IRVING, Texas Inbee Park shot a bogey-free 4-under 67 on Sunday to win the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout by a stroke over Carlota Ciganda, whose chance for a first LPGA victory was wiped out in a two-hole stretch.
Park, the world's No. 1 women's player, finished at 13-under 271 for her third victory this season and fifth in her last 18 starts. The 24-year-old South Korean sank a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th after Ciganda also birdied the hole even after a drive into the right rough.
After starting the day two strokes behind Ciganda, Park went ahead to stay with pars on Nos. 14 and 15, where her playing partner ran into trouble. Ciganda had bogey and double bogey on those holes, part of her 70.
Fifth-ranked Suzann Pettersen from Norway, the winner in Hawaii last week, had a closing 66 to get to 10 under and finish third. Hee Young Park (64) and So Yeon Ryu (68) tied for fourth at 275.
Ciganda matched the world's top player shot for shot early on.
They both had birdies at the 403-yard 8th hole, where Park knocked hers in before Ciganda, who responded with ...
Brittany Lang's third round at the North Texas LPGA Shootout ended in unimaginable fashion.
Well, her boyfriend imagined it.
Lang, who is from nearby McKinney, suddenly found her boyfriend walking up after she finished her even-par third round at the No. 9 hole. That's when Kevin Spann dropped to one knee and proposed marriage.
Lang said yes.
Naturally, the on-course proposal in front of a near-hometown gallery elicited a response from fellow pros on social media.
• Paula Creamer (@ThePCreamer): "Congratulations @blanggolf!!!!! Whoop whoop! Love weddings!!!!"
• Mike Whan (@LPGACommish): "Awesome Kevin - 18th green proposal - Congrats @blanggolf!! Glad Golf Cannel caught it for all of us to smile and cheer!!"
IRVING, Texas When Carlota Ciganda got to her half-submerged ball in a concrete drainage ditch right of the 12th fairway, her only thought was whether to hit 8- or 9-iron.
With about 140 yards to the pin, her caddie suggested 8-iron because the ball was in the water.
Ciganda hit that shot to about 10 feet and made the birdie, part of the Spaniard's 5-under 66 on Saturday. That gave her a two-stroke lead over Inbee Park, the world's No. 1 player, and LPGA Tour rookie Caroline Masson going into the final round of the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout.
"Well, it was unbelievable," Ciganda said about the shot from the ditch. "I didn't think much. I just tried to hit it as well as I could, and I think I was pretty lucky. "
After her second 66 this week to get to 11-under 202, Ciganda will have a chance Sunday for her first LPGA Tour victory — against some tough competition.
Park, from South Korea, finished her third-round 67 with consecutive birdies. Na Yeon Choi, the No. 3 player and also from South Korea, was 8 under and alone in fourth after a bogey-free 66.
"When it ...
IRVING, Texas Caroline Masson was relieved to be finished with her second round at the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout. She was fortunate to still have the lead.
Masson bogeyed three of her last four holes Friday to wrap up an even-par round of 71, good enough for a one-stroke lead over Carlota Ciganda.
"After the last few holes, I'm pretty happy it's over now," said Masson, who opened with a bogey-free 7-under 64. "I don't know what went wrong really. It was just a few bad shots, but I think that it's good that it's over and then I can, yeah, just relax now and tomorrow I think I'll be fine again."
At 7-under 135, Masson was a stroke ahead of Ciganda (70), and two ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park (70), 18-year-old LPGA Tour rookie Moriya Jutanugarn (66) and Kathleen Ekey (67).
When Masson got to the 15th hole Friday, she was 10 under and had a four-stroke lead. Her advantage dwindled to one in a hurry.
Masson's drive at the 390-yard 15th went left, but the ball then rolled right across the sloping fairway into the water.
"It just carried down ...
IRVING, Texas — Caroline Masson still feels at times like the LPGA Tour rookie she is, even after three seasons on the Ladies European Tour and winning the South African Women's Open last year.
Then there are rounds like Thursday, a bogey-free 7-under 64 that gave her a two-stroke lead over Carlota Ciganda after the first round of the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout.
"I always felt like I wasn't too far away really. It was just like one bad round ... just couldn't really make any putts or whatever," said Masson, who has made only one of five cuts so far this year. "I felt like, 'OK, there's a good round in me. I just got to be patient.' And yeah, I think that's what I did."
Masson closed her round with a fist pump after sinking a curling putt from about 18 feet on the ninth hole, the longest birdie putt of the day for the 23-year-old German. She hit 17 of 18 greens and made a handful of 10-footers at Las Colinas Country Club.
Inbee Park, the No. 1 women's player in the world, was among five players at 67. Taylor Coleman, a ...
KAPOLEI, Hawaii Suzann Pettersen won the LPGA Lotte Championship on Saturday, beating Lizette Salas with a par on the first hole of a playoff after Salas chunked her approach shot into the water.
Pettersen, the leader after the second and third rounds at Ko Olina, bogeyed the final hole of regulation to set up the playoff on the par-4 18th. The 32-year-old Norwegian closed with a 5-under 67, and Salas had a tournament-record 62 to finish at 19-under 269.
"I thought 20 was going to do it," Pettersen said. "That would take a fantastic round from anyone behind me, and it would take some good golf from me, but that was kind of the number I was shooting for."
Salas had a double bogey on the playoff hole. She played a nine-hole stretch in 9 under, birdieing Nos. 8-9, holing out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 10th and adding birdies on Nos. 12-16.
"Chunk is not bad, but if you have water it's really bad," Salas said. "But I still had a chance, and that putt didn't go in. Not everything is going to fall, but I played my butt off today."
Salas has four ...
KAPOLEI, Hawaii Suzann Pettersen shot a 4-under 68 on Friday at wind-swept Ko Olina to maintain a one-stroke lead after the third round of the LPGA Lotte Championship.
The 32-year-old Norwegian, a 10-time LPGA Tour winner ranked sixth in the world, had a 14-under 202 total. South Korea's Hee Kyung Seo was second after a 66, matching the best round of the day, and defending champion Ai Miyazato was third at 11 under after a 70.
"I hit good shots, good putts," Pettersen said. "Been putting good all week, and really not trying to force anything, just let it come to me. I felt like I maybe left a few out there, but still, like Ai says, par is not a bad score around here. If you mix in a few birdies here and there, it really helps.
"Just really glad I managed to stay with it and kind of finish up."
Pettersen, a stroke ahead of Miyazato entering the round, birdied the first three holes and got to 14 under with a birdie on the par-4 seventh. The European Solheim Cup star bogeyed the par-3 eighth, and got the stroke back with a birdie on the par-5 14th ...
KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Suzann Pettersen rebounded from her lone bogey with three back-nine birdies Thursday at wind-swept Ko Olina to take the second-round lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship.
The 32-year-old Norwegian, a 10-time LPGA Tour winner ranked sixth in the world, shot a 3-under 69 in the challenging conditions in her afternoon round to reach 10-under 134.
"You're just really trying to play the course, what it gives us," Pettersen said. "There are certain holes you can take advantage of and then others where par is a good score. But I think today even on the holes where I felt like I should have made a birdie and I made a par, I said, 'Par is not going to hurt me today.' So, a decent day. It was tough to play solid golf."
Defending champion Ai Miyazato was a stroke back after a 68 in the morning session. The Japanese player, a nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had five birdies in a late six-hole stretch.
"It was definitely windier than yesterday, so it was pretty tough out there," Miyazato said. "I grew up in the wind and I like to play in this wind. This morning when I ...
A last-minute qualifier is leading the LPGA Lotte Championship in Oahu, Hawaii after Round 1. That statement is less surprising considering said qualifier is Ariya Jutanugarn.
Jutanugarn, technically a Sunday qualifier since this week’s event is run one day ahead of a normal LPGA schedule, is teeing it up in her first event since winning the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Meryem Cup on March 31 in Agadir, Morocco. She opened with 8-under 64 at the Ko Olina Golf Club on April 17 and leads Suzann Pettersen and Hee Kyung Seo by one shot.
Jutanugarn turned in 30 after four birdies in her first five holes. She also birdied Nos. 8 and 9. Her lone bogey came at No. 10. She made eagle at No. 14 and birdie at No. 15 to tie a tournament record.
“I have, like, really good front nine, but I just want to make more birdies because my record is 8 under, so I want to be lower,” Jutanugarn said. “When I have bogey on No. 10, I feel not very confident with my putting. So when I have eagle (on the 14th), it make me more (confident).”
This is the first of three ...
Inbee Park, who won the first major of the LPGA season a week ago, rose to World No. 1 status this week. Park, winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, overtook Stacy Lewis in the Rolex Rankings. Lewis had held the top spot for the past four weeks.
“This is a very big day in my golf career,” Park said. “I’m so happy to share it with my family who are here in Hawaii with me.
"It’s nice to reach this goal, but I know a lot of players are close to No. 1. It gives me something else to play for every week and I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The rankings are based on two-year performances, with an emphasis on the most recent 13 weeks. So as older events drop out, the rankings update even if no tournament is played.
In 31 worldwide starts in the past 52 weeks, Park has 21 top-10 finishes. That includes four victories (Kraft, Honda LPGA Thailand, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Evian Masters) and 11 runner-up finishes. She won the 2012 Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average.
Park has been the top-ranked player in the Golfweek/Sagarin ...
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Inbee Park carried an empty water bottle into Poppie's Pond to fill for her father. She plans to dump it on his head when they both get to Hawaii in two weeks. Gun Gyu Park bought a plane ticket and was on his way to the airport when she kindly asked him to stay home.
"I really stopped him because if he came, I would want to win so bad," Park said. "That might be on my mind playing today."
Gun Gyu was understandably upset, but Park said she was relieved her father listened. That leap into Poppie's Pond marked the 25th anniversary of one of the LPGA's most cherished traditions. It was also her parents' 25th wedding anniversary.
Can't think of a nicer gift.
The first time Inbee won a major - the 2008 U.S. Women's Open - she was 19. Four years and 72 tournaments elapsed until she won again last July at the Evian Masters in France. Now, she's one of the most consistent players in the world. And her putting? Phenomenal.
"I've seen Inbee do this before," said top-ranked Stacy Lewis. "I played with her at Evian ...
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Lizette Salas’ caddie Greg Puga said his player wasn’t overly nervous on the first tee. Just before she teed it up in the final group with Inbee Park, trailing by three shots, Salas made the sign of the cross, like she always does.
“She seemed just like she did Saturday,” Puga said.
From there, however, Sunday took a very different turn. Salas, a four-time All-American at USC, began the day by pulling her opening drive into the left rough, moving her ball just a few feet with a 7-iron before punching out with a 9-iron on her way to double bogey. Park birdied, which meant the separation between the two players went from three strokes to six.
After three bogeys on the back nine and another double-bogey at No. 17, Salas finished with a final-round 79 that moved her to T-25. As Park jumped into Poppie’s Pond, Salas stood outside the scoring tent and signed autographs for close to half an hour. She drew an overwhelming crowd of crimson-and-gold covered fans.
“It’s just a learning experience for me, and I’m really upset, but I just have to look back and say, ‘Look how ...
Inbee Park might fly under the radar, taking a backseat to the likes of Stacy Lewis, Yani Tseng and Paula Creamer when it comes to the LPGA spotlight.
On Sunday, she started out with a three-shot lead to work with and grew it to four for her second major victory.
Here's a look at Sunday's events at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and how Park's win unfolded:
• • •
Update #22: 8:42 p.m. EDT
Hats off – and towels at the ready – to 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Inbee Park. Her approach shot finds the center of the green, giving her yet another birdie opportunity, and two-putts for a par and the win at 15 under. And, yes, she capped it all off with the traditional leap into Poppie's Pond.
• • •
Update #21: 8:26 p.m. EDT
Suzann Pettersen answers a "Happy Birthday" serenade from the gallery at the 18th with a birdie putt to tie Caroline Hedwall for third place. She spins and raises a fist to acknowledge the crowd after closing with a 3-under 69 to finish 9 under.
Leader Inbee Park misses a par putt and drops to 15 under with one hole to play ...
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Jessica Korda stands in the midst of a cluster of players tied for third here at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. That could work to her advantage as she’s one of many faced with the pressure of posting a number Sunday that would spoil the Inbee Park parade.
Those tied with Korda in third place include Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, major winner Suzann Pettersen and Angela Stanford, the Texan who boasts Saturday’s lowest round, 6-under 66. For Korda, this could be a coronation of sorts, a time when the 6-foot blonde steps out of the shadow of her father, former tennis star Petr, a major champion in his own right. It also would put her squarely in the spotlight as one of America’s rising stars.
“Regina (Jessica's mother) and I will give her a few tips, which could help her,” Petr said. “We’ve been in this situation, and we know what the nerves can do.”
Petr and Regina Korda starting dating while on the tennis circuit in the former Czechoslovakia at age 19. They’re both tall and slim. Regina, a former professional player and Olympian, is striking in her beauty. Petr ...
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – It was almost like someone waved a red flag on the first tee. Leader Inbee Park and Lizette Salas matched birdies there to start the day and kept grinding from there. Park was unflappable on the greens, putting only 28 times on her way to a 5-under 67 that gave her a three-shot lead on Salas.
“I didn’t really have to worry about the putting for my golfing career,” Park said of the reputation she’s developing on the greens. “Sometimes I have to worry about my swing more seriously, but not on the putting.”
Park, No. 1 in the Golfwek/Sagarin Rankings, didn’t make a bogey on Saturday at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. In fact, she’s only made two bogeys this week.
Major championships are a different beast, but Park certainly has been in this position on many a tour leaderboard before. She has held a third-round lead four other times in her career, but only one translated to a victory. That was at the 2012 Evian Masters. The three other leads, all in 2012, ended in runner-up finishes. Park’s best Kraft finish was a ninth in 2008, which is the ...
Recent LPGA Videos
Our Jeff Rude visits with LPGA star Paula Creamer to talk about accessories, shopping and a bit of golf too.
Angela Stanford is a diehard Texas Rangers fan. The former softball player has season tickets and fancies herself as the team's lucky charm.
Stacy Lewis spends her downtime in South Florida on a paddle board, often rising early to watch the sun rise over the water. It's a perfect time to reflect on her rise to the top. Or think about nothing at all. Lewis is the reigning Rolex Player of the Year, the first American to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994. Lewis had four victories in 2012 and 16 top-10s.
If you follow Paula Creamer on Twitter, chances are you've heard all about her road companion, Studley. This puppy might love photo shoots are much as his owner! Creamer is currently ranked No. 12 in the Rolex Women's Golf Rankings, making 22 of 23 cuts in 2012 while earning a shade over $800,000 for the season. She had three top-5 finishes on the year.
If Morgan Pressel doesn't have a club in her hand, chances are she's reaching for a camera. Pressel's love of photography started early, and her gear rivals that of some professionals. Pressel is currently ranked No. 38 in the Rolex Women's Golf Rankings and has made more than $4.6 million in her career, which started in 2006. Her best finish in 2012 was third place at the Sybase Match Play Championship.
Tiffany Joh loves to make music videos. In this one, however, she's the star, giving us her best Michael Jackson impression. It's an instant classic. Joh took time out from her busy LPGA schedule to visit with our Tracy Wilcox in Phoenix, Ariz., where she also delved into her unique hat collection. Joh is currently ranked No. 158 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings after completing her second year on tour. She is a UCLA product with a Communication degree.
Now that Hee Kyung Seo has a home in Orlando, Fla., maybe she'll have more time to use those water skis she keeps on hand. It's bound to be a better experience than winter water skiing in Korea.
Suzann Pettersen is one of the most fit players on tour. What does she do to keep her workouts fresh? She rides her bike. A very long way.
Sandra Gal is as much of an artist off the course golf as she is with a club in her hand. She how the talented painter spends her downtime sharpening her stroke.
LPGA Tour star Yani Tseng shows off his swing from multiple angles.
LPGA Tour star Stacy Lewis shows off her swing from multiple angles.
LPGA Tour star Sandra Gal shows off his swing from multiple angles.
Golfweek was granted exclusive access to Lexi Thompson as she went through a motion-capture session in Orlando as part of the building of the EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA TOUR '14.
Na Yeon Choi sits down with TourPlayers.com to talk about her four-stroke win at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open.
South Korean Na Yeon Choi fired a 7-under 65 to take a six-shot lead after the third round at the U.S. Women's Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.
Jeff Rude chats with Solheim Cup star Christina Kim about life and laughter on the LPGA.