Ochoa Just One Back at Safeway

By Associated PressMarch 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Safeway International pres by CocaColaSUPERSTITION, Ariz. -- Catriona Matthew showed no signs of rust after taking a seven-month break from the LPGA Tour to give birth to her first child.
 
On a blustery day that must have reminded her of her native Scotland, Matthew shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday for a share of the lead with Young Jo in the suspended first round of the Safeway International on Thursday.
 
'You don't know what to expect coming out here, since I haven't played for a while,' Matthew said.
 
Lorena Ochoa and Mi Hyun Kim were a stroke back and Beth Bader and Gloria Park were two strokes off the lead.
 
Seventy-two players were still on the course when play was suspended because of darkness at 6:06 p.m. Rain and lightning delayed play for about two hours on the Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club's Prospector Course.
 
The first round was scheduled to resume at 6:50 a.m. Friday, with more rain in the forecast.
 
'It was difficult to try to pick the club,' said defending champion Juli Inkster, who shot 1 under. 'The course played a lot longer today, and I thought it played tough out there.'
 
The weather made scoring a challenge on the 6,620-yard course. Only nine finishers broke par.
 
'I looked a little bit at the leaderboard and par seemed like it was OK,' said Annika Sorenstam, who was 1 over through 15 holes when play was halted for the day.
 
Play was first suspended by lightning at 2:31 p.m., the second time weather has played havoc with this tournament in the last two years. Last March, hail forced a two-hour suspension on Sunday, and the final groups played the last two holes under hastily erected spotlights.
 
Matthew is playing in her first tournament since last August, when she withdrew after one round from the Wendy's Championship for Children in Dublin, Ohio.
 
Matthew was pregnant with her first child at the time. After giving birth to daughter Katie three months ago, Matthew went back to work on her game in Scotland. Her offseason training paid off immediately.
 
'After such a long layoff, I've been practicing well,' said Matthew, who has two tour victories, the last coming in 2004.
 
Matthew birdied the par-4 first hole, hitting a 7-iron from 164 yards to 10 feet and making the putt.
 
That was the first of Matthew's six birdies. She also had two bogeys, one with a three-putt on the par-5 13th hole.
 
'I went out there and got off to a good start,' Matthew said.
 
Jo bogeyed the first hole but bounced back with four birdies in the next five holes. She would have had sole possession of the lead but for a double bogey on the par-5 seventh hole, where she three-putted.
 
'Except on 7, everything was good today,' Jo said.
 
Jo, a 23-year-old South Korean, has never finished higher than sixth in 54 tournaments. During the offseason, she hired a new teacher, former tour player Brian Mogg.
 
'I just fixed my swing,' Jo said. 'My short game wasn't good last year.'
 
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    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • 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.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.