Annika Wins First - Obviously Shes Behind
That quieted a lot of worry and gnashing of teeth from the general populace whove come to believe Sorenstam will win every time she enters ' or at the least, every other time. In her first tournament this year, she dawdled around to tie for third. In the next, she could do no better than finish second. The nerve of her!
But everyone can pipe down now. She has won again. She went through the field at the Office Depot to win by four strokes. For those who think her whole season rides on May 18-June 1, when she will tee it up with the men of the PGA Tour, she is again in step. She is batting one-for-three, and that is exactly where she was last year ' she won one of her first three, won her second in her fourth time out.
Actually, one-for-three is about what shes done the last three seasons. Shes played 70 times the last three years on the LPGA and won 24 times ' 73 and 25, if you count this season. She won two more times on the Ladies European Tour in three tries last year, so she won exactly half the time ' 13 victories in 26 events ' she entered.
It gets pretty amazing when you add in her runner-up or third-place finishes. In those 26 tournaments, she finished in the top three 20 times.
If Tiger Woods had done that well on the PGA Tour, he would have finished in the top three in 14 of the 18 tournaments he played. Battling an injured knee, Tiger finished in the top-three nine times ' 11 in you count the two European Tour events he played. That certainly isnt to be perceived as a slap at Woods, merely to emphasize what Sorenstam has done. She is in contention for the title week after week after week.
Its amazing, isnt it, when you consider the Se Ri Paks and Karrie Webbs that have to be accommodated, too.
You have to remember that the other players are getting better, said Sorenstam, so I am not the only one who is hungry.
Of course, to step on the first tee and think I have to win 14 times to have a better season ' thats a lot of pressure. I love to win, but my No. 1 goal is to be a better player. I can control that. I cant control what other players do or how they play.
Shes only 5-feet-6, small by modern-athlete standards. Gym workouts the last year have left her strong, though. Woman who want to compete with her have to get a lot stronger, or they will be left further and further behind. This train is leaving the station, and if you dont get on board now, the only thing youll see is the caboose.
We all have to work more hard, says Pak in her delightfully fractured English, because she is much stronger and everyone thinks about it (the conditioning) more. She is always consistent and she is mentally stronger on the course. At the same time, I work harder and have more confidence ' pretty good things.
Yes, indeed, pretty good things. But Sorenstam believes pretty good things mean shooting 54, the ultimate as far as she is concerned. Is it possible? No, of course not. Is it possible for Annika? Yes, it is, says Sorenstam.
I believe I can 18 greens, she says, every fairway. You know, Vision 54, which means you birdie every hole. Thats in the back of my mind.
I want to putt better, chip better. That day when I hit 18 greens and one putt, Ill know Im a complete player.
If it ever happens, she will be as good the best player on the PGA Tour, notwithstanding Mr. Woods. But she has a long way to go, as her 68, 72 and 71 last week suggests. Nary a 54 among those scores. But ' her career isnt over, not by a long shot, she suggests.
Will that ever happen? she asks rhetorically. Im not sure, but its possible.
The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving
Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.
The major championships I'm certainly proud of, but Barbara, the kids and my grandkids are the best things to ever happen to me. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! pic.twitter.com/wkma1Q9LlK— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) November 23, 2017
GC Tiger Tracker:
Mixing Thanksgiving and waiting for a week from today. pic.twitter.com/u9m9WxQNYx— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) November 23, 2017
Happy thanksgiving to everyone! Hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. #Thankful— Steve Stricker (@stevestricker) November 23, 2017
Was reading about Thanksgiving. Originally they ate waterfowl, venison, ham, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. Seems a bit tastier than Turkey!— Frank Nobilo (@FrankNobiloGC) November 23, 2017
Literally food for thought.
Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017
Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.
Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan
Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.
Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.
Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:
“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”
Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.
“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”
Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.
“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”
Best Greg story: coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes “Yep, caddied for her, her, her and her” Legend— Matthew Galloway (@matthewgalloway) November 23, 2017
In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.
“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”
Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.
“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”
The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time Tour caddie, Greg Sheridan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP pic.twitter.com/QKy0YdK249— LPGA (@LPGA) November 22, 2017
Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.
“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.
Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:
Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:
Sad to hear the passning of Greg Sheridan. This photo brings back many memories. Always respected his caddy skills and devotion to womens golf. @natalie_gulbis @LPGA #RIPGreg pic.twitter.com/lHU3Ixz9Vk— Annika Sorenstam (@ANNIKA59) November 23, 2017
LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:
Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:
Professional caddies are often overlooked and underrated. But they're just as often the unsung MVP of a player's success. We just lost a great one. RIP Greg Sheridan. He was the 1st to welcome me to my LPGA assignment years ago. He will be missed eternally.— Jerry Foltz (@JerryFoltzGC) November 22, 2017
Rest with the Angels now, Greg Sheridan. ❤️— Christina Kim (@TheChristinaKim) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:
RIP Greg Sheridan. One of the most successful and great caddies of World Golf, period.— Shaun Clews (@shaunclews1973) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:
Sad to here that long time tour caddy Greg Sheridan has passed away! RIP Greg, you will be missed. — Jonny Scott (@stixy76) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:
The world is a sadder place today without our buddy Greg Sheridan, a caddy and a friend for lifetimes...Godspeed buddy— Kevin Casas (@TheKevinCasas) November 23, 2017
LPGA pro Jennie Lee:
So sad to hear the news of long time LPGA caddie Greg Sheridan. I️ remember sitting next to him on the plane from Walmart to the US Open one year and he gave me the best words of wisdom on player/caddie chemistry. He will be missed greatly. Thinking of you @natalie_gulbis ❤️— Jennie Lee (@JennieLeeGolf) November 23, 2017
Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener
HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.
Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.
''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''
Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.
''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''
Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.
''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''
Masters champion Sergio Garcia, Rafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.