Notes Ochoa Concedes Another US Open

By Associated PressJune 28, 2008, 4:00 pm
U.S. WomenEDINA, Minn. -- Lorena Ochoa lined up for an 8-foot birdie putt on her final hole of the day, hoping to conclude a miserable day on a high note.
The putt was a few inches short, a fitting end to what has been to what has been a long, difficult U.S. Womens Open for the worlds No. 1 player. Ochoa shot a 3-over 76 on Saturday and was 12 shots behind leader Stacy Lewis.
Even she knows its over.
Ive been struggling every day since the beginning and yeah, Im frustrated, Ochoa said. Its sad to see the tournament go and now I have to wait one more year.
Her chance to climb back into the picture ended almost before it began Saturday when Ochoa, who started on the 10th tee, bogeyed 11 and 12, then missed an uphill 8-footer for a double bogey on the par-5 13th.
I tried, but obviously the way I started didnt help, she said. I was four over after four holes. So it was just hard trying to come back all day and try to save pars. Just a really long round. I didnt enjoy it very much.
Its been a trying few months for the dominant Mexican who won six of her first nine tournaments of the year and headed into the McDonalds LPGA Championship thinking about the Grand Slam.
Ochoas uncle, Pedro, died of leukemia in May. Her maternal grandfather, Jorge Reyes, passed away during the LPGA and Ochoa didnt find out until after she missed the playoff by one stroke.
She has been carrying that weight with her ever since, and it may have caught up with her at Interlachen.
Im not going to blame my score on that. Not at all, Ochoa said. But mentally, Im a little bit weak. It seems that Ive just had nothing going this week and Im kind of frustrated and mad more than usual.
I guess its a learning experience. Ill try to finish it tomorrow and just be relaxed and continue my year.
But not before a much-needed break. After she finishes on Sunday, Ochoa will take the next two weeks off, returning to Guadalajara to relax, spend some time with her family and regroup.
Im just trying to be positive and finish tomorrow with another good round and then well see, Ochoa said. Then I can go home and relax and talk to my coach. I need to see things and put things in perspective and then well go from there.
In the final U.S. Womens Open of her career, Annika Sorenstam is getting tired of wasting superb ball-striking by failing on the greens.
The three-time champion needed another 32 putts to get through 18 holes on Saturday en route to a 1-under 72 and has putted 98 times in three rounds. She was seven strokes behind Lewis, but could be so much closer were it not for her struggles on the green.
Sorenstam missed a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 4 and a 5-footer on No. 6, but did roll in one from 20 feet to save par on No. 17.
Ive probably left a dozen, maybe two dozen (birdies), in three days, Sorenstam said. Im just very, very disappointed.
She may have found the solution to her putting problem on No. 9'just dont use the putter. Her second shot was far short of the green at the bottom of the steep hill leading up to the pin.
Sorenstam could only see the top of the flag from her position, then lofted a shot that landed high on the sloping green and rolled down into the cup, drawing a roar from the large gallery.
Im still in striking zone and Im not giving up hope yet, Sorenstam said. Maybe its just saving it and Ill make them all tomorrow.
Helen Alfredsson knows a thing or two about losing the lead at the Open. Now shes hoping its her turn to come from behind and steal one.
The 43-year-old Swede shot a 2-under 71 on Saturday and trailed Lewis by two strokes heading into the final round.
Fifteen years ago, Alfredsson set a 36-hole scoring record and had a six-shot lead through seven holes of the third round before a stunning collapse. She played the next 11 holes at 8 over, shot 76-77 on the weekend and tied for ninth.
The year before, in 1993, she had a two-shot lead going into the last round and lost to Lauri Merten.
To be very honest, I dont really think so much about it, Alfredsson said. Ive been so close in this event and Ive been very high and very low.
Ochoa wasnt the only big-name player to struggle on Saturday.
One day after saying she had the same feeling as when she won the Open at Pine Needles last year, defending champion Cristie Kerr shot a 3-over 75 and was seven strokes behind Lewis with one round to play.
First-day leader Pat Hurst continues to fade. After an opening-round 67, the 2006 runner-up has shot 78-77 the last two days and was 3 over for the tournament.
Two-time champion Karrie Webb needed an 8-foot birdie putt on 18 on Friday just to make the cut. She shot a 72 and was tied with Hurst at 3 over.
Dale Lewis, Stacys father, was asked what the two had planned for Saturday night after Stacy Lewis shot a 67 to take a one-shot lead into the final day of her first professional tournament.
Were going to do the same thing weve been doing, he said. Ill snore and keep her up. Shell have the remote and Ill complain about the channel and what were watching on TV.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - Buick Open
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

    Getty Images

    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

    Getty Images

    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.