Sorenstam Back After Weekend Off

By Associated PressMay 17, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Sybase ClassicNEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Annika Sorenstam had two unexpected days off last weekend.
 
Instead of checking leaderboards and reading greens at the Michelob Ultra Open, she was home spending time with friends in Orlando, Fla., after missing the cut in an LPGA Tour event for the first time since 2002.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam gets consoled by her caddie after missing the cut at the Michelob Ultra Open.
'It wasn't really something I enjoyed. I mean, I'm glad I went home. It was the second-best thing I could have done, get to go home instead of play the weekend,' Sorenstam said Wednesday after playing in the pro-am for this week's Sybase Classic at Wykagyl Country Club. 'It happens. It's golf. I'm just lucky it hasn't happened to me too often, and I hope it doesn't happen again. It got my attention and I'm back.'
 
Sorenstam has dominated the LPGA Tour for years. Her 67 career victories are third on the all-time list and she has led the tour in wins each of the last five years. Last week was the first time in 69 events since the 2002 Women's British Open she failed to make the cut. It was only the second time in 143 events she failed to make the cut, dating to June 1999, and the first time in 198 non-major events.
 
The last time she missed the cut in a non-major was the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in July 1994. She also missed the cut in the PGA Tour's 2003 Colonial.
 
'I'm not worried about my game. I feel like I'm playing really good golf, obviously,' said Sorenstam, who has won four of her last 10 starts, including the MasterCard Classic in Mexico in March. 'I'm just waiting to come out with a big bang. It should be a fun part of the season, if you know what I mean.'
 
The $1.3 million Sybase Classic, with a first prize of $195,000, starts a six-week stretch that includes two majors -- the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women's Open.
 
The last time Sorenstam missed a cut she won the next three tournaments and 27 of her next 65 starts.
 
'I know what I'm capable of. I got one win this year, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself,' said the 35-year-old, who is playing in this event for the first time since 2002. She won the Sybase in 1998 and 2000.
 
'Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don't,' she said. 'At the moment, my golf is not going my way, but outside the golf course, everything else is going my way. I'm not going to trade anything for it. I'm just going to wait, be patient and everything will turn around.'
 
Paula Creamer's young career turned around at this tournament last year when she holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole to become the youngest winner of a multiround LPGA event. She took the trophy to her high school graduation four days later, and went on to win another tournament in taking her place as one of the rising stars on tour.
 
'This is my first chance to repeat and it's a totally different feeling,' said Creamer, who will turn 20 in August. 'I feel very relaxed, like this is my home type of thing.'
 
Creamer won with a 6-under 278 last year, closing with a 70 for a one-stroke victory over Jeong Jang and Gloria Park.
 
'Everything has happened so fast, but I'm excited things have fallen into place,' Creamer said.
 
Eight of the tour's 10 leading money-winners and eight former champions are in the field.
 
Wykagyl, a traditional Northeast golf course, hasn't undergone major changes in recent years but the number of trees on the par-71, 6,227-yard course has decreased.
 
'They have taken a lot of trees away, but it puts a big premium on ball-striking with small greens and tough par-3s,' Sorenstam said. 'The greens are in great shape. I like old-style golf courses. I'm happy to be back here.'
 
Divots
The other former champions in the field are Juli Inkster (1992), Beth Daniel (1994), Michele Redman (1997), Sherri Steinhauer (1999, 2004), Park (2002), Hee-Won Han (2003). ... The official charity of the tournament is The Greater New York City Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. ... Lorena Ochoa, second on the money list to Karrie Webb, has finished second in the last three tour events and she had a second and a first in the two she played before that. ... Webb and No. 4 Cristie Kerr are the only members of the top 10 not in the field. ... The tournament will be on ESPN2 all four days.
 
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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