Ochoa Annika Survive Wild Day 1

By Associated PressJuly 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Annika Sorenstam got exactly what she wanted -- and then some -- in the first round of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
 
Making her fourth start since returning from disk injuries in her back and neck, the 37-year-old Swede outlasted 62nd-seeded Katherine Hull in 20 holes Thursday in hazy and humid conditions at Wykagyl Country Club.
 
'It's key for me to just get to play and the more holes the better,' said Sorenstam, seeded third in the 64-player event. 'It's good for me to really get some pressure on myself again. I really haven't had that this year because I really haven't been in contention or I just haven't even played.'
 
All square after 12 holes, Sorenstam and Hull each won three of the final six holes of regulation. Sorenstam took the 219-yard 13th with a par and won the 16th and 17th with birdies, while the Australian won 14, 15 and 18 with birdies.
 
'It was a thriller. There was a lot of drama,' said Sorenstam, a stroke-play winner at Wykagyl in 1998 and 2000.
 
After halving the first extra hole with a par, Sorenstam won the match with a conceded par on the par-4 second. Hull made a double bogey, hitting into two bunkers.
 
'I'm just going to keep giving myself opportunities and keep working hard,' Hull said. 'I think I can compete out here and win tournaments.'
 
Top-seeded Lorena Ochoa easily advanced, while No. 2 Karrie Webb, major winners Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel and 2006 winner Brittany Lincicome were eliminated.
 
Ochoa, the 2006 Sybase Classic winner at Wykagyl, routed South African teenager Ashleigh Simon 6 and 5, matching the largest margin of victory in the three-year history of the event.
 
'It was a good day,' Ochoa said. 'In match play, it's always important to get off to a good start. ... I hope to keep going the same the next few days.'
 
Charlotte Mayorkas, at No. 63 the highest seed to advance in tournament history, beat Webb with a birdie on No. 18. Down three holes after five, Mayorkas tied Webb with a birdie on No. 12.
 
'You've just got to stay focused,' Mayorkas said. 'Even though you're down, you've just got to keep going with it.'
 
The fourth-seeded Kerr, the U.S. Women's Open champion, dropped a 5-and-4 decision to 61st-seeded Amy Hung, while 59th-seeded Birdie Kim again got the best of the sixth-seeded Pressel, beating the Kraft Nabisco winner 2-up. Two years ago, Kim holed out from a bunker to beat Pressel in the U.S. Women's Open.
 
'I just played terrible,' Pressel said.
 
Lincicome, seeded 13th, lost 4 and 3 to longtime European Solheim Cup standout Carin Koch, while LPGA Championship winner Suzann Pettersen, the No. 7 seed, advanced with a 19-hole victory over In-Bee Park.
 
'I'm happy that I played decent,' Lincicome said. 'I didn't just give it to her completely. She was making 5-footers to save par, and 20-footers like they were nothing. She just had a great day. You can't take anything away from her.'
 
Koch, seeded 52nd, saved par on the par-4 14th after driving into a concession stand and ended the match on 15 with another up-and-down par after a poor drive.
 
'We were both struggling a little bit off the tee,' Koch said. 'I managed to get it up and down a few times and made some really clutch putts.'
 
In other upsets, 56th-seeded Hye Jung Choi beat ninth-seeded Juli Inkster 4 and 3, and 54th-seeded Janice Moodie edged 11th-seeded Ji-Yai Shin in 19 holes.
 
'I played poorly,' said Inkster, a finalist last year. 'She played very well and was very consistent. I got what I deserved.'
 
Ochoa, the tour leader with three victories this year, will face local favorite Meaghan Francella -- a 2-and-1 winner over Meena Lee -- on Friday and could meet eighth-seeded Paula Creamer in the quarterfinals.
 
'The greens, even though they had rain yesterday, were a lot faster today than they were in the pro-am,' Ochoa said. 'I think I did a really good job with the speed on the greens. That's going to be a key this week.'
 
Creamer beat Giulia Sergas 4 and 3.
 
'I worked on my swing a lot this year, so it was good to go out and play competitively,' said Creamer, the 2005 Sybase winner at Wykagyl.
 
Fifth-seeded Se Ri Pak, coming off her fifth Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic victory Sunday, beat Beth Bader 2-up to set up a second-round match against Christina Kim, a 3-and-2 winner over U.S. Solheim Cup partner Natalie Gulbis.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.