Sorenstam Makes First Career Defense Against Top Field
After playing the 2000 tournament at The Legacy Golf Resort, the tournament returns to a newly renovated Moon Valley Country Club. In addition, the players are competing for $1 million.
Joining Charlotta Sorenstam in the Standard Register PING field are nine past tournament champions, six 2001 tournament winners and six LPGA Tour Hall of Famers. In addition to four-time Standard Register PING champion Laura Davies, who holds the LPGA record for most consecutive wins at the same event (1994-97), the past champions in the field are: two-time champion Danielle Ammaccapane (1991-92); LPGA Tour Hall of Famers Beth Daniel (1982), Betsy King (1985) and Patty Sheehan (1993); Mary Beth Zimmerman (1986); Allison Finney (1989); and Liselotte Neumann (1998). The 2001 LPGA Tour champions competing this week are Se Ri Pak (YourLife Vitamins LPGA Classic); Sophie Gustafson (Subaru Memorial of Naples); Grace Park (The Office Depot); Lorie Kane (LPGA Takefuji Classic); Catriona Matthew (Cup Noodles Ladies Hawaiian Open) and Annika Sorenstam (Welch's/Circle K Championship). The six LPGA Tour Hall of Fame members are Amy Alcott, JoAnne Carner, Nancy Lopez, Daniel, King and Sheehan
The seven rookies who are teeing it up are Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year points leader Heather Zakhar, Beth Bader, Tamie Durdin, Michelle Ellis, Nan Kyong Ha, Dodie Mazzuca and Angela Stanford.
Last year, Annika Sorenstam and Webb fired five-under-par 67s during first-round action to take a one-shot lead over Dottie Pepper and Mi Hyun Kim. In the second round, Annika Sorenstam held the lead by one-shot with a 135 (-9) total, but Webb and sister Charlotta Sorenstam followed one shot back, with Charlotta Sorenstam tying the tournament record with an eight-under-par 64. Annika Sorenstam turned in a one-over-par 73 in the third round, while Charlotta Sorenstam and Webb both shot 72 to tie Annika Sorenstam at the top of the leaderboard with a 54-hole total of 208 (-8) heading into the final 18 holes of play.
In the final round, Charlotta Sorenstam overcame her own nerves and carded five birdies and a lone bogey to earn her first career title. At one point during the round, Webb was tied with Charlotta Sorenstam at 11-under-par. However, on the par-4 16th hole Webb dropped from the co-leader position after posting a bogey; Webb's second shot went into the greenside bunker, and she knocked her sand shot about six feet past the hole and onto the fringe. Webb made one last attempt for the title on the final hole, but again her second shot found the greenside bunker. She blasted the ball out of the bunker, missed her 10-foot birdie putt and finished with a final-round, two-under-par 70 and second place. Charlotta Sorenstam finished strong with a 15-foot birdie putt.
Annika Sorenstam finished third 281 (-7), after a final round 73, marking only the second time in her LPGA career she finished behind her sister. Leta Lindley and Carin Koch tied for fourth at 282 (-6), while Joan Pitcock, Hiromi Kobayashi, Jane Geddes, Mi Hyun Kim and King tied for sixth at 283 (-5).
Watson back in top 40 after OWGR free fall
Bubba Watson ended his free fall in the Official World Golf Ranking with a two-shot victory Sunday at the Genesis Open.
Watson, a fixture in the top 10 in the world as recently as 13 months ago, had dropped all the way to 117th after a 2017 season in which he struggled with poor form, illness and desire.
After his third career win at Riviera, he is up to 40th.
Kevin Na rose from 95th to 65th after tying for second in Los Angeles, while Tony Finau jumped from 41st to 33rd.
Tiger Woods actually improved in the world ranking, from No. 550 to No. 544, despite a missed cut at the Genesis Open.
On the European Tour, Joost Luiten surged from 90th to 68th after his victory in Oman.
The top 10 in the world remained unchanged as the PGA Tour heads into the Florida swing: Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy.
Bubba catapults, Phil creeps up in Ryder Cup standings
Bubba Watson was an assistant on the 2016 Ryder Cup team. He doesn’t want to be driving a cart in Paris.
Watson, thanks to his victory in the Genesis Open, jumped from 60th to 10th in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings. The top eight after the PGA Championship qualify automatically for this year’s edition at Le Golf National in France.
Phil Mickelson moved up one spot to 11th after tying for sixth at Riviera Country Club.
Players will receive one point per dollar earned in regular events this year, with 1.5 points per dollar in majors and two points per dollar for winning a major. Here's a look at the current U.S. standings:
1. Dustin Johnson
2. Brooks Koepka
3. Justin Thomas
4. Jordan Spieth
5. Matt Kuchar
6. Brian Harman
7. Gary Woodland
8. Rickie Fowler
9. Chez Reavie
10. Bubba Watson
11. Phil Mickelson
12. Patrick Reed
On the European side, the top four players from the Ryder Cup points list will be joined by the top four qualifiers from the world points list, with captain Thomas Bjorn making four additional selections. Here's a look at the current top names:
Ryder Cup Points
1. Justin Rose
2. Tyrrell Hatton
3. Ross Fisher
4. Matthew Fitzpatrick
1. Jon Rahm
2. Tommy Fleetwood
3. Sergio Garcia
4. Rory McIlroy
Genesis Open purse payout: Bubba makes bank
Bubba Watson won the Genesis Open for a third time on Sunday, moving his career PGA Tour win total to 10. Here's a look at how the purse paid out at Riviera Country Club.
|T26||Rafael Cabrera Bello||-2||$46,996|
|T37||Charles Howell III||-1||$33,120|
|T60||Harold Varner, III||3||$15,696|
|T68||Tyrone van Aswegen||7||$14,400|
After Further Review: Haas crash strikes a chord
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the horrifying car crash involving Bill Haas ...
I spent a lot of time this week thinking about Bill Haas. He was the passenger in a car crash that killed a member of his host family. That man, 71-year-old Mark Gibello, was a successful businessman in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and a new friend.
Haas escaped without any major injuries, but he withdrew from the Genesis Open to return home to Greenville, S.C. When he’ll return to the Tour is anyone’s guess. It could be a while, as he grapples with the many emotions after surviving that horrifying crash – seriously, check out the photos – while the man next to him did not.
The entire Haas clan is some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Wish them the best in their recovery. – Ryan Lavner
On TIger Woods' missed cut at the Genesis Open ...
After missing the cut at the Genesis Open by more than a few car lengths, Tiger Woods appeared to take his early exit in stride. Perhaps that in and of itself is a form of progress.
Years ago, a second-round 76 with a tattered back-nine scorecard would have elicited a wide range of emotions. But none of them would have been particularly tempered, or optimistic, looking ahead to his next start. At age 42, though, Woods has finally ceded that a win-or-bust mentality is no longer helpful or productive.
The road back from his latest surgery will be a winding one, mixed with both ups and downs. His return at Torrey Pines qualified as the former, while his trunk slam at Riviera certainly served as the latter. There will surely be more of both in the coming weeks and months, and Woods’ ability to stomach the rough patches could prove pivotal for his long-term prognosis. - Will Gray
On the debate over increased driving distance on the PGA Tour ...
The drumbeat is only going to get louder as the game’s best get longer. On Sunday, Bubba Watson pounded his way to his 10th PGA Tour title at the Genesis Open and the average driving distance continues to climb.
Lost in the debate over driving distances and potential fixes, none of which seem to be simple, is a beacon of sanity, Riviera Country Club’s par-4 10th hole. The 10th played just over 300 yards for the week and yet yielded almost as many bogeys (86) as birdies (87) with a 4.053 stroke average.
That ranks the 10th as the 94th toughest par 4 on Tour this season, ahead of behemoths like the 480-yard first at Waialae and 549-yard 17th at Kapalua. Maybe the game doesn’t need new rules that limit how far the golf ball goes, maybe it just needs better-designed golf holes. - Rex Hoggard
On the depth of LPGA talent coming out of South Korea ...
The South Korean pipeline to the LPGA shows no signs of drying up any time soon. Jin Young Ko, 22, won her LPGA debut as a tour member Sunday at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, and Hyejin Choi, 18, nearly won the right to claim LPGA membership there.
The former world No. 1 amateur who just turned pro finished second playing on a sponsor exemption. Sung Hyun Park, who shared Rolex Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu last year, is set to make her 2018 debut this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
And Inbee Park is set to make her return to the LPGA in two weeks at the HSBC Women’s World Championship after missing most of last year due to injury. The LPGA continues to go through South Korea no matter where this tour goes. - Randall Mell