Wie Struggles in LPGA Return

By Associated PressMay 8, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Michelob Ultra Open at KingsmillWILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The booming drives were there, but more often than not, Michelle Wie didnt know where they were going in her first round on the LPGA Tour since February.
 
The best scores, as usual, belonged to just about everyone else'a course record-tying 63 by Scotlands Mhairi McKay, and a potential battle looming between Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam in the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill.
 
Once the most heralded young player in the womens game, Wie managed just one birdie in a zig-zagging 4-over 75 on a soggy day, even as the River Course yielded its fourth 8-under 63 in six years, 64s to Sorenstam and Sun Young Yoo, and 65s to Ochoa and Diana DAlessio.
 
Six others were three off the pace, and there were eight more four behind.
 
While 90 players in the field of 144 shot par or better, Wie was lucky to get off as easily as she did. She pulled her drive on the par-5 seventh, and only a tree kept it from flying out of bounds. She hit into the greenside rough on the par-3 13th, and it kicked onto the green. She hit her drive way right on the wide open par-4 14th, and another tree knocked it down.
 
Still, she took the half-full approach to her first round on tour since the Fields Open in Hawaii, where she made the cut but finished in a tie for last, 20 strokes off the pace.
 
I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well, she said, considering the rust. There were a couple of shots here and there where I felt like if I play a couple more tournaments or had more experience under my belt, it would come out a little differently. But, like I said, Im hitting the ball solid. I just have to work out a couple of other things for tomorrow.
 
Wie could have at least been encouraged by her putting. She had only two reasonable birdie putts all day, making a 5-footer and missing from 15 feet, but several times made par-saving putts from 3-5 feet. Without many birdie chances, that was about as good as it got.
 
I just think its going to come around anytime, Wie insisted. Im not far off.
 
Shell have to get there fast to stick around for the weekend, especially with top-ranked Ochoa and No. 2 Sorenstam off to fast starts in a tournament neither has won.
 
Sorenstam, coming off a playoff victory over Paula Creamer two weeks ago in the Stanford International Pro-Am, had seven birdies in a bogey-free round.
 
I havent shot this low all year, so it feels good to get off to a good start here, a place that I really like a lot and havent played so well, she said.
 
Very solid. Lots of fairways, lots of greens. Just good golf.
 
Sorenstam played with Ochoa and defending champion Suzann Pettersen (71) and was 4 under through eight holes, the kind of start that she hopes will lead to big things.
 
I think my game fits this course, she said of the 6,315-yard layout, where her best finish is sixth. Why I havent played well here in the past, Im not really sure.
 
Ochoa, a three-time runner-up here, had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys in her first event since her winning streak was halted at four last weekend. She moved into a tie for third with DAlessio with three consecutive birdies on the back nine, just before a par-par finish.
 
Early morning rain and intermittent drizzle made scoring necessary, she said.
 
You got to take advantage of that, she said.
 
Playing with Sorenstam only highlighted the need to attack flags, she said.
 
It keeps you motivated to play good and make birdies, she said.
 
McKay avoided trouble all day in a bogey-free 63, and even turned her only errant tee shot of the day into a birdie. It came at the par-4 14th, where her drive came to rest under a tree, but she hit a punch 6-iron that skidded up onto the green, 20 feet from the cup.
 
She made that putt, and several others, thanks to a tip from her brother, who caddied for her last weekend at the Scottish Open and thought she was standing up too soon on putts.
 
Definitely helped me, she said.
 
Yoo played in the afternoon, and closed with four consecutive birdies.
 
I didnt realize I could be like this, so I really feel good, she said.
 
DAlessio played with Wie, and came up with the shot of the day'a 7-iron from 134 yards out on the par-4 16th that landed about 5 feet short of the hole, hopped and rolled in.
 
My caddie yelled, `Go in and it did, she said. She needs to do that more often.
 
Besides the eagle, she had five birdies and two bogeys.
 
While she was celebrating the shot, Wie was walking toward the green, where she followed a pulled drive with a shot that went far right into greenside rough. From there, she chipped across the green onto the fringe, pounding her wedge in frustration, and then two-putted.
 
The 18-year-old got high marks for composure from her playing partner.
 
She kept herself very composed, which was good to see, DAlessio said.
 
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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.