Ochoa Storms to Lead at Ginn Tribute

By Associated PressJune 1, 2007, 4:00 pm
Ginn Tribute Hosted by AnnikaMOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. -- Step aside Annika and Michelle. Lorena Ochoa showed who's the LPGA Tour's true star attraction at the Ginn Tribute.
 
Ochoa shot a 5-under 67 Friday to move to 9 under through two rounds, three shots ahead of first-day leader Angela Park (72) and four in front of Paula Creamer (71).
 
The world's No. 1 player and already a two-time LPGA Tour winner this season, Ochoa took control at RiverTowne Country Club with her bogey-free round. She carded only one score higher than 4, a par on the par-5 ninth hole, and continued her stellar run with her sixth straight round under 70.
 
'I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I can,' Ochoa said.
 
The focus this week had been highly anticipated returns from injury of two of women's golf's biggest names -- former No. 1 and tournament host Annika Sorenstam and 17-year-old Michelle Wie.
 
But with Sorenstam, 1 under after a 71, not close to 100 percent and Wie's withdrawal Thursday after going 14 over for 16 holes, the friendly, polite 25-year-old star from Mexico has so far stolen the show.
 
She caught tour rookie Park with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fifth hole, then took the lead for good with 5 foot birdie putt on another par-5, the 11th.
 
Ochoa added two more birdies, including one after landing in a bunker near the green in two on the par 5 16th.
 
Ochoa has always had the shots. What's changed, she says, is her mental approach. Ochoa feels much more in control of things on the course these days -- and that's led her to the top during Sorenstam's nearly two-month absence with a ruptured disk and a bulging disk.
 
'Nothing is very different. I'm the same,' Ochoa said. 'I feel good and I feel comfortable. I believe in myself and I have faith that I can control all the things that I can control.'
 
Sorenstam came into this inaugural, $2.6 million event with modest hopes. However, when she followed up a first-hole bogey with a birdie and an eagle, the old Annika rushed back.
 
'It was a fun feeling,' Sorenstam said. 'I was even par and not looking at the leaders. Now. I'm two under par and I'm staring down the leaderboard.'
 
Sorenstam, though, knew her distance and strength were lacking. Soon, enough, everyone else found out, as well as she made only one more birdie the rest of the way.
 
Still, Sorenstam was again pleased with her come back 'It was fun. I'm enjoying myself out there,' she said. 'As I said, my expectations are not very high.'
 
That's not the case with Ochoa. She compared RiverTowne's dry, baked greens and fairways to U.S. Open conditions and was glad with how she managed her game to reach the top.
 
'That's why she's the number one player right now,' Creamer said. 'She's a great, consistent golfer. I think she brings a lot to golf in general and a lot of excitement.'
 
Teenager MacKinzie Kline, the first in LPGA history to use a cart because of a medical condition, was withdrawn from the tournament because she shot an 89, one more than the tour's '88 rule' that Wie flirted with before withdrawing Thursday.
 
Kline, called 'Mac' by friends and family, is barred from LPGA sponsored events through year's end.
 
The 15-year-old was more than pleased with her experience. 'It was so much fun playing,' Kline said.
 
Divots:
There were several withdrawals before the second round, including Natalie Gulbis and Grace Park. Gulbis shot an opening 80 before pulling out. Park opened with a 77, then played her first nine holes Friday in 5-over 41 before choosing to leave. ... Because of an approaching storm, tournament officials altered Saturday's tee times. Players will go off in threesomes on both the first and 10th tees with play beginning at 7 a.m.
 
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  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

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    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: