Annika Eases into Hall of Fame

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 14, 2003, 4:00 pm
Ladies Professional Golf AssociationTHE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) -- Annika Sorenstam made sure she didn't go into the World Golf Hall of Fame with a bogey.
Despite hitting her tee shot into the lake on the 18th hole, Sorenstam salvaged a par with a 6-foot putt that was memorable only for what it marked -- her 10th year on the LPGA Tour, the final requirement to get into the Hall of Fame.
Annika SorenstamA few fans chanted ``Hall of Fame,'' but Sorenstam didn't take time to celebrate.
She had 15 minutes to eat lunch, then headed back out to water-logged TPC at The Woodlands to start the second round of the Samsung World Championship.
She had a 2-under 70 and was one stroke behind Se Ri Pak.
``It is historic,'' said Sorenstam, the 100th member of the Hall of Fame. ``But it's tough right now. I need to absorb this, and I'm in the middle of a tournament. I've got 15 minutes before I play again. It's tough to get my emotions together.''
She has another week for that.
Sorenstam will be inducted Oct. 20 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, along with Nick Price, Chako Higuchi and Leo Diegel.
The LPGA criteria is 27 points for the Hall of Fame -- one point for a victory (majors count double), player of the year award and Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average.
Sorenstam reached that mark nearly three years ago and now has 63 points, but the LPGA also requires 10 years on tour before its players are eligible for the Hall of Fame.
All Sorenstam needed was to finish one round of her 15th tournament to complete 10 years. That was supposed to take place Thursday -- her birthday, no less -- but the opening round was washed out by heavy rain.
There was no celebration Friday. Instead of gathering around the 18th green to watch her finish, the rest of the 20-player field had to return to the course.
Sorenstam had to settle for an ovation on every green, and even poked fun at the anticlimactic finish to such an important milestone.
``I was thinking on the last two holes, 'Just don't fall into a hole or anything,''' she said.
She missed short birdie putts on the 15th and 16th holes that could have given her the lead, then stopped in shock when she saw her ball splash into the hazard on the 18th.
``I was surprised I hit my driver in the water,'' Sorenstam said. ``I got upset at myself and said, 'I'm going to make par there, anyway.'''
That she did, hitting a beautiful approach just left of the hole and making the putt.
She turned away and smiled after taking the ball out of the cup. Colin Cann, Pak's caddie, was the first to congratulate her. Cann was Sorenstam's caddie for the first five years of her LPGA Tour career.
It was an otherwise uneventful day, gray and gloomy with an occasional drizzle.
Sorenstam left nothing to chance about the round that got her into the Hall of Fame.
On the par-5 sixth, she laid up with a 3-wood and landed in casual water on the fairway. Because they were playing preferred lies, Sorenstam was supposed to take a drop, then lift, clean and place her ball.
Instead, she removed her ball from the puddle and placed it in the fairway -- then wasn't sure if she violated a rule. She summoned tour official Marty Robinson, who told her to repeat the procedure with no penalty.
``He said he hasn't been out here in six months, so that made me nervous,'' Sorenstam joked as she walked to the next tee. Robinson has missed half the season because of knee and back surgery.
Now that the final requirement is out of the way, Sorenstam can resume winning tournaments. She already has 47 victories, and has four tournaments left this year in a bid to reach 50.
Meantime, she has a week to work on her induction speech.
She recently sent a truck full of memorabilia for a display at the World Golf Village. The more than 80 items included trophies, shirts, caps, the traditional white robe she got for winning the Nabisco Championship, and a book her mother used to read to her when she was a little girl.
The book is called, ``Duktiga, Annika,'' which is Swedish for ``Good, Annika.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

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The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.