Annika Looks to Follow in Tigers Tracks

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
04 Weetabix WomenThe parallels between Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods are many.
The two are clearly at the top of their profession. They have each brought welcomed attention to their respective tours. And their desire to win major championships is equaled only by one another.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam has won six of her 10 starts on tour this season.
Two weeks ago, Woods won convincingly at the 134th Open Championship. It was his 10th career major championship victory and also completed his second cycle for the career Grand Slam.
This week, Sorenstam competes in the Weetabix Womens British Open at Royal Birkdale. Should she win, it will also be her 10th career major championship victory, and would also give her a second trip around the career Grand Slam.
Hows that for uncanny?
Like Woods, Sorenstam enters the British Open without an opportunity to capture the seasonal Grand Slam. And like Woods, that opportunity was lost at the U.S. Open.
Having won each of the first two majors of the year, Sorenstam failed to break par over four days at Cherry Hills Country and settled for a tie for 23rd.
She tied for 12th in her most recent start at last weeks Evian Masters. That means she has gone three consecutive events without winning. Amazingly, thats her longest winless stretch of the season.
In fact, that means shes only gone three straight tournaments without a win twice in the last two years.
And we dont expect that to happen again.
Five for the Title:
Annika Sorenstam
Sorenstam may not have a chance to win the seasonal Grand Slam, but she does have a chance to set a personal best by winning three majors in the same campaign ' and become the first LPGA player since Pat Bradley, in 1986, to accomplish that feat. Sorenstam won this event in 2003, when she defeated Se Ri Pak by a stroke at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. She tied for 17th the last time Royal Birkdale hosted this championship.
Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer looks to add a major championship trophy to her resume.
Paula Creamer
Creamer had designs on winning an LPGA event in her first season on tour. And once she did that at the Sybase Classic, she set her sights on winning a major championship. The 18-year-old captured the Evian Masters last week in France in convincing fashion. Playing alongside Sorenstam in the third round, she shot 66 to Annikas 72. She went on to earn her second title of the year by a full eight strokes. She tied for 19th in both the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the U.S. Womens Open. She also tied for third in the McDonalds LPGA Championship.
Michelle Wie
Wie has yet to win, but she has been nonetheless impressive this year. She collected her third runner-up finish in 2005 at the Evian Masters, firing 68 in the final round to move up the leaderboard. The 15-year-old also shared the third-round lead at the U.S. Womens Open, before wilting with an 82. This will be her first appearance in this particular major, but she has competed in seven majors in her brief amateur career and has yet to miss a cut.
Lorena Ochoa
Ochoa had a great opportunity to win this years U.S. Womens Open, but made a quadruple-bogey-8 on the final hole and was unable to post a target number. She won this years Wegmans Rochester LPGA and has four runner-up finishes, including last week in France. She has recorded seven top-10s in 15 previous majors played, two of which have come this season. She finished fourth in this event a year ago at Sunningdale Golf Club.
Karen Stupples
Stupples is the defending champion. She won last years championship by starting eagle-double eagle en route to a closing 64 and a five-stroke triumph. She was tied with Wie and Morgan Pressel after 54 holes of the Womens Open, but succumbed to a 78 and tied for 10th. That is her lone top-10 of the season.
Playing Out the Front Nine
Four more to keep an eye on
*Birdie Kim, who shocked everyone ' including herself ' by winning the Womens Open. She has finished outside the top 25 in her two starts since holing out from a bunker on the 72nd hole to prevail at Cherry Hills. This will be her first British Open start.
*Karrie Webb, who has won this event three times. Webb officially earned her way into the Hall of Fame earlier this year, but she is still in search of her first tour victory since last years Kellogg-Keebler Classic.
*Sophie Gustafson, who won this event the last time it was contested at Royal Birkdale in 2000. Gustafson was not credited with a major victory back then, because the tournament didnt achieve major status until the following year. She missed the cut a year ago, but has four top-10s in her career at the Womens British.
*Rosie Jones, who is playing in what may be her final major championship. Jones has said that this is her final season on tour. If it is, then this her last opportunity to capture her first major. She is 0-for-87 in the majors over her career.
Related Links:
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry