Ochoa back to defend Wie back in action

By Associated PressOctober 1, 2009, 2:26 am

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PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Lorena Ochoa has made a habit of ending streaks at the Navistar LPGA Classic, whether she wanted to or not.

Ochoa beat Candie Kung with a 2-foot par putt on the second hole of a playoff last year after coming in winless in seven starts. Two years ago, Maria Hjorth kept the Mexican star from a fourth consecutive victory.

Ochoa hopes to snap an 11-tournament winless stretch dating back to the Corona Championship in late April. The $1.3 million Classic begins Thursday on the 6,546-yards, par-72 Senator Course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in suburban Montgomery.

“I have nothing but good memories,” Ochoa said Wednesday. “I would love to win the tournament. I heard nobody has won the tournament twice, so it would be nice to put my name up there. I feel good playing on this course.”

She came fairly close to winning last week. Ochoa, who had won 21 times from 2006-08, finished four strokes behind winner Sophie Gustafson at the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge in Danville, Calif.

Recent rains have changed the dynamics some in Prattville.

“I think I have a good plan on how to play the course,” Ochoa said. “It’s playing a little bit longer because obviously it’s a little bit wet and the rough is a little bit higher. So I think it should be a little bit different than last year.

“But at the same time, a good challenge. I’m happy to be back, and I’m going to do my best to defend my title. It would be great to win on Sunday.”

Gustafson, No. 3 money winner Cristie Kerr, Hjorth and Michelle Wie are also in the field. It’s a chance for Kerr to make up some ground on Jiyai Shin, who leads her in the Rolex Player of the Year chase.

Wie returns from a short break for the start of classes at Stanford, where’s she’s taking communications and statistics courses.

She has six top-10 finishes in 16 events, including a runner-up at the season-opening SBS Open at Turtle Bay.

“I had a good two weeks off and a good week of school last week,” Wie said. “I’m excited to play again. I felt like I practiced a lot last week and it will be fun to put that into action.”

This is the 19-year-old’s first time playing in the Navistar Classic and her first visit to Alabama. She likes the Southern flavor just fine so far.

“I love the food here, love the music. It’s great,” Wie said. “Every other radio station here plays country music, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

She’d be even happier with her first LPGA victory.

“That’s a goal I can’t really control as much,” Wie said. “More of a personal goal is what I’ve been trying to accomplish all year: Try my hardest and play my hardest and end the week, knowing I’ve done that.”

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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.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.