Sei Young Kim leads LPGA Tour’s Pelican Women’s Championship by 5 shots

BELLEAIR, Fla. — Sei Young Kim answered Ally McDonald’s ace with a late birdie run to open a 5-stroke lead Saturday in the Pelican Women’s Championship, the South Korean’s first event since winning the KPMG Women’s PGA a month and half ago.

The second-ranked Kim shot a 6-under 64, birdieing Nos. 14-17, to get to 14-under 196 at Pelican Golf Club.

“She made a hole-in-one,” Kim said. “I got a little bit pressure, but I try to focus on my game.”

McDonald shot 68. She had the hole-in-one on the par-3 12th and birdied the par-5 14th to get close to Kim. The American dropped a stroke on the par-4 16th.

“It was playing like 115 front, 127 hole, and there was a little bit of downwind,” McDonald said. “So, I thought a 115 shot, just playing the front edge, would be enough to pitch it a few yards on and let it release.

“Honestly, this is kind of how my strategy works, was everything told me to look a couple paces right of it, so I did. That’s kind of my strategy, because I wasn’t looking at the hole, but then it went in.”

Kim, whose victory last month at Aronimink was her 11th on the LPGA Tour and first major title, left McDonald behind with the birdie spree.

“I just trying to keep push myself until the last hole,” Kim said. “Just keep pushing. I think that is way to make more birdies.”

Stephanie Meadow was third at 8 under after a 68 in the first-year tournament originally set for the same week as the PGA Championship in May

Lydia Ko (66) was 7 under, and Brooke Henderson (66), Minjee Lee (67) and Austin Ernst (65) were 6 under.

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko was tied for 28th at 2 over after a 69 in her first LPGA Tour event of the year. No. 1 in the world for the past 68 weeks, she has been home in South Korea since the COVID-19 pandemic. She plans to play three straight tournaments through the U.S. Women’s Open.

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Sei Young Kim leads Ally McDonald in Pelican Women’s Championship

BELLEAIR, Fla. — Breakthrough winners in their last starts, Sei Young Kim and Ally McDonald were on top again Friday in the Pelican Women’s Championship.

The second-ranked Kim, making her first start since winning the KPMG Women’s PGA a month and half ago at Aronimink for her first major title, shot a 5-under 65 at Pelican Golf Club to take a 1-stroke lead over McDonald into the weekend.

Not that Kim was paying attention to the leaderboard.

“Golf is compete with myself, I think,” Kim said. “If you see the leaderboard then I think I think about the other things. I just want to think about focus on myself and what I have to do.”

McDonald had a 66. She won her first LPGA Tour title late last month in the Drive On Championship-Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia in the tour’s last event.

“My ball-striking was just a little off yesterday, but managed to play really solid,” McDonald said. “I was able to strike it better today. Had a few more realistic looks for birdie. Overall, I just feel like I’m still rolling the ball really well, which gives me a lot of confidence and takes a little pressure off my ballstriking in general. Feel like I don’t have to hit had it really, really close.”

Kim had an 8-under 132 total in the first-year tournament originally set for the same week as the PGA Championship in May. The 11-time LPGA Tour winner birdied four of the first five holes and added another on the par-5 14th.

“It was a tough to make the chance to birdie on the back nine because pin position really tough,” Kim said. “Pins, most pins were right next to undulation, so if you miss the distance, it’ll come back, all the way back. I had three good up-and-downs. Bogey-free round It was really good play today.”

First-round lead Sophia Popov, the Women’s British Open winner at Royal Troon in August, was tied for third at 6 under with Stephanie Meadow. Popov followed an opening 64 with a 70, playing alongside McDonald and top-ranked Jin Young Ko.

“Ally had a good start, too,” Popov said. “When I started making a couple bogeys, she was making birdies, and so I knew she was getting close to me. I think that also helped to push me.”

Meadow birdied four of her last five holes, finishing on the front nine, for a 65.

“My back nine was awesome,” Meadow said. “Played really solid. The front nine I hit barely any greens and made a ton of up-and-downs. Just kept my cool on my front nine, the back nine, and was able to make some birdies coming in, which was nice.”

Elizabeth Szokol was 5 under after a 66.

Lydia Ko had a 67 to join Minjee Lee (69) and Lindsey Weaver (68) at 3 under. Brooke Henderson (70), Angela Stanford (68), Jennifer Song (70) and Robynn Ree (69) were 2 under.

Jin Young Ko was tied for 47th

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Sophia Popov shoots 64 to lead Pelican Women’s Championship

Women’s British Open winner Sophia Popov left top-ranked playing partner Jin Young Ko and everyone else behind Thursday in the Pelican Women’s Championship

BELLEAIR, Fla. — Women’s British Open winner Sophia Popov left top-ranked playing partner Jin Young Ko and everyone else behind Thursday in the Pelican Women’s Championship.

Popov shot a 6-under 64 in windy conditions to take a two-stroke lead over Ashleigh Buhai, with Ko eight shots behind after a 72 in her first LPGA Tour start of the year.

Popov was the surprise winner at Royal Troon in August.

“I think I’m playing with a different confidence level,” Popov said. “You know, the shots are there. I always had them I felt like. I think mentally I’ve never felt as freed up as I do now. I don’t know if that’s from winning the tournament or just overall just having more fun out here. Having obviously an exemption for the next couple years just frees up the swing a little bit, my mindset, I can be a little bit more aggressive, and I think I just took advantage of that.”

At the tricky Pelican Golf Club, the German birdied the last five holes for a front-nine 29, then cooled off on the back with two birdies and two bogeys — the last on the par-4 18th.

“I felt pretty confident coming into the round,” Popov said. “Honestly, probably didn’t see that many birdies on my front. I thought with the wind the course is playing really tough, and surprised myself a little on that front nine. Tried to keep it going, but think the other nine is definitely tough and so I’m happy with my score.”

Buhai birdied three of the last four holes.

“You just have to stay patient, hit to the big parts of the green,” the South African said. “I think in order to shoot a low score today, you got to have a hot putter, especially this afternoon. The greens firmed up a lot and it was difficult to get it close. That’s what I did. I made some good putts coming down. I hit it close on 17 and then holed a nice one on 18 for birdie.”

Ko, the No. 1 player in the world for the last 68 weeks, has been home in South Korea since the COVID-19 pandemic. She plans to play three straight tournaments through the U.S. Women’s Open.

Ally McDonald, playing alongside Popov and Ko in an afternoon threesome, was at 67 with Women’s PGA champion Sei Young Kim, the No. 2 player in the world.

“Honestly, my ball striking wasn’t that great,” McDonald said. “I just felt like my timing was just a little bit off.”

McDonald won her first LPGA Tour title late month in the Drive On Championship-Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia.

Canadians Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp and Australia’s Minjee Lee topped the group at 68.

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ICC tweaks test championship rules, shifts women’s T20 World Cup

DUBAI (Reuters) – Teams will be ranked based on the percentage of points earned from completed matches to determine the finalists of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) next year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.

a sign on the side of a building: FILE PHOTO: The International Cricket Council ICC HQ is seen in Dubai

© Reuters/Nikhil Monteiro
FILE PHOTO: The International Cricket Council ICC HQ is seen in Dubai

The sport’s global governing body also decided at its board meeting to shift the women’s Twenty20 World Cup, originally scheduled for 2022 in South Africa, to 2023.

The change in WTC rule, prompted by the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed Australia (82.22%) to leapfrog India (75) to the top of the standings even though Virat Kohli’s men had accumulated more points.

England (60.83) are third, followed by New Zealand (50).

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said ranking teams based on points earned from completed matches reflected their performance and “doesn’t disadvantage teams that have been unable to compete all of their matches through no fault of their own”.

The ICC board also decided against extending the WTC cycle to allow teams complete their quota of matches.

“We explored a whole range of options, but our members felt strongly that we should proceed as planned with the first ever World Test Championship Final in June next year,” Sawhney said.

Six test series, including four involving Bangladesh, have been postponed or cancelled because of the pandemic.

The nine top test teams were originally scheduled to play six series each over two years in the WTC, with the top two making the showcase final in London.

The ICC also decided against putting three major women’s events in 2022, shifting the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa to 2023.

Next year’s 50-overs World Cup in New Zealand had already been postponed to 2022 following the COVID-19 crisis.

Women’s cricket will also make its Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham in 2022.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond)

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Tour Returns for Pelican Womens Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta | LPGA

The first-ever LPGA tournament was the Tampa Open in January 1950.

The last time the Tour played in the Tampa Bay area was 1989 for the St. Petersburg Women’s Open.

This week, the Tour returns for the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging & Konica Minolta at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair. It’s a wonderful welcome home.

The 2020 LPGA season began in Florida at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by IOA at Lake Buena Vista way back in January with Gaby Lopez of Mexico needing seven playoff holes to hold off Nasa Hataoka of Japan. Soon after, Covid-19 got in the way and now January feels like it was years ago.

Like many things, the Pelican was put on hold, pushed back from its original date in May. And, appropriately, the area where the Tour started 70 years ago will be where the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings, Jin Young Ko, makes her 2020 LPGA debut after remaining in South Korea during the pandemic.

“I think it’s important for not only the area, but women’s golf and women’s sports in general, given everything that’s going on,” Scott Reid, the tournament’s executive director, told the Tampa Bay Times about rescheduling the event.

“I think it’s going to be wonderful for the community here that’s hosting it, in addition to the greater Tampa area and really the whole state of Florida,” Reid said.

Once again, there will be no spectators.  

“We’re looking forward to welcoming fans back next year, hopefully,” Reid said, “and building this event on something that will stay here for a long time.”

The field is loaded as players position themselves for the homestretch of a very demanding season. Eight of the top 10 in the Rolex Rankings will be at Pelican, including Ko, Sei Young Kim, Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Hataoka, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park.

Two of the three major champions from this year – Sophia Popov at the AIG Women’s Open and Kim at the KPMG Women’s PGA – are also in the field. Lopez will also be on hand, along with Maria Fassi, who is also from Mexico, as they look to ride a little Masters mojo.

The Tour was off last week but that didn’t stop an LPGA legend from getting a little love at Augusta National where Abraham Ancer of Mexico was in the final group on Sunday at the Masters. Ancer was not shy about telling anyone who asked that one of his inspirations as a kid was LPGA legend Lorena Ochoa, the most successful professional golfer from Mexico.

“Lorena Ochoa motivated me to get here,” Ancer said at the Masters, where the leaderboard on the weekend was proof of the changing nature of the game with 10 countries among the top-13 going into the final round.

“It opened my eyes and showed me that we can,” Ancer said. “Golf is growing in [Mexico], but we need to work harder to generate more

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NASCAR at Phoenix results: Chase Elliott, 24, wins first championship in runaway fashion

Chase Elliott is a NASCAR champion at 24 years old.

He won Sunday’s Championship 4 race at Phoenix over Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin. Keselowski came in second place but was far off Elliott’s runaway pace over the final 30 laps, finishing 2.74 seconds behind the breakout 24-year-old prodigy of Hendrick Motorsports.

Elliott was tagged with an inspection penalty that sent him to the back to start the race, but it took him less than a stage to vault into the top 10. He couldn’t be caught from there.

Sporting News tracked live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s 2020 championship race at Phoenix. Follow below for complete results from the Season Finale 500.

Championship 4 finishing order

Pos. Driver
1 Chase Elliott
2 Brad Keselowski
3 Joey Logano
4 Denny Hamlin

NASCAR at Phoenix results, highlights from 2020 championship


6:01 p.m.: Five laps remaining.

6:01 p.m.: Elliott’s lead is 3.4 seconds and growing.

6 p.m.: Johnson is in fifth place in his last race.

5:59 p.m.: Keselowski moves up to second.

5:58 p.m.: 12 to go. Elliott is cruising.

5:56 p.m.: Elliott leads by three seconds. It’s his race to lose.

5:54 p.m.: 20 laps remaining. Elliott is still up.

5:50 p.m.: 30 laps to go.

5:49 p.m.: Keselowski to third. He’s been swapping with Hamlin for a while.

5:47 p.m.: This is a cool father-son stat. Elliott is the reigning most popular driver.

5:44 p.m.: Elliott passes Logano! 40 laps to go.

5:42 p.m.: Logano takes the lead after pitting.

5:40 p.m.: Keselowski has another horrid pit stop. Lost at least three seconds.

5:38 p.m.: Logano is unhappy with how his car feels and will pit first.

5:37 p.m.: With 57 laps left, top cars are considering pitting.

5:29 p.m.: Logano is within one second of Elliott for the lead.

5:24 p.m.: Keselowski scoots past Hamlin for third.

5:18 p.m.: Kevin Harvick had something to prove this afternoon, but so far he hasn’t made his point. He’s in eighth place after his elimination last weekend.

5:17 p.m.: 100 laps to go. Elliott-Logano-Hamlin-Keselowski at the front.

5:09 p.m.: Keselowski hasn’t been helped by his crew today.

5:05 p.m.: Keselowski!

