Power Rankings: Kraft Nabisco Championship

By Will GrayApril 3, 2013, 5:34 pm

While the PGA Tour heads to San Antonio this week for the Valero Texas Open (whose Power Rankings can be seen here), the LPGA plays its first major of the 2013 season, as Mission Hills plays host to the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including former champion Win McMurry.

Sun-Young Yoo returns to defendt the title she won in a playoff last year over I.K. Kim. here are 10 players to watch this week in the California desert:

1. Stacy Lewis: A winner last month at the RR Donnelly Founder's Cup, Lewis is equipped with both momentum and the top ranking in the world. She has a great chance this week to capture her second Kraft title in three years. 

2. Suzann Pettersen: The Norwegian has had more than her fair share of close calls at Mission Hills. Pettersen was runner-up here three times from 2007-2010, with a fifth-place finish in 2009 thrown in for good measure.

3. Cristie Kerr: Like Pettersen, Kerr has had several close finishes at the season's first major. Five of her 11 starts here since 2002 have resulted in top-5 finishes, including a runner-up in 2009.

4. Inbee Park: A winner earlier this year in Thailand, Park enters the week ranked fourth in the world. She was in contention two weeks ago at the Kia Classic before fading to T-17 after rounds of 72 and 75 over the weekend.

5. I.K. Kim: Last year's hard-luck runner-up, Kim will hope to atone for her short miss on the 72nd green. Coming off a playoff appearance at the Kia Classic last month, there's reason to think a chance for redemption will avail itself on Sunday.

6. Yani Tseng: Though she's been inside the top three here each of the last three years, including a win in 2010, she has yet to regain her former level of dominance. Nevertheless, Yani at less than full speed is still better than many players in the field.

7. Na Yeon Choi: Choi has a pair of top-10 finishes here in five career starts, including an eighth-place showing last year. A winner of the season's final event last year, she also logged a pair of top-10 finishes in Asia earlier this year.

8. Paula Creamer: The 'Pink Panther' has been consistent lately at Mission Hills, finishing no worse than 24th but no better than 15th in seven starts since 2005. With three straight top-20 finishes entering the week, including a third-place finish in Singapore, she is in position for another good performance.

9. Lydia Ko: The 15-year-old prodigy continues to raise the bar, having already won three professional tournaments. While she says she's not thinking about winning the event, don't be surprised to see her name on the leaderboard this weekend.

10. Jiyai Shin: Shin has finished outside the top 30 just once in six Kraft starts, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in 2009. A winner last year at the Women's British Open, she also won her first start of the 2013 season in Australia.

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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

At the par-4 eighth, Woods went with 3-wood off the tee and startled a duck that was walking down the middle of the fairway.

The duck walked away, and Tiger stuffed his approach inside nine feet, setting up his third birdie of the day.

Woods dropped his first shot of the day at the par-4 ninth after hooking his tee and then short siding himself right of the green. He made the turn in 2-under 33.

(More coming...)

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.