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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

Golf notebook: Wie due to undergo appendectomy

Aug 28, 2017

Michelle Wie withdrew before the start of the final round in the Canadian Pacific Open on Sunday and was scheduled to undergo surgery to have her appendix removed later in the day.

The 27-year-old Hawaiian was tied for 23rd in the tournament, six strokes behind leaders Mo Martin and Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen after rounds of 71-68-70 at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.

A week earlier, she went 1-2-0 while playing for the victorious U.S. team in the Solheim Cup.

IMG, her management company, had not released an update about her condition as of late Sunday night.

Wie, a Stanford graduate who won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, has seven top-10 finishes in 17 starts this season on the LPGA Tour and was 30th on the Rolex Women’s World Rankings last week.

In July, she withdrew during the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Bedminster because of muscle spasms in her neck.

• Ally Financial Inc. signed a three-year agreement to be the title sponsor of a new event on the PGA Tour Champions next year at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich.

The Ally Challenge will be played Sept. 14-16, 2018, at Warwick Hills, which hosted the Buick Open on the PGA Tour for 45 years through 2009.

“We are excited to welcome Ally Financial to the PGA Tour Champions family as we usher in a new era of golf at Warwick Hills,” PGA Tour Champions president Greg McLaughlin said.

The Ally Challenge is the sixth new event to be added by the PGA Tour Champions over the past 2 1/2 years, becoming part of a schedule that includes tournaments in four countries and 18 states.

Warwick Hills, designed by architect Joe Lee and opened in 1957, featured such champions as Tiger Woods, Billy Casper, Julius Boros, Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Hale Irwin and Kenny Perry in the Buick Open.

• The eight teams that reached the semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s golf championships, including national champions Oklahoma (men) and Arizona State (women), will compete in the four-team fields of the East Lake Cup from Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, the Golf Channel announced.

Arizona State will be joined by NCAA runner-up Northwestern, USC and Stanford, while Oklahoma leads the men’s field that also includes 2016 national champion Oregon, Illinois and Vanderbilt.

“This is such a cool event and the East Lake Golf Club has such an amazing history,” Arizona State women’s coach Missy Farr-Kaye said. “I love this format, and am excited to bring my team to Atlanta to experience this event. We’ve got a target on our back from beating two of the three teams in the NCAA championships last year, but we are very excited to have this opportunity.”

Arizona State has won a record eight NCAA women’s national championships, while USC won the latest of its three in 2013. Stanford claimed its only title in 2015, and Northwestern is still looking for its first.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to compete in the East Lake Cup,” Oklahoma men’s coach Ryan Hybl said.

“It gives our team a chance to compete at one of the top golf courses in the country against three outstanding programs. It will be a great challenge, but an exciting three days for collegiate golf fans.”

The East Lake Cup follows the format from the NCAA men’s and women’s golf national championships, with the teams competing in stroke play on day one to determine the individual champion and seedings for two days of match-play competition.

The event is played at East Lake Golf Club, home of the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship, which determines the FedExCup champion.

The East Lake Cup also features the Tom Cousins Award, which is given to the outstanding male and female golfers who exemplify the values of the East Lake Foundation, excelling in academics while being engaged in his or her community and overcoming adversity.

Casey Danielson of Stanford and Patrick Martin of Vanderbilt were recipients of the 2016 Tom Cousins Award.

--The Web.com Tour announced that WinCo Foods agreed to a three-year extension of its title sponsorship of the WinCo Foods Portland Open played on the Witch Hollow Course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.

The WinCo Foods tournament is the last event of the Web.Com Tour regular season, with 25 PGA Tour cards for the following season being awarded at the end of the tournament, based on the season-long money list.

“We are excited to announce today’s extension of the WinCo Foods Portland Open,” Web.com Tour president Dan Glod said. “This tournament has established itself as one of the Web.com Tour’s premier events by creating a championship-caliber atmosphere on one of our best golf courses, while continuing to create a strong charitable footprint in the greater Portland area.”

