Pettersen Leads Annika Seven Back

By Associated PressOctober 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
  PATTAYA CITY, Thailand -- Suzann Pettersen topped yet another LPGA Tour leaderboard Thursday, shooting a 7-under 65 in warm and breezy conditions to take a two-stroke lead over Canadian Alena Sharp in the Honda LPGA Thailand.
 
Seeking her second straight victory and third in four weeks, Pettersen missed an opportunity to take a much bigger first-round lead, playing the final seven holes in 1 over after birdieing eight of the first 11.
 
'These greens, you just have to attack where you can attack and, if you can't, then you have to play for the big center part,' Pettersen said. 'The greens are tough because the runoffs are so severe.'
 
The Norwegian star won last week in South Korea in cold and windy conditions.
 
'It's very warm, but the breeze makes it quite nice,' Pettersen said. 'So, I just tried to go out there and take what the course gave me. It's like last week, you could stand and talk about the shot and then, when it's your turn, the wind's turned.'
 
She shared attention with Thai amateur Ariya Jutanugarn, at 11 years, 11 months, 2 days the youngest qualifier to play an LPGA Tour event.
 
Jutanugarn, 10 strokes back after a 3-over 75, broke Michelle Wie's mark of 12 years, 4 months, 14 days set in the 2002 Takefuji Classic. Beverly Klass holds the overall record, playing a 1967 event in Dallas at 10 years, 6 months, 3 days.
 
Jutanugarn's 13-year-old sister, Moriya, served as her caddie.
 
Sharp, winless in two full seasons on the tour, had six birdies and a bogey in her 67 on the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Country Club.
 
'Last week, you had to try to stay warm and, this week, you're sweating to death,' Sharp said. 'Mentally, I think, I knew last week, with the cold weather, a lot of girls wouldn't play very well. It's just harder in the cold. It's so much easier in the warmth. Now, you're looking for shade out here this week.'
 
Angela Park and Katherine Hull shot 68s.
 
'I didn't hit it great, but I didn't miss it badly, either,' said Hull, from Australia. 'I made a couple good putts and it all adds up. ... I'm just trying to get my timing back with my golf swing. It's still a little off, but it's not rocket science. I just try to hit the fairway, hit the green.'
 
Park three-putted the 18th for a bogey, missing from a foot.
 
'A little careless on the last hole,' Park said, 'but I played well throughout the whole day and I don't think I should let one putt put me down.
 
Annika Sorenstam, winless since September 2006, was seven shots behind at 72 along with Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Thai star Virada Nirapathpongporn.
 
Defending champion Hee-Won Han, making her first start since the birth of her first child this summer, topped a group at 69. Last year at Amata Spring, Han beat Diana D'Alessio by five strokes for her sixth LPGA Tour victory.
 
Kraft Nabisco winner Morgan Pressel and Japanese star Ai Miyazato struggled. Pressel shot a 75, and Miyazato's 79 left her tied for 56th in the 60-player field.
 
Pettersen birdied the first three holes and ran off three more on Nos. 6-8, hitting wedges within 4 feet for her first five birdies and holing a 20-footer for the sixth.
 
After parring No. 9 for a front-nine 30, she reached 8 under with two more short birdie putts on 10 and 11. She dropped strokes with three-putt bogeys on 13 and 16, but hit a wedge to 4 feet for a birdie on 18.
 
'We had a lot of short irons into the greens, but you still have to hold them,' Pettersen said. 'It's hard to adjust how much they're going to bounce and stuff. But, I'm playing great. I hit 16, 17 greens and had a lot of short putts for birdie.'
 
Sidelined for eight months in 2005 by a career-threatening ruptured disk in her back, the three-time Solheim Cup player has already had a career year.
 
After blowing a late three-stroke lead in the Kraft Nabisco, she rebounded to win the Michelob Ultra Open in May for her first LPGA Tour victory. Then in June at Bulle Rock, she took the McDonald's LPGA Championship for her first major.
 
She also won the Ladies European Tour's SAS Masters in August in Norway, and beat top-ranked Lorena Ochoa three weeks ago in a playoff in the Longs Drugs Challenge. In Pettersen's lone loss in the past three weeks, she was fifth in the Samsung after sharing the third-round lead with winner Ochoa.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Honda LPGA Thailand
  • Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME

    By Nick MentaNovember 18, 2017, 8:47 pm

    Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

    Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9)

    What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

    Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

    Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

    Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

    Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole.

    Kim, oddly enough, signed her name to a scorecard that featured a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It was all part of a 1-under 71.

    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.''


    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


    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.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    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.