Pettersen Eagles 72nd for Victory

By Associated PressOctober 28, 2007, 4:00 pm
  PATTAYA CITY, Thailand -- Suzann Pettersen made up for all those lost strokes with three big shots on the Pattaya Old Course's 479-yard, par-5 finishing hole.
 
After blowing the last of a seven-stroke lead with her second straight bogey, the Norwegian star hit a 'grip-down' 3-wood from 225 yards to 15 feet to set up an eagle putt that beat Laura Davies by a stroke Sunday in the Honda LPGA Thailand.
 
'I think that was the best putt of my life,' Pettersen said. 'I was just like, 'Drop! Drop! Drop! Please drop!' It was really nice. It would've been really disappointing if I let it go away.'
 
Pettersen's 1-under 71 left her at 21-under 267, not the number she had in mind a day earlier after reaching 20 under with a bogey-free 63, but good enough for her second straight LPGA Tour victory and third in four weeks.
 
'It's been three wins in October, so I can't complain,' said Pettersen, ranked fourth in the world two years after a ruptured disk threatened her career. 'I'll enjoy a week off, now, and try to sum it up and get ready for the last few.'
 
Davies, paired with Pettersen, birdied the final two holes for a 65. The 44-year-old English player was trying to win her first LPGA Tour title since 2001. She won a European tour event in Austria last month for her 68th worldwide victory.
 
'At the moment, I'm really disappointed, but overall, I'm really, really pleased,' Davies said. 'I played well this week. I putted well. I've driven it magnificently. Overall, I go away from here having great memories, but I'm very disappointed because I wanted to win.'
 
The dramatic finish on the hot day at Siam Country Club extended Pettersen's string of consecutive rounds at the top of the leaderboard to six. She has had a least a share of the lead in nine of her last 12 tour rounds.
 
'It was so warm out there today and the sweat just keeps running down your face,' Pettersen said. 'It's a different challenge. You have to stay hydrated, drink enough and eat enough. This victory is a sweet one.'
 
Paula Creamer shot her third straight 66 to finish third at 18 under, and Australian Rachel Hetherington (65) followed at 16 under. Stacy Prammanasudh (66) was 14 under, with Annika Sorenstam (72) another stroke back in sixth.
 
Creamer parred the 18th after hitting into a bunker.
 
'It was an unfortunate last hole,' Creamer said. 'What are you going to do? Probably not hit it into that bunker. But, I'm not going to stand there and lay up.'
 
Canadian Alena Sharp, two strokes behind Pettersen after each of the first two days, ended up seventh at 11 under after weekend rounds of 72 and 70.
 
Former Duke star Virada Nirapathpongporn topped the five Thai players in the field, shooting a 71 to tie for 22nd at 4 under. Ariya Jutanugarn, at 11 the youngest qualifier in LPGA Tour history, shot a 74 to tie for 51st.
 
Davies pulled even with Pettersen with a birdie-bogey swing on 17, putting Pettersen in serious danger of a final-round meltdown rivaling the late three-stroke lead she lost in the Kraft Nabisco. Pettersen missed a 6-foot putt on the par-3 16th and a 3-footer for a three-putt bogey on the par-4 17th.
 
The lead was down to two after Pettersen bogeyed the par-4 ninth to make the turn at 1-over 37. Davies was 4 under on the front nine, opening with an eagle and a birdie to slice Pettersen's advantage to four. Davies gained another stroke when her Solheim Cup teammate bogeyed the par-4 fifth, her first bogey since the 12th hole Friday.
 
Davies pulled within one with a birdie on the par-5 10th. Pettersen birdied 11 to get back to 20 under, but Davies countered on 14 to again move within one. Pettersen then birdied the par-5 15th to take a two-stroke lead that she promptly lost on 17.
 
Pettersen began her dominating run with a playoff victory over top-ranked Lorena Ochoa in the Longs Drugs Challenge, finished fifth in the Samsung after starting sharing the third-round lead with winner Ochoa, then won last week in South Korea in an event cut to 36 holes because of unplayable conditions.
 
In May, she rebounded from the Kraft Nabisco loss to win the Michelob Ultra Open for her first LPGA Tour title. She then took the McDonald's LPGA Championship in June for her first major and won a European tour event in Norway in August.
 
The 26-year-old player has won five of her last 15 LPGA Tour events after failing to win in her first 80 starts dating to 2001. She earned $195,000 on Sunday to push her season total to $1,753,309, second behind Ochoa's record $3,337,993.
 
Related Links:
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.