Alfredsson shoots career-best 62 for Sybase lead

By Associated PressMay 14, 2009, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newCLIFTON, N.J. ' Lorena Ochoa is going to have to stage one of the biggest comebacks of her career to win a fourth straight Sybase Classic.
 
Helen Alfredsson jump-started a career-best, 10-under 62 by holing out for eagle from 68 yards on her second hole, and took a two-stroke lead over Brittany Lincicome after the opening round on Thursday.
 
Ochoa, who has won this event at two different courses, was nine shots behind the long-hitting Alfredsson. Besides the eagle, the Swede had nine birdies and a bogey at Upper Montclair Country Club on a cold, damp day punctuated by an intermittent drizzle and chilling breeze.
 
Alfredssons round was the lowest on tour this year, and it left Ochoa with 54 holes to play catch up. Her biggest come-from-behind win was in 2004, when she rallied from five shots down in the final round to win the Wachovia LPGA Classic.
 
Ochoa overcame a four-shot deficit in this event three years ago, when it was played at Wykagyl in New York.
 
I had birdie chances, like on 18, that just didnt go, Ochoa said. But Im happy. Im very good with the speed. I had a couple that got away and had to save par, so I feel good. Tomorrow, maybe, some of them will drop.
 
Only two other women have won the same LPGA event four years in a row. Annika Sorenstam won five straight Mizuno Classics in Japan from 2001-05, and Laura Davies won four straight Standard Register PING titles in Arizona from 1994-97.
 
That doesnt mean No. 1-ranked Ochoa can be written off yet.
 
As far as I know, this is a four-round tournament, said Suzann Pettersen, who was third after a 7-under 65. Thats all I can say.
 
The 44-year-old Alfredsson made the game look easy, hitting fairways and greens all day. After starting on the back nine, the former European Solheim Cup captain eagled No. 11, birdied the 12th and chipped in from the edge of the green on the 13th for another birdie. Even with a bogey on No. 15, she shot 6-under 30 on the back side.
 
Alfredsson also birdied the par-4 first, one of eight birdies from 8 feet or less. She played the four par-5s in 4 under.
 
Anybody, when we play good, you wonder why you dont do this all the time, because its so easy, she said. Its not strenuous, your head is not going crazy, your body doesnt hurt. At my age, all that stuff usually comes along with it. So you dont know why. I just felt that its just one of those days.
 
Lincicome also had one of those days, particularly on the greens. The recent Kraft Nabisco Championship winner needed only 25 putts, holing two 15-footers and a 30-footer. She capped her round by chipping in for eagle from 17 yards at the par-5 18th on the traditional, tree-lined course just outside New York City.
 
Like Alfredsson and Pettersen, Lincicome also is a long hitter.
 
If I can keep it in play and putt well, watch out, said the 23-year-old Floridian, who won the 2006 HSBC Match Play Championship in New Jersey.
 
Lincicome stopped short of saying shes become a Jersey girl, though. The 23-year-old likes fishing, being on the water and driving her pickup truck ' but she doesnt mind driving in the Garden State, either.
 
You can speed, you dont have to use a blinker and theres no cops, she quipped. Knock on wood.
 
Since winning the Nabisco ' her first major ' Lincicome has missed the cut at the Corona Championship and tied for 63rd last week.
 
I really would like to learn how to be like Annika, be like Lorena and be more consistent and be at the top of the leaderboard every week, Lincicome said. That would be nice.
 
Pettersen, who has four top-10 finishes this year, had nine birdies, two bogeys and a nice save on No. 18. She hit her second shot into the water near the green and then chipped to a foot with her fourth before saving par.
 
Pettersen, who lives close to Alfredsson in Orlando, said that the Swede turned her game around last year after overcoming a back injury.
 
She hits more greens than a lot of us, Pettersen said. Shes a streaky player. When she gets hot, shes hot. Obviously she played pretty good today.
 
Ji Young Oh of South Korea was four shots off the lead after a 66, and Karrie Webb, Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer were all at 2-under.
 
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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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    Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

    The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm