Ochoa Davies Collapse Lincicome Wins

By Associated PressApril 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Ginn OpenREUNION, Fla. -- Brittany Lincicome entered the final round of the Ginn Open believing that par would be a sensational score. How right she was.
 
Lincicome, who started four shots behind Lorena Ochoa and Laura Davies, survived a blustery day and a six-hour round to shoot an even-par 72 - enough to give the 21-year-old her second career LPGA Tour victory.
 
She finished at 10 under, one shot better than Ochoa (77) - who was 6 over on her final six holes, a stunning collapse that cost her an opportunity to pass Annika Sorenstam for the top spot in world rankings.
 
Only a win would have pushed Ochoa to No. 1, but the Mexican star missed a 10-foot bogey try on the final hole that would have forced a playoff.
 
'It's hard to describe,' Ochoa said. 'Not meant to be. I tried really hard.'
 
The 21-year-old Lincicome earned $390,000 for the win and, on a day where only one player - Meena Lee, who shot 71 - broke par, even she couldn't believe what had transpired.
 
'When the wind picked up, even par was looking pretty good,' said Lincicome, the Women's World Match Play winner last year.
 
Davies (79) had the outright lead with two holes to play, but three-putted her way to double bogey at the 17th and then bounced around bunkers for a disastrous triple bogey at the last. She finished alone in third at 7 under, one shot better than Juli Inkster (72) and Nicole Castrale (74).
 
Conditions were simply brutal. Morning storms delayed play for 2 1/2 hours, and once the sky cleared, the wind followed. A 41 mph gust was measured in the area Sunday afternoon, and the wind steadily blew in the 20-25 mph range, causing an already tough course to nearly become unbearable.
 
'The sand would come out of the bunkers and just hit us,' Ochoa said, tapping her face. 'We were talking about how hard the wind needs to blow before they stop play.'
 
Players backed off most every putt, often two or three times. Ochoa was rattled at the 16th when she stepped away from her par putt twice, the second time because her cap was about to blow off her head. And play was dreadfully slow; play resumed at 12:15 p.m., and it was a few minutes past 6 p.m. when Ochoa missed her putt on the 18th, sealing Lincicome's victory.
 
'Tough conditions prove who's the best player,' Ochoa said. 'And today it was Brittany, for sure.'
 
The day's average score was 76.5, 4 1/2 shots higher than it was Saturday. Natalie Gulbis, who started the day tied for third and four shots off the lead, shot an 80 and finished 2 under, and 10 other players shot in the 80s.
 
The back nine was simply wild, with all three players in the final group getting some time atop the leaderboard.
 
Ochoa made the turn at 15 under, one shot ahead of Davies and four up on Lincicome - who actually was six shots back with 10 holes to play. But Ochoa made a double-bogey at 13 and bogeys at the 15th and 16th, giving back four shots in a four-hole span, a collapse that gave Davies a one-stroke lead with two holes to play.
 
And then it was her turn to waste an opportunity - with an epic collapse.
 
Davies' third shot at the par-5 17th went over the green. She chipped to about 6 feet, barely inside of where Lincicome's third shot from a fairway bunker 95 yards away landed.
 
While Ochoa made par, after getting her second roughly 30 yards from the flag, Lincicome's par try dropped perfectly in the center of the cup. Davies studied Lincicome's putt, knowing hers was on exactly the same line.
 
But she missed, and exacerbated her woes by having the bogey try from 3 feet lip out - making her settle for a double-bogey 7 and giving the lead back to Ochoa and Lincicome at 11 under.
 
At the 18th, things got even worse for Davies. Her tee shot landed in a fairway bunker, and her second shot clipped the lip of that trap and landed in another one a short distance ahead. Davies' third shot didn't reach the green either, she eventually made triple and saw her hopes of ending a nearly six-year drought between wins on the LPGA Tour come to a sudden end.
 
