Pettersen Land lead the way in Kapalua

By Associated PressOctober 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
Kapalua LPGA ClassicKAPALUA, Hawaii ' While Kapalua is making its LPGA debut, Brittany Lang is experienced at handling its challenging tradewinds and tricky greens.
 
Lang shot a 1-under 71 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead with Suzann Pettersen in the inaugural Kapalua LPGA Classic.
 
Last December, the former Duke star played the Bay Course four times while on a trip to Maui with one of her sponsors.
 
I got to play in way more wind than this, so this seems easy, she said. I learned every hole and knew where we were playing from and go t a feel for the greens.
 
Lang stayed aggressive despite the breezes that frustrated many players, birdieing Nos. 11 and 13 to match Pettersen (72) at 4-under 140.
 
I just left too many putts out there, Pettersen said. I would have been happy even with 2 or 3 under. .. But Im in a great position. I didnt lose any ground.
 
The morning groups enjoyed calmer conditions with the tradewinds again picking up in the afternoon. Early rain softened the slick greens at the Bay Course and the overcast conditions provided some relief from the sun.
 
I grew up playing in the wind, and it doesnt seem to bother me that much, Lang said.
 
Annika Sorenstam followed her opening 77 with a 70 to make it to the weekend.
 
Making one of her last competitive appearances before leaving the tour at the end of the year, Sorenstam needed an eagle to get to 3-over 147'the cut was at 4 over.
 
The 72-time LPGA winner hasnt missed a cut since the 2006 Michelob Ultra.
 
Canadian Alena Sharp (67) and Laura Diaz (71) were 3 under along with South Koreans Sun Young Yoo (71), Jee Young Lee (70), Ji Young Oh (71) and Il Mi Chung.
 
Its tough with the wind, said Sharp, who had the days best round. You have to hang in there and hit the ball low and pick good targets off the tee and into the greens.
 
The 23-year-old Lang has four top-10 finishes this year including a fifth-place tie last week at the Longs Drugs Challenge. She also tied for second at the Sybase Classic, but she has never played in a final group.
 
I wasnt in the final group at any of the tournaments with all the cameras and everything on you in the final group, she said. So Ive never had all eyes on me, and I want to learn how to be comfortable in that position.
 
Lang couldnt take advantage of the three par 5s on the back nine. She did sink a 25-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 11th and hit a gap wedge to 8 feet for another birdie on the par-4 13th to reach 5 under and open a two-stroke advantage.
 
But she lost a stroke when she chunked her shot out of the fairway bunker on the par-4 16th. Pettersen then birdied 15 to tie Lang for the lead.
 
Pettersen was steady but couldnt get much going with a bogey and birdie on each side. The Norwegian star is seeking her first LPGA victory this year after winning five times in 2007, including the LPGA Championship.
 
She caught a break when her drive on No. 14 sailed right and landed inside the cart of Golf Channel announcer Kay Cockerill, which prevented the ball from traveling past the cart path and near some trees.
 
Dont complain, her caddie said. That was a good break.
 
Pettersen was given a drop from the spot and her second shot safely reached the green.
 
That wasnt the best drive. I didnt aim for (the cart), she said.
 
The 37-year-old Sorenstam began the day on No. 10 and dropped to 6 over with a three-putt bogey on No. 11. She shook her head and stared at the cup in disbelief.
 
She got some momentum when she swirled in a 30-foot bending putt for eagle on the par-5 18th to make the turn at 4 over. She shot her arms in the air as the fans roared.
 
The Swede added a birdie on No. 7 to reach 3 under.
 
Sorenstam played alongside top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, who put herself into contention with a 69 that left her three strokes off the lead at 1 under. Ochoa, seeking her eight victory of the season, was sailing through her round with five birdies and one bogey until she hit into the rocks on her 13th hole en route to a double bogey.
 
One bad hole, but the rest were very solid, said Ochoa, who was cheered on by a few Mexican-flag waving fans. Im in the red numbers in good position for the weekend.
 
Ochoa opened the day by dropping a 25-foot putt for birdie put on the par-5 10th and hit a wedge to 4 feet on No. 14 to get back to even for the tournament. She also tapped in for birdie four holes later after her long eagle attempt lipped out.
 
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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.''


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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: