Sorenstams international squad tied at Lexus Cup
Sorenstam, set to end her Hall of Fame career next week in the Ladies European Tours Dubai Ladies Masters, is the International teams playing captain.
Of course, Im disappointed not to get a point, but we played good golf, Sorenstam said. We have to regroup and try to get the next two points. Its a team effort and Im just glad I have a solid team that can pick me up.
The teams will play six best-ball matches Saturday and the competition will conclude Sunday with 12 singles matches.
The Asian teams of Song Hee Kim and Inbee Park, and Yani Tseng and Seon Hwa Lee also opened with victories on the Singapore Island Country Clubs Bukit Course.
Kim and Park beat Helen Alfredsson and Christina Kim 3 and 2, and Tseng and Lee held off Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis 2 and 1. Lee is 7-0-0 in the event.
I think me and Yani made a really good team, Lee said. She hit it far. I had a good short game. We matched up. She hit it solid today in the fairway and I hit really good iron shots today and made a couple birdies.
The International teams of Cristie Kerr-Karen Stupples, Paula Creamer-Nicole Castrale and Katherine Hull-Nikki Campbell won their matches.
Creamer and Castrale edged Asian captain Se Ri Pak and Eun Hee Ji 2-up.
Its hard to focus on your game when youre focusing on your group, Pak said. At the same time, Im not happy about losing it. It happened. I tried to do well. Theres two days to go. Were happy with the results. We have a great team.
Creamer has an inflamed abdominal wall that left her hospitalized Saturday night and nearly forced her to withdraw from the final round of the ADT Championship.
I struggled, Creamer said. It was hard with the medications in the sun and the heat, probably not the best mixture for your body. It was a good match. Playing against Se Ri, always nice to beat the captain.
Kerr and Stupples beat Sarah Lee and Na Yeon Choi 2 and 1.
It was awesome, Stupples said. We had it all worked out really well today, who was drawing and who was fading. Cristie is a great partner to play with. She kept me in it. I was a bit nervous at times out there.
The Australian duo of Hull and Campbell beat Japans Namika Omata and Mayumi Shimomura 3 and 1.
It had been a while since Id played foursomes, so, I must admit, it took a while to get a rhythm out there, Hull said. We did well considering, and its great to get a point on the board. Anytime you can get at least half a point is good. Were looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully get another point on the board.
Asia won 15-9 last year at The Vines in Perth, Australia, for its second straight victory. The International team won the inaugural matches 16-8 in 2005 at Tenah Merah in Singapore, and Asia won 12 1/2 -11 1/2 at Tenah Merah in 2006.
Overall, we are very pleased with the performance, Sorenstam said. There were some great matches out there, some great golf overall. We had some teams that clicked very well, which was fun to see. It was a good atmosphere out there and Im very proud of the team. It was way better than last year.
Kung and Jang took a 4-up lead over Sorenstam and Stanford with a birdie on No. 11.
We played great together, Kung said. We had a good plan. She is a much better putter than me, so we let her do that and she did her job.
The Asian team dropped 14 and 15, but won 16 with a par to end the match.
She was helping me a lot and, hopefully, I was helping her, Jang said.
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
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
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
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.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
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."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “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. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
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.
Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder
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