Spotlight on Stacy P this Week in Tulsa

By Associated PressMay 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 SemGroup ChampionshipBROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- After topping the world rankings, Lorena Ochoa got a chance to celebrate in front of friends and family in her home country. This week, it's Stacy Prammanasudh's turn to showcase her game at home.
 
Off to the best start of her professional career, Prammanasudh returned to the Tulsa area this week for the SemGroup Championship at Cedar Ridge Country Club.
 
The former University of Tulsa star won her second career LPGA Tour title earlier this season and ranks only behind Ochoa in top-10 finishes (five), birdies (94) and the highest percentage of her rounds under par (64) this year. She's in the top five in the player of the year, money and ADT points standings.
 
'It definitely has been a good start,' Prammanasudh said Thursday. 'I cannot complain about my previous performances. But it is a long season and I'm not trying to get ahead of myself. You've just got to try to continue what you've been doing well and work on what you haven't been doing well in the past.'
 
Originally from Enid in northwestern Oklahoma, Prammanasudh had only six top-10 finishes in the first three years of her career before matching that total in 2006. She needs only one more to equal that total again this season.
 
'Obviously, I go into every event trying to win, and so does everybody else,' Prammanasudh said. 'But it's a very difficult thing to do is keep winning. You've just got to work hard and stay patient.'
 
Playing at what's essentially her home course, Prammanasudh expects 'a few extracurricular things' this week that she doesn't get at other tour stops. She said she doesn't play Cedar Ridge that often, but regularly visits the course to practice chipping and putting.
 
Prammanasudh expects a few extra autograph seekers and perhaps more 'Stacy P' followers than usual -- something Ochoa experienced with her fans last week when she made her debut at No. 1 and contended for the title at the Corona Morelia Championship in Mexico.
 
'I think there's a lot of pressure involved and you do want to make sure you play good, and it's like a very special and important week for you,' Ochoa said. 'But at the same time you just have to learn to enjoy it and not take it too seriously. Just be relaxed and play like it's any other week. They love you either way.'
 
The field lacks a clear-cut favorite. Cristie Kerr, who set a course record with a 61 in the first round last year, returns to defend her title, but three-time winner Annika Sorenstam and 2003 winner Karrie Webb won't be present.
 
That leaves Prammanasudh as a contender, at least in Ochoa's eyes.
 
'She can win any week,' Ochoa said. 'I think certain golf courses suit different players, and she's a phenomenal player. She hits the ball very consistent and a tight golf course like this one is always good.'
 
Despite the hometown connection, Prammanasudh has never cracked the top 20 in the tournament, which relocated from the Tulsa Country Club in 2004 and moved from September to May this year to separate it from the PGA Championship to be played across town in August.
 
But Prammanasudh's other appearances came before a turnaround earlier this season that followed her first formal golf lessons, a change in putters, and her husband, Pete Upton, replacing her father, Lou, as her caddie.
 
That's allowed the couple to take in movies and an ATV tour in Hawaii earlier this year when she won the Fields Open for her first victory since the 2005 Franklin American Mortgage Championship.
 
'Traveling is a lot more enjoyable because there's someone to share different experiences with, so we're having a great time,' Prammanasudh said.
 
But on the course, it's all business. Upton, who prompted the change by mentioning he'd like to try his hand as his wife's caddie, took some pointers from Prammanasudh's father before taking over on the bag.
 
'I'm out there to do my thing,' Prammanasudh said. 'So I don't really speak to Pete much, and he knows that. He's played and watched me play competitive golf and so he knew that going in.'
 
The success so far this season has made the transition a smooth one.
 
'When you're playing well, things are going great, it's easy out there,' Prammanasudh said. 'When you're having an off week, it's a little difficult but you've just got to know going into it that you've got to leave the golf and work at the golf course.'
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.