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    Rahm, with blinders on, within reach of No. 1 at Torrey

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 10:10 pm

    SAN DIEGO – The drive over to Torrey Pines from Palm Springs, Calif., takes about two and a half hours, which was plenty of time for Jon Rahm’s new and ever-evolving reality to sink in.

    The Spaniard arrived in Southern California for a week full of firsts. The Farmers Insurance Open will mark the first time he’s defended a title on the PGA Tour following his dramatic breakthrough victory last year, and it will also be his first tournament as the game’s second-best player, at least according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Rahm’s victory last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his second on Tour and fourth worldwide tilt over the last 12 months, propelled the 23-year-old to No. 2 in the world, just behind Dustin Johnson. His overtime triumph also moved him to within four rounds of unseating DJ atop the global pecking order.

    It’s impressive for a player who at this point last year was embarking on his first full season as a professional, but then Rahm has a fool-proof plan to keep from getting mired in the accolades of his accomplishments.

    “It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do, right?” he said on Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “They'll never change what they think of me. So I really don't know the magnitude of what I do until I go outside of my comfort zone.”

    Head down and happy has worked perfectly for Rahm, who has finished outside the top 10 in just three of his last 10 starts and began 2018 with a runner-up showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s victory.

    According to the world ranking math, Rahm is 1.35 average ranking points behind Johnson and can overtake DJ atop the pack with a victory this week at the Farmers Insurance Open; but to hear his take on his ascension one would imagine a much wider margin.

    “I've said many times, beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task,” Rahm said. “We all know what happened last time he was close to a lead in a tournament on the PGA Tour.”


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    Rahm certainly remembers. It was just three weeks ago in Maui when he birdied three of his first six holes, played the weekend at Kapalua in 11 under and still finished eight strokes behind Johnson.

    And last year at the WGC-Mexico Championship when Rahm closed his week with rounds of 67-68 only to finish two strokes off Johnson’s winning pace, or a few weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he took Johnson the distance in the championship match only to drop a 1-up decision to the game’s undisputed heavyweight.

    As far as Rahm has come in an incredibly short time - at this point last year he ranked 137th in the world - it is interesting that it’s been Johnson who has had an answer at every turn.

    He knows there’s still so much room for improvement, both physically and mentally, and no one would ever say Rahm is wanting for confidence, but after so many high-profile run-ins with Johnson, his cautious optimism is perfectly understandable.

    “I'll try to focus more on what's going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win,” he reasoned when asked about the prospect of unseating Johnson, who isn’t playing this week. “I'll try my best, that's for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    If Rahm’s take seems a tad cliché given the circumstances, consider that his aversion to looking beyond the blinders is baked into the competitive cake. For all of his physical advantages, of which there are many, it’s his keen ability to produce something special on command that may be even more impressive.

    Last year at Torrey Pines was a quintessential example of this, when he began the final round three strokes off the lead only to close his day with a back-nine 30 that included a pair of eagles.

    “I have the confidence that I can win here, whereas last year I knew I could but I still had to do it,” he said. “I hope I don't have to shoot 30 on the back nine to win again.”

    Some will point to Rahm’s 60-footer for eagle at the 72nd hole last year as a turning point in his young career, it was even named the best putt on Tour by one publication despite the fact he won by three strokes. But Rahm will tell you that walk-off wasn’t even the best shot he hit during the final round.

    Instead, he explained that the best shot of the week, the best shot of the year, came on the 13th hole when he launched a 4-iron from a bunker to 18 feet for eagle, a putt that he also made.

    “If I don't put that ball on the green, which is actually a lot harder than making that putt, the back nine charge would have never happened and this year might have never happened, so that shot is the one that made everything possible,” he explained.

    Rahm’s ability to embrace and execute during those moments is what makes him special and why he’s suddenly found himself as the most likely contender to Johnson’s throne even if he chooses not to spend much time thinking about it.

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    Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

    After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

    With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.


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    “Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

    “I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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    Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    “I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

    “I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”


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    On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

    Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

    Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

    “We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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    Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

    The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

    Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.


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    Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

    Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

    • Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

    • Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

    • Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1