US Maintains Slim Lead on Day 2

By Associated PressSeptember 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- Another set of matches are in the books at the Solheim Cup and the Americans are still winning. Yet, once again, it feels as if the Europeans have a stranglehold on this event.
 
For the second straight day, Europe overcame nasty weather and late deficits to earn ties in two of four matches that had looked decidedly lost.
 
Instead of a big hole to climb out of, Europe split the four points in Saturday morning's windblown foursome matches and entered the afternoon fourball trailing only 6 1/2 -5 1/2 .
 
The start of play was delayed by more than two hours because of 40 mph gusts that toppled fences overnight and had golf balls oscillating on the greens when the players arrived to warm up. The weather wasn't much better when they finally took to the course.
 
On Friday, Europe's comeback was sparked by Laura Davies, whose fantastic 50-foot par save on No. 16 helped earn a tie. That, along with another half-point in a comeback by Annika Sorenstam, kept Europe within a point after the first day.
 
On Saturday, it was McDonalds LPGA champion Suzann Pettersen who came up with the most memorable shot. Standing in the rough to the left of the 18th fairway, she played a big hook around some trees in her path and nearly skimmed the flagstick with a shot that stopped 4 feet from the hole.
 
Her teammate, Sophie Gustafson, made the putt to win the hole and earn a half-point in the match that Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer led after 17 holes.
 
Moments earlier, Maria Hjorth and Gwladys Nocera finished a rally from two holes down with three to play for a tie against Americans Sherri Steinhauer and Laura Diaz. Steinhauer missed a 3-foot putt that would have won the match, then Hjorth followed by making one of about the same length to complete the comeback.
 
Meanwhile, the Americans were en route to a rousing comeback of their own when Nicole Castrale and Cristie Kerr won four of five holes down the stretch against Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew to take their match from 5 down to the 18th hole.
 
But Castrale's 6-foot birdie putt to tie barely curled out while Matthew made a testy 3-footer for par to help the Europeans escape with their lone victory of the morning.
 
The Americans also got a 4-and-2 victory from Pat Hurst and Angela Stanford over Iben Tinning and Bettina Hauert in the only match that didn't come down to the 18th hole.
 
Indeed, not all the news was bad for the Americans. They have always been better at singles than the team games. The last two Solheim Cups they won came without having the lead heading into the final day.
 
There's a good chance they will have the lead heading into Sunday. Because of the weather delay, afternoon matches didn't start until 3:45 p.m. local time, meaning there was virtually no chance of completing the fourballs by dark.
 
Tournament officials planned to resume play early Sunday, then try to get in all 12 singles matches. The forecast Sunday called for calmer wind with a chance of rain.
 
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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


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    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.


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    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

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    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.


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    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.