Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

LPGA Tour

LPGA ShopRite to fall dates

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

Nothing is "the same" in the new world of COVID 19.   Yes there is a vaccine but the disease is still causing havoc. 

 

The good news for LPGA fans is that the 2021 ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer is on the calendar, slated for September 27-October 3 at Seaview, A Dolce Resort. While not occupying "normal" dates kicking off the summer shore season the new dates will allow more time to attack the disease.

 

While other events were cancelled by the LPGA because of the pandemic, the ShopRite was held - without fans.  For 2021 there is a full 34 event world class schedule, with more than $76M up for grabs.  "We have a great schedule and hopefully the pandemic is overcome," said commissioner Mike Whan. "This has been a difficult year but we are optimistic about the future."

 

The ShopRite annually attracts some of the finest golfers in the world, who love the Seaview Bay Course, the amenities of the Atlantic City area, and --- hopefully --- boisterous fans.  Oh, and the $1,750,000 purse helps whet the appetite. 

 

The event's list of champion includes numerous Hall of Famers, and the competition is intense and watched by millions around the world.  Mel Reid claimed the 2020 event with a sparkling 19-under-par score.

A. Lim Kim a US Open Champion

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

There is something special about women's golf.  Maybe it's the fact the women play a different game than their male counterparts.  

 

The LPGA does not feature long-bombers, smoking 350 yard drives.  No, the women hit the ball well, have  to perfect long iron play, and maneuver their way around greens.  The 75th United States Women's Open was a great example of strong golf over a difficult Champions Golf Club in Houston, TX. 

 

Only four players managed to break par.  And it took three consecutive birdies on the final three holes for South Korean A. Lin Kim5 to emerge victorious; She claimed the Mickey Wright championship golf medal by a single stroke over American Amy Olsen (69-72-71-72--284) and countrywoman Jin Lim Young2.  Third round leader Hinako Shibino was at 1-under-par. 

 

It was Kim's first major championship in her first attempt in the US Women's Open. "An absolute thrill. My third round was disappointment. Today I attacked course and made some putts," said the champion, who became the 10th Major Championship winner from South Korea in the last 16 years. 

 

Olson was heroic in her final round.  She held the lead with nine holes to go but a bogey on 16 hurt almost as much as Kim's closing birdies. 

 

"Honestly, 16 hurt, but I hit a good shot (that turned into a bogey)," said the woman who was playing with a heavy heart as her father-in-law passed away late Saturday night. 

 

Olson played superb golf, but came up short while seeking her first LPGA win in 147 tries.  

 

A year ago at Seaview Olson said she was "close" and "would win" soon.  It's only a matter of time. 

 

At Champions difficult conditions sent scores higher, as Sunday's final round was delayed until a Monday finish that saw rain, cold and wind bedazzle the players.  Still, credit to the USGA for its having the Open, abit six months late due to COVID. 

 

Only four of 66 players who made the 36-hole cut finished under par, fitting of the difficulty of a US Open.  There were thrills and spills and greast and not so great shots throughout.  A Champion at Champions emerged, in A. Lim Kim. 

 

 

Reid victorious at Seaview

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

Mel Reid has had more ups and downs than an elevator in a skyscraper. 

 

Just two weeks ago she had a two stroke lead in the final round of the LPGA Portland Classic only to lose the lead and the tournament. The English woman has challenged numerous times on the LPGA Tour, but had never brought home the bacon.  

 

Clearly she's a winner, having won six times on the Women's European Tour. Today, though, things changed, and the 33-year-old bested a stellar field at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer at the Seaview Dolce Resort in Galloway Township.  There, on the Donald Ross designed Bay Course Reid closed with a stellar 67 for a 275 total and two-shot win over Jennifer Kupcho (67--277).

 

In recent years the event has been contested over 54 holes, but this year it was extended to 72 holes, without fans. Her 275 bested the tournament's all time 72-hole scoring record set in 1990 by Chrisa Johnson at nearby Greate Bay Country Club. 

 

"What a feeling it took a while to get here (winner's circle) but it was worth it," said Reid after closing her final round with a birdie. "A couple weeks ago (when leading) I got quick with my swing. I wasn't going to let that happen today. Today I played within myself, and other than that hiccup bogey on 17 played very well. This is a life changer."

 

Reid has long been known a strong ball striker, as evidenced by her six European wins and three time participant in the Solheim Cup.  But in America she hasn't been able to break through, until today.

 

Her outstanding six iron shot from the rough on 18, setting up a two-putt birdie, was superb.

 

Jennifer Song finished with a 69 and was third at 16-under-par, while Nasa Hataoka also closed with a 69 to place fourth at -14.  Nelly Korda was fifth at 12-underpar, while defending champion Lexi Thompson closed with a 68 and finished in the top-20 at eight-under-par.

 

CHIP SHOTS: THe victory earned Reid the $195,000 first place check...Reid joins an elite group of past winners, including Karrie Webb, Anna Nordqvist, Stacy Lewis, Annika Sorenstam, Betsy King and Thompson...The LPGA moves to Newtown Square's Aronimink next week for the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

ShopRite returns with Best of LPGA

Written by Bob Oliver on .

In less than a month the Jersey store will be abuzz with the best ladies professional golfers in the world competing in front of a national television audience.  

 

While no patrons, fans nor spectators will be present at the Dolce Seaview Resort near Atlantic City, it doesn’t mean the competition and fan interest won’t be.  The ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer annually attracts a star studded field and 2020 will not be different.  

 

Yes COVID 19 has disrupted our world but it has not beaten us.  Tourney officials infor that more than 80 of the top 100 players have already committed to the event.  

 

One of of them is defending champion Lexi Thompson who has a long standing date with the tournament since getting a sponsors exemption years ago. 

 

“I have such fond memories of Seaview and the area.  I love it there,” said Thompson. 

 

The event was postponed from summer to the first weekend in October with activities starting September 28 and completing October 4. 

 

Chip shots — Tournament officials dispelled rumors of a venue change for next year, stating there is a commitment for the event to be held at Seaview through 2022...Complete details available at www.shopritelpgaclassic.com

ShopRite Classic delayed until fall

Written by Bob Oliver on .

Just when you thought it was safe to pencil new dates for the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer into your calendar, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a second change. 

The LPGA Tour has announced the event, played annually at the Stockton Seaview Golf Resort, will be moving to the fall.   First the event was postponed from June to July dates, and now it will be held October 2-4.

"We appreciate the flexibility of the management of the event," said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. "The LPGA is looking forward to returning to the shore in October."

It has been a wild ride for professional golf.  All tours went on hiatus with the pandemic, and changes are still being made.  There is a possibility the October dates may allow the tournament to be played with fans in attendance.  Time will tell.

"Given the challenges of today's environment (with the disease) we are excited to move to the fall," explained Tim Ehrensen. "Autumn golf in South Jersey provides great conditions and we know Seaview's staff will continue to do an outstanding job on the course."

There's another great thing with the move in timing, in that instead of heading overseas after the original new dates, the October dates will be the week before the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. "That's being held at Aronimink (in Newtown Square) so we are excited to be a part of a couple of weeks of great golf in the Delaware Valley," added Ehrensen. 

Given the uncertainty of the COVID response, the rescheduling of the event to October is great news for the tournament, fans and players.  

CHIP SHOTS: THe event generates more than $1 million annually for charity, having generated more than $35 million since its inception...While it's too early to think about player commitments, it's expected the ShopRite will have its usual outstanding field