Ochoas Lead Just One at Kraft Nabisco

By Associated PressApril 5, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Kraft Nabisco ChampionshipRANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- The only consolation for Lorena Ochoa was a one-shot lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
 
Just when it looked as though Ochoa would seize control of the first major of the year, she three-putted for bogey on two of the final four holes and settled for a 1-under 71 on Saturday, with only one shot separating her from Hee-Won Han.
 
The Mexican star must know by now that this major wont come easily.
 
Despite opening the back nine with three straight birdies to build a two-shot lead and loads of momentum, Ochoa gave it away with an aggressive three-putt on the 15th, and by chopping her way up the 18th in the rough and the sand.
 
Han had a 70 and will play in the final group of a major for the first time.
 
It was an up and down day, Ochoa said. Today was difficult golf. It was hard from tee to green.
 
U.S. Womens Open champion Cristie Kerr was all but forgotten until finishing a 66 before the leaders made the turn, leaving her in the group only two shots behind.
 
Annika Sorenstam suffered stomach cramps so severe that she nearly walked off the course after 10 holes, but tried to gut it out and is glad she did. Sorenstam had four birdies on the back nine for a 73, and was only four shots behind.
 
Going into the final round, where the pressure and desert heat is rising, 14 players were separated by five shots.
 
Seven of those players are major champions.
 
Ochoa looked disgusted as she stood on the edge of the 18th green, staring up at the blazing sky with her hands on hips. She has twice felt jilted at Mission Hills, blowing a three-shot lead in the final round in 2006, and squandering another good chance last year when she whiffed a chip shot and made a quadruple bogey on the 17th hole of the third round.
 
There was no meltdown Saturday, just a a slow retreat to a suddenly packed leaderboard.
 
Im OK, she said. Im in the last group and I have a chance to win a major.
 
Kerr was joined at 212 by Seon Hwa Lee (68) and Maria Hjorth, who bogeyed the 18th hole for a 72. Another shot back was a group that included Swedish pioneer Liselotte Neumann (71) and Heather Young, who was tied with Ochoa to start the third round and was in the lead by herself at the turn until she stumbled to a 74.
 
Sorenstam turned in the most inspiring round.
 
She seemingly took herself out of the tournament with a 40 on the back nine, and was sick enough to quit. She told her caddie, Terry McNamara, that she did not want to walk off the course, but she felt that was her only option. Even after a birdie on No. 10, she laid on her back, feeling nausea.
 
A few birdies kept me going, she said.
 
One of those came from a bunker shot on No. 15, but she finished weakly, missing a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th that ended her streak of 16 consecutive rounds under par.
 
Even so, she was at 214 along with Suzann Pettersen, who got the fireworks going on a dynamic day in the desert.
 
Pettersen, who captured her first major last year at the LPGA Championship, made the cut on the number Friday and was 10 shots behind. Among the first to play Saturday morning when the wind was tame, she holed out with a 6-iron for eagle on the tough seventh hole and shot a 65, the best score of the tournament.
 
I played myself into the tournament again, Pettersen said. Seven under is pretty good on a Saturday in a major. Im right there.
 
Then came Kerr, who apparently picked the right fortune cookie after dinner Friday night in a Chinese restaurant.
 
I went for the fortune cookie on the left and it said, A great day ahead in capital letters. So go figure, Kerr said.
 
Even though she watched five birdie putts catch the lip, she fired a 66 that she thought would get her back into the tournament, not knowing when she left Mission Hills just how close she would be.
 
I played beautiful golf today, Kerr said. I mean, it was really beautiful to watch, if I do say so myself.
 
Also entertaining a small measure of hope was Karrie Webb, who came from seven shots behind in the last round two years ago to win on the strength of a pitching wedge she holed for eagle on the 72nd hole, followed by a birdie in the playoff.
 
He highlight Saturday was a 6-iron that one-hopped into the hole for an ace on the difficult par-3 eighth, and keeping mistakes to a minimum on the back nine when the wind picked up and blew across every fairway, the toughest conditions of all.
 
She settled for a 69 and was in the group at 1-under 215 that included Se Ri Pak (73), who needs this major to become the seventh woman to capture the career Grand Slam.
 
Despite so many players in contention, they still are chasing the No. 1 player.
 
Ochoa won the Womens British Open last summer at St. Andrews, so she now is equipped with the experience of winning a major. She found it far more important to have won twice this year in three starts, by a combined 18 shots.
 
Someone asked if this would be her most meaningful win, considering the trouble she has faced, and the additional pressure of playing before so many Mexican flags in the gallery.
 
Hopefully, I win and jump in the lake, Ochoa said. Then Ill let you know how it ranks.
 
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    CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.06 million

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

    1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
    2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
    T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
    T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
    T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
    T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
    T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
    T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
    T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
    T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
    T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
    T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
    T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
    T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
    T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
    T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
    T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
    T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
    T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
    T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
    T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
    T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
    T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
    T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
    T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
    T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
    T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
    T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
    T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
    T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
    T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
    T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
    T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
    T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
    T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
    T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
    T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
    T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
    T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
    T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
    T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
    T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
    T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
    T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
    T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
    T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
    T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
    T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
    T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
    T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
    T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
    T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
    T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
    T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
    T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
    T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
    T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
    T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
    T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
    T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
    T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
    T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
    T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
    T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
    T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
    T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
    T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
    T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
    T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
    T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
    T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
    T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
    T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
    T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
    75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
    76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
    77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.