Swede Alfredsson wins in China

By Associated PressOctober 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
Grand China Air LPGAHAIKOU, China ' Helen Alfredsson gets a kick out of calling herself Grandma, particularly when it suits her.
It did Sunday.
The 43-year-old Swede shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday to win the Grand China Air tournament, beating 19-year-old Yani Tseng of Taiwan by three strokes for her second victory of the season.
Alfredsson joked about her age earlier this season after winning the Evian Masters for the third time. She was at it again after this victory, taking a good-natured jab at Tseng, who won the LPGA Championship this season as a rookie.
Today I said to her, You got beat by a grandma. You need to start beating her, she said.
Alfredsson, Europes 2007 Solheim Cup captain, trailed second-round leader Karen Stupples by five strokes entering the final round of the 54-hole event, the first LPGA tournament in China.
She ran off six birdies on the first 10 holes. The final one in that surge gave her the outright lead, moving her to 11 under for the tournament and a stroke clear of Stupples. She went to 13 under with birdies on 14 and 17. Alfredsson played three groups ahead of the final threesome, and left the door slightly open with a poor chip and a dropped shot at 18.
I was certain at that point, Alfredsson said. I was 4 up and I didnt have huge pressure on me for the chip shot. But it was not a great shot. But its great to be on 18 and have a four-shot lead.
Alfredsson finished at 12-under 204 after opening rounds of 70 and 69. The victory was worth $270,000, pushing her career earnings past $5 million.
Tseng also started five back. She finished with a 68 to go with rounds of 72 and 67. It was the fifth time this season shes been the runner-up.
Laura Diaz of the United States, the first-round leader after a 63, had a round of 72 and was four back. Stupples of England was five off the pace with a 75.
Young Kim of South Korea had a 71, six back, and Chinas Shanshan Feng carded a 68 and finished seven behind. Feng is the only Chinese player on the LPGA Tour.
Diaz and Stupples were trying to end victory droughts. Stupples hasnt won in four years, and Diaz in six. They both crashed on the back nine, where Stupples had four bogeys and Diaz had three.
Alfredsson said shes likely to play only another year or two, joining fellow Swede Annika Sorenstam, who will step away from golf after this season. But she still gets pleasure beating players who are decades younger, like Tseng.
They dont want to get beat by us because we are so old, and we still want to beat them because they are so young, Alfredsson said.
Alfredsson praised American stars like Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer, and a young group of South Koreans like Seon-hwa Lee, Inbee Park and In-kyung Kim.
She added Tseng and Feng to the list, suggesting China could become a power in womens golf. This event is on the LPGA schedule for next season, although the venue has not been announced.
Im so happy Im not going to be on tour when all the Chinese girls come out, Alfredsson said. Ill be retired. They (Chinese) have a great work ethic, and obviously I think its great theyve seen the Korean girls being very successful. So its just a matter of time.
Tseng was the crowd favorite at the West Coast Golf Club, located on Chinas tropical island of Hainan. Conditions were sultry Sunday, broken only by a light breeze off the Strait of Qiongzhou, which links the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea.
Earlier this season, Sorenstam, who finished 10 off the pace with a 72 on Sunday, said Tseng would be the No. 1-ranked player in three seasons.
That was very exciting, Tseng said Sunday. I cant believe she would say that because she is my idol. I dont want her to be disappointed so I will work hard.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.