Sunday December 8, 2013
Jaye Marie Green ran away with medalist honors at the final state of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, winning by 10 strokes with a record-setting score.
Green, a 19-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., carded five rounds in the 60s, including an opening round of 62. Her worst round was 68. She finished at 29-under-par 331.
That's an amazing score, and although Green had a terrific junior record and a solid rookie pro season in 2013 on the Symetra Tour, there was nothing to indicate this kind of week was in the offing for her.
That 29-under total is easily an LPGA Q-School
record since the final stage went to five rounds in 2004, and there is no performance in the history of the tournament that comes close to Green's this week.
Stacy Lewis won with an 18-under total in 2008; Ai Miyazato was 17-under in 2005; Paula Creamer
won at 11-under in 2004.
Who is Jaye Marie Green? As noted, she's 19 years old. She didn't start playing golf until age 12, but quickly became a top player on the AJGA junior circuit. She qualified for the U.S. Women's Open
in 2010 and 2012; in 2011, Green won The Sally, a major amateur event; and she made the cut in the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship
. Green reached the final of the 2012 U.S. Women's Amateur, where she lost to Lydia Ko.
Green turned pro and played on the Symetra Tour in 2013, posting four Top 10 finishes and placing 29th on the tour's money list. She finished under par in six Symetra tournaments.
Green may or may not go on to big things on the LPGA Tour
, but she'll always this week of magic - and she also now has an LPGA Tour card for 2014.
So do 19 others. The Top 20 finishers in the Final Stage receive the highest-available priority status for 2014; the next 25 plus ties receive a lower priority status (that probably won't get them into more than a few tournaments, if that).
The runner-up was Korean LPGA winner Mi Rim Lee, a 23-year-old who won the 2012 Korean Women's Open. Green broke the course record with her opening 62; but in the second round, Lee lowered it with a 61.
Among the others finishing in the Top 20 were Tiffany Joh, NCAA career wins leader Amy Anderson and former LPGA winner Seon Hwa Lee.
Among the name players who failed to make the Top 20 were Birdie Kim, Reilley Rankin and Lorie Kane. There was a cut after 72 holes, and Jennifer Song, Cheyenne Woods and Meaghan Francella were among those missing the cut. See LPGA.com's Q-School page
for the final scores and more info.
List of all LPGA Q-School winners
Sunday December 8, 2013
Another pro tournament won by a 16-year-old? Ho, hum - at least when that 16-year-old is Lydia Ko
Ko, who debuted as a professional golfer less than a month ago, won the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters
tournament in Taiwan on Sunday.
Ko carded a 3-under 69 in the final round, overtaking So Yeon Ryu over the final holes. During that stretch, Ryu double-bogied and bogied. Ko's winning score was 205, 11-under par. Ryu finished second, three behind, with Inbee Park third, four back of Ko.
The World Ladies Masters is a tournament cosponsored by the Korean LPGA and Taiwan LPGA, and the field including many top US LPGA players, too, as well as five of the Top 10 in the world rankings. It was a very good field.
For Ko, it was her second tournament as a professional. She finished 21st in her pro debut at the LPGA's CME Titleholders last month.
It is Ko's fifth overall win in a pro tour event. She doesn't turn 17 until April.
Wednesday December 4, 2013
It's been more than half a decade since the last Big Bertha driver showed up from Callaway. It's been more than 20 years since the first one showed up - the original Big Bertha was released in 1991. That original was only 190cc in clubhead size, but it seemed very big at the time.
But Callaway has two new drivers coming in early 2014
that carry the Big Bertha name. That includes the Big Bertha Alpha, which kicks up the adjustability arms race with a so-called "gravity core."
Take a look at the 2014 Big Bertha drivers
More new equipment from Nike, Cobra, Ping
Monday December 2, 2013
It might be the "offseason" for most golfers (and golf fans), but there is quite a bit of good golf this week.
Let's start with the final stage of LPGA Q-School
. It's a five-round tournament that begins Wednesday (Dec. 4) and concludes Sunday (Dec. 8). The Top 20 finishers get the highest-available exemption status for 2014; those finishing 21 through 45 gain a lower status.
The headliners are Cheyenne Woods
and Amy Anderson. Woods failed to advance out of Stage I last year, then put together a pretty decent rookie year on the Ladies European Tour in 2013.
Anderson was the Stage II winner and is coming off a collegiate career at North Dakota State in which she broke Juli Inkster
's NCAA record for wins. Inkster won 17 times at San Jose State from 1979-82; Anderson notched 21 wins.
You can view the full field here
(.pdf file). Once the tournament starts, check the LPGA's Q-School page
to follow scores.
In men's golf, Tiger Woods' Northwestern Mutual World Challenge
is being played in California for the final time. Beginning next year, it moves to Florida.
The all-star field of 18 includes, in addition to Woods, Rory McIlroy. McIlroy is coming off his first win of 2013 last week at the Australian Open.
The European Tour remains in South Africa for the Nedbank Golf Challenge
, and that's where you'll find Henrik Stenson, Charl Schwartzel, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald.
There are two other women's tournaments of note, too. Stacy Lewis and Charley Hull headline the field at the LET's Dubai Ladies Masters
. And among those playing the Swinging Skirt World Ladies Masters
in Taiwan are Paula Creamer, Lydia Ko, Sandra Gal and Jessica Korda.