Notes Kerrs Ringside Seat Historic Souvenir

By Associated PressJune 29, 2008, 4:00 pm
U.S. WomenEDINA, Minn. -- Cristie Kerr left Interlachen on Sunday night with the same cocksure feeling she had when she won the U.S. Womens Open a year ago.
Speaking with the bravado of a defending champion, she said there was just something about this golf course nestled in the hilly terrain of suburban Minneapolis that stirred the same kind of fires that Pine Needles did last year.
After those bold proclamations and sharp play had her two shots off the lead, Kerr went quietly over the last two days of the tournament. Playing with Annika Sorenstam on Sunday, Kerr shot a 2-over 75 and tied for 13th.
She double-bogeyed Nos. 4 and 9 for a 39 on the front nine.
I definitely enjoyed it. Yesterday, shot myself in the foot a little bit with the way I hit it, Kerr said, referring to another 75 on Saturday. I came out today and played like a champ and shot two over with two doubles. I fought really hard. It didnt play easy out there. Not at all.
The most memorable part of this Open for the fiery American undoubtedly will be playing the final round with Sorenstam, who plans to retire at the end of the year.
Kerr had a ringside seat for Sorenstams memorable finish, when she holed out for eagle with a 6-iron from 199 yards away on No. 18.
I said, Thats the best shot Ive ever seen, Kerr told Sorenstam as they hugged. She said, Its the only way I was going to break 80.
Funny, but true. Sorenstam finished with a 75 as well.
Kerr said she thought she hit the ball very well on a windy day at Interlachen, but had some bad luck on No. 4, when her tee shot went in the bunker and left a tough lie.
It just landed in a rake mark, Kerr said. These bunkers are hard enough without it being in a hole, and I had no shot. So I did the best I could this week.
After shooting a 67 on Saturday to become a surprise leader heading into the final round of her first professional tournament, Stacy Lewis came back to earth on Sunday.
She shot a 5-over 78 and tied for third at 4 under.
I wasnt that nervous at all, Lewis said. It was just a cool experience. The whole day was just awesome. The fans are great. I mean everybody is yelling your name as youre walking down the fairway.
The 23-year-old, who needed back surgery to correct scoliosis and wasnt sure if shed ever play golf even in college, let alone the pros, had a storybook weekend, even if it didnt end with a trophy.
Its hard to be upset, she said with a shrug and a smile. I finished third at the U.S. Open in my first pro event.
Call it a case of perfect timing for Sara Anderson.
The native of Shakopee, about 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis, arrived at the grandstand on No. 18 about 10 minutes before Sorenstams amazing eagle.
Because Anderson was with her mother, who is handicapped, the two got a seat in the front row of the stands'and one heck of a souvenir.
After Sorenstam walked to the green and pulled her ball from the cup, she threw it into the stands, just over Andersons head.
It got knocked down behind me and then I heard it fall on the ground and it was right down by my foot, a breathless Anderson said with a smile.
She picked the ball up and jumped up and down at her luck, and later got it autographed by Sorenstam.
It was probably more exciting getting a hug from her than actually getting it signed, Anderson said.
Maria Jose Uribe of Colombia shot 75 on Sunday to finish 2 under tie for 10th, the best showing by an amateur in the field.
Uribe will be a sophomore at UCLA when classes resume in the fall and will get to tell her friends back at school about what it feels like to play with Kerr and Lorena Ochoa the first two days.
I learned a lot of stuff and just enjoyed the week, Uribe said. And I had fun.
Uribe won the U.S. Womens Amateur at Crooked Stick last year, but will not be back to defend her title. She decided to skip it because she is playing the four LPGA majors this year and said she doesnt have time because the British Open finishes the day before the Amateur begins.
Its a tough decision, Uribe said. Hopefully its the right one.
It all comes down to experience, said Uribe, who has never been to Europe. She wants to get the feeling of playing the British under her belt before she turns pro so she isnt surprised when the money is on the line.
Hopefully when Im a pro Ill already have a couple of British Opens and I will know how to play those, she said. So its basically just for experience and to grow as a player.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    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. 

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    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.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.