Annika Rolls Back into Contention

By Associated PressAugust 31, 2007, 4:00 pm
State Farm Classic Logo 2007SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- After topping the LPGA State Farm Classic leaderboard for the second straight day, Sherri Steinhauer was well aware that Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam was just three strokes behind her.
Steinhauer, a four-time U.S. Solheim Cup team member, shot a season-best, 6-under 66 on Friday to finish at 11-under 133 at the halfway point of the four-day tournament at Panther Creek Country Club.
But the 44-year-old Steinhauer lost a stroke to Sorenstam, the defending champion who birdied her first four holes on the way to a 65.
'When you have Annika behind you, it's not always easy. She's a great player and obviously had a real hot one today,' said Steinhauer, bidding for her first win since the 2006 Women's British Open.
Sorenstam, defending the last of her 69 career LPGA Tour titles, said her game is rounding into shape in her seventh tournament since returning from a ruptured disk in her neck.
'I thought I played flawless today. I really did,' Sorenstam said. 'I had a lot of chances out there. I was never really in trouble and I'm very, very pleased. I drove it well, putted well. Sounds funny when you shoot 7 under to say you left a bunch there, but I really feel I did that. But making some great progress.'
Christina Kim, who has three top-ten finishes in her last five tournaments, was second at 9 under after a 66.
Kim says the leaders will have to keep posting low scores for a shot at the winner's $195,000 share of the $1.3 million purse.
'It's a birdie-fest. You have to go low to even have a chance at getting that title,' Kim said.
Mi Hyun Kim, the SemGroup Championship winner in May, was four strokes back at 7 under along with tour veteran Marcy Hart, whose best career finish is a tie for third in the 2006 Wegmans LPGA. Mi Hyun Kim shot a 67, and Hart had a 69.
Rachel Hetherington (69), Janice Moodie (69), Becky Morgan (67), Ai Miyazato (70) and Jin Young Pak (67) were five shots back at 6 under.
Steinhauer, whose seven career title include two majors, had seven birdies and just one bogey, sinking three putts of 20 feet or more.
'I'll tell you the difference is I made a lot of putts again today ... That's been the difference and it sure is fun to watch them go in,' Steinhauer said.
Sorenstam, who missed just four greens in regulation during the first two rounds, eagled the par-5 16th and had seven birdies to offset two bogeys.
'I felt really I was on fire for a long time today,' the 36-year-old Swede said.
Sorenstam came from behind to win last year's tournament, the last in a 31-year run at The Rail Golf Club in nearby Sherman. Sorenstam closed with a 10-under 62 to match the lowest final-round score by a tournament winner in tour history.
Hetherington, an Australian who has eight career wins but none since 2003, said Sorenstam's return to form is good for the tour.
'It helps us all and it makes us all play better,' Hetherington said.
Steinhauer and Sorenstam will meet again Sept. 14-16 in Sweden when the Solheim Cup matches pit the United States against Sorenstam's European team.
Kraft Nabisco champion Morgan Pressel shot a 1-over 73, dropping the 19-year-old star to 2-under 142 for the tournament.
Brooke Tull had her first hole-in-one on the tour, acing the 139-yard, second hole during an even-par 72. Tull missed the cut with a two-day total of 3-over 147.
Two-time tournament winner Nancy Lopez also missed the cut, but nearly logged her fourth career hole-in-one, hitting the pin on the 185-yard 17th hole. The 50-year-old Hall of Famer shot a 7-over 79 to finish at 16 over.
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa is skipping the tournament after winning three straight events to push her tour-leading total to six.
Related Links:
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - State Farm Classic
  • Getty Images

    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

    Getty Images

    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

    Getty Images

    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.