4:59 p.m.: Elliott

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Sei Young Kim Found The Zone At KPMG Women’s PGA Championship For Her First Major Title | LPGA

Players speak often about “the zone” or some variation of it. You hear them say they were “feeling it” or that they were “in the right place” after a good round or a solid week. What fans sometimes miss is the fact that this goes beyond the golf swing. The zone is how you walk, how you breathe, how you think and what you feel. It’s the confidence to know you are good enough to hit the right shots at the right time, no matter who is climbing the leaderboard behind you. It is the ability to embrace the discomfort of a lead, to stare pressure in the face and execute anyway.

Sei Young Kim has all of that and more. From her rookie year onward, she has gotten better as the stage has grown bigger. From her first win in the Bahamas, to her second win in Hawaii that required a chip-in and a hole-out, to the all-time LPGA scoring record she set at Thornberry Creek, to the 22-footer she made at Tiburon in Naples to capture the richest prize in women’s golf at the CME Group Tour Championship, Kim’s zone seems to expand with the size of the moment.

That brings us to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Kim arrived at Aronimink in suburban Philadelphia for this 2020 major championship with 10 LPGA Tour wins, making her the winningest player in the women’s game without a major title. The pressure was on. But you would have never known it by listening to her.

“I just want to take each shot one at a time and just keep focus and the results will follow,” Kim said at the time. “Coming into this course, the first feeling I had was it was a long course. But I was confident with my long-iron game, so I knew I was going to play well knowing that I had confidence.

Sei Young KimShe has been home in Korea since the win but is heading back to the U.S. to play in the Pelican Women’s Championship. Because of quarantine restrictions, she wasn’t able to celebrate her major victory in the way she would like. But reflecting on it, she had to be happy with the process that led to the win.

“When I’m home not playing, I do a lot of image training,” she said. “I just try to keep composed. I guess that’s turned into good results. I’m just going to stick to my routine.”

“I can look at her and tell where she is,” said Paul Fusco, the caddy who has been on Kim’s bag since her first LPGA Tour event. “And when I looked at her (at the KPMG), she was right there, right where she needed to be.”

Fusco didn’t say the word “zone” but that is exactly what he meant.

“She’s been working on knowing and believing that her game is good enough and that playing her game is good enough to win anywhere,” he said. “At Aronimink, she knew what

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Stripping UMass women’s tennis of Atlantic 10 championship could be the worst miscarriage of NCAA justice, ever

For the meager sum of $252, the University of Massachusetts Amherst purchased a competitive advantage for one of its athletic teams. That’s some slick financial sleight-of-hand, wouldn’t you say? The person responsible for this sorcery ought to be calculating salary cap numbers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, or perhaps running a presidential campaign.

How did so little money elevate UMass women’s tennis to the 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference championship?

How did the $126 that was Brittany Collens’ share of this windfall invigorate her comeback from a first-set defeat against VCU’s Isabella Camargo to victory in 12 of the match’s final 14 games?

“I can’t even buy a tennis racket with that,” Collens told Sporting News.

And yet that $252, split evenly between Collens and her roommate at the time, is the reason the NCAA committee on infractions chose to vacate the championship UMass achieved with a furious comeback against the favored Rams and celebrated with a trip to — no kidding — Disney World.

This may be the single worst miscarriage of justice in the uneven history of NCAA jurisprudence.

How does one explain what occurred? Well, this is how Dave Roberts, vice-chair of the NCAA infractions committee, which was responsible for this putrid decision, attempted to justify it during an Oct. 16 conference call to announce the various penalties against UMass athletics.

“What we’re obligated to do is enforce the by-laws and the rules of the association,” Roberts said. “Those rules are put in place by the association members. In this particular case … the statute and the case law is intended to focus upon a fair playing field.” He said the rules indicate that vacating records is the appropriate remedy when ineligible athletes compete.

That Roberts was called on to speak publicly on this matter is the most obvious indicator something went horribly wrong with the UMass case. This was a minor incident, a fender-bender upon which the infractions committee chose to dump a can of gasoline and then light a match.

It began with the discovery in 2017 of some possible irregularities in UMass athletics. After an internal audit, work with outside counsel and then a cooperative investigation with the NCAA’s enforcement division — the people the NCAA pays to examine potential violations of the organization’s by-laws — it was determined a total of $9,100 of financial aid had been incorrectly dispensed to 10 members of the men’s basketball team and two women’s tennis players. It was basically an accounting error.

Collens’ scholarship checks from UMass were direct-deposited into her bank account. The payments weren’t always identical because they covered different expenses: room, board, books or, in the circumstance that went outside NCAA regulations, $126 in telecommunications fees to which on-campus residents were entitled but those living off-campus, such as Collens and her roommate, were not.

“It wouldn’t have even been possible for my best friend and I to find it,” Collens said.

