Annika the Great Back in Action

By Lpga Tour MediaFebruary 13, 2008, 5:00 pm
2006 SBS OpenKAHUKU, Hawaii -- Annika Sorenstam has lofty goals after her worst season in years.
 
The world's former No. 1 player failed to hoist a trophy last year for the first time since her rookie season in 1994. Her scoring average of 71.27 was the highest and her earnings ($532,718) was the lowest since she was a rookie.
 
So her goals this year?
 
'I'd like to win the money list. I'd like to win tournaments. I want to go back to the top,' Sorenstam said.
 
The Hall of Famer's quest to regain dominance in a sport that is quickly being taken over by younger stars such as Lorena Ochoa, Suzann Pettersen and Paula Creamer begins Thursday at the LPGA Tour's season-opening SBS Open.
 
'It is tough out here. There's no doubt about it,' she said. 'I'm just looking forward to playing my own game. I haven't good golf for quite some time so that's really my goal, to play 'Annika golf.''
 
The 37-year-old Swede is playing at Turtle Bay for the first time and beginning her season a month earlier than usual. In the past, Sorenstam usually took a skiing trip to unwind and relax before returning full time to the tour.
 
'But now I feel like I didn't play as much last year and that I really didn't need a long break,' she said. 'I'm happy to be back.'
 
Sorenstam was limited to 13 events last year because of neck and back injuries. She had six top-10s finishes, including a playoff loss to Meaghan Francella in the MasterCard Classic in Mexico.
 
Sorenstam plans to play a full schedule of 20 to 22 tournaments this year.
 
'No more kinks,' she said. 'I feel great. I've had a good two months off where I've just been working out a lot, working on my game.'
 
The 69-time LPGA Tour winner has enjoyed success in the Aloha State.
 
Sorenstam won the last time she played here in the 2002 LPGA Takefuji Classic at Waikoloa. At the event, a 12-year-old girl named Michelle Wie made her LPGA Tour debut through a qualifier.
 
Wie, who tied for second at Turtle Bay in 2005, will open the season next week in the Fields Open at Ko Olina.
 
Sorenstam finished second in the Takefuji in 2000 and 2001 when it was played at Kona Country Club and had four top-five finishes in the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open. She also won a couple of University of Hawaii tournaments when she starred at the University of Arizona.
 
Now, it's Ochoa who is missing.
 
Ochoa, an eight-time winner last year, is skipping the Hawaii swing and will start her season at the HSBC Women's Champions, a new tournament in Singapore.
 
Creamer won the SBS last year for her first victory since 2005, holing a long birdie putt on the 17th hole to beat Julieta Granada by a stroke. Creamer also won the Tournament of Champions in November.
 
Creamer, who finished third on the money list, said the Turtle Bay win helped with her confidence for the rest of the season and immediately helped relieve the burden of winning, which she failed to do in 2006.
 
'I'm just going out this year with the same mind-set, trying to win every tournament and let's see what happens,' she said.
 
Pettersen is hoping to continue her success after a breakout season last year when she won five times, including the LPGA Championship. She finished second to Ochoa on the money list with more than $1.8 million, nearly doubling her career earnings.
 
'I just tried to make the game as simple as I could,' Pettersen said. 'When you win once, you get confidence. And then twice, you get more confidence. Then you feel like you can do whatever you want.'
 
Pettersen said she doesn't feel pressure to repeat her performance. But she does have her sights on moving up a spot to No. 1.
 
'My big dream is to be the best golfer in the world,' she said. 'But there's one ahead of me who's very good and lots of other great players.'
 
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  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.