Sorenstam Stalking the Lead in Florida

By Associated PressApril 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
Stanford International Pro-AmAVENTURA, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam has made no secret that she wasnt thrilled about the course setup this week at the Stanford International Pro-Am.
 
That doesnt mean she doesnt enjoy'and thrive on'demanding courses.
 
Sorenstam shot a 4-under 67 on the Soffer course Friday, drawing her within one shot of Young Kim at the midway point of the inaugural event, being contested at Turnberry Isle. Kim also shot a 67, matching her first-round score on Turnberrys Miller track. Theyll enter the third round with a solid cushion over Paula Creamer (71) and Angela Stanford (70), both of whom were 2 under.
 
So far, so good, Sorenstam said. We have a long ways to go.
 
Sorenstams day began with three straight birdies, and on a day where par seemed like a mystifying score for most players, that was enough to cement her status near the top of the leaderboard. Only seven players were under par through two rounds, with Meena Lee (71), Momeko Ueda (72) and Kyeong Bae (71) at 1 under to round out that elite group.
 
Its not easy out there, said Sorenstam, who finished the day with five birdies and one bogey. To get off to a good start like that, its important. It gives you a little more confidence for the day. Im very happy with the way I played today. I hit the ball extremely well. A lot of fairways, a lot of greens.
 
For almost everyone else, it was a battle.
 
The cut was 7 over, and even that wasnt enough to keep Morgan Pressel (74) around for the weekend at the tournament taking place about a half-hour south of her home. Pressel plays with the Stanford logo on her sleeve, and giant photos of her are plastered everywhere at Turnberry this week.
 
Theyll likely be the only visions of her near the course this weekend.
 
Pressel, who has battled her putting for weeks, three-putted the par-5 18th and finished 8 over.
 
Its like I never figured out that the greens are slow, said Pressel, battling her emotions a bit. And it cost me.
 
Carolina Llano, who was the last alternate into the field and ended the first round just two shots off the lead, shot an 80 to miss the cut. Natalie Gulbis missed what she thought was a critical birdie putt on her final hole, yet squeaked in on the number. Brittany Lincicome shot an 80 for the second straight day and finished 19 over.
 
Maybe the best illustration of how tough Turnberry has been so far: There were only seven players with five or more birdies on Friday, and at least 42 players with five or more bogeys or worse.
 
I thought the course played really tough today, said Juli Inkster, who shot a 71 on the Miller course and was seven shots behind through 36 holes at even par, putting her in a group that included, among others, Cristie Kerr (72), Christina Kim (71), Mi Hyun Kim (71) and Grace Park (69). Some of the pins, you just cant get to. I shot 1 over and hit some funky shots out there, but Im happy with that.
 
Theres two courses in use this week, the par-71 Soffer layout and the par-70 Miller track, with each Pro-Am team playing those courses once Thursday and Friday. For the third and fourth rounds, only the Soffer course will be used, and the team competition will end Saturday for those twosomes who made the cut in the best-ball handicap format.
 
Young Kim played the Soffer course for the first time Friday, and found it to her liking. The conditions, though, left her unable to recall much of her nearly flawless round.
 
I cannot remember it all, she said, because it was too windy.
 
Creamers hopes nearly blew away early. She had a share of the lead entering the second round. Three holes into the day, it was long gone. She opened bogey-bogey-double, but the worlds No. 4 player held on and salvaged the day, making birdies on two of her final three holes to stay somewhat near the two leaders.
 
Four over after three isnt the way you want to start on a golf course like this, Creamer said. Definitely not. Its so windy and the greens are so firm and the pin placements were a little bit ridiculous. It makes these rounds a lot longer than what they should be.
 
The pace was a bit better Friday: Instead of the six-hour rounds that some endured in the opening round, 5 1/2 -hour jaunts were more of the norm in the second round. With the Pro-Am field being trimmed to 20 teams for the third round, it figures to pick up considerably on Saturday.
 
The key is just to be patient, Sorenstam said.
 
Notes
 
Tennis star James Blake (playing with Creamer), and actor James Caan (playing with Christina Kim) both missed the Pro-Am cut. Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, who opened with a 91, rebounded with an 81 on Friday. Yani Tseng and Candie Kung both opened with 68s, but plummeted Friday. Tseng shot 77, Kung a 79.
 
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.