Pak Beats Sorenstam at Office Depot

By Associated PressApril 7, 2002, 4:00 pm
TARZANA, Calif. -- Se Ri Pak outdueled Annika Sorenstam to win The Office Depot Sunday, denying Sorenstam her second comeback victory in a row in the tournament.
Pak, who led Sorenstam by three shots going into the last round of the 54-hole event, shot a 1-over 73 to finish at 7-under 209, one stroke in front of Sorenstam, who had a closing 71.
A year ago, Sorenstam shot a 66 to come from 10 shots behind leader Pat Hurst on the final day, then beat Mi Hyun Kim on the first hole of a playoff.
Sorenstam sent the tournament down to the wire again this time, with a birdie on the 17th hole to draw within one shot of Pak, who bogeyed the hole.
But Sorenstam's winding 30-foot birdie try on No. 18 curved just past the hole, then Pak's birdie putt from 20 feet stopped one rotation short of the cup, leaving the 24-year-old to tap-in for par and the win.
The victory, worth $150,000 of the $1 million purse, was her 14th since she joined the LPGA Tour in 1998.
Laura Diaz shot a 73 to finish third at 3-under 213. Kelli Kuehne had a 68, Jackie Gallagher-Smith a 70, and Wendy Doolan a 72 to tie for fourth at 215.
Sorenstam hurt her chances when she bogeyed the 160-yard, par-3 16th. She left her tee shot short of the green, but pitched within three feet of the hole. After Pak missed a 10-foot birdie putt, Sorenstam's short putt for par rimmed the cup and came out - dropping her three shots behind Pak with two holes to go.
Pak had made a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 13 to open a two-shot lead, as Sorenstam left a long birdie try eight feet short of the cup, but made the putt for par.
Sorenstam, who said she wanted to get off to a fast start on Sunday, didn't, with pars on the first three holes. Instead, she got some help from Pak, who bogeyed both the par-4 second and third holes.
Sorenstam drew even with a birdie on the fourth hole, then moved ahead with another birdie on No. 5 as Pak had pars on both holes.
Just as quickly, Pak shifted the momentum back her way, making birdie putts on the next two holes to pull into a tie, then going back in front with a par 3 on No. 8 while Sorenstam bogeyed.
Leading by a shot, Pak missed a chance to go up by two when her 8-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole slipped just past the edge of the cup. Exasperated, Pak flipped her putter into the air like a baton and caught it.
She and Sorenstam, who two-putted from the fringe, each settled for par on the hole and headed into the back nine separated by one shot.
Sorenstam had won two of the four earlier events she played this year, including defending her title in the year's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Pak's win at El Caballero was her first of 2002.
Sorenstam tied Mickey Wright's 37-year-old LPGA record for overcoming the biggest final-round deficit in a victory when she won the 2001 Office Depot.
Full-field scores from The Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.