Sorenstam Wie Headline in Arizona

By Associated PressMarch 16, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Safeway International presented by CokeSUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- Annika Sorenstam always wants to take on the toughest competition, and she's ready to include teenager Michelle Wie in that class.
 
'I love to play against the best in the world, and whoever comes here and plays good golf, I want to compete against,' Sorenstam said Tuesday as she prepared for the at the Safeway International, where she'll be trying for her fourth straight victory and second this year.
 
'So if it's Michelle or Se Ri Pak or Grace Park or Paula Creamer, it really doesn't matter. I just want to come here and try to play good golf.'
 
Good golf is what it will take against Wie, who is trying to become the youngest ever to win an LPGA event. The 6-foot teenager from Hawaii made a strong showing in her LPGA season debut, tying Christie Kerr for second at Turtle Bay Resort last month.
 
Her finest finish in four years of part-time play on the LPGA game the 15-year-old an instant boost of confidence.
 
'Over those years I got to know a lot of players and got to know a lot of the golf courses, the atmosphere,' Wie said. 'It's actually really fun out here.
 
'And I think more of the players are looking at me as a competitor ... .not as, like, an amateur.'
 
Sorenstam won the 57th title of her career two weeks ago in Mexico. She won four of her last six events in 2004, finishing with a rush that led to her seventh LPGA player of the year award - tying Kathy Whitworth for the most ever. She also had the lowest scoring average (68.6970) in history.
 
After winning more than $15.7 million in little over 11 years on the LPGA Tour, Sorenstam's ultimate goal is adding to her collection of seven major titles.
 
That's why she takes Wie seriously.
 
This event on the outskirts of Phoenix leads into next week's Kraft Nabisco Championship, the year's first major, and Sorenstam has firsthand knowledge of Wie's nerveless play in big tournaments.
 
In 2003, Wie, playing in her first major, turned up in the final group of the Kraft Nabisco with Sorenstam and eventual winner Patricia Meunier-Lebouc. Last year, Wie finished fourth in the event, four shots ahead of Sorenstam.
 
'Michelle brings a lot of attention to the tour,' Sorenstam said. 'I think that's wonderful. So business-wise, I think she's a great asset to the LPGA.'
 
Wie, who doesn't turn 16 until Oct. 11, still has nearly three full seasons to win her first LPGA championship and replace Marlene Hagge as the tour's youngest winner. Hagge got her initial win at 18.
 
Wie has no doubt that she'll get there - and go a lot farther.
 
Asked if her goal was to earn the No. 1 ranking that Sorenstam currently holds, she said that might not be enough.
 
'I just really don't know,' Wie said. 'Winning 50 times and maybe winning 100 times (the LPGA record is 88 by Kathy Whitworth). I mean, winning is fun, but, I just want to try something new. I know it sounds kind of ridiculous right now, but playing in men's events, doing something different.'
 
Wie's youthful exuberance let up when asked about Sorenstam, though. She credited the intense, collected Swede for inspiring her to keep improving.
 
'The way she plays is just flawless,' Wie said. 'And it seems so easy, but it isn't.'
 
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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."

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    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