Trio Lead Pressel Webb One Back - COPIED

By Associated PressJune 8, 2007, 4:00 pm
McDonalds LPGAHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- Michelle Wie never took her driver out of the bag, trying to make it through the opening round of the LPGA Championship with an easy swing and smart decisions, both of which have been in short supply lately.
 
'It's a tough strategy for her,' swing coach David Leadbetter said as he followed her around Thursday. 'It's like owning a Ferrari and not being allowed to get out of second gear.'
 
The good news for Wie is that the car didn't go off the road.
 
After a tumultuous week of criticism that put Wie under more pressure than she has faced in any round, the 17-year-old from Hawaii recovered from a sloppy start with three birdies in a four-hole stretch and a couple of key pars late in her round of 1-over 73, leaving her six shots behind the leaders but in decent shape to stay all four days at Bulle Rock.
 
'I built a lot of confidence over this round,' said Wie, whose handlers limited her to five questions. 'It's a work in progress, and hopefully it's going to get better and better.'
 
Former U.S. Women's Open champion Birdie Kim came to life with a 5-under 67, leaving her atop the leaderboard at Bulle Rock with rookie Angela Park and Kim Saiki-Maloney.
 
Morgan Pressel got off to a good start in her bid for the second leg of the Grand Slam with a 68, joining seven-time major champion Karrie Webb and Laura Davies, who could qualify for the Hall of Fame with a victory in this major.
 
But the focus was on Wie and cloud of criticism around her the last week.
 
She withdrew after 16 holes last week at the Ginn Tribute, citing a wrist injury, showed up at Bulle Rock two days later to hit balls, then got sassy with Annika Sorenstam and LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens when they questioned her conduct.
 
'I don't think I need to apologize for anything,' Wie said earlier this week.
 
There was no need to apologize for her score.
 
Some thought she might withdraw again when she summoned a rules official on her sixth hole, the par-5 15th, to ask permission for her therapist to work on her wrist. Wie had just hit three shots out of deep rough in her previous four full swings, and said it hurt. She kept playing, though, and wound up in a tie for 47th.
 
'I played smartly,' Wie said.
 
Se Ri Pak also shot 73, and her smile was never brighter.
 
The defending champion officially logged her 10th tournament of the year, marking her 10th season on the LPGA Tour, and that was all she needed to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. At 29, Pak will be the youngest member when she's inducted in November.
 
Several players from South Korea lined the back of the interview room, a fitting tribute to their pioneer. The McDonald's LPGA Championship was her first LPGA victory in 1998, and she went on to 23 victories and five majors.
 
'I don't think I can ask for anything more at this moment,' Pak said. 'I'm a very lucky person.'
 
Sorenstam, in her second tournament since neck and back problems forced her out of competition for two months, opened with a 70. Lorena Ochoa was in the group at 71.
 
Sorenstam fueled the Wie criticism earlier this week by saying the teenager showed a lack of class and respect by pulling out of the Ginn -- where Sorenstam was the tournament host -- and coming to the next tournament to hit balls.
 
There also was speculation Wie withdrew to avoid shooting 88, which would ban her from the LPGA Tour the rest of the year because of a policy for non-tour members.
 
Bivens said the LPGA did not recommend to the Wie camp that she withdraw to avoid 'Rule 88,' although she confirmed she spoke to Wie's father and agent about conduct she would not disclose.
 
And she backed Sorenstam's criticism.
 
'I think that leaving the tournament and coming to practice when one had pulled out with a wrist injury was not very respectful, and that's what Annika and what some of the other members are responding to,' Bivens said.
 
'Every person who tees it up on the LPGA signs a registration form that says they are bound by the rules and regulations of the LPGA. It's a privilege, and it is not a right.'
 
Wie teed off about 30 minutes later, and while it was the first time she failed to break par at Bulle Rock, there were few complaints.
 
'It was great today,' she said. 'It's definitely not where I want to be. I hit some great shots out there today.'
 
Even without the driver, she only hit five fairways and 11 greens in regulation.
 
She was 2 over through five holes when it got ugly.
 
Her 3-wood missed the fairway some 40 yards to the right, in wispy grass up to her knees. Wie slashed out to the rough framing the right side of the fairway, then hacked that one over a small ravine to the fairway, eventually making double bogey to go 4 over.
 
That's when she summoned Leanne Quinn, her trainer and therapist, to massage her wrist. Quinn wound up working on her a half-dozen times, later in the 5 1/2 -hour round massaging the right wrist.
 
Leadbetter said the plan was to not hit driver because longer clubs put more stress on her wrist. He still noticed the mechanics way off in her swing, and was pleased with how she salvaged a 73.
 
'She's hitting shots I've never seen her hit,' Leadbetter said.
 
But she finally made a few putts, and they were key.
 
It started with a fairway bunker shot to 8 feet for birdie, and birdie putts of about 12 feet on the 18th and first holes. Equally key were the par saves, from 10 feet on the sixth and 6 feet on the seventh. She got her last birdie on the par-5 eighth, driving into a bunker, laying up and spinning a wedge back to 6 inches. She walked up to the green with a smile, a rarity Thursday until the round was over.
 
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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

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    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

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''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.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    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.