Wie hopes to build momentum at State Farm

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
State Farm Classic Logo 2007SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The field at this weeks State Farm LPGA Classic may be most notable for who its missing.
When play starts Thursday, there will be no Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam or Paula Creamer. In fact, only two of the tours top 10 money winners will be in Springfield.
That could open the field for one of the golfers behind the big-money winners ' eight of the top 25 money winners will play this week, including No. 6 Yani Tseng ' or, perhaps, for Michelle Wie.
The 18-year-old long-hitter, for years considered one of the next great players in womens golf, has never won a tournament, and is playing a handful this summer between sessions at Stanford.
Wie, though, says she doesnt pay any attention to whos at a tournament and who isnt.
All I look at is my game and the golf course, Wie said. All in all, you cant control the players, you cant control the conditions. All you can control is yourself and how you play.
Wie is coming off a 46th-place finish last week at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Ohio, shooting one over par for the tournament.
Last week, Wie left her driver and her long game in her bag for half of the tournament, saying the course and conditions swayed her to play shorter.
The golf course is very different this week, she said. Last week, you really couldnt hit it past 250 (yards), anywhere really.
It seems like a pretty fun golf course, she said after looking over the layout at Springfields Panther Creek Country Club. I can hit drivers here.
The State Farm Classic will be Wies sixth tournament this year. Her best finish so far is 24th, in June at the Wegmanns LPGA in Pittsford, N.Y.
The last time she played in Illinois was two years ago at the PGA TOUR's John Deere Classic where Wie withdrew from the tournament with what she said was heat exhaustion. She left the course on a stretcher.
Illinois in the summer time can be kind of mean, she quipped to reporters.
But she said she learned a lot from that experience ' water alone, she says she knows now, isnt enough in extreme temperatures ' and hopes to again play with the men, though she isnt sure when or where that might happen.
Its why I started playing golf, Wie said. Its what drives me. Its definitely in my mind right now.
While Wie hopes to build on last weeks 46th-place finish, Angela Stanford hopes to generate a little momentum on a solid ninth-place at the Jamie Farr.
That 8-under performance, Stanford said, followed a rough couple of months, a period in which she said she was pressing too much rather than just playing golf.
Last week was my first good week in a while, she said. I feel like my heads in the right spot.
Stanford said she hasnt paid much attention to the field ' she didnt get to Illinois until Wednesday after attending baseballs All Star Game Tuesday night in New York.
But shed prefer that all the top players be there.
If Im going to win, she said, I want to beat the best players.
A number of the games bigger names, she guessed, chose to skip Springfield because its the last stop before three straight tournaments outside the country ' the Evian Masters in France, the RICOH Womens British Open in England and the CN Canadian Womens Open in Ottawa.
Everybody wants to see the top players, Stanford said, but were really deep.

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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.

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    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.


    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.