Ladies Professional Golfers Association on Any Sport Any Time


Asian women continue to dominate women’s golf

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Inbee Park (Keith Allison, Getty Images)

A growing trend on the LPGA Tour the last few years has been the exceptional play of Asian golfers.

The trend continued Sunday when Inbee Park of Seoul, South Korea won her second LPGA Major Championship when she captured the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Park, who previously won the 2008 United States Women’s Open, finished Sunday at -15 and was four strokes better than So Yeon Ryu of South Korea.

Just how dominant have Asian golfers been? Asians have won the last eight major titles on the LPGA  Tour, with Park becoming the fifth South Korean golfer during that stretch to get in the winner’s circle. She joins Sun-Young Yoo, Na Yeon Choi, Jiyai Shin and So Yeon Ryu.

Park’s victory comes in an interesting time for women’s golf. In 2013 for the first year ever, there will be five majors on the LPGA Tour as the Evian Championship in France this September has been upgraded to major status.

 

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Weekend Sport Preview–September 15-16–CFL, NFL, MLB, IndyCar, LPGA, Davis Cup

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The Edmonton Eskimos will try to snap a two game losing streak to their provincial rivals, the Calgary Stampeders, when they face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium this afternoon (TSN, 1pm).

The Eskimos may be sitting last in the Western Division at 5-5, but with a victory can move an important six points up on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a possible opportunity to cross-over in the East come playoff time, if they cannot make up ground on the 5-5 Saskatchewan Roughriders.

This week the Eskimos and Tiger-Cats also made a trade. Edmonton acquired fullback Darcy Brown from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for defensive back Ricardo Colclough and a sixth round pick in the 2015 Canadian Football League draft.

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Ko makes history in Vancouver

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Lydia Ko (Mori Ori, Wikimedia Commons)

History was made Sunday at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

For the very first time an amateur won the CN Canadian Women’s Open, but more importantly this golfer was only 15 years of age.

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, who was born in South Korea, became the youngest golfer in the history of ladies professional golf to win a golf tournament after shooting a -13 to beat South Korean Inbee Park by three strokes.

Despite finishing in second place, Inbee Park of South Korea wins $300,000.

The Ko accomplishment this past week took us down a path of memory lane, try fifty years ago where the professional vs. amateur discussions in golf were much more prominent than they were today. It would be very interesting to hear from Canadian women’s golf legend Marlene Stewart Streit on her comments about Ko’s victory. Stewart Streit was one of Canada’s finest female golfers ever, but never decided to turn professional, believing instead it was important to maintain her amateur status.

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Ko at 15 years old leads CN Canadian Women’s Open

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Lydia Ko (Mori Ori, Wikimedia Commons)

Is women’s golf moving into the same direction as women’s figure skating and women’s gymnastics, where teenagers are the dominant athletes in their respective sports?

It sure seems that way when looking at the top of the leaderboard at the CN Canadian Women’s Open in Vancouver this week.

The leader is fifteen year old Lydia Ko. Just how young is Ko? She was only born in 1997!  A native of  South Korea, she moved to New Zealand with her family at the age of six.

In 2012, Ko has already won the United States Women’s Amateur and the Australian Women’s Amateur. But a win today, would be the most significant victory of her career–against 48 of the top 50 players in the world.

After shooting an even par 72 on Saturday, Ko currently leads Koreans Jiyai Shin, Chella Choi and Inbee Park along with American Stacy Lewis by a stroke.

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Weekend Sports Preview–August 25-26–CFL, MLB _ LPGA

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

The Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders will battle this afternoon at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium (Saturday, TSN, 1pm). Both teams are 3-4 on the year, and are tied for third place in the western division.

The Roughriders got out of the gate quickly, winning their first three games before losing their last four, while the Stampeders haven’t gone on any significant run throughout the season. They haven’t been able to put two consecutive wins together all season long.

The Roughriders meanwhile will try to get revenge on a Stampeders team which came back from a 35-18 deficit to win in overtime 41-38 on July 19 at McMahon Stadium.

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Weekend Sports Preview–Wimbledon, Toronto Indy, Equestrian, CFL, U.S. Women’s Open–July 7-8

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The Edmonton Eskimos will look to improve on their 1-0 record when they play the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium Sunday at 5pm on TSN.

However, even though both teams got into the win column last week, I was much more impressed with Saskatchewan than Edmonton.

The Roughriders completely dominated the Tiger-Cats in recording a 43-16 victory. The Eskimos have struggled mightily over the last few years in Regina and I expect most the same this weekend.

One thing the Eskimos do have going for them right now is their overall team defense. Edmonton has a chance if they force Darian Durant to be as disorganized as Ricky Ray was last week.

Here are the other events I’ll be watching:

Saturday–Women’s Wimbledon Final–(3) Agnieszka Radwanska–POL vs. (6) Serena Williams–USA–TSN–7am–There is a possibility this tennis match may not even take place at all. Radwanska, according to the Associated Press, has a serious respiratory illness right now and was forced to cancel her press conference today because of her health condition. Williams has the 2-0 advantage head to head, including an easy 6-4, 6-0 win in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Wimbledon. With the win, Radwanska will move into the world’s number one ranking.

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Furyk _ McDowell tied at the U.S. Open

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Jim Furyk (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)

For the second consecutive day American Jim Furyk has the lead at the United States Open. This time however he is sharing the lead with only one golfer instead of two.

Furyk, the 2003 United States Open champion, shot an even par seventy on Saturday to match his round one score on Thursday. He is tied for the lead with Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the 2010 United States Open champion, who shot a 2-under par 68.

The third round was definitely moving day. Household names in the golf world such as Ernie Els and Lee Westwood moved up, while round two co-leaders Tiger Woods and David Toms moved down. Westwood shot a 67 and Els shot a 68 to move into contention for the lead. They are tied for fourth place at +2 and are three strokes back of Furyk and McDowell. Woods meanwhile moved down from first to fourteenth after a +5 on Saturday, while Toms dropped to eighteenth after shooting a 76.

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Weekend Sports Preview–June 9 _ 10–Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Playoffs, French Open, Equestrian, Euro 2012, LPGA Championship _ MLB

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Drew Doughty (Wikimedia Commons)

The Los Angeles Kings are one win away from capturing their very first Stanley Cup. On Saturday night the Kings will play the New Jersey Devils (CBC, 6pm) leading the Finals 3-1.

The Devils meanwhile are taking a game-by-game approach according to all-star goaltender Martin Brodeur. In game four, the Devils had a solid third period and stayed alive with a 3-1 win. For the Devils to make the Stanley Cup Finals interesting, they will need a solid performance from Ilya Kovalchuk, who only has one goal in four games so far, and that one went into an empty net.

The Kings are getting great production from Drew Doughty, who leads all blueliners with 14 playof points.

One player though nobody is talking about is New Jersey’s defenceman Bryce Salvador who has 13 points. Just how unexpected has Salvador’s point production been? Well his NHL regular season career high came in 2009 when he had 16 points in 76 games!

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Edmonton to host 2013 Canadian Women’s Open

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Michelle Wie (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)

The Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club will be hosting most of the world’s top ladies golfers in 2013.

Unlike the PGA Tour, whose very best rarely come to Canada, the LPGA Tour rarely has that problem.

So expect to see world number one Yani Tseng, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Sun-Young Yoo, Se Ri Pak and Ai Miyazato.

The 2012 Canadian Women’s Open will take place in Vancouver.

The Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club last hosted the Canadian Women’s Open in 2007. That year the winner was Mexican great Lorena Ochoa.

Ochoa retired in 2010.

Another interesting fact about the Canadian Women’s Open is that no Canadian has won the event since Jocelyne Bourassa of Shawinigan, Quebec won at the Montreal Municipal Golf Club in 1973. The event also had major status from 1979-2000.

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Gulbis tweets about second LPGA event in Canada

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Natalie Gulbis (Bing Images)

According to Natalie Gulbis’s twitter account, there will be a second LPGA event in Canada in 2012.

After further research, I found out about plans to have a tour stop in Waterloo, Ontario over the next three years. The event will be called the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and take place at the Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario from June 21-24.

The event will precede the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open to be held at the Vancouver Golf Club from August 23-26. It is very interesting that the LPGA are trying to internationalize the sport a little more. Half the players in the top ten money list are outside the United States.

Gulbis, considered by many as one of the prime marketing assets the  LPGA Tour currently has, was in Canada this week for an endorsement appearance with Taylor Made Adidas at Toronto’s Coppinwood Golf Club before doing a charity event in New York City for breast cancer.

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Weekend Sports Preview–August 27-28–Canadian Women’s Open, CFL, MLB

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Michelle Wie (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)

I’m going to be away from a computer this weekend, so here is an early weekend sports preview.

In women’s golf, the LPGA will make a stop in Canada for the only time this year, in Mirabel, Quebec. The CN Canadian Women’s Open will take place just outside of Montreal. Last year, Michelle Wie was the victor at the St. Charles Golf and Country Club in Winnipeg.

Wie defeated Kristy McPherson, Suzann Pettersen, Jee Young Lee and Jiyai Shin by three strokes. It has been a struggle in 2011 for Wie however, as she hasn’t had a top ten finish since the Sybase Match Play Championship in May.

World number one Yani Tseng, the British Open Champion and LPGA Championship winner tees off tomorrow at 6:40am MT, while Wie tees off at 6:50am. Canadian golf legend, Lorie Kane, a strong supporter of Edmonton’s Prospect Magazine, tees off at 6:30am Thursday.

The weekend coverage can be seen on CBC at noon Saturday and Sunday.

Here are the other events I’ll be keeping an eye on:

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Tseng wins second LPGA major in 2011

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Yani Tseng (Wojciech Migda, Wikimedia Commons)

You can make the case that Yani Tseng is the most dominant golfer on any professional golfing tour in the world right now– men or women.

On Sunday at  Carnoustie, Scotland, Tseng, from Taiwan, won her fifth major on the LPGA tour and second in 2011.

In shooting a -3, she finished at -16, and was able to defend her British Women’s Open Title from a year ago at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

Tseng won, but it wasn’t in the convincing, dominant fashion like she was able to win at the LPGA Championship by ten strokes in June.

Tseng was actually trailing by two strokes to German Caroline Masson heading into the fourth round, but Masson struggled mightily Sunday by shooting a 78.

Tseng ended up defeating American Brittany Lang by four strokes.

This is now the second consecutive year that Tseng has won two majors in a calendar year. She also won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2010 and the LPGA Championship in 2008.

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Weekend Sports Preview July 30-31–Women’s British Open, CFL, MLB, PGA

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Gene Makowsky (Wikimedia Commons)

The Calgary Stampeders and the Saskatchewan Roughriders will battle at Mosaic Stadium in Regina tomorrow night in a huge Western Division matchup. The Roughriders (1-3) are coming off a huge 27-24 win over the Montreal Alouettes last Sunday, and can move ahead of the 2-2 Calgary Stampeders with a victory. Expect the Roughriders to use running back Wes Cates frequently with the Stamps’ top defender, Juwan Simpson out with a knee injury.

Roughriders’ offensive lineman Gene Makowsky will tie a franchise record when he suits up on Saturday. He’ll tie Roger Aldag’s record for most games with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (271). The game can be seen on TSN at 7:30pm.

Here are the other events I’ll be tuning in to:

Saturday _ Sunday–Women’s British Open–8am SAT on TSN, 7am SUN on TSN2–German Caroline Masson currently leads South Koreans Inbee Park and Meena Lee by a stroke at -11 in the final major of the year for the LPGA Tour . Masson, is a regular member of the Ladies’ European Tour, and has four top ten finishes in 2011. Park is the only player among the three to have won a Major in the past, as she won the 2008 United States Women’s Open. South Korean legend Se Ri Pak is lurking at Carnoustie, Scotland, as she is only three shots off the lead in fourth place. Canada’s Lorie Kane of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island made the cut. She is currently at +1.

Saturday–MLB–Tampa Bay Rays @ Seattle Mariners–2pm–FOX–I am very interested in watching Rays’ rookie pitcher Alex Cobb for the first time. Cobb is 3-0 with 24 strikeouts and an earned run average of 2.57, but  has only given up five earned runs in his last 31 1/3 innings. The Mariners, meanwhile, have finally ended that brutal 17 game losing streak and will send rookie all-star Michael Pineda (8-7, 123 K, 3.69 ERA) to the mound. Tampa Bay is 54-50, while Seattle is 44-60.

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LPGA’s timing for fifth major makes no sense

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Natalie Gulbis (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)

On Wednesday, the Ladies Professional Golf Association made the announcement to include a fifth major on tour as of 2013.

The LPGA are following the Champions Tour’s (Senior Golf Tour) decision to have a fifth substantial event for the ladies to participate in.

The Evian Masters in France joins the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the United States Women’s Open, the LPGA Championship and the British Women’s Open.

This is the most significant announcement the LPGA has made regarding their majors, since 2001 when the LPGA decided to drop the major status of the Du Maurier Classic (Canadian Women’s Open) and replace it with the British Women’s Open. A major reason for the decision at the time was because of the Canadian government’s opposition to have cigarette companies sponsoring major cultural events in Canada.

But it is the timing of the Evian Masters that makes no sense. It will be on the second weekend of September. What else is happening that time? The start of the NFL season, the conclusion of the United States Open in tennis, and oh yeah, the Banjo Bowl!

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