Ochoa Nets First Title as New No 1

By Associated PressMay 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Sybase ClassicCLIFTON, N.J. -- Lorena Ochoa won for the first time since replacing Annika Sorenstam as the No. 1 player in women's golf, and put an exclamation point on it by defending her Sybase Classic title.
 
Ochoa caught front-running Sarah Lee and finished three strokes ahead Sunday, closing with a bogey-free 4-under 68 in the event that turned into match play after the top two distanced themselves from the field the day before.
 
The victory was the second of the season and the 11th of her career for the 25-year-old Mexican, who was the LPGA Tour's top player in 2006. The $210,000 winner's share pushed her earnings this year to $965,714 and to more than $7 million in four-plus years on tour.
 
Ochoa had a 72-hole total of 18-under 270 on the Upper Montclair Country Club in successfully defending an LPGA title for the first time in her career. She won last year's event at the Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y., another traditional, tree-line, small green course.
 
Lee, looking to become the fifth first-time winner on tour this year, shot a 73 in a round where she couldn't find the green on the front nine and then couldn't make birdie on the back nine because of a tentative putting stroke.
 
Se Ri Pak, who is now three events from making the Hall of Fame, shot a final-round 66 to finish alone in third place at 8 under, 10 behind Ochoa and a stroke ahead of Juli Inkster (69) and Brittany Lang (67).
 
Lee, who led for the first three rounds and outplayed Ochoa in a head-to-head matchup on Saturday, had one biride and two bogeys in squandering the two-shot lead she took into the final round.
 
This was one Ochoa wanted. She became the No. 1 player last month, but she failed to win in the three events following her coronation, finishing second, fifth and 20th.
 
Ochoa made up the two-shot deficit in the first five holes. Lee was unlucky to give one back at the second hole when her approach hit the pin and bounced into the fringe about 25 feet away. She missed a 7-foot par saving putt.
 
A short birdie putt on the par-5 fifth gave Ochoa a piece of the lead and then she put the pressure on the 28-year-old Lee with birdies on Nos. 8, 9 and 11. Ochoa made an 18-footer on the par-3 eighth, babied a 10-footer into the cup on No. 9 and two-putted for another on the par-5 11th.
 
Lee, whose chances of winning ended when she put her third shot into the water on No. 18, had makeable birdie attempts on the 12th through the 17th, but her putts seemed to die and fall off just short of the holes, or she misread them.
 
Lee, who also led the first two rounds of last week's Michelob Ultra Classic, had the pins targeted in the first three rounds. However, one got the feeling early that this was not going to be her day to win. She found a greenside bunker on the first hole after hitting the middle of the fairway. She bogeyed the second after hitting the pin solid and found only three greens on the front nine. When she had birdie attempts, the putts didn't even touch the cup.
 
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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.

    Lexi, Finau 3 back going into final QBE round

    By Associated PressDecember 9, 2017, 11:58 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. - Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry shot an 8-under 64 in modified alternate shot and shared the lead Saturday with Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair going into the final round of the QBE Shootout.

    McDowell (Northern Ireland) and Lowry (Ireland), the only international players among the 12 teams at Tiburon Golf Club, began to erase a five-shot deficit with an eagle and birdie on the opening two holes and they dropped only one shot all day in blustery conditions.

    Stricker and O'Hair started the back nine with a pair of bogeys, rallied with three straight birdies and then dropped one last shot from the bunker on the 17th.

    The teams were tied at 18-under 126.

    Lexi Thompson, the lone LPGA player in the field, teamed with Tony Finau for a 66 that put them in the hunt going into the final round. Thompson and Finau were three shots behind.

    McDowell and Lowry tied for ninth in the World Cup last year. They grew up playing Irish junior golf and appreciate the difficulty of alternate shot, even the modified version when both players hit tee shots.


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    ''To go out and shoot 8 under in that format in these conditions today, I think it speaks volumes about the fact we're both playing pretty well,'' McDowell said. ''We both had an opportunity to hit some good shots out there today and make some good putts, and it gives you a little bit of momentum going in there tomorrow.''

    The format for the final round is better ball.

    Stricker and O'Hair have each won the QBE Shootout, but not as partners.

    Stricker, captain of the winning American team at the Presidents Cup, said he couldn't get comfortable and put O'Hair in some tough spots.

    ''We should have probably been two or three shots better than what we were,'' Stricker said. ''Sean played another good round of golf and made some great putts in there to keep us going, but all in all, we're in good shape.''

    Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele shot 70 and were two shots out of the lead.

    Defending champions Matt Kuchar and Harris English had a 72 and were tied for last place with Zach Johnson and Charley Hoffman, who shot 70. They were nine shots out of the lead.