Pettersen Stuns Ochoa in Playoff

By Associated PressOctober 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Longs Drugs ChallengeDANVILLE, California -- Suzann Pettersen put her name above top-ranked Lorena Ochoa's at long last, sinking a birdie putt from 8 feet on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the Longs Drugs Challenge.
 
Pettersen, who began the day with a bogey, watched as Ochoa just missed a 20-foot putt before calmly making the winner and pumping her fist several times. They both birdied the first playoff hole, with Ochoa make a 15-footer.
 
'Do it again, Lorena!' someone yelled as she made her way back onto the 18th green.
 
Pettersen finished with a 1-over 73 to match Ochoa (71) at 11-under 277. Pettersen earned $165,000 for her third victory of the season.
 
'You know, you've got to play your heart out. It was a nice finish,' Pettersen said. 'There's not a nicer person out there you want to beat.'
 
The women embraced after both played aggressive golf all day on the hilly Lakeside course at Blackhawk Country Club, then hugged again in the clubhouse later. Pettersen won her second playoff this year.
 
'She won the playoff the way she should -- being aggressive and with a birdie,' Ochoa said. 'I admire her a lot. She's a very aggressive player and not afraid. ... She has the characteristics of a champion. In my case, I'm going to try to stay ahead. She's pushing me. I like that.'
 
Pettersen, the Norwegian who held a one-shot lead over Canadian Lorie Kane heading into the final round and was two strokes ahead of Ochoa, had consecutive bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10 to fall three strokes back of Ochoa. Yet Ochoa four-putted for a double bogey on No. 12 as she, Pettersen and Juli Inkster briefly shared the lead at 9 under. That was after Ochoa also bogeyed the 11th.
 
'I can't believe I won,' Pettersen said while going over her bogeys.
 
Funny thing is, Pettersen made friends with a 12-week old golden retriever puppy named Bogey. The pooch became her mascot and she saw him each day.
 
'I can thank Bogey for the trophy,' she joked. 'It's so cute.'
 
For Pettersen, beating Ochoa had to be sweet: She trails the 25-year-old star from Mexico on every major LPGA Tour list.
 
Ochoa was trying to win for the fourth time in her last five events, but came up short for the second straight week. She tied for third last weekend in the Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville, Ala. Ochoa still became the first woman to earn $3 million in a single season, making $101,967.
 
'I don't care about the money,' Ochoa said. 'I do not like to lose. That hurts me.'
 
Inkster finished third at 7 under after a 70, while Kane (77) bogeyed the 18th hole and settled for a fourth-place tie with Natalie Gulbis (66).
 
Nicole Castrale (69) was sixth at 5 under, and defending champion Karrie Webb, still winless this season, shot a 72 to finish at 4 under.
 
The 26-year-old Pettersen started the day at 12 under after shooting a 65 on Friday and a season-best 64 Saturday for the lowest two-round stretch in the event's 12-year history (129).
 
But on Sunday, the very hole that helped her gain momentum a day earlier gave her trouble in the final round. She three-putted on No. 9 for bogey after chipping in from 35 yards out for her second eagle on the front nine Saturday.
 
Ochoa liked her position heading into the final day, despite being two strokes behind and playing in the second-to-last group. She wanted to be aggressive from the first tee shot.
 
Kane and Pettersen each bogeyed the first hole, while Ochoa calmly made her birdie putt.
 
Ochoa made a big birdie putt on No. 7 to move to 12 under, with someone in the gallery hollering 'Oy! Oy! Oy!'
 
A few dozen Hispanics followed Ochoa in the gallery for most of the day, something she has said gives her extra motivation.
 
'Nice shot, Lorena!' screamed 4-year-old Ariana Molera.
 
Molera, of nearby Martinez and watching with parents Jerry and Jonnell, received a wave from the Mexican star.
 
'Vamos, Lorena!' one man yelled later -- 'Let's go, Lorena!' in Spanish. Ochoa also gave the thumbs-up sign to a Hispanic fan.
 
After finishing up on No. 8, Ochoa handed a ball to another young girl cheering her name.
 
Maria Hjorth, the winner last weekend in Alabama, tied for eighth at 3 under along with Inbee Park
 
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.