Ochoa Aims to Keep Top Ranking from Annika

By Associated PressFebruary 26, 2008, 5:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newSINGAPORE -- Lorena Ochoa will tee up against Annika Sorenstam for the first time this season.
 
Ochoa said shes geared up to keep the top ranking, which she took from Sorenstam last year, when she opens play Thursday in the inaugural HSBC Womens Champions.
 
Sorenstam already has a title under her belt, while Ochoa will make her season debut in Singapore. Sorenstam won her 70th LPGA Tour title at the SBS Open this month in Hawaii, ending a 17-month title drought.
 
I was at the beach while Annika was winning, Ochoa said Tuesday. I didnt play the first two tournaments because I needed to spend a little more time at home and get prepared.
 
I feel ready. I think this is going to be a great year for all of us. We all want to finish at the first place, so lets start, she said.
 
With a $2 million purse and $300,000 top prize, the HSBC Womens Champions will be the richest womens golf event in Asia.
 
Ochoa will have plenty of competition at the Tanah Merah Country Club, most notably Sorenstam, whose recent victory vaulted her two spots to No. 2 in the world.
Lindsey Wright, of Australia, chips the ball on the 14th green during the final round of the Fields Open golf tournament at the Ko Olina Resort in Kapolei, Hawaii, Saturday,
 
Sorenstam is pleased with her start so far. She came off an injury-shortened season in 2007, where the Swedish star was winless on the LPGA Tour for the first time since her rookie season in 1994.
 
Theres definitely a spring in (my) step, Sorenstam said. I feel good again, Im working out hard and Im playing and practicing as hard as I can, so I feel healthy and Im excited about the year.
 
Sorenstam acknowledged that it would not be easy surpassing Ochoa, who had an impressive eight wins in 2007. Sorenstam was limited to 13 events last year because of neck and back injuries.
 
She wouldnt mind regaining the top ranking.
 
Of course I would love to do that, Sorenstam said. I do think its going to take a lot for me this year to do that I have a lot of catching up to do, so Im just going to take one step at a time.
 
Paula Creamer of the United States, the winner of the Fields Open last weekend, is among a field that features 18 of the top 20 players in the world. Others include Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel and Karrie Webb.
 
Third-ranked Suzann Pettersen had a breakout season last year with five wins, including the LPGA Championship.
 
Last year it was my first healthy year back from being injured a couple of times, and that was a big part of kind of having a consistency and being able to play every week without any aches and pains, Pettersen said.
 
Golf is a funny game. You just have to try to make it as easy as possible ' I mean its from the beginning a very difficult game, so the easiest you can do it, the better.
 
Related Links:
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - HSBC Women's Champions
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.