Notes Not Easy for Big Wiesy Ochoa Sinks at 18

By Associated PressJune 26, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Michelle Wie tugged on her cap and said ``Oh, my God!'' after missing a 2-foot birdie putt on the seventh hole. After a similar miss for par at No. 8, she covered her mouth in disbelief.
It was that kind of day for the 15-year-old from Hawaii.
Michelle Wie
Tied for the lead heading into Sunday, Michelle Wie in the end could only offer congratulations to winner Birdie Kim.
A co-leader with Morgan Pressel and Karen Stupples after three rounds, Wie spent most of the final round chopping out of the rough and missing short putts for an 11-over 82 -- her worst score in 12 rounds at the U.S. Open.
``Difficult would be too easy a word,'' said Wie, who finished tied for 23rd.
Wie hit into the thick rough three times to open with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 first, then had three more bogeys and another double on the ninth for a 7-over 42 on the front nine. She wasn't much better on the back, with three more bogeys and a double on the par-4 13th.
``One of the things I definitely have to do is get a GPS for my ball because it was lost out there today,'' she said. ``I mean, put a magnet in the ball or something because that thing was not going toward the hole.''
As she stepped up to the 18th tee, Lorena Ochoa had every reason to think she had a shot at winning the U.S. Women's Open.
For good reason. At 3 over, she was just a shot off the lead and most of the players behind her were backing up instead of making a charge.
Then, splash! Ochoa's chances were gone.
Snap-hooking her drive into the pond down the left side of Cherry Hills' finishing hole, Ochoa ended up with a quadruple-bogey 8 to finish 7 over for the tournament -- four shots behind winner Birdie Kim.
``It's hard to realize right now,'' Ochoa said. ``It's hard to live with right now, giving away the tournament after playing so hard for 71 holes, and then the last one. I feel bad it happened, but that's the way golf is.''
Ochoa, coming off a victory last week in Rochester, was one of the few players to mount much of a charge on the final day, climbing the leaderboard with birdies on Nos. 10, 11, 13 and 16. She reached the final tee just a shot behind Kim and had a realistic chance at winning the Open if she could get into the clubhouse with a par.
She didn't come close -- to a par or the fairway.
Ochoa took a big chunk out of the tee box with her first tee shot and the ball landed with a splash 20 yards off-line. Her next one off the tee -- her third shot overall -- fell in the deep rough right of the fairway and she had to punch out to the short grass. Her fifth shot bounced hard and went into the grandstand behind the green. After a drop, Ochoa chipped onto the green and two-putted for a tournament-wrecking 8.
``It's very difficult,'' she said. ``Just trying to win the U.S. Open is the best thing for a golfer and I just gave the tournament away.''
Lorie Kane and Natalie Gulbis are $140,026 richer because Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lang are amateurs.
Kane and Gulbis would have made $132,697 each for tying for fourth, but they got the money that would have gone to Pressel and Lang, who tied for second, because amateurs can't accept prize money.
Among the fans Sunday was former British Open champion David Duval, who lives about 200 yards away from the 17th tee at Cherry Hills.
Duval stayed for about an hour with his wife, Susie, and their 2-month-old son, Brayden.
``It's hard to watch a tournament from behind the ropes,'' he said.
The last time he went to a golf tournament as a spectator?
``Probably when I was about 16 at Sawgrass,'' he said of The Players Championship. Duval grew up in Jacksonville, Fla.
He next plans to play at the John Deere Classic in two weeks, where Wie has received a sponsor's exemption.
Birdie Kim won the U.S. Open with a birdie at Cherry Hills' finishing hole. She was one of the few who had any luck at the brutish par 4.
Playing 459 yards long and uphill to a green designed as a par-5 for members, the 18th was easily the hardest hole for the week. The longest hole in Women's U.S. Open history played to an average of 0.667 strokes over par and yielded just four birdies in four days. There were 45 scores of double bogey or worse and just 19 percent of the players hit the green in regulation.
Natalie Gulbis is known mostly for her swimsuit calendar and her new reality TV show.
This week at Cherry Hills, she showed that her golf isn't bad, either.
Gulbis opened the tournament with a 1-under 70 and closed with a 71 in a difficult final round, getting two birdies in the back nine to finish tied for fourth with Lorie Kane at 6 over.
``I hit some good some shots, hit some bad shots,'' Gulbis said. ``I mean, going into it my goal was to be even par for this championships, but it was a grind out there.''
Denver Broncos receiver Rod Smith was in the gallery ... Expect to see Rosie Jones at next year's Women's U.S. Open. The 45-year-old plans to retire at the end of the year, but said she would be back at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island next year if she finished in the top-20 and was exempt. Jones shot a final-round 75 to get to 10 over -- tied with three players for 19th. ... A crowd of 31,037 attended the final round, setting a U.S. Women's Open record. The weekly attendance of 131,137 also was a record, surpassing the 118,684 last year at Orchards Golf Club in Massachusetts.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.