The university acknowledged the error. The enforcement division, understanding this was a small amount of

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Republic of Ireland out to book Women’s European Championship spot with win in Kyiv

Republic of Ireland
The Republic are top of Group I on 13 points, having played a game more than second-placed Germany

Republic of Ireland women are preparing for one of the biggest games in their history when they travel to Kyiv to take on Ukraine on Friday in their European Championship qualifier, with the prospect of making it to a major tournament for the first time.

Victory for Vera Pauw’s side would secure a play-off spot with one game still to go, while a best runners-up spot – which guarantees automatic qualification – is also in contention.

“It’s a final, it’s a final for everybody – for the Ukraine and for us,” said Pauw.

“The strength of Ukraine and us is very, very close at the moment.

“I was talking to one player and she said this was most likely the most important game of her career – and she is one of the veterans.”

‘They underestimated us’

Ukraine conceded 16 goals in their two fixtures against Germany last year, but wins against Montenegro and Greece last month mean they are now only seven points behind the Republic with a game in hand.

In the reverse fixture last October, Pauw’s side ran out 3-2 winners, but the Republic of Ireland boss remains convinced her team will meet a different opponent in Kyiv.

“Ukraine underestimated us. I think that they were overwhelmed with our structure and the way we were approaching them,” she said.

“In our first game, everybody wanted so much to get a positive result. There was such an intensity, the whole stadium felt this intensity, the crowd brought it on the pitch. Now the intensity comes by the fact that this is a final for everybody.

“They [Ukraine] also know and feel how important this is. The way they played the second half against Greece [last month], I have not seen them like that yet. They are much better at pushing forward, so we have to be ready for that.”

Republic Ukraine
The Republic beat Ukraine 3-2 when the sides met last October

Chartered flight signals positive step in gender equality fight

The squad will be based in Duisburg in Germany this week before flying to the Ukrainian capital on Friday and Pauw revealed her team will travel on a chartered aircraft for the first time, following a decision by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

“I would like to give a huge thanks to the FAI. I believe this is the first time the women’s team will get a chartered flight,” she added.

“With this Covid situation, having to travel in the normal airport, being in lines with others, the risk of picking up the virus is so big.

“The managers had said that we have to make this happen. If we say that we strive for gender equality, this is the moment that this is necessary, because otherwise we put our players at risk and also qualification at risk, apart from the personal danger.

“It shows the change in thoughts that

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2026 Women’s Final Four and 2023 Golf Championship Comes to Arizona

Arizona, in the spring, really is something else. March through the end of May, everyone can expect weather in the ’80s and ’90s with a breeze and a smile. The NCAA has taken notice, and it was announced on Wednesday that the Valley of the Sun would host the 2026 Women’s Final Four and the 2023 Men’s and Women’s Golf Championship.

The Valley’s bid to host the Women’s Final four was a collaborative effort by the City of Phoenix, Visit Phoenix, the Phoenix Suns, and Mercury and Talking Stick Resort Arena joining the Phoenix Local Organization Committee. The games are slated for April 3-5, 2026.

“This is a landmark day for ASU,” said ASU Vice President for University Athletics and PLOC co-chair Ray Anderson to “We will apply our trademark innovation to provide an unforgettable experience for the NCAA, student-athletes, alumni, media, and fans. We thank the NCAA for entrusting the Valley with this iconic championship.”

While Sun Devil fans wait to watch the Final Four compete, they can go out to Scottsdale’s Grayhawk Golf Club and watch the 2023 National Championship. The course is also hosting the 2021 and 2022 Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. The 2021 contest will be the first since the Women’s championship that ASU hosted in 1992 and will be the first championship in the southwest since the 2012 Men’s tournament.

There are also some regional tournaments to be excited about as well! The 2025 Women’s golf regionals, the 2026 Men’s Golf Regional, and the 2026 Division I Women’s Gymnastics Regionals all were announced to take place around the Valley.

Arizona knows a thing or two about hosting sporting events. Since the Super Bowl in 2008, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area has hosted another Super Bowl, a Pro-Bowl, an MLB all-star game, An NBA All-Star Game, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the World Baseball Classic semi rounds, the Copa Amãrica Centenario, and the Men’s Final Four. Phoenix also happens to have the Fiesta Bowl, Cheez-It Bowl, Waste Management Open, and just this little thing called Spring Training every year too. In the time between now and the Women’s Final Four, the state will host their fourth Super Bowl in 2023, the World Baseball Classic Semifinals at a to be determined date, and the Men’s Final Four in 2024. 

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