Category: LPGA Tour

October 07, 2013

LPGA plays through 'hazardous' smog in China

Posted at 11:13 AM by Cameron Morfit
Sandra Gal
Sandra Gal was among the players who wore a mask in the third round at the Reignwood LPGA Classic.


Of all the challenges stacked up against the LPGA, hazardous smog was somewhere around 101st on a list of 100.

That's no longer the case after the circuit's first tournament in China, the Reignwood LPGA Classic, was plagued by smog so thick that it delayed third-round tee times for 90 minutes and had players and caddies coughing and covering up with hastily constructed facemasks.

According to a report on, the conditions were so bad as to jeopardize players' safety, but in light of the importance of establishing a foothold in China, one of the few places in the world where golf is booming, the LPGA made the decision to play on.

At the top of the leader board going into Sunday’s final round was Guangzhou-born Shanshan Feng. As the LPGA website announced, “This week is all about .... Shanshan Feng.”

Unfortunately for the LPGA, this week has also been all about air pollution. Since last weekend, Beijing has been swamped in polluted air that intermittently breaches “hazardous” levels, as determined by the U.S. embassy in Beijing’s air-quality monitor (the Beijing government’s air-quality stations have measured similar levels). The situation has been ugly enough that according to guidelines posted by the U.S. Department of State, “active” adults and children “should avoid all outdoor exertion.”

A professional golf tournament may not require the physical exertion of a soccer game, but it does require quite a significant amount of time outdoors. At the Reignwood LPGA Classic, days traversing golf courses have taken their toll. “The smog that’s coming in right now, it’s making it heavy, and it’s harder to breathe out there,” American Jessica Korda said on Friday. “You cough a lot.” Players and caddies have been photographed wearing face-masks against a smoggy backdrop (notably, none of those images appear on the LPGA website).



September 24, 2013

Solheim Cup star Hull to skip Q-School

Posted at 5:16 PM by Pete Madden
Charley Hull
Credit: Richard Heathcote / Getty Images


Solheim Cup sensation Charley Hull cancelled plans to attend the second stage of LPGA Qualifying School and will instead rely on sponsor invitations to fill out her touring schedule.

“We applied for (Q-School) pre-Solheim Cup, never thinking the [sponsor] invitation route would get her enough starts,” Hull’s manager Joe McQuade wrote in an email to “Post-Solheim, we sat down and had a good think about things and decided that as Charley is so young, she wouldn’t want to be in the States and away from home for her entire schedule, and that her exposure through the Solheim will hopefully have given her sufficient publicity to attract the maximum six invitations. These, together with competitions such as the U.S. Open, etc., that she can qualify for, will give her a nice balance between USA and European events. Whilst I know Charley is drawn to the States, she still wants to give support to the European (t)our, which is where her professional career began.”

The 17-year-old Hull can earn her LPGA Tour card by winning a Tour event or finishing in the Top 40 on the money list by the end of the 2014 season.

In August, Hull helped Europe upset the U.S. at the Colorado Golf Club in Denver to keep the Solheim Cup, defeating established superstar Paula Creamer 5 and 4 in their singles match and then (now famously) asking for her autograph.

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August 26, 2013

Amateur Lydia Ko: I don't care about $300,000 prize

Posted at 5:04 PM by Pete Madden


Lydia Ko is getting defensive. The 16-year old rising star shot a 6-under 64 on Sunday to defend her Canadian Women's Open title and then had to defend her decision to retain her amateur status despite ever-increasing earning potential.

[Ko] bristled when asked about losing out on another $300,000 payday, the Associated Press reported.

"I don't care. I don't care," Ko said. "I can say that a couple more times, if you want."

Ko became the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour when she won the 2012 Canadian Women's Open, and with five top 10 finishes on tour in 2013 (including Sunday's victory), hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money has already fallen to her runners-up.

"You know, I've always said I'm thinking about it and that's the same answer right here," Ko told reporters.

