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Showing posts from October, 2015

Savannah Vilaubi Gets Her First Pro Win

(Photos: @savannahvilaubi/Instagram) The second-to-last tournament of the 2015 Cactus Tour schedule concluded on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and it crowned a first-time winner: Savannah Vilaubi. Vilaubi not only won for the first time since turning pro, but she did so by posting a career-best 64 in the final round. That is gettin' it done. Savannah posted scores of 70, 72 and 64 to win the tournament, finishing at 10-under 206. That 64 included a birdie on the final hole, and she needed it: She beat runner-up Spencer Heller by a single stroke. In a post on Instagram afterward, Savannah wrote:"Gratitude over anything is what I'm feeling right now, but vomiting from the nerves is a close second ... I shot a new career low of 64 to come from 4 strokes behind and get the win! I'm so thankful for the beautiful girls I got to meet and play with this tournament. The camaraderie I've experienced on the Cactus Tour is so wonderful and such a blessing to be around. I'm so than…

Catching Up With Brandi Seymour

What ever happened to Brandi Seymour? You might remember her - we certainly do - for her time on camera at the Golf Channel. But Brandi's golf roots go back to her youth in Torrance, Calif., playing Western States Golf Association junior tournaments. She did well enough to earn a golf scholarship to Oregon State University. And Seymour graduated from OSU in 1999 with a degree in communications. After her college golf career ended, Brandi went home to Southern California and went to work in the public relations field. But after a while, that just wasn't cutting it. “My main thing, a couple years after I got out of school, was ‘How do I get back into golf?’" Seymour told the Corvallis Gazette-Times in a 2005 article. She got back into golf by getting hired at the Golf Channel. That was in 2002, and Brandi started at the network behind-the-scenes as an associate producer for spotting and scoring. What does that job entail? "Knowing where all the significant acti…

Nelly Korda Wins Stage II of LPGA Q-School

The second stage of the LPGA's 2015 Q-School is over and the winner is 17-year-old amateur Nelly Korda. Korda finished one stroke ahead of runner-up Grace Na at 3-under 284. She carded rounds of 75, 70, 70 and 69. The Top 80 finishers in Stage II move on to the final stage of 2015 Q-School, which takes place Nov. 30-Dec. 6. And Korda will be there. Nelly can remain an amateur if she does not earn her tour card at the final stage, a nice option to have. But if she makes it through, well, hello pro career.#TweetSomethingYouGetAlot "Are you Jessica Korda's sister?"— Nelly Korda (@NellyKorda) July 3, 2015 The answer to that question, of course, is yes. Nelly is the younger sister of LPGA winner Jessica Korda. And in fact, the sisters pulled off quite the feat just a couple weeks ago: They recorded wins on back-to-back days. Jessica Korda won the LPGA Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on Oct. 11, 2015. The next day, Nelly won the AJGA Ping Invitational. And the Ping Invitati…

Maria Rodriguez is a 'Model' Golfer

You've probably already "met" Maria Rodriguez, even if you don't realize it. She's the golfer behind a viral Instagram video that's been making the rounds recently, including being featured by Golf Digest. Here is that video: Things you can do with a big butt and a good golf swing 🍑⛳️ @nanimerchiA video posted by @marirodriguez on Oct 21, 2015 at 8:17am PDT Maria Rodriguez is the one hitting the shot; her University of South Florida teammate Maria Merchan is the one whose booty is the "tee." (Is that brave, or nuts? Kids - don't try this at home!) Rodriguez is in her junior season as a member of the USF women's golf team. She's originally from Cali, Colombia, but moved to Florida to attend high school at the IMG Academy. Her brother Carlos plays on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Maria didn't make the tournament day roster as a freshman, but last season was a breakout one for her and she made the roster in all nine of South Florida…

Rachael McQueen

Rachael McQueen got some bad news earlier this year when visa issues meant she wouldn't be able to continue working as a PGA instructor at the Golf House Tennessee Learning Center (run by the Tennessee Golf Association). So she packed her bags and headed home to Troon, Scotland. "I loved living in Nashville and I miss my friends so much," Rachael told us. But this change also presented an opportunity. Rachael was spending so much time working on other golfers' games that she hadn't spent much time on her own. Going home meant being able to concentrate on her own game. "It's been great being home and finally pursuing my dream to be on tour," McQueen said. In Tennessee, working as an instructor, she "found it difficult to juggle working and practicing. Now I'm able to focus fully on my own game." That renewed focus on her own game means that Rachael is entering Ladies European Tour Q-School late this year. And an old friend has …

It's a Go for Brianna Do and 9 Other Symetra Tour Grads

The 2015 Symetra Tour schedule finished on Sunday at the Symetra Tour Championship, after which the Top 10 players in the final money list standings were awarded their LPGA Tour cards for next year. Congrats to these members of the Symetra Tour's "graduating class" of 2015: 1. Annie Park, $68,673
2. Giulia Molinaro, $68,632
3. Brianna Do, $64,877
4. Daniela Iacobelli, $62,692
5. Dani Holmqvist, $62,160
6. Lee Lopez, $61,731
7. Alejandra Llaneza, $61,289
8. Vicky Hurst, $57,814
9. Casey Grice, $55,621
10. Rachel Rohanna, $53,867 I want to point out what Brianna Do managed to do: This woman is clutch. Two tournaments before season's end, Do was on the outside looking in. She stood at 18th on the money list. If Brianna finished there, it would have exempted her into the final stage of LPGA Q-School. But who wants to play Q-School? Nobody! So Brianna did something about it. With just two weeks to go to get into the Top 10, Do finished second at the IOA Golf Classic.…

A Win for Lexi Thompson in Korea

A little Korean barbecue went a long way for Lexi Thompson this week, and she basted it in tour sauce. Lexi won the 2015 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship by one shot. She was one behind entering the final round, but carded a 69 that included a late birdie on the 15th hole. That proved the edge she needed, and Lexi finished one shot ahead of runners-up Yani Tseng and Sung Hyun Park. It was Thompson's second LPGA win of the year. She won back in June at the Meijer LPGA Classic. And it was the sixth overall win of her (still very young) LPGA career to date.

