Stanford Outright Leader in Tennessee

By Associated PressMay 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Angela Stanford used strong iron play to take a one-stroke lead in the Franklin American Mortgage Championship, shooting a 5-under 67 on Friday on the Vanderbilt Legends Club's Ironhorse Course.
 
Stanford, who shared the lead with Beth Bader after the first round, had five birdies and an eagle in the second round, but made two bogeys while pressing too hard on the greens for some more birdies.
 
Sophie Gustafson
Sophie Gustafson had nine birdies and no bogeys Friday.
'Sometimes when I really want to make a birdie, I hit it a little bit harder than I should,' Stanford said. 'I just completely got out of the moment and really wanted to make that last one. I really wanted to go to 14 and just hit the first putt way too hard.'
 
Stanford, who led wire-to-wire in her lone tour victory in 2003 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, has strung together consecutive rounds in the 60s for the first time this season for a 12-under 132 total.
 
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (66) was 11 under, and Sophie Gustafson, who carded a career-low 63, was 10 under. Karrie Webb (68), Karin Sjodin (64) and Wendy Ward (66) were tied at 135, Cristie Kerr (69) was among four tied at 136, and Lorena Ochoa (71) and Grace Park (72) were six strokes back.
 
Stanford may be best remembered for sinking a long birdie putt on the final hole of regulation in the 2003 U.S. Women's Open, then losing to Hilary Lunke on the 18th playoff hole.
 
She said that performance carried her through 2003 and drove up her own expectations.
 
'I haven't done much since. Nobody else will say that but me. Maybe they will. But I really haven't. I think I've put a lot of added pressure on myself,' Stanford said.
 
Stanford did record two top 10s in 2004 and had a tie for third in 2005. Then she started working on a swing change that had her unsure just what yardage she was hitting her clubs, hitting over greens in Atlanta last month before she started seeing results last week.
 
Starting five strokes back of Meunier-Lebouc, Stanford had to deal with gusty wind after the morning groups played through a soft rain.
 
Stanford showed just how dialed in her swing is by hitting irons to 3 feet to set up five birdies, and she set up a two-putt for eagle on the par-5, 470-yard seventh after hitting a 7-wood 20 feet past the flag.
 
Her bogeys came when she three-putted from 15 feet on the par-4 17th and on the par-4 ninth -- her last hole -- with a two-putt after hitting a 9-iron to 15 feet.
 
'Out here, you have to be, or you're going to get lapped. You've got Karrie Webb and Lorena just to name a few that are just on fire this year, so you can't afford to sit on a lead,' Stanford said.
 
Meunier-Lebouc and Gustafson were grouped together and fed off each other's aggressiveness.
 
'It was like easy. We make birdies everywhere,' Meunier-Lebouc said. 'That doesn't happen very often, though. It was fun. You have to enjoy every moment because it (does) not happen every day.'
 
Meunier-Lebouc had a bogey-free round with six birdies thanks to her chipping. She holed a chip from 27 feet for birdie on the par-4, 396-yard sixth and set up birdies on two par 5s, Nos. 7 and 18, by chipping to 9 and 3 feet.
 
The key to Gustafson's magnificent round with nine birdies and no bogeys apparently was giving away the putter she blamed for a 71 in the first round to an autograph seeker.
 
'The other one was absolutely rubbish,' Gustafson said.
 
Switching back made all the difference as Gustafson rolled in three 18-footers and a 30-footer for birdie. She also two-putted from 45 feet for birdie on No. 7.
 
Divots:
Speaking of Lunke, she missed the even-par cut at 12 over, her sixth this year. ... Meunier-Lebouc chose to play here instead of Las Vegas because of an e-mail from the town mayor. She and her husband had stayed in Mayor Tom Miller's home in her last visit here in 2002 when this tournament had a different name and sponsor. ... How much might Gustafson's old putter be worth? 'Well, I don't know. You can see if you can find it on eBay,' she said.
 
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  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.