Who won the first-ever Donald Ross Memorial Invitational boys individual title?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Casey snub could spell doom for Europe

Colin Montgomerie has made his captain's choices for the upcoming Ryder Cup.

And Paul Casey was passed over.

Monty chose Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari.

It's the choice of Harrington and not Casey that garners the most head-scratching.

Sure Harrington has won three majors, but the Irishman missed the cut in three majors this year.

His form is off, and his record in the last two Ryder Cups isn't good, either.

Harrington has lost eight matches, halved two and won zero in 10 matches.

Meanwhile, Casey played well in two majors this year, is No. 9 in the world and has a decent match play record.

In fact, he displayed his match play prowess with a runner-up in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The Englishman finished T-3rd and T-12th in the British Open and PGA Championship, respectively.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Uihlein named to Team USA

The USGA announced Team USA's participants for the 2010 World Amateur Team Championship held Oct. 28-31 at Olivos Golf Club and Buenos Aires Golf Club in Argentina.

Former Leadbetter Academy student Peter Uihlein was one of the selections.

Uihlein won the 110th U.S. Amateur following the announcement. He'll join U.S. Amateur runner-up David Chung and Scott Langley as U.S. team members for the biennial competition.

His father is the CEO of Titleist, and Uihlein has memberships to the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club and The Concession in Manatee County.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

An dethroned at U.S. Amateur

Ben An just couldn't put away David Chung.

The Bradenton golfer from Korea was 3-up on Chung nine holes to play in the semifinals of the 110th U.S. Amateur at the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash.

An, who won the tournament last year, played his final nine Saturday in the equivalent of 4-over par, while Chung birdied three holes in his comeback.

However, there is still a chance that someone with Bradenton ties could walk off with the U.S. Amateur trophy in tow after Sunday's 36-hole final.

That's because former IMG Academies golfer Peter Uihlein advanced in his semifinal.

Uihlein, whose father is the CEO of Titleist, breezed to a 4-and-3 victory over Patrick Cantlay.

The finals on the course measuring over 7,700 yards begin Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. local time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

An moves into the semifinals

Bradenton's Ben An has earned a semifinal berth after a hard-fought quarterfinal match in the 110th U.S. Amateur at the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash.

An won the tournament last year, which gave him exemptions into the U.S. and British opens, and an invitation into The Masters.

He missed the cut in all three majors, but the experience in those tournaments and couple other PGA Tour stops has the incoming University of Cal-Berkeley freshman primed for a return trip golf's elite venues in 2011.

However, An would need to repeat this week. He battled his soon-to-be college teammate to a 1-up victory that took all 18 holes to complete. It was the first time since match play began that An has been forced to No. 18.

His previous three matches ended early.

An never trailed in the match, and it was just the second time he played No. 18 - having played the hole during stroke play qualification.

He faces Fayetteville, N.C. golfer David Chung in Saturday's first semifinal.

The match is scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. local time.

Defending champ An into quarters

Ben An, the reigning U.S. Amateur champ, won two matches Thursday in the 110th U.S. Amateur at the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash.

An enters the fall as a freshman at the University of Cal-Berkeley, after moving from his native South Korea to Bradenton to hone his game.

An defeated Alex Shi Yup Kim, of Fullerton, Calif., 4 and 3 in the round of 32.

He then beat Scott Strohmeyer from Tuscaloosa, Ala. 3 and 2 to advance to today's quarterfinals.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An into round of 32 at U.S. Amateur

Ben An is heading to the second round in defense of his U.S. Amateur title.

The Bradenton golfer is attending the University of Cal-Berkeley this fall as a freshman, but he's at University Place, Wash. for the site of this year's national amateur.

An dispatched David Dannelly of Clemson, S.C. 3 and 2 in a round of 64 match Wednesday at the Chambers Bay Golf Course.

An shot the equivalent of 2-under before ending the match on the 16th hole.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An looks likely for match play; Mullhaupt likely to miss cut

Bradenton's Ben An is heading to the University Cal-Berkeley for his college golf this fall, but before he hits the classroom, he's defending his U.S. Amateur title at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.

An started strong in Monday's opening round when he fired a 2-under 70 on The Home Course. However, he backed up on the Chambers Bay Golf Course in his second round with a 77, but that right now looks likely to advance An to the match play portion of the tournament.

Only the top 64 make up a the single-elimination field and fellow Bradenton golfer Nicholas Mullhaupt shot 157 for the two-day stroke play portion.

That number won't be good enough as Mullhaupt sits in a tie for 208th as of late Tuesday.

The tournament's match play begins Wednesday and finishes with Sunday's final.

Monday, August 23, 2010

An starts title defense strong; Mullhaupt slow out of the gate

Bradenton's Ben An got off to a good start in defense of his U.S. Amateur title.

An carded a 2-under 70 in Monday's first round at The Home Course in Chambers Bay, Wash.

An, a native South Korean, relocated to Bradenton to work on his game.

Last year he won the U.S. Amateur and received invitations to PGA Tour events including The Masters. He also played in the U.S. and British opens.

Despite missing the cut in all three majors he played this year, the experience is sure to give An a boost down the road, which includes his college game beginning this year at the University of Cal-Berkeley.

An had six birdies to offset four bogeys that gave him a spot in the top ten with many players still on The Home Course and Chambers Bay Golf Course.

Meanwhile, Bradenton's Nicholas Mullhaupt finished at 3-over, 75. He played The Home Course for his opening round, too.

Mullhaupt's 75 leaves him in a bit of a hole - tied for 111th as of late afternoon on Monday.

Following the second round of stroke play Tuesday, the field will cut down to match play for the remainder of the tournament.

Tiger and Elin's divorce official

The Associated Press has reported that Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren are officially divorced.

That should come to no surprise to anyone in or out of the golf world.

Now that the divorce and the number of women he had an affair with has cooled down a bit, perhaps El Tigre can focus in on golf.

Team USA's Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin sure would like it. The world's No. 1 golfer has seen a dip in form that left him without a major in his return to golf since the Thanksgiving car accident and subsequent infidelity allegations surfaced.

Pavin would like nothing more than to have Tiger gain some of the magic he had in 2000, when he steamrolled the fields at the U.S. and British opens en route to three major championships for this year's Ryder Cup in Wales.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Barwick places fourth at NFPGA Women's Championship

Bradenton resident Stacy Barwick placed fourth at the North Florida PGA Women's Championship on August 16-17 at Orange County National's Crooked Cat Golf Course.

Barwick shot 151 for the two rounds, which earned her $300.

Jennifer Heinz won the tournament going away.

The pro based out of TPC Sawgrass shot 68-67 to finish at 9-under 135 and $550.

The Big Summer Golf Card sponsored the event.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

IMG student wins inaugural Junior Tour event

IMG Academies golfer So Young Hwang won the girls 15-18 year old age division in the inaugural IMG Leadbetter Junior Golf Tour event.

The tournament was held over two days at the Waldoff Astoria Golf Club in Orlando.

Hwang carded a 36-hole total of 151 to win by four.

Bradenton's Remec Carlson placed second in the boys 12-15 year old division with a 162 total.

Longwood's Owen Curry won that division going away with a 72-75--147.

The tour has 19 dates listed on its schedule, but none in the Manatee County area. The closest tourney is in Naples area.

Arizona is another location for some events, which haven't been finalized on a full schedule.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kaymer's performance lost in the shuffle

Lost in the shuffle at the PGA Championship was how well Martin Kaymer played and how poor Nick Watney was.

Kaymer had just two bogeys in his last 54 holes and made several clutch putts along the way.

The German became the first person from his country not named Bernhard Langer to win a major.

Langer won the 1985 and 1993 Masters.

Kaymer jumped from No. 13 in the world to No. 5 with his maiden major championship victory.

He did it with about a 15-foot par saving putt at the 72nd hole just to get into the clubhouse at 11 under, where Bubba Watson had finished at.

Then Dustin Johnson's two-stroke penalty cost D.J. a spot in a three-way playoff paved the way for Kaymer and Watson to duel for the Wanamaker Trophy.

Kaymer fought back after Watson birdied the first playoff hole, with about another 15-footer for birdie at the second playoff hole.

Then Kaymer opted for the layup and conservative approach after Watson smashed his approach on the final playoff hole in the water.

His two-putt bogey was good enough to lift the trophy.

Meanwhile, Watney did his best Dustin Johnson impersonation.

Watney had birdied the first two holes in each of the first three rounds.

However, he doubled the first hole and his triple bogey at No. 7 ended any chance at his first major.

Watney ended up with an 81, which was reminiscent of how Johnson blew up his final round of the U.S. Open earlier this year at Pebble Beach.

In fairness to Johnson, he did redeem himself with the way he played down the stretch at Whistling Straits.

Johnson was three back with six holes to play and entered the 72nd hole with a one-stroke lead before fate and ill-timing entered the picture.

To read about my feelings about the situation, click here

Korda finishes runner up at U.S. Women's Amateur

Bradenton's Jessica Korda came up short in her quest to win the 110th U.S. Women's Amateur at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club.

Korda ended up finishing runner-up to Danielle Kang, who hails from Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Korda hit most of the greens in regulation, but her putter wasn't quite cooperating and that's what ultimately cost her.

She fought back from 2-down after the morning round of the 36-hole final on Sunday.

Eventually, Korda found herself 1-up, but Kang brought it back and then took a 1-up lead going to the par-3 17th.

Kang stuck an approach to about 4 feet.

Korda responded with a stellar approach, a couple feet further away than Kang was.

However, she missed the putt and Kang converted to take the trophy.

Nonetheless, it was a great week for Korda who had taken time away from the tournament grind by not entering the U.S. Girls Junior due to her hectic schedule.

That schedule included her third consecutive U.S. Women's Open, which was won by fellow Bradenton and former Pendleton School at IMG Academies' grad Paula Creamer.

Korda also participated on the winning Team USA in the Curtis Cup and fared well in a recent West Florida Golf Tour stop at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Korda makes the semifinals

Jessica Korda defeated Erynne Lee 4 and 3 in the 110th U.S. Women's Amateur on Friday.

That win takes the Bradenton golfer into the semifinals of the marquee national amateur championship.

Korda took a 1-up lead on No. 8 and never looked back.

She played the next seven holes in 2-under par, while Lee couldn't gain any ground.

It's been a busy summer for Korda, having qualified for her third consecutive U.S. Women's Open after taking medalist honors in the sectionals.

She also was a member of the winning U.S. Curtis Cup team.

However, Korda took a break from the hectic schedule by not entering the U.S. Girls Junior and so far it seems that decision is paying dividends.

She'll try to advance to the final on Saturday against Canada's Stephanie Sherlock.

That is the second semifinal match and tees off at 10:15 a.m.

The Gray-Pavin conundrum

There are very few times I'll side against my journalism brethren, but the Jim Gray and Corey Pavin situation is that case.

As the reports say, Gray, who is a Golf Channel reporter, interviewed Pavin and reported that the U.S. Ryder Cup captain plans to use one of his captain's picks on Tiger Woods if Woods fails to qualify for the team.

Pavin used Wednesday's press conference at the PGA Championship to call Gray out, claiming he was misinterpreted.

Pavin said it wouldn't be fair to the other players and that no captain's picks have been decided yet.

As is being reported, Gray told Pavin he's a liar and that he's going down following the press conference when fellow reporters began vacating the scene.

Pavin tweeted about it later saying Gray had waited for the cameras to stop rolling, and according to reports, Pavin's wife pulled her cell phone out to record all that transpired.

Normally, I'd side with Gray and defend him for seeking out the truth and reporting it, but I think his reaction isn't the right way to go about that.

This isn't the first time, the veteran broadcaster has found himself as a polarizing figure based off an interview.

Gray stirred up controversy back in 1999 at the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

The All-Century team was announced and Gray interviewed Pete Rose, who at that time had not confessed to betting on baseball.

Gray continuously grilled Rose about the allegations and why he signed the paper accepting his ban from baseball.

It didn't play out too well on national television, as Rose ended up looking better than Gray.

Yet Gray's pressuring questions turned out to have validity as Rose eventually admitted to betting on baseball years later.

Gray might just be right about his current situation with Pavin, but the way he is going about it - by calling Pavin a liar and telling him he's going down - isn't the right course of action.

Korda into quarters at U.S. Women's Amateur

Bradenton's Jessica Korda battled a feisty opponent, before earning a quarterfinal spot in the 110th U.S. Women's Amateur at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club on Thursday.

Korda and Lisa McCloskey, of Houston, went 20 holes before the Bradenton Prep student prevailed.

Korda had taken a 1-up lead with three holes to go, but bogeyed No. 16 to draw the match back to all square.

She birdied the 17th to regain that lead with just one hole to play, but another bogey sent the match into sudden death.

Finally, Korda ended it on the 20th hole as McCloskey was heading for a bogey.

Instead of rolling it close for a par, Korda knocked in a birdie on the par-4 second to win the playoff and head into Friday's quarterfinal against Erynne Lee.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Korda prevails; Chen doesn't at U.S. Women's Amateur

And then there was one.

Jessica Korda made it past her second round match earlier today in riveting comeback fashion, while fellow Bradenton junior golfer Doris Chen was eliminated in the U.S. Women's Amateur at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club.

Korda was 1-down to Candace Schepperle through 11 holes in the round of 32 match.

Then she stormed back by shooting 2-under par over the next five holes to defeat Schepperle 4 and 2.

In contrast, the Birmingham, Ala. native bogeyed four of those five holes to help Korda's comeback.

The Bradenton Prep student plays Lisa McCloskey, of Houston, in Thursday afternoon's round of 16.

Meanwhile, Chen never got it going in her match with Canada's Jennifer Kirby.

Kirby took the lead after No. 1 and never looked back, eventually downing Chen 3 and 2.

Chen never had a lead in the match.

Chen and Korda survive in U.S. Women's Amateur

Doris Chen, fresh off her victory in the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship, advance from her first round match in the U.S. Women's Amateur on Wednesday.

Chen joined Jessica Korda as the lone area survivors after the first day of match play.

Argentina's Victoria Tanco, who is a Pendleton School at IMG Academies student, along with Ai Miyazawa were eliminated.

The tournament is scheduled to conclude August 15 at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cole exits in quarterfinals

Spencer Cole was eliminated this past weekend in the FSGA's Amateur Match Play Championship.

Cole was the last remaining area golfer in the field, before Tequesta's Gabriel Costa knocked him out in the quarterfinals.

Costa defeated Cole 1-up and ended up as the runner-up.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cole last area survivor in Match Play

Bradenton's Spencer Cole was the last area player left standing after the first day of the FSGA's Amateur Match Play Championship.

Cole won two matches Friday to advance to Saturday's Round of 16 showdown with Tequesta's Brant Peaper.

That match is scheduled to begin at 8:40 a.m.

Tory Henderson and Nicholas Mullhaupt, both of Bradenton, were eliminated in the Round of 64.

The 19th edition of the tournament resumes Saturday and wraps up with Sunday's championship match slated for 12:30 p.m.

Players will play two matches Saturday - the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals - before the semifinals begin Sunday morning.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tanco in SI

IMG Academies golfer Victoria Tanco is featured in this week's edition of Sports Illustrated.

The 16-year-old Tanco is one of 16 athletes listed in SI's Where Will They Be? portion of the magazine.

Tanco hails from Argentina and played in this year's U.S. Women's Open for the third time and is the reigning two-time AJGA Player of the Year.

"When Tiger gets ahead by two, he pushes it to five," Tanco's coach, Kevin Collins, said in SI's article. "She seems to have that type of an edge to her. When she really needs to put together a score to win a tournament, she's able to do it."

FSGA Match Play bracket announced

The 19th Florida State Amateur Match Play Championship pairings are set.

Bradenton's Spencer Cole, Tory Henderson and Nicholas Mullhaupt are all competing.

Cole faces Orlando's Anthony Martire, Henderson plays Alexander Medinis of Fort Myers and Mullhaupt meets Windemere's Nicolas Donaldson.

The Round of 64 begins Friday and concludes with Sunday's championship match.

The tournament is being held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Jupiter.

Freak accident forces Allenby out of PGA Championship

Robert Allenby's recent accident away from the golf course came at a crucial point in the 2010 schedule.

Now the Australian golfer will miss three weeks, including this week's PGA Tour stop and next week's PGA Championship - the final major of the season - according to various reports.

Allenby is reported to have torn ligaments in his knee after slipping on the deck of his boat while fishing in the Bahamas.

"I was so ready to go," Allenby told the Associated Press from his home in Jupiter, Fla. "I had two weeks of working out at home, pounding it in the gym, pounding golf balls ... and bang! Just a day of fishing. I thought that would be nice, get some lobster on the way home. Very depressing."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Korda's season isn't over just yet

Jessica Korda has had a busy summer.

With stops at the U.S. Women's Open and part of the winning American team at the Curtis Cup, how could the schedule be any less than jam-packed?

Yet Korda played in the West Florida Golf Tour's tournament this past Monday at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club.

She carded a 3-under 69 in showcasing her blossoming game.

The WFGT is the lone mini-tour that concludes its season with the Tour Championship in November at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club.