Jessica Korda Wins in Malaysia

When you're trying to get back on the victory sheet after a period of sub-par play, weekend rounds of 65-65 really help. That's what Jessica Korda shot in the third and fourth rounds of the 2015 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. In fact, the back-to-back 65s were the best rounds Korda has shot this year. And Jessica finished at 18-under, the second-best winning score in event history. She won by four shots over the formidable runner-up trio of Lydia Ko, Shanshan Feng and Stacy Lewis. Was this victory unexpected? In one way, no: Korda is, after all, one of the bright young stars of the LPGA with three previous victories under her belt. And she finished second in the tour's season-opener. But she had missed 8 of 12 cuts going into Malaysia, was left off the American Solheim Cup team, and had no Top 10s since that season-opener. Hopefully, this mean that Jessica is gone, and the Korda we know - the one who regularly contends and occasionally wins - is back with us. View image | g…

Olivia Cowan Wins LETAS' 2015 Order of Merit

Olivia Cowan may be dressed for the cold in the photo above, but she was on fire for much of 2015. And on Sunday she capped it off by winning the Order of Merit on the LET Access Series, which means Olivia has membership on the Ladies European Tour in 2016. Olivia tied an LETAS record with three wins this season, two of which she recorded while still an amateur. (Her amateur victories this year include the Portuguese International Ladies Amateur Championship and the Spanish Ladies' Amateur Championship.) After turning pro, Cowan won again, at the Norrporten Ladies Open. Cowan went into the season-ending WPGA International Challenge leading the OOM, and already guaranteed her LET card for next year. But it's always more fun to win your way onto the big tour rather than "only" qualify. (Although "only" qualifying is pretty darn good, too!) Cowan, from Germany, will be 20 years old when her rookie year on the LET begins next season. And she's definit…

Meredith Kirk Makes GD's Top Teachers List

Congratulations to golf instructor (and beauty queen) Meredith Kirk, who is included in the 2015 rankings by Golf Digest of the country's top teaching professionals. Meredith made it into the state-by-best "best of" list for South Carolina:Honored to represent the great golfing state of SC! Ranked 3rd @GolfDigest! I owe it all to @lpgateachers!!! 👊🏻⛳️ pic.twitter.com/sw0GUgmUWu— Meredith Kirk (@MereKirk) October 10, 2015 The new top teachers ranking is included in the November issue of the magazine. As you may be able to see in the image above, Meredith is based at Blackmoor Golf Club in Murrells Inlet, S.C. Want to sign up for lessons? You can book online at Meredith's website. It's no surprise that Kirk made the list: She was on last year's Best Young Teachers in America ranking. More Meredith Kirk on Golf Babes

1st Pro Win for Erynne Lee

Erynne Lee is barely a pro, but she's already a pro winner. Erynne - a k a "Ernie" - graduated from UCLA just a few months ago. On Wednesday in Arizona, she earned her first victory as a professional golfer, winning Cactus Tour Event No. 25 at Las Colinas. Lee did it in style, too, shooting a final-round 66. The 66 included seven birdies. Lee opened with birdies on four of her first five holes, then closed it out with birdies on her final two holes. She also birdied four of the five par-5 holes in the round. That 66 got Erynne in at 14-under 202, good for a three-shot victory. You can view the final scores here. Erynne is originally from Washington. You might remember that she was the very first significant casualty of the new groove rules introduced a few years back when she was DQ'd from a U.S. Women's Open qualifier - after winning it - at age 16 back in 2010. Oops! Mistakes happen. It's how you bounce back from them that matters. That was far fr…

Paige Spiranac Begins Pro Career With 68

Here's the tweet that trick-shot artist and Internet sensation Paige Spiranac sent out today:Shot a 68 in my first competitive round as a professional. Two more rounds to go in the event☺️— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) October 5, 2015 Great start for Paige and hopefully puts to rest the thought (in some quarters, certainly not at Golf Babes) that Paige's talents were mainly marketing and not golf. Yes, she's great at the former as her tens of thousands of social media fans know. But she's also a talented golfer, as her multiple Top 10 college finishes at San Diego State University showed. Perhaps that's what she had in mind a couple weeks ago when she tweeted this:I never claimed to be the best golfer out there. I'm just working as hard as I can everyday to chase a dream. #golfismyonetruelove ⛳️— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) September 26, 2015 As for the tournament Spiranac played today: It's an event on the Cactus Tour, you can keep up with scor…

Hally Leadbetter

Hally Leadbetter comes from a great golf family. Her mother won the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship the first two years it was played. She was known as Kelly Fuiks back then. And Hally's father ... um ... I forget who her father is. So when Hally decided to pursue tournament golf - to play in front of crowds and media - you have to think her name created a little extra pressure for her. Plenty of advantages, too, of course - travel opportunities, chances to meet people, relationships and friendships established. Maybe a few free pointers. But when you're the daughter of one of the most famous golf instructors who's ever lived - oh, right, that's who her father is - it helps if you're good at golf, too. And Hally is very good at golf. Although it didn't start out that way. According to an article in Golfweek, when Hally decided to give golf a try in middle school, she shot 136 in her first 18-hole round. Hally played golf in high school a…