Favorite Song Arachnophobia

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 5, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) -- Aree Song is making a strong statement for the teens in the U.S. Women Open.

Song was three shots behind leader Hilary Lunke after Saturday's third round, shooting a 3-under 68 for a 2-under 211 total. Annika Srenstam also was 2 under at Pumpkin Ridge.
 
Song birdied the par-5 18th hole and was showered with cheers from the gallery.
 
'I think it was a pretty solid round all around,' she said. 'My goal today was to stay patient, and I think I did that. I did not worry about what anyone else was doing.'
 
Song, 17, just finished high school in Bradenton, Fla., and will start her freshman year at Florida this fall.
 
Her twin sister, Naree, failed to make the cut at the Open.
 
The twins, who changed their last names from Wongluekiet to Song at the start of the season, were among 14 teenagers who qualified for the Open. Seven of them made the cut.
 
The biggest name among them was long-driving 13-year-old Michele Wie, who became the youngest player to win a USGA title for adults at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links two weeks ago.
 
Wie had a 9-over 222 going into Sunday's final round, well off the pace.
 
Wie left Saturday without speaking, embroiled in a controversy over incidents earlier in the week. Her father and caddie, B.J. Wie, claimed LPGA Tour pro Danielle Ammaccapane pushed his daughter during the first round then berated her in the scoring tent for a breach of etiquette.

B.J. Wie corrected his statements on Saturday, saying no physical contact was made.
 
Michelle, he said, was too emotional to talk with reporters. But he said he didn't think the controversy had anything to do with a 5-over 76 on Saturday.
 
'Actually I think her poor performance was because her swing was off,' he said.
 
Morgan Pressel, 15, also had a bad day with a 7-over 78 to for an overall 13-over 222. She double-bogeyed the fifth hole, then triple-bogeyed the sixth.
 
'I had two really bad holes, so that was basically my score,' said Pressel, who two years ago played in her first Open at 13.
 
The youngest player in this year's Open, 13-year-old Sydney Burlison, did not make the cut. She was born nine days after Wie.
 
PEPPERED
 
LPGA Tour Veteran Dottie Pepper had to withdraw from the U.S. Women's Open after completing eight holes of Saturday's third round because of a left shoulder injury.
 
Pepper was 5 over for the day when she withdrew.
 
'I knew something wasn't right and was starting to get some tingling in my fingers, so that was enough,' she said. I couldn't hit the ball the way I do normally, so I made a good decision.'
 
Pepper, who had surgery on her shoulder last year, said the pain was in a different part of her shoulder than before, causing her concern. She expected to have an MRI on Monday when she visits her doctor in Georgia.
 
Pepper was forced to withdraw from the Open last year before the first round after she re-aggravated the shoulder. She had surgery on March 1, 2002.
 
THE HI/LO GAME
 
Annika Srenstam has gone conventional, at least with her putts.
 
The star from Sweden who became the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA Tour event switched last week from keeping her left hand low while putting.
 
'Sometimes I have more feel with the right hand low,' she said. 'But sometimes I get nervous on short ones and therefore I do left-hand low to be more mechanical on short ones.
 
But once I got some breaking putts I found it very tough with the left hand low. And last week and this week I knew it was going to be big breaking putts and I needed some feel.'
 
Srenstam, who had 1-over 72s for the first two rounds, shot a 67 on Saturday, putting her on the leaderboard at 2 under.
 
ARACHNOPHOBIA?
 
Alison Nicholas, who won the U.S. Women's Open when it was played at Pumpkin Ridge before in 1997, was penalized two strokes on the seventh green Saturday for touching her putting line with a golf tee.
 
Nicholas was attempting to remove a spider.
 
The rules say players can't touch the line with anything but their hand or club.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the U.S. Women's Open
  • U.S. Women's Open Leaderboard
     
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

    Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

    Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

    Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


    FALLING

    Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

    Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

    Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

    Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

    Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

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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.