SHIMA, Japan (AP) Inbee Park is on a roll going into the Mizuno Classic, with more than just a chance for another victory at stake.
Park won in Malaysia and was runner-up the following week in Taiwan, bringing her within range of Stacy Lewis for the points-based LPGA player of the year award. She trails the American by 28 points, and each LPGA victory is worth 30 points.
An American has not won the award since Beth Daniel in 1994.
Lewis will be playing the final two LPGA events, but she is skipping the Mizuno Classic, which starts Friday at Kentetsu Kashikojima Country Club.
``I've been getting a lot of confidence over the last three months, especially with my long game,'' Park said. ``My swing is getting really comfortable.''
The South Korean leads the LPGA Tour money list with $2.16 million, finishing among the top 10 in all but one of her last 12 tournaments. That includes two wins and five runner-up finishes.
Her competition is likely to come from top-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan and Jiyai Shin of South Korea, who won here in 2008 and 2010. Suzann Pettersen, who won her last two tournaments, is taking this week off.
Defending champion Momoko Ueda hopes she can turn around a disappointing season against the 79-player field at the Mizuno Classic.
Ueda beat China's Shanshan Feng in a three-hole playoff last year to add to her win here in 2007. The 26-year-old Japanese player has struggled this season without a top-10 finish.
``I know I didn't have such a great start to my season or the middle part,'' Ueda said. ``I guess I prepared myself a lot for this tournament and hope to make the best out of it.''
As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.
Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.
"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."
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"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."
Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.
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Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.
"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.
Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.
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The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.
Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.
He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.
Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.
We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.
In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.
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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.