Sorenstams LPGA career ends with missed cut

By Associated PressNovember 21, 2008, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. ' Standing in the center of a sun-drenched 18th green, as waves of cheers rippled from a packed gallery, Annika Sorenstam hugged caddie Terry McNamara and took the flag from his hand.
 
She held it high, like a conquering hero, then slammed it into the hole.
 
Its over, she said.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam said goodbye Friday at the ADT Championship. (Getty Images)
Sorenstams tour career presumably ended Friday afternoon, when she failed to qualify for the third round of the ADT Championship. She shot a 3-over 75, putting her at 5 over for the week ' two shots away from surviving the cut from 32 down to 16 for Saturday, after which the field will be pared in half again before the final round battle for $1 million.
 
All of a sudden, the time is here, Sorenstam said. Youre standing there on the 18th fairway and its your last approach shot in an LPGA event. A lot of thoughts go through your head and whats been the coolest thing this week is all these people who showed up that I dont know, my fans.
 
They showed up in droves Friday. When Sorenstam was on the 16th tee, hundreds crowded around her and playing partner Laura Diaz. At the same moment, about 100 feet away on the 11th tee, a gallery of exactly nine people watched a South Korean twosome.
 
Everyone wanted to see history, in case it really was the final round of Sorenstams 72-win, Hall of Fame LPGA career.
 
Even Lorena Ochoa ' the defending ADT champion, who also didnt advance to the weekend ' showed up at the 18th green to give her friend and rival a farewell hug.
 
I cant imagine how shes doing right now, Ochoa said. But I guess it will come for all of us at one point. So we can only say that we enjoyed having her and thank you for everything.
 
Sorenstam won the ADT four times, but never reached the weekend in the unusual double-cut, erase-the-scores format, and knew shed have to make up some ground Friday. She just never got it going.
 
I was hoping to shoot par or better today, Sorenstam said.
 
Par would have been good enough.
 
Sorenstam missed a makable birdie putt on the opening hole, then split the fairway with a long drive on the second. But her approach nestled in long, dew-soaked grass short and right of the green, and her chip advanced the ball only a few feet, leaving her with a 25-footer for par.
 
Sorenstam wound up needing three putts to finish that hole, then strung together six straight pars before making bogey on the ninth. On the 10th, she created some hope with a birdie but, barring a comeback, that was the last of her career.
 
I hope she would come back, but I dont think so, said Tom Sorenstam, Annikas father, who was there every step of the way Friday, as was mother Gunilla, who clenched a half-empty bottle of champagne behind the 18th green. But she never tells me anything.
 
Katherine Hull shot 71 to get to 5 under, making her the leader after two rounds, a fact that will be completely irrelevant Saturday morning. The scorecards of the surviving 16 all get erased for the third round, and will again when the final eight play Sunday.
 
Angela Stanford finished 4 under, one shot ahead of Christina Kim, In-Kyung Kim and Paula Creamer, who was up most of the night before with the flu but shot her second straight 71.
 
This is one of the hardest rounds Ive ever had to play, said Creamer, who will win the season money title if she wins the tournament.
 
Others who advanced included Jeong Jang, Angela Park, Seon Hwa Lee, Ji-Yai Shin, Helen Alfredsson, Eun-Hee Ji (who was 7 over on her final three holes and got through anyway), Jee Young Lee, Suzann Pettersen, Sun Young Yoo, Karen Stupples and Karrie Webb.
 
Only one of this years four major champions reached the weekend: Shin won the British Open.
 
Plenty of star power drove off Friday afternoon, including regular Trump International players Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel, the world No. 1 in Ochoa and LPGA champion Yani Tseng.
 
Certainly the two biggest names are out and Im sure ADT is not happy about that, Pressel said.
 
Another major winner left Thursday, when U.S. Open champion Inbee Park withdrew after 14 holes.
 
It was just a tough week, Ochoa said. Hard to concentrate.
 
Certainly that was the case for Sorenstam, who isnt walking away from the game quite yet. Shell arrive in Singapore on Monday, play the Dubai Ladies Masters in three weeks and deliver the commencement address at the University of Arizona ' her old school ' on Dec. 20.
 
The good thing is, I have a lot of fun things ahead of me, she said.
 
For starters, there was dinner with her parents and some family Friday night. Then a quick trip home to Orlando, where shed pack for Singapore and Dubai. And therell be some more stories and tears, both of which dotted her ADT week with regularity.
 
Most tour players believe shell be back, someday, and Sorenstam isnt shy about saying its tempting.
 
Theres part of me that wants to stay here and enjoy it a little more, Sorenstam said, her voice getting softer with every word. I wish I could say goodbye to the people that made plans to come tomorrow. But I hope to see them again, another time.
 
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.