Fudoh maintains lead Inkster three back

By Associated PressAugust 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ricoh WomenSUNNINGDALE, England ' Yuri Fudoh of Japan shot a 3-under 69 to lead by one stroke after the third round of the Womens British Open on Saturday.
 
Natalie Gulbis
Natalie Gulbis plays her second shot at the 1st hole. (Getty Images).
Fudoh, who qualified for the tournament by finishing in the top 15 of the championship a year ago at St. Andrews, is at 13-under 203 at Sunningdale and in sight of her first major title.
 
Ji-Yai Shin of South Korea (70) is second after making a bogey at the 18th. Shin drove her tee shot into the rough, then pulled her second shot into the gallery. Taking a drop, she pitched 20 feet past the hole and then missed the par putt.
 
Fudoh was the leading money winner on the Japanese LPGA from 2000-05 and has won 45 tournaments in her home country. She is using veteran caddie Peter Coleman, who helped Bernhard Langer win two Masters titles.
 
He has helped on the distance and I think 50 percent of what I have done is because of the caddie, Fudoh said through an interpreter.
 
Fudoh said she has no plans to move to the LPGA Tour in the United States.
 
I dont think I have enough power to play on the LPGA, like physical condition, she said.
 
Ai Miyazato of Japan (68) is two shots back from Fudoh. Then came two Americans, Cristie Kerr (70) and Juli Inkster (71), who are another stroke back.
 
Inkster, who is aiming to win her eighth major a record 24 years after her first, started one shot behind Shin and Fudoh at 9 under. She took the lead by pitching her second shot to within 8 feet of the flag at the first hole and making the eagle putt.
 
Aiming to become the oldest winner of a womens major at age 48, she narrowly missed another eagle at the second when she pitched out of the rough and the ball rolled just past the flag for a short birdie putt to go to 12 under. But Inkster lost her way soon after the turn, dropping shots at the 11th and 12th and at the 17th, where her 30-foot par putt shaved the hole. At the 18th, she missed a 4-foot birdie putt.
 
Inkster wants to go one better than the 53-year-old Greg Norman, who almost became the oldest winner of a mens major two weeks ago when he led the British Open at Turnberry with nine holes to play.
 
Im happy for what he did and hes a great player and he seems like the Greg Norman of old, Inkster said. But Ive got to go out there tomorrow and play golf and I dont think Greg Norman is going to help me around, so I have to do it on my own.
 
Defending champion Lorena Ochoa (71) also had a bad back nine to fall five shots off the lead. Having picked up four shots before the turn to move within one of the lead, the Mexican became wild off the tee, finding the rough at the 11th, 17th and 18th to drop three shots.
 
Of course I would love to be closer, if not in the lead, Ochoa said. But this is my position; there is nothing I can do about it. I have nothing to lose. I hope to get a good start tomorrow and we will see.
 
Annika Sorenstam, who won in 2003 among her 10 majors, shot a 70 for her best round of the week. But two late bogeys prevented her from becoming a title threat in her last major championship.
 
The Swede birdied the second and ninth holes and eagled the 11th with a 38-yard chip-in. She finished at 2-under 214.
 
Sorenstam had been still hoping to mount a challenge after two level-par rounds of 72, but dropped shots at the 13th and 17th holes. She also left a 10-foot birdie putt at the last just inches short of the hole.
 
After the 11th, I was hoping to get to 5 or 6 under and still have a chance, she said. Today was a little better, more regular golf. I missed a few shots here and there but I kept going, and when you hole a shot like that on the 11th, it keeps the momentum going.
 
Sorenstam, who announced in May that she would retire at the end of the year, is hoping her last day in a major will give her the sort of finish she wants.
 
I want to have a good final round, she said. What was really special was coming down the last eight with that great support. Teeing up so early compared with leaders, we still had a huge crowd and it was very special coming up 18. I hope it will be like that tomorrow.
 
Sorenstam will marry in January and plans to start a family while concentrating on various golf and business commitments. But she said she had been approached about being a captain of Europes Solheim Cup team.
 
Im not going to play next year, but I have been asked about being a captain and I said Id be honored if asked, Sorenstam said. Its a tremendous honor.
 
Related Links:
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.