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CN Canadian Women’s Open: I was there, were you?

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By Vince Robitaille

GolfWRX Staff Writer

Significant sporting events are somehow hard to come by. We’ve all witnessed a thriller once in a while. We’ve all stood there rooting for the overwhelming underdog to complete the comeback. Rarely though, do we get to say “I was there” or  “I saw that” when a defining moment in a sport’s history is discussed. Well, if you watched Lydia Ko’s victory this weekend, congratulations folks, you can now pull the line off.

Not only did the young Auckland, New Zealand resident win an LPGA event as an amateur on Sunday, a feat that last occurred months before the original Woodstock, she did so at a National Open that was a major in the pre-Cigarette Ban era, a mere decade ago. Just there, the performance could be described as top-tier. If we add the fact that she became the youngest winner on Tour at 15 years, 4 months and 2 days old – sorry Lexi – or that she’s the reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, we’re reaching a whole other level. Of course, one could argue that said level could be named Matteo Manassero-level, but the Italian captured The Amateur two years before his first professional win at a rather minor European Tour event.

To further keep things in perspective, the scale by which all golfers are now judged – Tiger Woods – only made the cut on 7 occasions as an amateur for a batting average 0.412. Oh, before I forget, those stats covered a four-year period that ranged from age 16 to 20. Ko is just 15, and has notched her second professional victory; the other coming in the Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open back in January. If you can do the math, she was 14 years old at the time.

The newest prodigy’s Canadian visit began with a decision that brought us back to the Fuzzy heydays at Augusta National, i.e. picking a local rounder to handle bag duties for the duration of the Championship. In the modern era of golf, this could be seen as a move with high probabilities of backfiring, especially for a still “immature” golfer; psychological backup and comfort zone being forfeited for unparalleled course knowledge. Once more, however, the advantages trumped the possible cons. Ko’s stoic attitude could, of course, have something to do with this.

After a sneaky 68 that had her sitting in third place behind LPGA forerunners Yani Tseng – resurging briefly only to fade away – and Na Yeon Choi, Ko’s steady climb to the top of the leaderboard culminated in a bind with Chella Choi after 36 holes. Moving day represented the only bump in the eventual champion’s proverbial road, but sometimes you’ve simply done enough work before moving day to render it obsolete. In fact, despite Ko staying stuck in neutral all day – four missed three-footers representing the main reason for such a stall – the South Korea-native found herself ahead of the pack as her closest pursuers headed backwards and her previous lead on rest of the field had them covered. Interestingly enough, Saturday’s round saw two other former every-week-contenders lurking around in hopes of a disastrous stumble by the 2012 Robert Cox Cup recipient, namely Suzann Pettersen and Jiyai Shin. Much like the pair previously alluded to, the former’s blunders left her shaking her head as the latter climbed on the podium’s last step.

The final round looked like it would lead to a highly polarized outcome, a sad return to reality for an astounding athlete and the crowd supporting her or the celebration of a new hero. Seven birdies, four of which came right after the turn, sealed the Tiger Red-wearing Ko’s fate pretty quickly. On-lookers catching a piece of golfing history weren’t the only lucky ones this weekend. The CN Canadian Women’s Open champion’s reiteration of her intention to enroll at Stanford University saved LPGA executives from having to deal with another case of Lexithompsonitis. I guess that the Tour’s petition procedure incongruities will have to be revised some other time. For now, I was there. I saw that.

Click here for more discussion in the “LPGA/Ladies Golf Talk” forum. 

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  1. Alessandra

    Nov 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Just keep focusing on golf and when the time comes to cross the birdge, you’ll find a way. But it’s very hard to stick with golf especially with ur handicap. that’s my handicap and i’m grade 8

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Tour News

WATCH: Tiger Woods on Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf

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Tiger Woods just appeared in a Bridgestone Golf Facebook Live video. While the audio isn’t the greatest (sounds like there’s some mowers rolling by), we’ve got to pass it along.

Check out the video below.

Woods initially discusses his wedges, before moving on to sharing some insights about how he hits his patented stinger–covering the ball, starting it farther right, and keeping his follow through short.

On his ball, the Bridgestone Tour B XS, which he presents as a softer ball well-suited to his swing, Woods says

“I need spin. I don’t spin the ball a lot. My swing has never produced a lot of spin. I’ve always been able to take spin off the golf ball–I grew up in an era where we played balata. What separated a lot of guys was the ability to take spin off the golf ball…to keep it below the tree line. There was a lot more movement in the golf ball.”

“My swing has naturally evolved. I’ve had different swings throughout the years, but each swing didn’t spin the ball a lot. So, when I get up to my long irons with a harder ball that most people would launch…I don’t. It falls out of the sky because it has so little spin.”

Woods mentioned that he hasn’t played Shinnecock since the course’s pre-U.S. Open makeover, but that he expects the course will be particularly difficult: an old-school U.S. Open with minimal graduated rough where it will be difficult to shoot under par.

Responding to comments, Woods sings Hazeltine’s praises and mentions he’d love to be able to wear shorts during PGA Tour events

“We play some of the hottest places on the planets and it would be nice to wear shorts…even with my little chicken legs,” Woods says.

Woods tells amateurs looking for more spin around the greens that they need a soft golf ball, mentioning that solid contact, maintaining loft, and allowing to club to do its job are key. Woods mentions that he has “a couple extra shots around the greens” thanks to the softness of his golf ball.”

We’ll next see the 14-time major champion in action at next week’s Memorial Tournament (which he discusses to wrap up the video).

 

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10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Fort Worth Invitational

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GolfWRX is on the ground at Marvin Leonard’s famed pet project, Colonial Country Club, peeking into players bags and taking in the action on the driving range.

While you’ll want to take a trip through the buffet line, we’ve made you a plate of some of the tastiest morsels.

Absolutely savage new putter cover for Jon “Rahmbo” Rahm. Just killer.

Prettier than a new penny.

Spotted: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI

Everything here is excellent. Just excellent.

More like Garsen Murray. Am I right?

If you were Aaron Wise standing over the winning putt at last week’s Byron Nelson, this is what it’d have looked like (of course, you’d have had a ball and the putter would be soled on the green, but you get the point…)

Abraham Ancer’s new Artisan wedges are simply incredible… All of this: Artisan star stellar stuff.

Rickie Fowler has gone grape.

You can’t fool me. You’re not Adam Hadwin, you’re a golf bag.

Is Patrick Cantlay considering a switch to a Cameron Napa?

Check out all our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club (par 70; 7,209 yards). The event has now been hosted here for 73 straight years.

Headlining the field this week are Jordan Spieth, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Jon Rahm (No. 4), Justin Rose (No. 5) and Rickie Fowler (No. 6). Joining them are notables Webb Simpson, who’s coming off his win at The 2018 Players, as well as Wesley Bryan, Jason Dufner, Bryson DeChambeau, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Pat Perez, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker, and last week’s champion, Aaron Wise.

Related

Last year, Kevin Kisner captured the second PGA Tour victory of his career after shooting a final-round, 4-under 66.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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