Annika Looks for Return to Winners Circle

By Associated PressSeptember 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 John Q Hammons Hotel ClassicBROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Three months removed from her last LPGA Tour win, Annika Sorenstam is looking for a strong finish to her season.
 
The top-ranked Sorenstam was in the same situation when she arrived at Cedar Ridge Country Club last year, and went on to win four of her final six events.
 
She won the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic by four strokes, and posted victories at the Samsung World Championship, the Mizuno Classic and the ADT Championship.
 
Sorenstam won six of the first eight LPGA events she entered this year, but has gone five straight events without a victory. She won the Scandinavian TPC, a European Tour event she hosts in Sweden, then finished second at the Wendy's Championship last month and went 4-1 at the Solheim Cup last week.
 
And like last year, her most recent LPGA Tour win heading into the Hammons Classic came in June, at the McDonald's LPGA Championship.
 
``It seems like I get my second wind by the end of the year,'' Sorenstam said Thursday after playing nine holes during a pro-am at Cedar Ridge. ``I've had a nice little break after my trip to Europe. I played one event and I saw my coach the next week, so I feel like I'm ready to finish strong. I really do.''
 
It would be easy to question Sorenstam's motivation heading into the event. She leads Cristie Kerr by more than $500,000 on the money list and her 282 points are nearly twice Kerr's 143 in the player of the year standings.
 
``There's a lot at stake,'' Sorenstam said. ``We're talking player of the year. We're talking money list. You want to play well this part of the year.''
 
Admittedly, she's also focused a little on posterity. Her true career goal now is winning the Grand Slam. She won the first two majors this season before struggling at the U.S. Open.
 
``I know I can win the Grand Slam,'' she said. ``I'm just going to try and figure out how to do it. ... The next few months, that's what's going to be on my mind.''
 
Sorenstam has won two of the four LPGA events held in Tulsa. She won in 2002, when the event was held at the Tulsa Country Club, and again last year when it moved to Cedar Ridge in the southeast suburb of Broken Arrow. With a win this week, the Hammons Classic would become the 10th event Sorenstam has won three times or more.
 
She says she feels comfortable at the event, in part because she's been able to find restaurants and a gym that she likes in town.
 
``It's good to have positive feelings when you come to a place,'' she said.
 
Sorenstam said she considers the 6,551-yard layout one of the toughest stops on tour, although rain Thursday morning could change how it plays.
 
``It's very, very wet,'' Sorenstam said. ``You can get a lot of roll off the drive. You can play straight at the pin. The course is playing very, very different than last year.
 
``Hopefully, by the weekend, it will dry and it will play a little different.''
 
The tournament's field also includes 2003 winner Karrie Webb, British Open champion Jeong Jang and rookie Paula Creamer, who helped the U.S. beat Sorenstam and the Europeans in last week's Solheim Cup.
 
Creamer, the world's No. 3 player, made her first visit to Cedar Ridge as an amateur last year and finished 9 over. She shot a 7-over 78 in the opening round, but bounced back with a par 71 to make the cut.
 
After two wins this season, Creamer said she's a different player and feels more positive this time around.
 
``I've seen it and I know what it takes to win on this course,'' Creamer said.
 
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    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.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.