Kristy McPherson leads Cristie Kerr at Kraft

By Associated PressApril 4, 2009, 4:00 pm
2007 Kraft Nabisco ChampionshipRANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. ' Kristy McPherson, Cristie Kerr and Brittany Lincicome will tee off together in the last group Sunday at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
 
The all-American pairing for the final round of the LPGAs first major of the season makes quite a statement, especially in a Solheim Cup year.
 
So much for the theory that American golf is on the wane.
 
Cristie Kerr
Cristie Kerr is looking to add to her 2007 U.S. Women's Open triumph. (Getty Images)
There is such strong competition out there from so many different countries, said McPherson, who shot a steady if not spectacular 2-under 70 on a hot, calm Saturday to take sole possession of the lead at 8-under 208.
 
Its tough golf out here. Im happy that a lot of the Americans are having a solid week, and it just makes us want to play better golf out here.
 
Kerr was one shot behind McPherson while Lincicome was two back atop the tight leaderboard. They also shot 70s on a day when tough pin placements at Mission Hills made for fewer birdies.
 
Its about time, Lincicome said of the American-dominated leaderboard. Its really cool to see. Im so proud of my girls. I am so proud of the Americans, especially Kristy. Kristy is one of my best friends on tour.
 
Kerr concurred.
 
You know, it makes me proud to see all the Americans up there, she said.
 
We have to remember, we have a very international tour, and a lot of great players from Asia, Kerr added. As the years have progressed on the LPGA, its been tougher to win. Things go in cycles, and I think that the Americans are back. Its a Solheim year. I think they are kind of getting wrapped up to play the Solheim.
 
Its also an all-Florida trio. McPherson is from Tampa, Kerr from Miami and Lincicome from Seminole.
 
McPherson will by trying for her first LPGA win.
 
To have a shot at it in a major makes it all the better, she said. I dont try to think too much, but I havent had that whole major feeling this week, which is good. It has allowed me not to have too many nerves.
 
Kerr has one thing on her side that McPherson and Lincicome dont ' the experience of winning a major, the 2007 U.S. Open.
 
I definitely think its an advantage, knowing what its not only like to win a tournament, but a major and how to handle the emotions and how you feel, said Kerr, who has 11 career victories.
 
She also had the craziest shot of the day, when her tee shot on the par-3 14th bounced on the green and was screaming toward the water when it apparently hit a rock along the shoreline and bounced back, almost going in the hole. She missed the birdie putt, though.
 
I thought it was in the water for sure, she said. I even went in there and looked. It was the hand of God that blew it over there. I should have made the putt; it would have been a better story. Sometimes you get a break, and to contend in a major especially, you have to have the good breaks. I felt that.
 
She did birdie the par-3 17th, hitting a 6-iron within 6 inches.
 
No, I didnt aim it there, she said. I made birdie last year when that pin was there, as well. It was a fortunate break for me that it hit in the spot that it did, and almost went in. It was nice not to have to work a lot.
 
On Friday, McPherson and Christina Kim teed off before strong wind raked the Coachella Valley and jumped into a tie for the lead in the LPGAs first major of the season.
 
Kim faltered in the third round Saturday with a 75 and was five shots back. Jimin Kang and Lindsey Wright both shot 71 and were four shots back.
 
Lincicome, who has two career victories, was the first-round leader after shooting a 66.
 
McPherson got a nice round of applause from the gallery ' and playing partner Kim ' as she crossed the bridge to the 18th green.
 
McPherson had a birdie putt for a two-shot lead but ran it just to the left of the cup.
 
Its a tough leaderboard up there, she said. I know that I have to play really solid golf. Youve got a lot of girls that can do a lot of good things out there.
 
On a day when nobody ran off with the lead, McPherson at least stepped up and put her name atop the leaderboard by opening the back nine with three straight birdies.
 
Defending champion Lorena Ochoa needed a birdie on 18 to shoot her best round of the tournament, a 72. She was tied for 15th at 2 over.
 
For me, better, the top-ranked Mexican star said. I feel that I have a chance tomorrow and thats what I will try to do, something special tomorrow.
 
At the bottom of the leaderboard was Michelle Wie, who had another bad day with her second straight 9-over 81. She was at 17 over for three rounds.
 
Wie ended Friday at the cut line. She started Saturday by hitting her first tee shot out of bounds to the left, leading to the first of her three double bogeys. Her other two double bogeys came when she hit into the water on both par 3s.
 
Wie also had four bogeys and only one birdie.
 
Related Links:
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    CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.06 million

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

    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.:

    1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
    2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
    T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
    T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
    T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
    T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
    T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
    T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
    T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
    T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
    T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
    T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
    T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
    T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
    T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
    T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
    T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
    T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
    T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
    T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
    T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
    T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
    T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
    T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
    T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
    T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
    T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
    T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
    T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
    T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
    T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
    T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
    T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
    T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
    T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
    T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
    T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
    T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
    T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
    T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
    T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
    T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
    T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
    T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
    T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
    T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
    T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
    T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
    T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
    T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
    T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
    T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
    T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
    T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
    T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
    T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
    T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
    T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
    T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
    T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
    T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
    T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
    T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
    T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
    T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
    T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
    T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
    T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
    T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
    T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
    T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
    T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
    T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
    T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
    75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
    76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
    77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    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

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    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.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    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."

    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.