Lincicome Back to Take on the World in Match Play

By Lpga Tour MediaJuly 17, 2007, 4:00 pm
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The first two champions of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship started a tradition that may be tough to follow, given the depth of the field this year.
 
In 2005, Marisa Baena became the dark horse champion, winning as the 60th seed in the event's inaugural year. Last year, Brittany Lincicome charged through the brackets as the 39th seed and took down second-seed Michelle Wie, third-seed Lorena Ochoa and eighth-seed Juli Inkster in the finals for the win.
 
If Lincicome wants to successfully defend her title at the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship, she'll have to do it on a new course against 63 of the world's top-ranked players. Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y., will host the event, which was held at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in New Jersey for the first two years. Wykagyl is familiar territory for the LPGA, though, as it played host to the Sybase Classic for 17 years.
 
After the first round of 32 matches on Thursday, half of the field will be eliminated. On Friday, the top-16 players will advance to Saturday's third round when the competition will heat up with the possibility of playing four more matches towards victory. The winner will walk away with a $500,000 check ' one quarter of the $2 million purse.
 
Rolex Rankings number one Lorena Ochoa, who has three victories this season and is just shy of $1.8 million in 2007 earnings, is the top seed this week. Ochoa advanced to the semifinals last year where she was defeated by Lincicome in 19 holes. She is joined by LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Famers Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak and Juli Inkster, all of whom are eager to capture their first HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship title. Pak, who won her fifth title at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger last week, qualified for the Hall of Fame on June 7. Inkster came ever so close to winning last season, but couldn't put together a solid final round, losing 3and 2 to Lincicome.
 
In addition to Ochoa and four Hall of Famers, the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship field includes the top-30 players on the Rolex Rankings through the U.S. Women's Open, who have committed to play in the event. The top-29 players on the LPGA Official Money List through the U.S. Women's Open who are not already qualified also gain entry into the tournament, as well as Trish Johnson, the number-one ranked player on the Ladies European Tour (LET) Order of Merit.
 
Eighteen-year old South African Ashleigh Simon, who turned professional in June, is one of two sponsor exemptions and completed her LPGA Tour professional debut last week at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, but missed the cut. Baena was awarded the other exemption.
 
If the winner of the tournament is an LPGA member, she will automatically qualify for the season-ending ADT Championship as it is one of five Winner Event spots in the second half LPGA Playoffs 2007.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.