Ochoa Returns to Defend Lone 2005 Victory

By Lpga Tour MediaJune 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Wegmans OpenPITTSFORD, N.Y. -- This week, the Wegmans LPGA returns to Locust Hill Country Club to celebrate its 30th anniversary, and the timing is right for a showdown of champions. Last year, Lorena Ochoa staged one of the biggest comebacks of the season to win the tournament by four strokes, and as she prepares to defend her title at the $1.8 million Wegmans LPGA this week, she is riding a wave of momentum symbolizing one of the biggest career-breakouts of 2006.
Ochoa created a nine-stroke swing during the 2005 tournament with six birdies on her final seven holes to defeat eventual Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Paula Creamer. It was Ochoa's only victory in a season where she recorded four runner-up finishes and became the fastest player in LPGA Tour history to reach $3 million in career earnings.
This year, she has posted five runner-up finishes, collected two more trophies and a $270,000 winner's check this week would bring her to within $100,000 of $5 million in career earnings. Ochoa will start the Wegmans LPGA leading the ADT Official Money List with $1,155,454 in season earnings and maintaining an impressive Tour-leading 69.38 scoring average. She also leads the LPGA Tour in eagles, the race for the Rolex Player of the Year, ADT Points and the State Farm LPGA Series Bonus Pool.
But Ochoa is certainly not the only player making waves on Tour. All but two of the season's 13 champions are in the 144-player field, including LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb, who joins Ochoa as the only other player with more than one win this season. Webb has played 10 events to Ochoa's 12, but only trails her by $35,000 on the ADT Official Money List, and by four points in the Rolex Player of the Year race.
The advantage for Webb lies in career performances at the Wegmans LPGA. In four appearances, she won in both 1999 and 2002 and has never finished lower than a tie for 15 th (2003). A third victory at the event would tie Webb with fellow LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Famer Nancy Lopez with three wins at the Wegmans LPGA. Only Patty Sheehan, another LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member, has won more with four tournament victories.
Se Ri Pak had a week off to soak in the feeling of another major championship after defeating Webb in a sudden-death playoff at the McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola. With her win, the 23-time LPGA champion jumped from 110 th to 19 th in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. This will be Pak's ninth appearance at the Wegmans LPGA and her continued rise in the rankings will hinge upon her ability to improve on last year's tie for 35 th.
Improving on last year's finish for Creamer would mean a win for the 19 year old. Creamer held a five-stroke lead over Ochoa going into the final 18 holes, but was unable to hold off Ochoa's six-birdies-in-seven-holes surge. By this time last year, Creamer had notched one victory and three additional top-10s. Creamer has six top-10 finishes this season and is still looking for her first win of 2006.
If any player could be considered a quiet threat, watch out for Cristie Kerr. The Miami-native is among the 13 season champions in the field and owns seven additional top-10 finishes. She has made her presence known on Tour, appearing in the top-five in almost every major statistical category, including a 69.88 scoring average'third behind Ochoa and Webb. In 12 starts, she has finished outside the top-13 just twice.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Wegmans LPGA
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • 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.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.