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Morgan Pressel jumps into lead during second round of Wegmans LPGA

By Jay Skurski

PITTSFORD -- Hello again from Locust Hill Country Club, where the gray clouds show no signs of breaking up.

The rain, however, has held off enough for golf to be played for a second straight day, as the second round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship is underway.

First-round leader Chella Choi was part of the morning wave, and she continues to hold a slim one-shot advantage. The 22-year-old South Korean is even for the day, making two birdies and two bogeys. Her total of 5 under is one shot better of countrymate Jiyai Shin, who's on the course at 4 under and is also even for the day. Shin, the ninth-ranked player in the world in the Rolex rankings, has made par her best friend today. She's got just one birdie and one bogey through 13 holes.

Continue reading "Morgan Pressel jumps into lead during second round of Wegmans LPGA" »

Chella Choi surges ahead of Morgan Pressel for first-round lead at Wegmans LPGA

By Jay Skurski


UPDATE (5:49 p.m.): Chlla Choi continues to maintain a one-shot lead at 5-under, playing the par-5 17th hole. The mist/rain continues, but with no thunder or lightning, it looks like the round should be able to be completed. South Korean Jiyai Shin has a bogey-free round going. She's currently in a tie for third place at 3-under through 15 holes.

UPDATE (4:59): Leader Chella Choi has made her first bogey of the day on the par-4 13th hole, dropping back to 5-under, still in solo possession of the ead. The rain continues to fall on the course.

UPDATE (4:23 p.m.): Chella Choi has made another birdie on the par-4 10th hole to move to 6-under par and two strokes clear of the field. Choi has no bogeys on the card thus far. The rain has started falling harder here at Locust. Fingers crossed for no delays.

UPDATE (3:40 p.m.): South Korean Chella Choi has surged ahead, shooting a 31 on the front nine to go 5-under par and one stroke up on Morgan Pressel. Choi has birdies on the second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth holes. The 22-year-old is looking for her first career win on the LPGA Tour. She did, however, show signs of breaking through last season with seven top-10 finishes.

UPDATE (2:45 p.m.): Yani Tseng just recorded a hole-in-one on the 150-yard, par-3 15th hole using an 8-iron. It's the sixth hole-in-one recorded at the 15th in LPGA tournament history at Locust Hill, and second in as many years following Jodi Ewart's ace last year.


Good afternoon from Locust Hill Country Club, where the afternoon wave is off in the first round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Those players out on the course are currently chasing leader Morgan Pressel, who closed her first round with a marvelous run of four straight birdies to shoot a 4-under 68.

Pressel made six birdies and two bogeys on the day. She's currently one shot up on Brittany Lincicome, who shot a 69, and Chella Chois, who's through five holes.

American Jessica Korda and South Korean Se Ri Pak are two shots back after opening rounds of 70.

Players are allowed to lift, clean and place their balls today after the course took 2.5 inches of rain on Thursday, and more than five inches in the past nine days.

"We are extremely impressed with the work of Rick Slattery and his crew at Locust Hill. Given the amount of rain we received yesterday, we thought we might be hard pressed to start at 7:15 a.m. today. We were able to start on time because of the hard work of the folks at Locust Hill," said Sue Witters, the LPGA's vice president of rules and competitions.

We'll have updates from the course throughout the afternoon.


Porter Cup round two recap

By Jay Skurski

At the top: He's from Massachusetts, but Richy Werenski strikes the perfect California cool vibe. The 20-year-old Georgia Tech junior with a great name shot a sparkling 8-under 62 Thursday in the second round of the 54th Porter Cup to open a four-shot lead. Werenski, who's playing in his first Porter Cup, has yet to make a bogey.

In the hunt: Joining Werenski in the final group today will be defending champion Patrick Rodgers and Justin Thomas, the fifth- and sixth-ranked players in the world, by the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings. No pressure. Thomas, the best collegiate golfer in the country, shot a 63 Thursday, while Rodgers carded "only" a 65. Also at 8 under, four shots back and tied with Rodgers and Thomas, is University of Florida senior Tyler McCumber. It's a great leader board, one that Tournament Director Steve Denn must have been hoping for before the tournament started.

Birdie barrage: The wind picked up and then the rain came in the afternoon, but you wouldn't know it by looking at some of the scorecards turned in Thursday. Lewiston's own Mike Boss ripped off five birdies in a row to start his back nine, shooting a round of 66. Werenski birdied four in a row and five of six holes. McCumber went five in a row and six of seven at one point in his round.

Locals go low: Boss' 66 was his career best at NFCC, where he's the club champion. Clarence's Matt Stasiak shot 3-under 67 in the second round to move up 26 spots in the field.

Buffalo's Chris Covelli also improved on his opening-round 74 by shooting a 73. It was a struggle for North Tonawanda's James Blackwell and Hamburg's Brian Jurkiewicz, though. They shot 77 and 79, respectively, and will be in the first group off the tee at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Quotable: "After that I really tried to hammer on the gas pedal and see how low I can go ... It was just a good day," -- Thomas, talking about his stretch of four straight birdies.



Porter Cup first round recap

By Jay Skurski

At the top: University of Virginia sophomore Denny McCarthy, 19, shot a 6-under 64 to lead the 78-player field after the first round in the 54th Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston. A shot behind tied for second are University of Florida senior Trever McCumber and Texas A&M sophomore Tyler Dunlap.

Featured group: Defending champion Patrick Rodgers didn't do anything to hurt his chance of repeating, opening with a round of 3-under 67. Rodgers had back-to-back bogeys on the par-3 16th and par-4 17th, but made a big birdie on the par-3 18th to close the round with some momentum. Justin Thomas, the top-ranked college golfer in the country according to the Golf Week rankings, was cruising along nicely at 3 under before hitting the ball out of bounds on the 16th. He took a double bogey and finished the round 1 under, the same score as the third member of the threesome, 18-year-old Matt NeSmith.

My bad: Scott Harvey, a 34-year-old Mid-Amateur from Greensboro, N.C., shot a 2-under 68, but it could have been better. Harvey was assessed a two-stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball on the par-4 10th hole. The ball Harvey hit was a Titleist 2, like he was playing it, but after he hit it, he found his ball and saw its distinctive mark, meaning he played the wrong one.

Gotta go: The oldest player in the field, 49-year-old Mike McCoy, recorded a nice 4-under 66 as part of the third group off the tee. The reason for the early tee time? McCoy, who works in the insurance industry, had to get to a business meeting in Toronto. He talked with this reporter while waiting in line on the bridge to Canada.

Locals report: Niagara Falls Country Club club champion Mike Boss was the low Western New Yorker with a 3-over round of 73. Buffalo's Chris Covelli and Clarence's Matt Stasiak both shot rounds of 4-over 74, tied for 70th, while North Tonawanda's James Blackwell and Hamburg's Brian Jurkiewicz carded 5-over 75s, in a tie for 75th.

Quotable: "You’re dealing with a lot as a Mid-Am. You’re married, you have a family, you’re working. You feel like you should just get a medal for being here for five days in a row," 33-year-old Nathan Smith, on how tough it is for the older players to compete against college-age opponents.

Follow me on Twitter, @JaySkurski, for updates from Round Two on Thursday.

Savoie Takes Title

A 35-foot birdie putt to halve No. 16 was the dagger as Joey Savoie of Quebec won fhe International Junior Masters this afternoon, 2-up, over North Tonawanda's James Blackwell at East Aurora CC. Blackwell conceded the 18th hole and the match after an aggressive chip for birdie resulted in a 12-foot downhill putt that slid by the hole. Savoie is fhe Quebec Junior champion.

-- Bob DiCesare

Savoie beats Blackwell, 2-up

Details to follow

Savoie 1-up thru 16 at IJM

Savoie rolls in 40 footer to halve 16 with birdies.-- BD

IJM Final All Square Thru 12

James Blackwell has won last two holes to draw even for first time since No. 1 --BD

Savoie 2-up at Turn at IJM

Joey Savoie is two holes up on James Blackwell after 9 in the IJM title match at East Aurora. Blackwell made a 50-footer to win No. 8.

Blackwell Rallying

James Blackwell has won the last two holes and is 1 down to Joey Savoie through six.

Bob DiCesare

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.