Kerr Looks to Double Up in Illinois

By Lpga Tour MediaAugust 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 State Farm ClassicSPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Fresh off a win yesterday at the Wendy's Championship for Children and with The Solheim Cup just a week around the corner, Cristie Kerr has just one more important task to check off her to-do list before her travels to Indiana.
The 27-year-old is defending her third title of the year at the State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill. Last year, Kerr held off her now-Solheim Cup teammate Christina Kim with a one-shot victory and tournament-record 264 (-24).
This year, the six-time LPGA champion will face nine other past State Farm Classic champions: LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Betsy King (1985, 1986 and 1988); Mary Beth Zimmerman (1995); Cindy Figg-Currier (1997); Pearl Sinn-Bonanni (1998); Mi Hyun Kim (1999); Laurel Kean (2000); Kate Golden (2001); Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (2002); and Candie Kung (2003).
In addition to Kerr, eight other tournament champions from 2005 are teeing it up at the Rail Golf Course this week, including Heather Bowie, Jimin Kang, Soo-Yung Kang, Birdie Kim, Lorena Ochoa, Stacy Prammanasudh, Jennifer Rosales and Wendy Ward.
Kerr also heads into the event with an 18-point lead in the State Farm LPGA Series Bonus Pool standings, ahead of Annika Sorenstam (388). With 406 points, Kerr will be looking to claim the $100,000 first-place prize for the first time. The State Farm LPGA Series is a 10-event tournament series consisting of LPGA events on ESPN and ESPN2, where players can earn points for their finishes in those 10 events towards the bonus pool. Players must compete in the State Farm Classic, where points are tripled, to be eligible for the State Farm Series Bonus Pool.
The balance of the $250,000 purse will be distributed among the players finishing in the top 10 of the final points standings. Kerr, along with 13 others playing at the State Farm Classic, are in the running for the first-place prize, including Bowie (220), Catriona Matthew (204), Ochoa (192), Ward (172), Gloria Park (170), Juli Inkster (154), Prammanasudh (154), Mi Hyun Kim (150), Michele Redman (140), Christina Kim (128), Candie Kung (128), Pat Hurst (124) and Hee-Won Han (116).
Along with Kerr and Christina Kim, five members of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team will compete at the State Farm Classic before making their way to Carmel, Ind., including World Golf Hall of Fame member Inkster, who will be making her sixth appearance on the U.S. Team, Solheim Cup 'rookie' Natalie Gulbis, three-time U.S. Team member Hurst, and two-time U.S. Team members Laura Diaz and Ward.
For the European Solheim Cup Team, Laura Davies, Maria Hjorth, Cartriona Matthew, Suzann Pettersen and Karen Stupples will be in the State Farm Classic field, as will European Team Captain Catrin Nilsmark.
Also in the field are sponsor exemptions Brittany Lang and amateur Morgan Pressel. Lang, 19, tied as runner-up with 17-year-old Pressel at this year's U.S. Women's Open in June. Since turning professional after the U.S. Women's Open, Lang's top finish was a tie for sixth place at the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open. Pressel, who plans to attend the LPGA Tour's qualifying school in the fall, will compete for the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team next week.
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

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    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry