Annika Feeling Better Ready for Match Play

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Annika Sorenstam is too busy trying to get her game together to worry about reclaiming the top spot in women's golf.
 
'Right now, I'm not really trying to chase anybody,' Sorenstam said Wednesday before her rainy pro-am round in the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
 
'I'm just trying to get into the swing of things. I'm just trying to get back to me and the way I played. I'm not really at the level I know I can be.'
 
She's making her fourth start after missing two months because of a bulging disk in her back and ruptured disk in her neck. The 37-year-old Swede took last week off after tying for 32nd in the U.S. Women's Open.
 
'With the competition being so tough today, you just can't take a break like I have for two months not competing and just kind of come out and compete with just a few hundred balls in practice rather than the thousand that I need.'
 
After winning the State Farm Classic last September for her 69th LPGA Tour title, she's winless in her past 11 starts and has dropped to third in the world behind top-ranked Lorena Ochoa and Karrie Webb.
 
'I've got to think long term,' Sorenstam said. 'I have no pain. I feel great and I'm starting to swing the club a little better. So give me a few weeks and I'm going to start chasing some people.'
 
In two weeks, she'll get to test her game at St. Andrews when the Women's British Open makes its first stop at the Old Course.
 
'I think it's a big, big, big deal,' Sorenstam said. 'It's a huge step for women's golf to go there. ... I'm going to enjoy every minute.'
 
Set to open against Katherine Hull on Thursday on the rain-soaked Wykagyl Country Club course, Sorenstam won stroke-play titles in 1998 and 2000 on the traditional layout recently renovated by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore.
 
'I love the changes. I think it's fantastic,' Sorenstam said. 'They took down a lot of trees. You can see the course a bit more. They totally changed the look and feel around the greens. ... The way they set up the course this year we're a lot farther back. I think this sets up fantastic for this format.'
 
She reached the quarterfinals the past two seasons at Hamilton Farm in New Jersey, losing to Candie Kung in 2005 and Juli Inkster last year. If Sorenstam wins her first three matches, she could face Kraft Nabisco winner Morgan Pressel in the quarters.
 
'One match is like one tournament,' Sorenstam said. 'It's just one day at a time.'
 
Pressel, seeded sixth, will open against Birdie Kim, the South Korean player who holed out from a bunker to beat her in the 2005 U.S. Open. Sorenstam and Pressel are in the lower bracket along with the second-seeded Webb and seventh-seeded Suzann Pettersen, the LPGA Championship winner.
 
In the upper bracket, U.S. Open champion Cristie Kerr, seeded fourth, tops the most interesting quarter of the draw.
 
Kerr will open against Amy Hung and could face defending champion Brittany Lincicome in the third round and fifth-seeded Se Ri Pak in the fourth.
 
'You just try and focus on your own game as much as you can and not really let what the other person does affect you,' Kerr said.
 
Pak, coming off her fifth Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic victory Sunday, will start play against Beth Bader, with the winner facing the Natalie Gulbis-Christina Kim survivor. Lincicome will open against Carin Koch.
 
Also in the upper bracket, Ochoa, the 2006 Sybase Classic winner at Wykagyl, will face South African teenager Ashleigh Simon.
 
The tour leader with three victories, Ochoa could play eighth-seeded Paula Creamer, the 2005 Sybase champion, in the quarterfinals.
 
'I love the place,' Ochoa said. 'I like my chances.'
 
Divots:
Heavy rain wiped out the morning pro-am. Nearly 1 1/2 inches fell on the course Wednesday. ... After single rounds Thursday and Friday, the third round and quarterfinals will be played Saturday and the semifinals and final are set for Sunday. ... The winner will receive $500,000 from the $2 million purse. ... Inkster (1992), Sherri Steinhauer (1999 and 2004) and Michelle Redman (1997) also have won at Wykagyl. ... Marisa Baena won the inaugural event in 2005. ... The tour will be in Europe the next two weeks for the Evian Masters in France and the Women's British Open. ... The LPGA Tour acquired the Duramed Futures Tour on Wednesday. The 27-year-old developmental circuit has been the LPGA Tour's official developmental tour since 1999.
 
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  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

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    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    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.

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

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

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