The decision of whether and when to turn pro has bedeviled talented young golfers for decades, but modern purse sizes might have made even Bobby Jones blink. There's mounting pressure on young athletes to collect while they can, but for every Tiger Woods -- who left Stanford University behind after two years and has enjoyed all-but-unprecedented professional success since -- there's many more Colt Knosts -- who turned pro after winning the 2007 U.S. Amateur (forfeiting his invitations to the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the Open Championship) and then failed to make it out of Q School with a 2008 PGA Tour Card.

With so much at stake, at least, as Matt Richens of reported, the decision might not be totally up to her.

"I've got some people above me like my mum and dad," Ko said. "They're the boss."

(Photo: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

July 27, 2013

Michelle Wie still in mix for Solheim Cup

Posted at 8:14 AM by


For Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon, finding the right mix of players is crucial to winning the match play tournament, set for August 16–18 in Parker, Colo.

Though the teams are not set, there are a few players that could still earn their way onto the U.S. squad. Golfweek says Michelle Wie is one of the those players and she can earn a spot by winning next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open to make the team on points. 

To qualify for the team, players earn points for victories and top-20 finishes on the tour over a two-year span. Wie is 13th on the list with 160.5 points

Wie has just two top-10 finishes this year, and has made the cut only seven times out of the 15 tournaments she has entered.  

It’s crunch time for the Solheim Cup, and believe it or not, Michelle Wie is very much in the conversation for making the U.S. team.  

Otherwise, captain Meg Mallon would need to make Wie one of her two captain’s picks, which isn’t out of the question considering that she already has three Solheim rookies who are locks for the team (Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Lizette Salas) and Wie is a two-time participant. Thompson and Korda are currently in on points while Salas is safely in at No. 21 in the rankings. (The top two players in the Rolex Rankings not otherwise qualified through Solheim points earn spots.) Jennifer Johnson is the only player who can finish second at the British Open and crack the top eight (assuming current No. 8 Brittany Lang finishes outside the top 12 at St. Andrews). Gerina Piller, Salas, Morgan Pressel and Wie would need to win at the Old Course to jump into the top eight.

-- Posted by Scooby Axson

Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images


March 13, 2013

Natalie Gulbis has malaria, withdraws from LPGA event

Posted at 10:48 AM by Mike Walker

Nat_singapore_300Natalie Gulbis withdrew from this week's RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup due to malaria, according to a statement from the LPGA.

Natalie originally became ill in Singapore and she was treated and medically cleared to fly home. Natalie continues to be treated at home and is expected to be at full strength in three weeks.

Natalie’s well-being is a top priority for both the LPGA and IMG, and steps continue to be taken to ensure the well-being of Natalie and all the players on the LPGA Tour now and for future events. LPGA doctors have been consulted and believe she is on appropriate medications, under great care, and her prognosis is excellent.

The LPGA is also offering free malaria screenings in Phoenix on Wednesday for players, caddies and family members.

Earlier this month, Gulbis's coach Butch Harmon tweeted that Gulbis had malaria after she withdrew from the HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore, but her agent denied it in an interview with the Golf Channel.

According to the LPGA, Gulbis has been practicing and expects to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April.

Photo: Natalie Gulbis in the first round of the 2013 HSBC Champions LPGA event in Singapore in February (Getty Images).

February 26, 2013

Paula Creamer, Ai Miyazato injured in Thailand car accident

Posted at 1:14 PM by Samantha Glover

Petterson_wreckPhotograph by Suzann Pettersen

Paula Creamer and her caddie were injured in a car accident in Thailand, according to the Golf Channel's Randell Mell.

Paula Creamer and her caddie, Colin Cann, sustained minor injuries in a car accident Sunday night when they found themselves in the middle of a five-car pileup on their way to the Bangkok airport after the Honda LPGA Thailand event.

In addition to Creamer and Cann, Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen were also involved in the five-car pileup on the highway. According to Mell, Miyazato's car was in the accident, while Pettersen and her mother narrowly missed it.

Creamer was in the front seat of a VIP car, and though she was wearing a seatbelt, she said her air bag did not deploy. She and Miyazato visited a hospital in Singapore after their flight landed for this week’s HSBC Champions. Creamer said doctors told her she did not suffer a concussion, but she did suffer moderate whiplash and has a sore shoulder.

Creamer reported Cann, who was in the back seat, has a sore neck and shoulders.

“I will probably be sore for several weeks,” Creamer tweeted. “We were very lucky. Hope to be able to play this week.”

Pettersen, who wrote about accident on her blog, said that speed might have been a factor in the crash:

On our way to the airport we were in a car accident! Paula , Ai , my mum and myself with the rest of our entourage! We were driving on the highway pretty fast and at times maybe to ruff. Meaning , no room for errors what so ever ! And it was just a matter of time we must say before something actually happend! Don’t know how it all went down, but in a split second the entourage of our 5 cars was all crushed together! Paula said she felt like a ping ping ball being hit from both ends pretty hard! I was in the last car and manage somehow to just miss the rest! Out of all the cars , the car I was in was the only car suited to take us to the airport! We are just happy no one got more seriously injured from the impact! Ai and Paula and some of the guys had some pain in their necks! It was a scary split second, where u realize how quick it can go!

I took a picture in the car just before the incident, not knowing what was just about to happend! We were all lucky this time;)

All the players involved in the accident hope to compete in the HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore this week, according to a statement on

"With great concern for the players, caddies and families involved, we've been working through the necessary channels to gather available and accurate information beyond the original wire report... although follow up information trickled in slowly as players traveled from Thailand to Singapore. At this point, we've now been in contact with each of the players involved and their representatives. We're glad to report that there are no serious injuries. Paula and Ai have been seen by doctors, x-rays have checked out ok, and each is receiving excellent follow up care. All players say they are hopeful of competing this week at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. We will update as necessary."

November 28, 2012

PGA of America members oppose belly-putter ban; PGA Tour to review in March

Posted at 1:44 PM by Mike Walker

Keegan Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship at East Lake in Atlanta with an anchored putter. (Robert Beck/SI)

In a recent survey, two-thirds of PGA of America members said they were against banning anchored putters due to concerns over the ban's effect on the growth of the game and the lack of any data to suggest that anchoring is an advantage.

The PGA of America, which represents more than 27,000 teaching professionals and hosts the PGA Championship, shared the results of the survey in a letter to USGA Executive Director Mike Davis and USGA President Glen Nager. Davis announced the USGA's proposed ban on anchored putters in a joint teleconference with R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson on Wednesday morning.

"We believe that golf is the greatest of all games," the PGA of America's letter stated. "We also believe that we need to continue to do what is necessary to preserve all that makes it unique and, consistent with our mission, take actions to grow the game. Therefore, as you near decisions regarding a potential ban on anchoring, we wanted to be sure that you were aware of the polling results as our PGA members are truly the tangible connection between the game and its participants.

"As Mike mentioned in his presentation to us at our PGA Annual Meeting in Baltimore earlier this month, there does not appear to be any data that suggests that anchoring a golf club results in an unfair competitive advantage. In the absence of such data and based on the polling of our PGA members and all of the exciting progress the industry has made through Golf 2.0 and other related initiatives to make the game more fun and, quite frankly, more enjoyable and welcoming to a broader and more diverse audience, we respectfully ask you to consider our concerns."

The PGA of America is not affiliated with the PGA Tour, which issued its own statement on the ban Wednesday:

"While the USGA and The R&A have kept us updated on this proposed rule change, we only recently have been able to review the final language and have not until now had the opportunity to share it with our Policy Board and membership," the PGA Tour's statement said. "As with any rule change, we will go through our normal process of evaluating the potential impact this will have to all our constituents. It will be discussed at our next annual player meeting on Jan. 22 in San Diego, and it is anticipated that it will be reviewed by our Policy Board during its March meeting. During this review process, we will provide periodic updates to our stakeholders."