Since 2014, the tournament has generated more than $4 million for local charities, including $1.25 million in 2016, which set a record for charitable donations by a golf event in Oregon.

The extension announcement will keep the event at Pumpkin Ridge at least through 2020.

The Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events, begins this week.

--Golf Channel and NBC’s coverage of the 2017 Solheim Cup delivered record viewership for the networks, according to the Nielsen Company.

Golf Channel’s live coverage on the final day, from 10:30 a.m.-4:10 p.m. EDT, delivered a 0.52 U.S. household rating and 795,000 viewers, making it the most watched women’s golf telecast on cable since the 2009 Solheim Cup’s final day on the Golf Channel (956,000 viewers).

Coverage was up 250 percent from 2015 (227,000 viewers) and up 23 percent from 2013 (646,000 viewers). Coverage peaked from 2:30-2:45 p.m. EDT, with a 0.83 U.S. household rating and 1,259,000 viewers.

NBC’s second-day coverage, from 4-6 p.m. EDT, was the most-watched women’s golf Saturday telecast in 2017 with a 0.68 U.S. household rating and 968,000 viewers.

Compared to the last two hours of women’s majors on network television in 2017, Saturday’s Solheim Cup coverage beat the Ricoh Women’s British Open by 24 percent, the U.S. Women’s Open by 39 percent and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship by 35 percent.

Coverage peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. EDT with a 0.85 U.S. household rating and 1,240,000 viewers.

Golf Channel and NBC’s combined coverage of Saturday’s Day 2 at the Solheim Cup (8 a.m.-6:50 p.m. EDT) was the most-watched Day 2 in 15 years, generating a combined 0.45 U.S. household rating and 641,000 viewers.

That was up 211 percent from the 2015 matches in Germany (206,000 viewers); up 11 percent from 2013 in Colorado (579,000 viewers), and up 10 percent over 2009 in Illinois (581,000 viewers).

Golf Channel’s televised Friday coverage of the Solheim Cup, from 9 a.m.-2:04 p.m. EDT and 4:04-8:08 p.m. EDT, was the most-watched Day 1 of the Solheim Cup on record from 2007-2017.

Coverage generated a 0.26 U.S. household rating and 368,000 viewers, up 145 percent from 2015 in Germany (150,000 viewers); up 19 percent from 2013 in Colorado (309,000 viewers) and up 14 percent from 2009 in Illinois (322,000 viewers).

In total, 7.3 million viewers tuned in to some portion of coverage of the Solheim Cup across three days on Golf Channel and NBC. Compared to traditional four days of coverage at major championships, it was most-viewed women’s golf event since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on ESPN and NBC (9.77 million viewers across four days of coverage).

The three-day coverage of the Solheim Cup saw 6.3 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports’ Digital platforms, trailing only the 2016 Rio Olympics (9 million) as the most ever for a women’s golf event airing on Golf Channel and NBC.

--Maverick McNealy is turning pro after considering other options.

The 21-year-old Stanford All-American from Portola Valley, Calif., indicated for months that he might pass up a golf career because he had other opportunities after graduation.

However, he announced on GoStanford.com that he would turn pro next month after playing for the United States in the Walker Cup.

“Those guys (on the PGA Tour) are really, really good at what they do,” said McNealy, who equaled the Stanford record of 11 career victories set by Tiger Woods in 1996 and tied by Patrick Rodgers in 2014. “It wasn’t until after my sophomore year that it even crossed my mind that I might be good enough to give it a shot.

“With a huge amount of work, I have what it takes to be one of the best players in the world. Getting better at something is one of the most exciting and gratifying things for me in life, and I’m excited to see how good I can get at golf.”

McNealy, who at times was No. 1 in the World Amateur Rankings and the men’s college rankings, will make his pro debut in the Safeway Open in October at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.


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