Wie Three Back Annika Reeling

By Associated PressMarch 26, 2004, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Dottie Pepper, a two-time champion, carded a 2-under 70 on Friday to share the second-round lead with Jung Yeon Lee at the LPGA Tour's first major of 2004, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
 
Lee, who posted a 3-under 69 in the second round, and Pepper are tied at 6-under-par 138 at Mission Hills Country Club.
 
Former champion Karrie Webb (71), overnight leader Aree Song (73) and Wendy Doolan (69) share third place. The trio is knotted at 5-under-par 139, one shot behind the co-leaders.
 
Friday's rounds lasted over six hours and Lee's playing partners, Nanci Bowen and Heather Daly-Donofrio, who were the last group, elected to mark their putts on 18 instead of finishing. Those two will return to the course at 9:45 AM (ET) Saturday, then the 36-hole cut and the third round.
 
Annika Sorenstam stated at the beginning of this 2004 campaign that one of her goals was to win the single-season Grand Slam. That is in serious jeopardy as she struggled to a 4-over 76 and is tied for 37th place at 3 over par for the championship.
 
'There's two days and I've come back from further behind in one day,' said Sorenstam, who won this title in 2001-02.
 
Michelle Wie, who played in the last group on Sunday in last year's event, managed an even-par 72 on Friday and is part of a group in seventh place at 3-under-par 141.
 
'I'm happy I shot even-par because it could have been worse,' acknowledged Wie, who played in the Sony Open in Hawaii on the PGA Tour earlier this season.
 
It was a difficult day for most as cooler temperatures and higher winds made the round different from Thursday, when it was warm and relatively calm.
 
Wie tallied three bogeys and three birdies in her round on Friday, but her putting was suspect. At the first, she missed the green, then two-putted from nine feet. She also two-putted for bogeys from eight feet and 15 feet at the eighth and 17th holes, respectively.
 
Wie, 14, collected a pair of birdies in a three-hole span starting at the fourth, then reached the green in two and two-putted for birdie from 30 feet at the 11th.
 
Wie is now five strokes ahead of her pace from last year, when she tied for ninth.
 
'I'm happy with that,' said Wie. 'This year's conditions feel a lot harder than last year, where it was perfect conditions. This year it's a little windy and I'm very proud of myself.'
 
While Wie is one of the big stories this week, she still has ground to make up on the leaders.
 
Pepper, who won this event in 1992 and 1999, began the round two shots behind Song and wasted little time in cutting into the deficit. Pepper reached the green in two at the par-5 second and two-putted from 45 feet for birdie.
 
Pepper tallied her second birdie of the round at the fourth hole when she knocked a 4-iron to 25 feet and canned the putt. She parred her next five holes before a 25-foot birdie putt at the 10th took her to 7 under par for the championship.
 
Her first miscue of the round came at the par-4 12th. Pepper missed the green with a 5-iron at the 385-yard hole and hit a poor chip that stopped 12 feet from the hole. She missed the par-saving putt, but was still atop the leaderboard.
 
Pepper hit a spectacular shot at the par-3 17th that finished four feet past the hole. The putt had a lot of break and with the wind howling, Pepper missed the short putt.
 
Pepper was not able to birdie the par-5 closing hole, but this is still a huge step. She missed basically all of the 2002 season after shoulder surgery and last year battled a painful sinus condition that kept her out of action for most of the year.
 
'More than anything, I'm happy to be healthy,' said Pepper, who still owns the tournament scoring record at 19-under-par 269 when she won in '99. 'I needed to keep playing and then you come to a tournament like this, where it's not a birdie fest and where the conditions are tough and it played right into what my preparation had been.'
 
Lee, a 25-year-old Korean, birdied her first three holes and added a fourth birdie on her front side at the seventh. Things came apart a bit for Lee on the back nine as she missed a five-footer for par at the 14th and drove into the rough en route to another bogey at 16.
 
Lee hit a 5-iron to seven feet which set up birdie at No. 17. Now tied with Pepper, Lee was the only member of her playing trio to finish up the 18th.
 
'I don't want to wait until tomorrow morning so I just kept playing,' said Lee. 'Everything is fine. I'm chipping well, my putting was very good and my driver was pretty far and straight.'
 
Rosie Jones is alone in sixth place at minus-4, followed by Wie, Grace Park (69) and Mi-Hyun Kim (70), who are tied at 3-under-par 141.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Kraft Nabisco Championship

  • Full Coverage - Kraft Nabisco Championship
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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.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.