Notes Wie in Top 10 After Two Rounds

By Associated PressJune 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 McDonaldHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- Michelle Wie loves the idea of being first, but the 15-year-old from Hawaii has some work to do to win the LPGA Championship.
 
Wie was in the first group off the 10th tee in the second round at Bulle Rock Golf Club on Friday, playing under a cloudy sky and in damp conditions in front of an intimate gathering of about two dozen fans.
 
While the idea of a 7:15 a.m. tee time might not seem desirable to some, Wie welcomed the chance to lead the field.
 
'It's a total advantage because it's not hot, for one, and No. 2, the greens are perfect because they just cut it. That's great,' said Wie, who shot a 1-under 71 and was tied for ninth at 4 under, five strokes behind front-runner Annika Sorenstam.
 
Wie wasn't able to take advantage of the freshly mowed greens, missing five putts from 15 feet or less on the front nine.
 
The frustration showed as Wie froze after an 8-foot miss at No. 12, and she looked to the sky when her 9-foot birdie try slid by at 14. She pulled her hat over her eyes following a 14-foot miss at No. 16.
 
She blamed an early three-putt on her continuing troubles.
 
'Every single putt,' she said. 'After that three-putt on 11, it was a little hard for me to trust my speed. I guess it was just bad luck. I put myself in birdie positions.
 
'Tomorrow, I hope to make some putts. Who knows?'
 
SENT PAK-ING:
Se Ri Pak's string of consecutive cuts made in majors came to an end in the same event in which she won her first tournament as a rookie in 1998.
 
Pak had rounds of 75 and 78 and missed the cut for the first time in 29 majors.
 
'That happens,' she said. 'You play well, and suddenly you don't play so well. The last seven years for me have been an unbelievable success.'
 
The South Korean has won 22 LPGA events, including four majors - two LPGA Championships (1998, 2002). But now, Pak is searching for a balance between her golf and her personal life.
 
'I've been a little bit unhappy about everything, my game. I'm not really enjoying it at all, and I'm not doing anything with my life,' she said. 'I know what I needed, a much better balance. I'm always putting a lot of pressure on myself.'
 
Pak has struggled this season, missing the cut in four of eight events. She's posted just four under-par scores in 22 rounds and just one round in the 60s. Hard times for a player who has enough points to qualify for the Hall of Fame but must meet the 10-year playing requirement.
 
IN THE BAG:
Annika Sorenstam will be representing Callaway for the foreseeable future, but it might not always be as a player.
 
The Swedish star extended her contact with the golf equipment company past 2010, Callaway announced Thursday. But Sorenstam sidestepped a question whether she'd still be playing competitive golf in five years.
 
'I'm definitely playing for this year and next year, and then we go from there,' Sorenstam said. 'There is a lot of things you can do with a company like that.'
 
The 34-year-old Sorenstam has played and endorsed Callaway equipment since she turned pro in 1993.
 
The deal was announced Thursday to avoid any distraction or speculation as Sorenstam attempts to complete the Grand Slam this year and chases Kathy Whitworth's record of 88 LPGA victories. Sorenstam has won 61 tour titles.
 
Sorenstam, who has a two-stroke lead over Laura Davies heading into the third round of the LPGA Championship, has won five of seven events this year and eight of her last 11 tour starts.
 
BULLE ROCK FIRSTS:
South Korea's Gloria Park made the first hole-in-one at the McDonald's LPGA Championship's new home, Bulle Rock Golf Club. Park aced the 145-yard, par-3 third hole Friday with a 7-iron.
 
'I made birdie, and I lost the tee,' said playing partner Natalie Gulbis.
 
Aree Song can claim two firsts. She had the first eagle in competition at Bulle Rock on Thursday, sinking a 7-iron shot from 152 yards at the 18th hole. On Friday, Song had another eagle, chipping in from 72 yards on the 330-yard, par-4 16th.
 
DRIVE FOR SHOW:
Laura Davies is beating up Bulle Rock. But Davies' biggest blast came in an event in Austria a couple weeks ago, when she hit a drive 380 yards.
 
'A little bit of wind behind,' she said. 'It was dead flat, the fairways were dry out there.'
 
The big-hitting Davies nearly drove the 330-yard 16th hole Friday, and made about a 30-foot chip for eagle.
 
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION:
Natalie Gulbis is juggling golf and the taping of the reality series 'Natalie,' which is scheduled to premier on The Golf Channel in July.
 
She's also going to be throwing out the first pitch at a Colorado Rockies game during the week of the U.S. Women's Open at Cherry Hills in two weeks.
 
The calendar girl took offense to the insinuation that she might not have a strong arm. 'I don't throw like a girl,' Gulbis said.
 
On another occasion when Gulbis threw out a first pitch, she outdid the other ceremonial hurler.
 
'He threw it way short. The catcher walks up 10 feet and I threw it over his head,' she said. 'I shouldn't say that, now my first pitch will be horrible in Colorado, it'll be right in the dirt.'
 
DIVOTS:
Karrie Webb's first round as a Hall of Famer was a stroke worse than her last as a non-hall member. The Australian, who reached the 10-year playing requirement needed for the hall with Thursday's opening round, had a second-round 75 for a 5-over 149 total. ... Grace Park withdrew from the event on the back nine of her second round, citing a back injury. Park finished third in the championship last year and second in 2003.
 
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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.