2004 Rookie Class Loaded

By Lpga Tour MediaNovember 4, 2003, 5:00 pm
Ladies Professional Golf AssociationDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - LPGA Tour veterans will say hello to 29 new faces next year. A deeply talented group of rookies will take to the fairways in 2004, where they will not only fight for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award, but will also be battling to make a name for themselves on an immensely competitive tour.
 
The LPGA's 2004 rookie class is an illustration of the tour's standing as a true 'World Tour,' as the 29 players hail from 11 different countries. The group includes a 17-year-old, a 35-year-old, a lefty, five married women and one mother of two.
 
Of the 29 rookies, 26 qualified for the 2004 tour via the LPGA sectional and
final qualifying tournaments, with the final two - Ju Kim and Reilley
Rankin - qualifying by finishing in the top five on the 2003 Futures Tour
money list. Add in Shi Hyun Ahn of Korea, winner of last week's CJ Nine
Bridges Classic Presented by Sports Today, and the list becomes even more
impressive. Kim and Rankin, along with 11 other rookies from the LPGA Final
Qualifying Tournament, will be exempt in 2004, with the other 16 rookies
holding non-exempt status.
 
Perhaps the most highly touted of the lot is 17-year-old Aree Song, who has
been a mainstay in LPGA events for the past four seasons. Song has competed
in 16 LPGA events since 2000, including last week's CJ Nine Bridges Classic
Presented by Sports Today. She has made the cut in 12 of those events, with
her top finish coming at this year's U.S. Women's Open, where she finished
fifth.
 
Ahn, a 19-year-old rookie on the Korean LPGA Tour, held off Se Ri Pak,
Gloria Park, Laura Davies and Grace Park by three strokes to become the
first non-LPGA member to win an LPGA event since Karrie Webb won the 1995
Weetabix Women's British Open. She will be one of 16 non-exempt rookies in
2004.
 
Kelly Lagedrost from Brooksville, Fla., will join Angela Buzminski as the
only two left-handed golfers on tour next year, while Juli Hilton of
Saratoga, Calif., joins the LPGA's list of mothers on Tour. The 12 rookies
from the United States come from 10 different states, while Korea has the
most number of rookies, five, of the 10 international countries claiming
rookies.
 
The 2004 rookie class also includes Meredith Duncan, the 2001 U.S. Women's
Amateur champion and former U.S. Curtis Cup Team member, and Katherine Hull
of Australia, the 2003 NCAA Player of the Year and 2003 Dinah Shore Award
recipient. In addition, Vikki Laing (Scotland), a member of the 2002 Great
Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup Team, and Mikaela Parmlid (Sweden), the 2003
NCAA individual champion at the University of Southern California, are also
among the 29 rookies.
 
The LPGA will feature the 2004 rookie class in a four-part series in both
the LPGA News Release and on LPGA.com in February. The following is a list
of the rookie class in its entirety.
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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.


Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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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.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


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.