Annika Hurst Face 18-Hole Playoff

By Associated PressJuly 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 U.S. Womens OpenNEWPORT, R.I. -- Annika Sorenstam and Pat Hurst finished regulation tied for the lead Sunday at the U.S. Women's Open and will return at 9:00 a.m. (ET) Monday morning for an 18-hole playoff.
 
The pair finished regulation at even-par 284 after Hurst posted a 2-under 69 and Sorenstam an even-par 71.
 
Pat Hurst
Pat Hurst can't believe a putt doesn't fall during the final round of the U.S. Women's Open.
Sorenstam, a two-time former winner, took a one-shot lead after a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th. The Swede hit her tee ball through the green at 17, then chipped to 5 feet. Sorenstam struck the putt, then closed her eyes and when she didn't hear the cheers, knew she missed.
 
The duo was tied at even-par on the 18th tee and Hurst pushed her drive right. It looked like her ball was headed for a hazard, but it stayed up in a decent lie. Sorenstam split the fairway with her drive.
 
Hurst could not reach the putting surface with her second at 18. Sorenstam knocked her approach from 185 yards 30 feet from the flagstick. Hurst hit a solid chip shot that rolled 5 feet from the hole.
 
Sorenstam had a putt for her 10th major championship and second win of the year. Her ball tracked toward the hole, but eventually moved right at the last second. She left herself a tap in for par, putting the pressure squarely on Hurst's shoulders.
 
Hurst, the 1998 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner, holed her par save to force the first 18-hole playoff since 2003.
 
'I feel really comfortable over the ball,' said Hurst. 'I had a lesson on the Friday before I left for Rochester (site of last week's Wegmans LPGA). I still didn't feel very comfortable last week, but it sure came around this week.'
 
Michelle Wie had a share of the lead until a bogey at the 13th. She finished with a 2-over-par 73 on Sunday and a share of third place with reigning LPGA Champion Se Ri Pak (69) and Stacy Prammanasudh (72). The trio came in at 2-over-par 286.
 
'I still feel like I played awesome,' said Wie. 'It's just a shot here and there. I'm getting closer and closer. It's going to be very soon. I'm right there.'
 
Two-time winner Juli Inkster also had a piece of the lead on Sunday, but three bogeys over her final 10 holes undid her. She carded a 2-over 73 in the final round and took sixth at plus-3.
 
Due to a heavy fog that never lifted off of Newport Country Club on Thursday, the plan called for 36 holes on Sunday. After the third round was completed Sunday morning, Sorenstam, Wie and Brittany Lincicome found themselves atop the leaderboard.
 
Sorenstam flew out of the gate in Sunday's final round with back-to-back, 4-foot birdie putts at one and two. She reached 2 under par, but Hurst also got off to a great start in the final round.
 
Hurst also birdied one and two, but dropped a shot at the par-3 fourth. Hurst atoned for that error with a 35-foot birdie putt at the fifth that got her to 1 under par for the championship.
 
Sorenstam was cruising along until the seventh. At that hole, she pulled her 7-iron approach into a creek, then had 15 feet to save bogey. That putt hit the left lip and stayed above ground. The double bogey dropped Sorenstam into a tie for the lead with Hurst and Inkster.
 
Inkster stopped being a factor shortly after she ended up being tied for first. She bogeyed the ninth and fell down the board throughout the final round.
 
The eighth became a pivotal hole. Hurst's second flew over the green and Sorenstam's second came up short of the putting surface. Sorenstam chipped to 6 feet, while Hurst chipped in for a birdie. The No. 1 player in the world missed her par putt to cap off a two-shot swing and was two behind Hurst.
 
Sorenstam made a complete mess of the ninth. She found a bunker and had a decent shot at par, until her putt horseshoed out of the hole. Sorenstam was now 2 over for the tournament and three off Hurst's lead.
 
That did not last long as Hurst missed a 9-footer at the same hole to cut her lead to two. Sorenstam cut into it even more at the 10th when she drained a 6-footer for birdie.
 
Hurst stumbled at 11 as she drove into the left rough. Her lie was so bad that all she could do was hit a wedge a few feet closer to the short grass. Hurst left the hole with a bogey to fall back into a tie for the lead with Sorenstam at plus-1.
 
At this time, Wie sank an 18-foot birdie putt at the 12th that tied her atop the leaderboard. She found a bunker at the next hole and made bogey, then never shared the lead again.
 
Hurst took sole possession of the lead at the 14th when she ran home an 18- foot birdie putt. Sorenstam tied her one hole later with a 15-foot birdie putt. Hurst had a closer birdie putt at the same hole that did not fall.
 
Sorenstam moved into first at the par-5 16th. She drove in the right rough and hit a 5-wood closer to the hole, but still in the tall stuff on the right. The Swede knocked her third to 20 feet and canned the birdie putt to move one in front at minus-1.
 
Sorenstam left the door open for Hurst with a bogey at 17. Hurst narrowly missed a 35-foot birdie putt at that hole, then Sorenstam did the same at 18 and now it's a Monday playoff.
 
'You cannot give up and I kept on grinding,' said Sorenstam. 'I'm very happy with the way I played. It's been a long week on a really tough golf course. It felt great.'
 
Lincicome struggled to a 7-over 78 in the final round and finished alone in seventh at plus-7. Rachel Hetherington (73) and Shi Hyun Ahn (76) tied for eighth place at 8-over-par 292.
 
Amateurs Amanda Blumenherst (73) and Jane Park (76) tied for 10th place with Jee Young Lee (77), Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (75), Sophie Gustafson (78) and Young Kim (74). That group came in at 9-over-par 293.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
  • Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

    By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

    In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

    Made Cut

    The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

    Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

    “I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

    Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

    Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

    This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

    Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

    Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

    The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

    Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

    Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

    The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

    First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

    “You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

    A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

    “The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

    For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

    Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

    “I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

    Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

    “Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

    Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

    Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


    Missed Cut

    Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

    Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

    “That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

    Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

    While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

    Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.