News & Opinion

Keeping score

2

Number of players tied for the first-round lead in the CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA’s season finale. Sarah Jane Smith and Peiyun Chien shot bogey-free 6-under 66s on Thursday at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla. Smith, 33, of Australia, and Chien, 27, of Taiwan, are looking for their first LPGA victories. Karine Icher, Lydia Ko, Azahara Munoz, Sung Hyun Park and Suzann Pettersen were tied at 67 (scores: http://bit.ly/1zkYSEX).

6-9

Height, in feet and inches, of England’s Jonathan Thomson, who battled leukemia for five years as a child and qualified for the European Tour. Thomson, 21, closed with 2-under 69 at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain, to become one of 33 players to earn playing privileges for the 2017-18 season. Sam Horsfield, a former University of Florida golfer who was born in England but grew up in Florida, closed with 8-under 63 to win the six-round marathon by eight strokes, shooting 27-under 401 (scores: http://bit.ly/2zPwk09).

7

Number of strokes under par that American Patrick Reed stood after the first round of the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship. Reed shot 65 at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and led England’s Justin Rose and Australia’s Scott Hend by one stroke. Rose is bidding to overtake countryman Tommy Fleetwood, who opened with 1-over 73, in the Race To Dubai standings. American Julian Suri, who earned a mid-season promotion to the tour with a victory in the Made in Denmark event, shared 10th place at 70 (scores: http://bit.ly/2A3Kmhz; standings: http://bit.ly/VgywIq; scenarios: http://bit.ly/2AHjwsw).

18

Length, in feet, of the putt that American Chris Kirk made for eagle-3 on the final hole for the first-round lead in the RSM Classic. Kirk, playing the Plantation Course at Sea Island (Ga.) Golf Club, shot 9-under 63 for a one-stroke lead over countryman Joel Dahmen. Americans Brian Gay, Jason Kokrak and Hudson Swafford shot 65s, all at Plantation. Only two of the top 17 scorers – Brice Garnett and Nick Watney, both with 5-under 65s – played the Seaside Course, which will be the site of the final 36 holes (scores: http://bit.ly/2yOVvhP).

50

The seeding after stroke-play qualifying for Kelsey Chugg, who defeated Mary Jane Hiestand, 3 and 1, in the final match to win the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur title. Chugg, 26, of Salt Lake City, struggled to a 13-over 85 in the first round of stroke play on Champions Golf Club’s Cypress Course in Houston before rallying for an even-par 72 to make match play. She tore through six matches, defeating two of the three co-medalists and never needing to play the 18th hole (scoring: http://bit.ly/2z2wfco). Chugg will be the first Mid-Amateur champion to earn a spot in the U.S. Women’s Open, which will be played next year at Shoal Creek (Ala.) Club. She and Hiestand, 58, of Naples, Fla., also will be exempt into the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Golf Club of Tennessee.

2,500

Amount, in dollars, of a scholarship to be awarded to an aspiring golf journalist in honor of the late Ron Balicki, who covered primarily the college game for three decades at Golfweek magazine. The inaugural Ron Balicki Scholarship will be awarded for the spring 2018 semester (information and an application form: http://bit.ly/2ARHAcx).