Ochoa Creamer two back Sorenstam stumbles

By Associated PressOctober 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Samsung World ChampionshipHALF MOON BAY, Calif. ' Angela Stanfords rare double eagle turned into a huge boost for her to stay near the top of the leaderboard on a day when playing conditions were challenging for everybody.
 
A pair of double bogeys and a bogey on the 18th cost two-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa, who had a tough back nine after she began the day so well in the second round of the Samsung World Championship.
 
Na Yeon Choi of South Korea survived the changing wind and decreasing temperatures along the Pacific Ocean to shoot a 1-under 71 on Friday, giving her a 4-under 140 total and a two-stroke lead over Stanford (73), Ochoa (73), Paula Creamer (74) and Song-Hee Kim (73).
 
It was really windy today and the weather got worse as we got later into the round, Choi said through a translator. After two bogeys, I thought the game was getting away from me, but I looked at the scoreboard at the other players scores and it gave me a calm confidence.
 
It took Ochoa all of three holes to find her touch Friday, then a few tough ones to lose the lead. Even her typically reliable long game deserted her on the back nine.
 
Ochoa birdied five straight holes from Nos. 4-8 to reach 5 under, and Creamer got to 6 under before things became especially difficult. At that point, they both thought they might be able to distance themselves a bit from the pack.
 
You all saw the scores ' they just kind of dropped, Creamer said. It played hard. It was a definite test of golf. You hit and hope. It was kind of like the British Open out there today.
 
Stanford, who also briefly got to 6 under, pulled off her double eagle on the par-5, 481-yard fourth hole ' only the second one this year on the LPGA and the 30th in tour history. She hit a 7-wood from 212 yards. Katherine Hull, who also is in this elite 20-player field, had the other in the fourth round of the Michelob Ultra Open in May. There were only two total in 2007.
 
I hit it exactly as I wanted to, said Stanford, whose painful left shoulder still bothers her on most shots. I saw it bounce twice and heard it hit the flag and it disappeared. I said, Did that go in? and they were yelling. Ive never had a double eagle. It was much needed. It was a lot of fun.
 
Early on, it seemed like an ideal day for golf on the 6,450-yard Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, until the wind got strong. On Thursday, opening rounds were delayed for 26 minutes by dense fog. Rain was in forecast for Northern California overnight.
 
Both Ochoa and Stanford are coming off titles in Alabama ' Ochoa last week at Prattville and Stanford the previous week in Mobile for her second career LPGA title. She withdrew from last weeks event because of the nagging shoulder injury that has affected her for about two years. She wasnt even sure shed play be healthy enough to play this tournament.
 
Ochoa, among several players two strokes back to start the day, shot a 32 over the front nine but had several tough holes down the stretch, most notably the double-bogeys on 9 and 13.
 
Of course Im frustrated, Ochoa said. Im very upset I made those two double-bogeys. The conditions were the same for everybody. But its only Friday and Im close to the lead. I have to make sure I play well on the weekend. I didnt feel comfortable hitting my driver, and when you miss fairways here, youre done. I have to be more simple with my driver.
 
Five-time champion Annika Sorenstam, paired with Ochoa for the second straight day during the Swedish Hall of Famers final Samsung, struggled mightily herself. She shot a 77 to drop to 2-over 146. Making things worse, she got stung by a wasp between the pinkie and ring finger on her right hand while on the second tee.
 
When you start off a bad day like that, it seems like a big wasp, Sorenstam said. It was hurting all day. It was just so typical, one thing after another. I was on the tee and it landed on my finger. I hit it and thought I killed it, but he got back at me. I want to perform and I havent. Thats more mentally draining on me.
 
Ochoa tried for the green off her approach on the 500-yard, par-5 eighth hole ' the fourth-longest on the course ' only to have it roll back down a hill, but she then chipped to within 10 feet and sunk the birdie putt to move to 8-under.
 
The large gallery following the twosome featured many fans from her native Mexico and they chanted phrases such as Si se puede! ' We can do it! ' and Vamos! ' lets go! Ochoa shook her head to acknowledge the supporters.
 
But on No. 9, a par 3, Ochoas drive sailed right just off a bunker and she chipped out of it and past the pin into the thick, sticky rough. She had another tough go on 13.
 
Creamer, meanwhile, had four bogeys on the back nine including three straight from 15-17 before finishing strong with a birdie on 18.
 
South Koreas Ji-Yai Shin, who won the Womens British Open in August, fell back with a 76 after leading through the first round. She was 1 under along with Hull (73) and Yani Tseng (74).
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Samsung World Championship
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


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    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


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    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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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.