Ochoa Remains Out Front at St Andrews

By Associated PressAugust 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
Ricoh WomenST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Lorena Ochoa's missed putt at the 18th took the fun out of another big step toward her first major. Michelle Wie's missed cut suggested she's still a long way from her first victory.
 
Ochoa missed a 4-footer on the final hole to give her an even-par 73 and a one-stroke lead at St. Andrews in the Women's British Open, Wie was preparing another early flight home. She shot an 80 for a 7-over score of 153 that missed the cut by two.
 
'It's a disappointment because I didn't play as well as I wanted to,' said Wie, who has struggled with a left wrist injury.
 
'I do feel a lot stronger. I'm hitting a lot of shots that I've never really hit before so that's a positive. I just need to take the positives and go on from there. I'm starting to feel really good about it. Obviously today was not my day, but I'll do better.'
 
Missing the cut on the first women's pro event to be played at the home of golf is another blow for the 17-year-old.
 
She had to sidestep the Kraft Nabisco because of injury, finished last at the LPGA Championship, and pulled out after playing only nine holes of the second round of the U.S. Women's Open after shooting 82 in the first. Last week, she tied for 69th at the Evian Masters.
 
At St. Andrews, she had already dropped four shots by the time she took a triple bogey seven at the par-4 13th, taking five to get the ball within 12 feet of the flag and missing the putt. That was followed by another bogey. Her only birdie came at the last hole.
 
'The whole year I've been struggling with her driver and I just never got the ball on the fairway,' said Wie, whose opening round 73 had given her hope that her troubles were over.
 
'Today I felt that my driver was really solid. Obviously my irons weren't good so I just have too keep it together. It's like a puzzle. I'm just getting one bit at time.'
 
Ochoa, meanwhile, is creeping up on her first major.
 
She went to the 18th with a two-shot lead and faced a 25-foot putt for birdie. Instead of walking off three ahead of the field, the advantage slipped to one as her first putt, hit too strongly, curled 4 feet past and then she missed that to wind up with a bogey.
 
She also missed a putt for eagle at 14 but her 6-under 140 put her one ahead of Wendy Ward (70) and Catriona Matthew (68).
 
'It was a good day. I'm pleased with my round,' said the Mexican, who has had several near misses in previous majors. 'I'm upset about the three-putt on 18 but I'm just glad I still have the lead.
 
'I'm very pleased the way we worked the strategy with my caddie. I think we are in good shape and we understand pretty good the golf course and hopefully we can keep doing the same thing for a couple more days.'
 
Ward made five birdies in her round, but also missed a 4-foot putt at the last.
 
'I didn't care to finish that way,' Ward said. 'But I'm still pleased with the day.'
 
Matthew, who has had eight top 10 finishes in majors, is the leading Scot in the field and her bogey-free 68 caught the attention of the local fans.
 
'Hopefully it will inspire me,' she said. 'Obviously it's great today finishing those last few holes and there's still some big crowds out there cheering me on.
 
'Nice to get some support. When you play in the States all the time, I don't get the same sort of support.'
 
Defending champion Sherri Steinhauer, who has won this event three times, improved to 3 under after a 71 gave her a second-round score of 143 and a tie for fourth.
 
She picked up two shots on the outward nine, including a 50-foot birdie putt at the sixth.
 
'It was very calm on the outward holes and not very difficult,' Steinhauer said. 'I wish I could have taken a little more advantage.'
 
Annika Sorenstam, who won the 2003 Women's British Open at Royal Lytham for one of her 10 majors, also improved to 3 under after a 71 that included four birdies.
 
'I thought I hit the ball beautifully today and had a lot of chances,' she said. 'Those two would have been nice, but otherwise I was playing to my game plan.'
 
Juli Inkster moved into contention for the only major she hasn't won with a 5-under 68. Inkster, who won her first two majors as a rookie in 1984 and is now chasing her eighth, improved 11 shots over her 79 in the first round and was at 1-over 147 going into the weekend.
 
Related Links:
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.