Sorenstam Excels Sabbatini Leads

By George WhiteMay 22, 2003, 4:00 pm
FT. WORTH, Texas -- Oh yes ' the tournament. Somewhere amongst the deluge of Annika Sorenstam stories, theyre going to crown a champion this week at the Bank of America Colonial. And striding to the top of the field after Round 1 was Rory Sabbatini.
 
Sabbatini opened the tournament with a 6-under 64, scoring seven birdies and a bogey.
 
I kind of scrambled my way around the course today, Sabbatini said. I didnt hit a lot of greens, but I chipped and putted really well.
 
It was hard to miss the irony of another situation. Vijay Singh, who was adamantly opposed to Sorenstam playing, withdrew after winning the Byron Nelson last week.
 
Sorenstam played, and she wound up shooting a 1-over 71. And the man who replaced Singh in the Colonial field? It was one Patrick Sheehan ' who just happened to shoot a 5-under 65 and was tied with Mark Calcavecchia, one off the lead.
 
I was actually going to take this week off, said Sheehan, who last year was on the Nationwide Tour. This is my sixth week in a row. Just last week I hit the wall, I was so tired on the weekend. I didnt want to ' I just wanted to go home.
 
When I found out I was this close to getting in, I was, like, Well you have to come here. It would be a shame to miss a tournament like this. Even though Annika ' you know, with Annika here, regardless, its still a tournament that you have to play in. You feel like you have to play in it.
 
The 65s were one better than another Swede, Jesper Parnevik, and Dan Forsman.
 
Calcavecchia shot his 65 after being injured last week.
 
I didnt have a whole lot of expectations coming into today, he said. I havent played much golf in the last week and a half. I can take this off (unwraps his wrist) now.
 
I somehow hurt my wrist a week ago Wednesday. And didnt touch a club until Tuesday of this week.
 
The course was still soggy after daylong rains Tuesday and Wednesday. And the soft conditions made the course play a little easier.
 
Yeah, it definitely was there for the taking, said Calcavecchia. It really cant play any easier. The harder and faster this course plays, the harder it plays ' even though it obviously is short.
 
The real story, though, was Sorenstam. She toured her frontside in 34 strokes, making birdie on her fourth hole (Colonials No. 13). However, she closed with a couple of bogeys, on one her 14th hole (No. 5) with a three-putt from the 60-foot range. And she bogeyed the last, No. 9, when her approach bounded through the green and went into the back rough. She tried to putt but left the first one eight feet away. She then missed the par try.
 
More on Sorenstam's round
 
I kind of stayed away from guessing what she would shoot, said Sheehan. Shes the best female in the world. She probably does things better than ' the only advantage I have is length. Shes hitting her driver straighter and her irons straight and she putts well. She could shoot under par out here.
 
I just saw her three-putt the last hole for bogey, but everybodys, like, shes even par. And thats terrific. Thats a good round for anybody out here.
 
Dan Forsman, who sparkled with a 4-under 66, reflected before Sorenstams finish what it would mean if she finished even-par ' she finished 1-over.
 
It would say shes a hell of a player ' excuse me, a heck of a player, he said. Lets face it ' with all the media that shes standing up to, thats tremendous. You tip your cap and hope she continues.
 
My gosh, this is exciting. I dont know ' its exciting to us players to see her play like that. And then I can imagine the media ' its got to be unbelievable. So I hope she does it. Im pulling for her.
 
Still, she faces an uphill climb to make the cut, said Parnevik.
 
I think she has to play better than today (Thursday), put it that way, he said. You never know. I dont even know whats going to be the weather tomorrow. But I think that its going to be tougher for her, the tougher the course plays, so to speak.
 
Related Links:
  • Full-field scores from the Bank of America Colonial
  • Full coverage of the Bank of America Colonial
  • ''Everything Annika'' Feature Page
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.