Davis said Wednesday that the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour are all consulting members of the USGA's Rules of Golf committee and were involved in the discussions about anchored putters, although he declined to say whether PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem agreed with the ban.

"I think it would be fair to say this question would be better answered by Tim himself or a member of the Policy Board, but certainly the Tour is aware of what's going on and they have a process they have to go through," Davis said.

The LPGA Tour put out its own brief statement Wednesday, saying the women's tour has always followed the USGA's rules:

“The LPGA has consistently conducted our official events in accordance with the Rules of Golf as defined by the USGA and the R&A. We certainly respect golf’s governing bodies and their long-standing desire to protect and promote the best interests of the game.

“The proposed new Rule 14-1b prohibiting ‘anchoring the club’ in making a stroke is not yet final and the LPGA will wait with interest while the USGA and R&A consider further comments and suggestions from the golf community.

“In the meantime, we will continue to discuss this proposed change with our players and provide our input and thoughts directly to the USGA and R&A.”

The European Tour is a member of the R&A's Rules of Golf committee. The USGA is the governing body for golf in the United States and Mexico; the R&A is the governing body for the rest of the world. Speaking for the R&A, Dawson said the European Tour is expected to adapt the rule change without any issue, and recalled a saying of former European Tour official Ken Shofield.

"When he was executive director of the European Tour, he said the European Tour are rules followers, not rules makers," Dawson said. "I think from some remarks attributed over the past two or three days to George O'Grady, that sentiment lives on on the European Tour."

November 15, 2012

Truth & Rumors: PGA, LPGA, Champions, and Tour stars tee off together

Posted at 1:08 PM by Samantha Glover

The Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational, now in its 41st year, is the only event in golf that features players from the PGA, LPGA, Champions and tours all competing against each other.

The field includes a wide variety of players, including big names like Annika Sorenstam, Fred Funk, Juli Inkster and Jonas Blixt; new pros like Cheyenne Woods and Luke Guthrie; and 324 amateurs, according to the The Herald of Monterey County.

"I'm really looking forward to competing in this year's Callaway Invitational at Pebble Beach," said Sorenstam, who'll have her husband Mike on the bag as caddie. "Callaway has been a wonderful partner of mine for my entire career and now beyond, and the Monterey Peninsula is one of our favorite places to spend time."

The tournament, which uses a tee placement system based on the average length of shots on each tour to give each player a fair chance at the $300,000 purse, will take place Thursday through Sunday at Del Monte, Spyglass and Pebble Beach. There will be a cut after Saturday's round, and the top 40 golfers will advance to a final round at Pebble.

October 22, 2012

Tweets of the Week: PGA, European Tour & LPGA compete in Asia and more

Posted at 1:25 PM by

Euros travel to Asia to compete in the BMW Masters:

LPGA pros finished the second event of their Asian swing, the HanaBank Championship:


Tommy Gainey, Bo Van Pelt and Suzann Pettersen won tournaments:

Golfers also enjoyed some downtime as the 2012 season winds down:

October 15, 2012

Tweets of the Week: Phil Mickelson Q&A, Justin Rose wins in Turkey, and more

Posted at 1:13 PM by

Phil Mickelson answered questions from his fans:

Christine Kim and Brittany Lincicome feuded via Twitter:

The tweets that sparked it all:

Things heated up as fans took to both golfers' sides, eventually resulting in explanations/apologies from both Kim and Lincicome:

Jonas Blixt, Shane Lowry, Inbee Park and Justin Rose won tournaments:

Cristie Kerr, Annika Sorenstam, and Michelle Wie celebrated birthdays:

The Vice Presidential debate sparked strong feelings from golfers:

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