Sorenstam Defends Yet Again

By Lpga Tour MediaJuly 21, 2003, 4:00 pm
Theres little doubt that the Evian Masters Golf Club is one of Annika Sorenstams favorite places to tee it up. The Swede has won two of the three Evian Masters events played there, including last years fourstroke victory over Maria Hjorth and Mi- Hyun Kim. She will be looking to continue her success there this week as she leads the LPGA on its first overseas journey of the 2003 season.
The $2.1 million Evian Masters is the first of two-straight events in Europe for the LPGA, as the Tour moves on to Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, July 31-Aug. 3, for the Weetabix Womens British Open, the fourth and final major championship of the season.
At this weeks Evian Masters, which awards $315,000 to the tournament champion, Sorenstam will face one of the most loaded fields of the season. She is 2-for-4 in title defenses this year and has won three times in 10 events. The event is limited to 78 stellar players, 56 from the LPGA Tour and 22 from the Evian Ladies European Tour (LET). Included in the field are 11 of the 13 LPGA tournament champions from 2003, as well as all eight tournament champions from the 2003 LET season.
The event is a chance for players from the two Tours to get a look at each other heading into the 2003 Solheim Cup, Sept. 12-14, at Barseback Golf & Country Club in Malmo, Sweden. Of the 78 players competing in this years event, 32 have prior Solheim Cup experience dating back to the inaugural Cup in 1990. Dale Reid, the 2000 and 2002 European Team Captain, is competing in the event, as is 2003 European Team Captain Catrin Nilsmark and her Vice Captain, Alison Nicholas. Other players to watch this week include Laura Davies, Laura Diaz, Natalie Gulbis, Juli Inkster, U.S. Womens Open champion Hilary Lunke, leading LPGA Tour rookie Lorena Ochoa, Se Ri Pak, Grace Park, 2001 Evian Masters champion Rachel Teske and Karrie Webb.
Last year, Kim carded a 66 (-6) in the first round to take a one-stroke lead over Mhairi McKay and Carin Koch. Frances Karine Icher held the lead after round two with a 134 (-10) total, a one-shot advantage over Leta Lindley, Sorenstam and Pak.
Sorenstam charged to a four-shot lead over Kim thanks to a 65 (-7) in the third round, which gave her a 200 (-16) three-day total. Sorenstams lead never diminished to less than two strokes in the final round, as the Swede carded four birdies against a lone bogey for a threeunder- par 69. Hjorth closed with a final- round 64 (-8), tying the tournament record, and charged to the runner-up spot with Kim, who carded a 69 (-3) in the final round.
It was Sorenstams fifth win of the 2002 season and the 36th of her career.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Evian Masters
  • More LPGA Tour Preview Information
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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 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."

    Getty Images

    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.


    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.