Sophie Gustafson tops Lorena Ochoa in California

By Associated PressSeptember 28, 2009, 3:36 am

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DANVILLE, Calif. – Sophie Gustafson questioned whether she would ever win another LPGA title.

“Yeah, absolutely,” she said, grinning.

Gustafson is finally an LPGA winner again, six years after her last championship, cruising to a four-stroke victory over top-ranked Lorena Ochoa in the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge on Sunday.

The 35-year-old Swede shot a 4-under 68 at Blackhawk Country Club and finished at 20-under 268 for her first title since the 2003 Samsung World Championship. She takes home the $165,000 winning purse for her fifth career tour victory.

She beamed while walking across the bridge to the 18th green, even high-fiving a tournament official. Once it was official, she shared a long embrace with caddie Tamara Hyett. It was an especially challenging tournament given the unseasonably hot temperatures for September in the Bay Area – it reached the mid-90s Sunday.

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Sophie Gustafson poses with the trophy after winning the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge at Blackhawk Country Club. (Getty Images)

The 5-foot-10 Gustafson, who overcame her first two bogeys on the front nine all week, never dazzled but she didn’t have to on a day Ochoa struggled with her short game among other shots. Gustafson eagled No. 5 and then gained a stroke on Ochoa with her birdie on No. 13. Gustafson finished the final round with four birdies.

She considers this among her best tournaments yet in terms of consistency over all four rounds despite never feeling comfortable with the putter.

“I had my moments,” she said of her short game. “I’m just happy it’s over.”

Ochoa could sense it was Gustafson’s day from the start Sunday. Last week at the Samsung, Ochoa edged Gustafson by three strokes to tie for fourth.

“I have felt good but I haven’t gotten it done,” Gustafson said of her past events. “I felt good about my game, but the thing about my game is it can come and go. I don’t know what to expect.”

Ochoa shot an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish at 16 under. She’s winless in 11 starts since taking the Corona Championship in her native Mexico in late April. Ochoa has only two victories in 16 events this year after winning 21 times in the previous three years.

She missed chances all round, including when she could have pulled closer on the back nine.

“I thought maybe the back nine was mine,” Ochoa said. “I gave myself birdie chances on 10, 12, 13 and 14 and none of them dropped. I would have had some momentum and put some pressure on Sophie.”

Ochoa lost here in a playoff to Suzann Pettersen in 2007 and was fourth last year, but said Sunday she’s “happy” with those results and believes her game is beginning to come around.

“For sure I didn’t play my best today,” she said. “I didn’t get a good start. Everything looked like it was her day. I’m trying to be happy with second place. I have to be patient with myself.”

Amy Yang (66) and Sun Young Yoo (68) tied for third at 14 under.

Gustafson missed a chance to pick up a stroke on No. 8, a tricky 360-yard par 4. Ochoa’s tee shot landed far to the right near the gallery, across the cart path about 6 inches from an iron fence bordering a house. Upon seeing her lie, Ochoa slapped her leg in frustration.

Opting against a drop and after a discussion with her caddie, Ochoa’s second shot required a short back swing because of the fence. Her choked-up 5-iron shot ricocheted off a plastic irrigation cover 15 feet away and landed in the deep rough parallel to her previous shot. She slammed the club head into the ground.

“Sometimes you also have to get a few good breaks and it just didn’t happen for me,” Ochoa said. “That’s the way it is.”

Gustafson said she was so focused on her own play she didn’t pay much attention to what Ochoa was doing.

“I’m so wrapped up in my own game if I start paying attention to what other people are doing I start going straight down hill,” she said.

Local favorite Paula Creamer tied for 13th at 10-under 278.

“I just couldn’t putt,” Creamer said. “I hit a lot of greens. I missed three greens, 17-18 and No. 4. Other than that I had birdie chances on every single hole and didn’t make anything. That was the difference. I wasn’t feeling my best. I think the heat got to me. I hit the ball well but I couldn’t get anything going.”

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.