Pressel wins in dramatic fashion on Maui

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Kapalua LPGA ClassicKAPALUA, Hawaii ' Morgan Pressel served as a gracious host but didnt want to extend Kapaluas welcome by going into overtime.
 
Pressel birdied the final hole Sunday in the inaugural Kapalua LPGA Classic for her first victory of the season.
 
Kapaluas tour pro closed with a 3-under 69 to edge Suzann Pettersen (69) by a stroke. Pressel finished at 8-under 280 and earned $225,000 for her second career win.
 
Morgan Pressel
Morgan Pressel reacts to her winning putt at Kapalua. (Getty Images)
The 20-year-old Pressel birdied two of her final three holes and made a clutch 15-foot putt from the fringe near the front of the green to secure the victory.
 
I was nervous out there, said Pressel, who missed a 2-footer for birdie on 18 in the third round. I knew what I had to do. I didnt want to go extra holes.
 
The victory was her first win in 43 starts and first top-10 finish since June.
 
You expect her to make it, Pettersen said. You expect good players to make putts.
 
Pressel won the Kraft Nabisco Championship last year to become the youngest player in tour history to win a major. Pettersen tied for second in that event in California after faltering down the stretch.
 
Conditions at the scenic and hilly Bay Course were balmy and slightly breezy. The tradewinds were down considerably from the first three rounds.
 
Laura Diaz (70) finished third at 6 under. Angela Stanford (70), Sun Young Yoo (72) tied for fourth at 4 under, a stroke ahead of Stacy Lewis, who closed with a 66, and Carin Koch (74).
 
Pressel was in tears after the win as she thanked her grandparents. It was a gutsy performance considering she played alongside top-ranked Lorena Ochoa and No. 2 Annika Sorenstam for the first two rounds and had numerous engagements to attend as Kapaluas poster child.
 
Pressel shook her fist after draining a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th to catch Pettersen, who birdied 18 and was already in the clubhouse and waiting for a possible playoff.
 
Pressel also got up-and-down from the bunker to save par on the par-3 17th. She had a long eagle attempt on the 454-yard, par-5 15th, but three-putted for par.
 
The 27-year-old Pettersen had a costly bogey on that hole, which was the easiest of the tournament and one that she birdied the two previous days. She ran into trouble hitting into the greenside bunker and then three-putting.
 
With several players jostling for the outright lead, Pettersen emerged from the pack by birdieing four of five holes just before the turn to reach 8 under and open a three-stroke lead over Pressel, Yoo and Jee Young Lee.
 
Thats when Pressel told her caddie, Wow. Suzann is on a tear this morning.
 
I had my chances out there, let a few players into the game, said Pettersen, winless this year after winning five times in 2007.
 
Ochoa (71) tied for 14th at 1 under while Sorenstam closed with a 72 and tied for 25th at 2 over. She played solidly the last three days but couldnt overcome her opening round 77. She smiled and waved to the roaring gallery as she tapped in for birdie on the final hole after missing a 15-foot eagle putt.
 
I do feel very good about my game. I know the score doesnt reflect that and thats the bottom line in golf, Sorenstam said.
 
The 72-time LPGA winner made her second to last competitive appearance in the United States before leaving the tour at the end of the year. She will make her final U.S. appearance will be at next months ADT Championship.
 
Kapalua also marked the final LPGA event she and younger sister Charlotta, will play together. They will play one more time in Dubai on the Ladies European Tour.
 
The Sorenstams will be spending a lot of time together. Charlotta teaches at her sisters golf academy.
 
She lives in my house and she works for me, so we dont have to fly all the way to Hawaii to hang out, Annika Sorenstam said. Next year, well see a lot of each other.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry