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LPGA returns to Los Angeles after 13-year absence

LOS ANGELES — The LPGA is returning to Los Angeles after a 13-year absence with a $1.5 million tournament in April. The HUGEL-JTBC Open will be played April 19-22 at Wilshire Country Club, which has hosted previous LPGA, PGA and Champions Tour events. The 72-hole event announced Wednesday is part of the tour’s California swing that includes the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Kia Classic in Carlsbad and a tournament in San Francisco. The LPGA visited Los Angeles from 2001 to 2005, when its Office Depot…

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Sungjae Im wins Web.com Tour’s Great Exuma Classic in Bahamas

GREAT EXUMA, Bahamas — Sungjae Im closed with a 7-under 65 to win the season-opening Great Exuma Classic on the Web.com Tour. Im became the 16th player in the history of PGA Tour’s developmental tour to win in his first start. The 19-year-old from South Korea played bogey-free in windy conditions Tuesday at Sandals Emerald Bay. He finished at 13-under 275 for a 4-shot victory over Carlos Ortiz of Mexico. Ortiz birdied the final hole for a 69 and broke out of a five-way tie for second. That was worth…

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Rory McIlroy holds bird of prey at Abu Dhabi HSBC golf championship

8:06 AM ET ESPN staff Rory McIlroy held a bird of prey alongside potential 2018 Ryder Cup teammates Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood on Tuesday. The trio are playing in the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC golf championship this week and branded the experience as the “first birdie of the week”. 1up @McIlroyRory . First birdie of the week!! @HSBC_Sport #HSBC #AbuDhabi 🐥 @TommyFleetwood pic.twitter.com/pvkFh0QBGQ — Justin Rose (@JustinRose99) January 16, 2018 Fleetwood is the only one of the three who has played competitive golf this year after playing an…

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Rory McIlroy not ready to just hand Ryder Cup to United States

Rory McIlroy said the task will be tougher than many believe for the United States to prevail this fall at the Ryder Cup, despite a convincing American victory in 2016 and a strong cast of young stars. “It won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be,” McIlroy said Tuesday in Abu Dhabi in advance of this week’s European Tour event, where he will make his 2018 debut. “The Americans are very strong,” said McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland and has played in four Ryder Cups for…

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Rory McIlroy believes his next win is ‘not far away’ after a good rest period

Rory McIlroy feels a first win since Sept. 2016 is “not far away” as he prepares to make his competitive comeback in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second place finishes, two thirds and a fifth in his last eight starts, but missed last year’s event with the rib injury which disrupted his entire season. The four-time major winner called an early end to his winless campaign, just the second of his professional career, in October, but has been practising hard…

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Patton Kizzire overcomes James Hahn in 6-hole Sony Open playoff

HONOLULU — Patton Kizzire outlasted James Hahn in six extra holes to win the Sony Open to become the first multiple winner on the PGA Tour this season. Kizzire, who won the OHL Classic in Mexico last fall, closed with a 2-under 68. That turned out to be the easy part. Hahn shot 62 in the final round Sunday and got into a playoff with Kizzire at 17-under 263. They matched two pars and two birdies on the par-5 18th. They matched pars when they went to the par-3 17th….

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Blayne Barber’s caddie Cory Gilmer suffers critical head injury after fall

HONOLULU — Blayne Barber‘s caddie was in critical condition with swelling in his brain from falling on his head Saturday at a Honolulu restaurant. Barber tweeted an update about his caddie, Cory Gilmer, on Sunday. Small improvement this morning for Cory. Still in a critical stage but asked about his friends, said his last name, and asked the nurse to pray today. He’s got a long way to go but continue to pray! Specifically that the swelling would go down in his brain. — Blayne Barber™ (@BlayneBarberAU) January 14, 2018…

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Scott Parel beats Scott Dunlap in playoff to win Diamond Resorts Invitational

ORLANDO, Fla. — Scott Parel beat fellow PGA Tour Champions player Scott Dunlap on the first hole of a playoff Sunday to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the Diamond Resorts Invitational. The 52-year-old Parel won the 32-player professional division with a par on the extra hole, the 203-yard 18th at Tranquilo Golf Club. Dunlap hit a fat shot short into water and made a double bogey. In regulation, Dunlap made an 8-foot birdie putt for three points, and Parel failed to get up-and-down and made a bogey to fall into…

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Golf Channel cameramen walk out on coverage amid Sony Open

HONOLULU — Union workers for video and audio production at Golf Channel events walked out Sunday over stalled contract negotiations, leading to limited coverage of the final round at the Sony Open and two other events in the Bahamas and Florida. Charles Howell III, Marc Leishman and other golfers participating in the Sony Open in Hawaii describe their responses and reactions to Saturday’s false alarm missile alert. Golf Channel said it has been negotiating an agreement for nine months with International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union for tournament…

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Tom Hoge takes a 1-shot lead on wild day at Sony Open

HONOLULU — Tom Hoge was too caught up watching college basketball in his hotel room to be bothered with a push alert — a false alarm, as it turned out — that a ballistic missile was headed toward Hawaii. He showed a steady hand on the golf course, too, even as the leaderboard at the Sony Open became increasingly crowded. Hoge finished off a 6-under 64 by holing a 40-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th, and then hitting a 40-yard bunker shot to within 3 feet for a birdie…

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