Perrot Cashes in on Futrues

By Futures Tour MediaJune 27, 2004, 4:00 pm
Futures TourAVON, Conn. -- AVON, Conn. -- You could argue that Nicole Perrot was the last player standing in the final round of the GMAC Futures Golf Classic. While others fell off the leader board or lost their composure when the going got rough, Perrot was as solid as her swing and steady as the wedge that bounced balls while she waited on the 18th tee for her final shot.
 
The native of Vina del Mar, Chile could have easily folded when she sandwiched an eagle on the third hole between a pair of bogeys on holes 2 and 4 at Blue Fox Run Golf Course. But rather than losing ground, the 20-year old charged onward with two more birdies on the front nine holes and two on the back to finish with a final-round 68 at 4-under 209 for her first professional victory and $9,800 winner's check.
 
'Every moment you have in a golf career is important,' said Perrot, who was doused with a bucket of water by her friends while her caddie/brother Raul waved the Chilean flag. 'I'm so happy. I've always wanted to be a professional and I knew it would be a process to go to another country and play. Today, I just had fun playing golf.'
 
The word fun wasn't exactly tumbling off the lips of at least four other players who were in contention at some point during the final round on the par-71, 6,154-yard course. Stephanie George, who began the day with a two-shot lead, bogeyed her first two holes and double bogeyed the ninth to play the front nine at 5-over 41 - then four shots behind leaders Michelle Murphy and Lindsey Wright. George rattled off birdies on four of her next five holes to draw even with the leaders, but consecutive bogeys on the last three holes knocked her off the leader board.
 
'I got it back, but finished bogey-bogey-bogey,' said George, of Myerstown, Pa., who posted a final-round 75 to tie for fourth at 212. 'This one hurts more than missing the cut. I let it get away from me with too many errant shots.'
 
Murphy, who started the day two shots behind the leader, also ran into trouble late in the round. The native of Tacoma, Wash., lost four shots on the last seven holes as the wind kicked up, making club selection critical. She finished with a 74 and tied for ninth. And Wright, the Tour's money leader from Albury, Australia, dropped off the board, losing four shots on her last five holes to card a 2-over 73 and finish 12th.
 
To add insult to injury, Young Jo of Suwan, Korea, held a one-shot lead with five holes to play when her soon-to-be downward spiral began. Playing with Perrot and Australia's Kylie Pratt, Jo's group was notified by rules officials that they were out of position after the 13th hole. Each player in the group was timed again on holes 14 and 15. After she putted out on No. 15, Jo was assessed a one-stroke, slow-play penalty for exceeding the Futures Tour's allowable time to execute a shot. The penalty came after Jo had been warned for slow play and assessed a stroke in the previous week's tournament. Players only receive one warning for the year.
 
Rattled by the penalty, Jo lost focus and bogeyed the next two holes. 'Of course the penalty affected the bogeys,' said the visibly upset player through her caddie David Lee after the round. Jo finished the day at even-par 71 to tie for fourth.
 
Naturally, the timing of the penalty drew harsh criticism by Jo's compatriots. But head rules official, Kelly Wergin, offered some explanation: 'Our responsibility on the Futures Tour is to make sure we have an even playing field for all players, whether they are shooting 85 or 65. This is very unfortunate, but now is the time for this player to learn. This is what this Tour is about -- learning here so they can excel at the next level.'
 
With attrition taking its toll down the stretch, Perrot needed only to finish strong and avoid making mistakes for her first win. As the leaders faded, a few late challengers emerged, but they ultimately ran out of holes to catch the South American player. Jeanne Cho of Orlando, Fla., fired a final-round 70 to finish solo second, while Katie Connelly of Beloit, Wis., posted her second consecutive top-five finish for third place. Seul Ki Kim of Incheon, Korea shot her career-low round of 66 to tie for fourth with four others.
 
But it was Perrot who held on with the experience of a third-year professional embarking on a lifetime goal. With her victory, she became the first Chilean golfer to win a professional event outside of South America.
 
'My first two years were tough,' said Perrot, who won the 2001 U.S. Girls Junior Championship and was runner-up at the 2001 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. 'After I turned professional, I was trying too hard. I had to learn how to let things happen and to take care of the things I can control.'
 
As it turned out, Perrot's self-control came with good timing. And the woman still on her feet late in the day raised a new flag as champion.
 
Notes: This year's 54-hole event, presented by the Lincoln Financial Group, was held for the sixth year. The 135-player field competed for a $70,000 purse.
 
Invited amateur Marika Lendl of Goshen, Conn., played at even par for most of today's final round, but suffered a triple-bogey-6 on the par-3 final hole when her tee shot became unplayable. The 14-year-old daughter of Tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl carded a 74 to finish tied for 15th. 'I played 53 great holes and one bad one,' she said.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - GMAC Futures Golf Classic
  • Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."