Annikas Team In Need of Big Rally
After sweeping the opening alternate-shot session Friday at The Vines Resort and Country Club course, Asia took 3 1/2 of six points in best-ball play to take the big lead into the 11 singles matches Sunday.
'Everybody is excited,' Pak said. 'Basically, we have had a good two days and we feel great about our chances to retain the cup.'
The singles matches were reduced from 12 to 11 after Norwegian star Suzann Pettersen was forced to withdraw during the round after aggravating a back injury. Asia captain Pak, bothered by shoulder pain throughout the weekend, also will sit out Sunday, with Pak and International captain Sorenstam agreeing to halve the match.
'I had a secret meeting with Se Ri and she showed a lot of class and decided to tie that match,' Sorenstam said.
With Pak out of the lineup, Sorenstam will face Candie Kung in the opening match.
'My shoulder is hurting and this is the understanding that we came to,' Pak said. 'It's not going to be easy to not be playing with my team for the first time ever. I'm just going to be out there to support them.'
With the halved singles match leaving the score 10-3, Asia needs only two points Sunday to retain the cup and the International team needs 9 1/2 to win.
'We are going to come out firing. We have nothing to lose,' Morgan Pressel said. 'Hopefully, we can get a lot of birdies.'
Asia is trying to successfully defend its title after beating the International team 12 1/2 -11 1/2 last year at Tanah Merah in Singapore. The International team won the inaugural matches 16-8 in 2005, also at Tanah Merah.
Natalie Gulbis played the final seven holes alone after partner Pettersen withdrew. The American pulled within one of Jee Young Lee and Seon Hwa Lee with a birdie on 15 before finally falling when the South Koreans birdied the 18th for a 2-up decision.
'I was thinking, 'I've got the chance to make history here. One international player against two Team Asia players,'' Gulbis said, joking.
'No, I was worrying about Suzann. Suzann is a really, really tough player, and she had been in pain all day from yesterday's driving range session.
'I was just supporting her and encouraging her to take care of herself. But for a player like Suzann to withdraw due to pain, you know something is going wrong. I just wanted to play well for Suzann, for my team, for Annika.'
Sorenstam was amazed when told that Gulbis rallied to extend the match to 18.
'Wow! I didn't know that,' Sorenstam said.
The victory was the Lees' second straight over the International duo.
Amy Hung and Ji Yai Shin also topped their International opponents for the second consecutive round, beating Brittany Lincicome and Maria Hjorth 2 and 1.
Angela Park and Nikki Campbell gave the International team its first point, beating Jeong Jang and Shi Hyun Ahn 3 and 2 in the opening match.
'Angela played very well, so I just came along for the ride,' said Campbell, the lone Australian in the International lineup.
Cristie Kerr and Nicole Castrale also earned a full point for the International side with a 3-and-2 victory over Sarah Lee and Meena Lee.
'I didn't have my game in the best of sorts today, but that's what best ball is all about,' said Kerr, the U.S. Women's Open winner. 'Nicole carried me for a bit and I helped out on a couple of holes. She played terrifically.'
Pressel and Stacy Prammanasudh halved with Kung and Ayako Uehara.
'It was a very tough match and it was very exciting,' Uehara said.
Kung made a par putt on 18 to match Pressel and Prammanasudh.
'I was just thinking about making the putt,' Kung said. 'Ayako had been making a lot of putts today, so I thought I would do something for the girls and I did it.'
Sorenstam wasn't about to concede defeat.
'We have to play very hard, obviously,' the Swedish star said. 'It's going to be quite the comeback, but I can see it and we're going to do it.'
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.06 million
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:
|T20||Charles Howell III||-14||$57,754|
|T36||Tyrone Van Aswegen||-12||$27,189|
|T69||Billy Hurley III||-6||$11,623|
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.