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Classic in Springfield, Mo., with Wilson winning. Illinois’ Luke Guthrie tied for 10th in that event, the sixth time in as many pro starts on the PGA and Web.com circuits that he has finished in the top 20. And NU sophomore Nicole Zhang reached the semifinals in the U.S. Women’s Amateur. That’s the best finish by a Wildcat in either the men’s or women’s U.S. Ams since Dillon Dougherty was runner-up in 2004. Luke Donald’s best in the U.S. Am was a semifinal finish. Here and there: Those lucky enough to secure Ryder Cup tickets probably should have them by now. They were mailed Friday. … The third and final Illinois qualifier for next month’s U.S. Mid-Amateur at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, is Wednesday at Piper Glen in Springfield. … The Illinois PGA Pro-Senior tournament is Wednesday at Elgin Country Club and the Schaumburg Classic is Monday, the last tuneup for the Aug. 27-29 IPGA Championship at Stonewall Orchard in Grayslake. … A qualifier for the Illinois State Senior Amateur will be held Tuesday at The Links at Carillon in Plainfield. … The Midwest Shelter Golf Fundraiser has been scheduled for Aug. 26 at Klein Creek in Winfield.

  • Top competition playing in Western Amateur Aug 1, 2012 11:01 AM
    Four of the world's top six amateurs will be battling for the title in the 110th Western Amateur at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park this week. Among them is Patrick Rodgers, who won the Western Golf Association's Junior tournament in 2011. "The Western Am and the U.S. Amateur are the two biggest in amateur golf. This is when we want to be peaking," said Rodgers, coming off a dazzling freshman year at Stanford.

  • Reinsdorf has right idea on baseball expansion Jul 26, 2012 6:55 PM
    White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf didn't get where he is by luck. The guy is one smart cookie. Case in point: during a fundraiser to support baseball in Israel held Wednesday night at Harry Caray's Restaurant, the Chairman was asked about the possibility of international expansion for MLB. Here's what he told those on hand: "I don't see any baseball expansion right now. If it were up to me, I would contract two teams."

  • Stevenson standout Miller shooting to make history Jul 26, 2012 6:51 PM
    In its 17 previous stagings, the Illinois Women’s Open has never featured a high school champion. That could change today when Stevenson’s Stephanie Miller enters the final round as the co-leader. Miller has a great pairing for the shootout at Mistwood, in Romeoville. She’ll play with the other co-leader, Chicago amateur Nora Lucas, who just graduated from Illinois and helped recruit Miller to Champaign. Miller verbally committed to the Illini three weeks ago and said Lucas was a big reason for her quick decision. “I met her on my visit, and she was so nice,” said Miller, a 17-year-old senior-to-be at Stevenson who is playing in the IWO for the first time. The Illinois prep champion as a sophomore, Miller has sought tougher competition this year and recently qualified for next month’s U.S. Women’s Amateur in Cleveland by shooting par golf over 36 holes at Blackberry Oaks, in Bristol. Two professionals — Brittany Johnston and Colleen Cashman-McSween — are 1 stroke behind the IWO co-leaders. Johnston plays on the LPGA’s Symetra (formerly Futures) Tour, and Cashman-McSween is assistant coach at Michigan. Miller has no fears about competing against older, more experienced players. “I get to pick their brains and see what I can do to follow in their footsteps,” said Miller, whose father will be her caddie. A commercial pilot, he flew in from Paris on Wednesday to be on her bag. Lucas won the Illinois Women’s Amateur in 2011 and highlighted her collegiate career by going a school-record 11-under-par en route to winning Wisconsin’s tournament as a senior. The IWO will conclude her summer season, and she will enter law school rather than turn pro. “I’ll just play for fun. I’m excited to move ahead, just like (Miller) is excited (to look ahead to college),” said Lucas. “She should be. I had a great time at Illinois.” Miller had a chip-in in each of the first two rounds. She holed out from 61 yards for eagle at No. 10 on Wednesday and chipped for birdie at No. 7 on Thursday, when she carded a 73. Lucas highlighted her second-round 72 with birdies at Nos. 12 (a 30-foot putt) and 15. Thwy are the only players under par for 36 holes. Both are at 1-under 143 on the recently-renovated course. Forty-one of the 91 starters survived the 36-hole cut. They’ll begin play at 7 a.m. today with the leaders going off at 10 a.m.

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