Pak One Off the Lead in Hawaii

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 Fields OpenKAPOLEI, Hawaii -- Without much fanfare or a single sponsor on her cap, rookie Angela Park shot a 6-under 66 in windy conditions Thursday for a share of the first-round lead with Stacy Prammanasudh in the Fields Open.
 
The 18-year-old Park, making just her fourth LPGA Tour start, showed maturity and composure in difficult conditions at the wide-open Ko Olina Golf Course.
 
'Everything I looked at went in,' Park said. 'I was so confident (and) very comfortable on the greens.'
 
Se Ri Pak, who needs to play just eight more events to qualify for the World Golf Hall of Fame this year, made a late move to open with a 67. Meaghan Francella survived a triple bogey and was at 68, along with Kyeong Bae.
 
Park started strong, birdieing five of the first seven holes and making the turn at 31. She drove into the rough for a bogey on No. 10, but hit a wedge to set up her 7-foot birdie putt on 14 and sank a 25-footer for birdie on the 16th to reach 6 under.
 
'I felt really comfortable coming out here even though I didn't know half the field,' she said. 'It was nice to see people I've seen on TV and be able to play against them.'
 
Park earned her first LPGA paycheck last week -- worth $6,625 -- for her 33rd-place tie at the season-opening SBS Open. As an amateur, she tied for 15th at the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship, her only LPGA start last year.
 
After a successful amateur career that included five AJGA wins, Park played on the Futures Tour last year and earned her LPGA Tour card by tying for fifth at Q-school.
 
'This is what I've always wanted to do. This is my dream,' said Park, a Brazilian-born Korean who grew up in Torrance, Calif., and recently moved to Orlando, Fla.
 
Prammanasudh started on the back nine had four straight birdies, starting with a 25-foot putt on No. 4, to shoot up the leaderboard and tie Park at 6 under.
 
'I got some great birdie chances out there and was lucky enough to make a few, so I'm very pleased especially with the wind,' she said.
 
The former University of Tulsa standout won the 2005 Franklin American Mortgage Championship for her lone LPGA Tour title.
 
Prammanasudh said took formal golf lessons for the first time in her life during the offseason. She learned the game from her father, who taught himself how to play.
 
'I just need something that's going to make me really consistent throughout the whole entire year instead of having ups and downs,' she said.
 
Pak, who won her fifth career major last year in the LPGA Championship, made her move by holing a 30-foot downhill birdie putt on No. 10.
 
She then hit a knockdown 4-iron tee shot to set up a birdie on the par-3 12th, and followed with short birdie putts on Nos. 15 and 16.
 
'I feel that I'm ready but I don't feel like I'm mentally ready and really strong,' she said. 'But the wind actually woke me up right away.'
 
Francella, who spent most of 2006 on the Futures Tour, started on No. 10 and made the turn at 32. After parring No. 1, she went triple bogey-bogey-par-eagle-birdie. She birdied No. 8 to close out her wild back nine.
 
The scoreboard incorrectly listed Francella at 69 and was corrected more than an hour after her round after she spotted the error on TV.
 
Jeong Jang, Jee Young Lee, Nicole Perrot and Pat Hurst shot 69s.
 
Karrie Webb, who moved up a spot to No. 2 in the latest world rankings, opened with a 70. Webb finished third at Turtle Bay last week after starting the year with a two-week Australian sweep. She won her third Women's Australian Open title three weeks ago and added her sixth Australian Ladies Masters victory the following week.
 
Defending champion Meena Lee shot a 71, leaving her tied with LPGA player of the year Lorena Ochoa and Ai Miyazato, who had a team of photographers from her native Japan following her every move.
 
Last year, Lee won the inaugural Fields Open for her second tour title, holding off Michelle Wie in regulation and beating Seon Hwa Lee on the third hole of a playoff.
 
Paula Creamer, who won the SBS for her first LPGA title in 19 months, opened with a 72.
 
Related Links:
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.