Sorenstam to Face 64th Seed Morley in Rd 1

By Associated PressJune 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Annika Sorenstam will face Joanne Morley in the first round of the HSBC Womens World Match Championship on Thursday, and U.S. Womens Open champion Birdie Kim will begin play against Sophie Gustafson.
 
The pairings were released Tuesday, two days after Kim took the final spot in the 64-player field with her dramatic victory at Cherry Hills. The 23-year-old South Korean holed out from a bunker on the final hole to beat Morgan Pressel by two strokes.
 
Im very happy to be able to play this week, Kim said. I like match play. Match play is more aggressive than stroke play.
 
Sorenstam, coming off a 23rd-place tie at Cherry Hills, earned the top seed by leading the money list after the Rochester LPGA on June. 19. The Swedish star has six victories'including major wins in the Nabisco and LPGA Championship'in nine starts this year to push her LPGA Tour total to 62.
 
Sorenstam was not available to the media Tuesday.
 
Cristie Kerr, second among the 60 qualifiers from the money list, will face Lindsey Wright in the first round on Hamilton Farms hilly Highlands Course. Third-seeded Lorena Ochoa will play Laurie Rinker, and No. 4 Paula Creamer will face Maria Hjorth.
 
The 18-year-old Creamer won the Sybase Classic last month at Wykagyl in New Rochelle, N.Y., to become the second-youngest winner in LPGA Tour history. She graduated from high school four days after her victory.
 
Ive played a lot of match-play events, Creamer said. I love match play. Youre not playing against the golf course anymore, youre playing against your opponent.
 
After single rounds Thursday and Friday, the third round and quarterfinals will be played Saturday and the semifinals and final are set for Sunday.
 
You definitely have to be in shape on this golf course, Creamer said. Its really hilly and its hot and humid. ... Its going to be an endurance test'both physically and mentally.
 
In other first-round matchups, fifth-seeded Natalie Gulbis will play Marisa Baena, Hall of Famer Juli Inkster will open against Sung Ah Yim, Japanese star Ai Miyazato will play Laura Diaz, Hall of Famer Beth Daniel will face Lorie Kane, and Japanese amateur Shinobu Moromizato will open against Emilee Klein.
 
Miyazato secured a spot last month by topping the Japan LPGA money list, and Moromizato and slumping South Korean star Se Ri Pak received sponsor invitations.
 
Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry designed the hilly Highlands Course on late financier James Cox Bradys former estate 45 miles west of New York City. The scenic property also includes the 18-hole, par-3 Hickory Course, a 64-room Georgian mansion and a lavish stable complex that houses the U.S. Equestrian Team.
 
You cant have a great golf tournament without a great course, and we certainly have one here, LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw said.
 
The winner will receive $500,000 from the $2 million purse.
 
Related links:
  • Macth Play Tee Times
  • Full Coverage - HSBC Womens World Match Championship
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.