Annika is Cookin Up a Storm
Im a bogey chef, she said, laughing. Actually, Lake Nonas executive chef, Gary Hoffman, has a totally opposite viewpoint. Shes a natural, he says.
The whole idea of cooking in the major leagues has been gnawing at Sorenstam for some time, she says. During this off-season, she finally decided to do something about it. Annika is working three days a week in eight-hour shifts in the Lake Nona kitchen near her Orlando home. Gone for the moment is the golfer who won 13 times around the globe last year. She is replaced by a woman who is serious about this new challenge ' being a chef for a big-city country club.
So far, so good, she says as she gets down to business over the stove. Gary is teaching me everything. I get to do some grilling. I get to do some preparation like cutting, slicing ' you name it!
Annika the Chef has been a creation of Sorenstams imagination for a long time, actually. She may be a professional golfer, but deep inside, she is very creative in the kitchen. I cook at home a lot, she reported. But then I thought, I can come here and they can teach me something.
Sorenstam busied herself with the art of grilling some choice cuts of meat, simultaneously cooking vegetables and expertly flipping them over in the pan without having to use a fork.
Its tough work, she said. Long, hectic hours and its tough when orders come in. They never order whats on the menu. Youve got to juggle all the different orders ' with onion, no onion, no rice, et cetera.
But ' its fun!
Annika is learning the art from the ground up. On the course she may be a superstar, but in here, she is just a novice. But this is a team, she says as she points to the people surrounding her. You are only as good as the other chefs and wait-staff make you.
Its teamwork ' especially at night, she says. Then I would do, maybe just a vegetable, and the other guys would do other things. There was a wedding the other day with over a hundred people. You stay very, very busy.
Hoffman, though, says Sorenstam is doing just fine. I know she has learned a lot, he says. Its just a matter of doing it over and over and over again, thats what it takes. Unfortunately, she doesnt have that time ' shes to play golf.
Golf, incidentally, seems so far away at the moment, though it is just out the door and up the walkway. This seems like a place totally removed from the pressures of tournament life. Actually, this is why she enjoys the anonymous life of a budding chef.
Im not thinking about my swing, Im not thinking about next years goals, says Sorenstam. This is really one of the best parts, thats why Im doing it now. I need a break. Even though I love what I do, I am totally into this.
She makes almost $3 million a year in purse money playing the LPGA. But she gladly perspires and cooks, all for the love of a hobby. And it doesnt matter that this job doesnt pay nearly as much as that other job.
All my friends ask me how much I am making, says Annika with a sly grin. I tell them I havent negotiated that part yet.
Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win
Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.
He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.
Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:
Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'
Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.
Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.
Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.
"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.
The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.
Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.
"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."
McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open
When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.
Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.
Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.
While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.
Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai
Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.
Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."
But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.
With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.
Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.
The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.
"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."