Annika Needs a Rally - COPIED - COPIED

By Brian HewittNovember 21, 2008, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. ' After 72 LPGA victories, 17 international wins, and a Hall of Fame career that included a stunning 59, Annika Sorenstams swan song in America has been reduced to 18 holes that more closely resemble the final round of Q-School.
 
And isnt that more than just a little incongruous?
 
Yes, folks, Annika Sorenstam, arguably the best female ever to swing a golf club, has to climb into the top 16 by end of business Friday at the ADT Championship or her competitive career, at least for now, is finished.
 
You cant really practice this format, Sorenstam said Thursday after carding a disappointing 2-over 74 that would have been even worse if she hadnt birdied two of her last five holes. I didnt perform today.
 
Which means she must perform much better Friday if she wants to advance in this unique format that pares the 32-player field to 16 after 36 holes. Sorenstam is currently tied for 23rd with two other players, six shots behind leader Katherine Hull.
 
Sorenstam is a four-time winner of this event, but not since the format changed drastically in 2006. The smart money at tricky Trump International late Thursday was guessing that a Friday 69 would get Sorenstam to the weekend.
 
But she will have to start putting better on The Donalds fast and tricky greens. Its been like this for the last six months, Annika said. But Im making zero putts. Neither of her two birdie efforts was longer than 10 feet. Suffering with Annika was a decidedly pro-Sorenstam gallery that included her father, Tom Sorenstam; her agent, Mark Steinberg; and her fianc, Mike McGee.
 
All 16 players who survive Friday will begin at level par Saturday. The ADT format then calls for a cut from 16 players to eight before Sundays virtual winner-take-all final round. And again, all eight players Sunday will start out even.
 
Very funny, yeah, really funny, said South Koreas Ji-Yai Shin when asked about the format. Shin is tied with In-Kyung Kim, one back of Hull.
 
The good news for Sorenstam, who has two more events outside the U.S. in 2008 before getting married Jan. 11, is that the winner will walk away with a cool million. Second place money drops all the way down to $100,000. Third place pays a measly $20,500.
 
Sorenstam did not look at a leaderboard all day and wouldnt learn until later that world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, at 3 over, was in an even more precarious position than she was. Im going to need to work harder, Ochoa said.
 
Hull is an Australian who admits that length off the tee isnt her strength. But she strung together a pair of nine-hole 34s that added up to 68 and sole possession of the lead.
 
Like just about everybody else here who believes Sorenstam wont play in 2009 but will return to the LPGA, perhaps after starting a family, Hull had an opinion. I dont think shes retiring actually, Hull said. I think shes too much of a competitor to really walk away from the game.
 
Which is precisely why Thursdays 74, despite a ball-striking effort that produced 14 greens in regulation, was so frustrating for Sorenstam. I was trying to enjoy this, she said. But I have too much competitiveness in my blood.
 
Friday she needs a competitive score on her card. She will have to improve on the 33 putts she needed Thursday. If not, she will have missed the first of two cuts on her last event in this country for a long time.
 
And it will be like Q-School in that there will be a number she will need to get her into the final 16 ' or at least into a playoff that will get her into the final 16. If she doesnt equal or better that number, her year in this country will be over.
 
And wont that be more than just a little incongruous?
 
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."