Three of women’s top 10 to star as golf returns in South Korea

South Korean golfer Park Sung-hyun, right, and Choi Hye-jin, left, pose for photographers during a media day for the 42nd KLPGA Championship at the Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, South Korea, on May 13, 2020. (Im Byung-shik/Yonhap via AP)
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Updated 13 May 2020

Three of women’s top 10 to star as golf returns in South Korea

  • South Korean players dominate women’s golf and the US-based LPGA tour
  • 3 golfers ranked in the world’s top six and eight players in the top 20

SEOUL: Leading professional golfers will return to competitive action for the first time in months after the coronavirus shutdown when three of the world’s top 10 women tee off in South Korea on Thursday.
The domestic showpiece KLPGA Championship will follow the country’s football and baseball leagues in starting behind closed doors at the Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, northeast of Seoul.
World number three Park Sung-hyun, sixth-ranked Kim Sei-young and number 10 Lee Jeong-eun will be in a 150-strong field chasing a $180,000 winner’s cheque from a record tournament purse of $2.5 million, the highest in the event’s 42-year history.
South Korea — which endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside mainland China — has brought COVID-19 under control with a widespread “trace, test and treat” model and has begun to resume professional sport.
South Korean players dominate women’s golf and the US-based LPGA tour with three golfers ranked in the world’s top six and eight players in the top 20.
Two-time major winner Park, nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour Kim and current US Open champion Lee were already back home in the country.
They had returned after the LPGA season was suspended in February because of the pandemic following the Australian Open, which was won by another Korean, the world number 11 Park In-bee.

BACKGROUND

The 150-strong field will contest a $180,000 winner’s check from a record tournament purse of $2.5 million, the highest in the event’s 42-year history.

No spectators will be allowed inside Lakewood Country Club and strict protocols will be in place to guard against the risk of infection.
All players and staff will have their temperature checked before entering the venue and all support personnel must wear face masks at all times.
Players turning up for practice rounds on Wednesday were required to wear masks before and after play.
Some opted to don one on the course, where they were kept at least two meters from their competitors and were careful to keep contact with caddies to a minimum.
Media covering the tournament are restricted to two designated areas on the course at the first and 10th tees.
Each player will have to eat meals alone to maintain social distancing, with no caddies or family members allowed to sit at the same table in the players’ lounge.
Only four LPGA Tour events have been completed this year — the last in Adelaide on February 16 — and the tour has outlined plans to resume in mid-July in Michigan.
The men’s US PGA Tour, which came to a juddering halt when the Players Championship was abandoned after the first round in March, has pencilled in a restart behind closed doors at the Charles Schwab Challenge beginning June 11 at Fort Worth, Texas.
With sports fans around the world starved of live action overseas broadcasters have shown unprecedented interest in South Korea’s normally low-profile domestic competitions.
A KLPGA spokesman said US network CBS was in negotiations for rights to broadcast the tournament.
The contest “has been at the center of global attention,” the KLPGA said in a statement, adding it was making “making all-out efforts” to organize the event “to please golf fans fatigued by the coronavirus.”


Murray to the rescue as Nuggets hold of Lakers

Updated 23 September 2020

Murray to the rescue as Nuggets hold of Lakers

  • The 23-year-old Canadian’s three-pointer from 26 feet gave Denver a seven-point advantage at 106-99

ORLANDO: Jamal Murray scored 28 points as the Denver Nuggets held off a ferocious late fightback from the Los Angeles Lakers to roar back into contention in the Western Conference finals series on Tuesday.

Murray nailed two crucial late three-pointers in the closing minutes as Denver held on for a 114-106 victory in game three to reduce the Lakers’ lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

But the Nuggets — who looked in complete control for long periods of the contest — were given a mighty scare by the Lakers in a thrilling fourth quarter battle.

The Lakers had trailed by 20 points with just over 10 minutes remaining but whittled away the Denver lead to just three points with 3min 53sec left on the clock in Orlando.

But just as it looked as if LeBron James and Anthony Davis were poised to complete a remarkable comeback, Murray regrouped to take the game away from the Lakers.

The 23-year-old Canadian’s three-pointer from 26 feet gave Denver a seven-point advantage at 106-99 and he then provided the assist for Paul Millsap to make it 108-99.

With less than a minute on the clock, Murray struck the dagger blow with a 29-foot three-point jumpshot to make it 111-99 and effectively seal victory.

Denver coach Michael Malone said his team — who had suffered an agonizing buzzer-beater defeat in game two on Sunday — were determined not to go 3-0 down in the series.

The Nuggets have already overturned 3-1 series deficits en route to the Western Conference finals.

“I had no doubt we were going to show up tonight,” Malone said.

“We have won six straight elimination games. Everybody always has us packing our bags and leaving, but we’re not ready to go. They’re a very resilient group and they have proved that time and time again.”

Asked about his late flourish, Murray said he had set out to lead by example.

“That’s my whole energy, my whole approach to the game, not getting down if I miss a couple of shots,” Murray said.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive ... but the most important part is the energy I bring when I’m talking to my team-mates, being a vocal leader, getting up and down and pushing everybody so they tend to follow. I just wanted to see them have a lot of fun today.”

The Lakers, meanwhile, were left reflecting on an uneven display which ultimately left James and Davis with too much to do.

James led the scoring with a triple double comprised of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, with six turnovers. Davis had 27 points, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12) and Kyle Kuzma (11) the only other Lakers players to crack double figures.

Murray, who also had 12 assists, was backed with 26 points from Jerami Grant while Nikola Jokic weighed in with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

“You put yourself in an 18-point hole, it’s tough to climb out of that,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

“I thought Denver played with great energy throughout the game. We didn’t match it early, we matched it late. They’re a great basketball team so credit it to them for the win. They played a really good basketball game.

“We were not as sharp as we could have been on both ends of the floor. We were playing at a high level, but were a little bit off in the first half.

“But I liked the spirit that the guys competed with down the stretch to try and make it a game.”