Sorenstam Kim Ready for Challenge

By Lpga Tour MediaOctober 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Longs Drugs ChallengeAUBURN, Calif. -- Christina Kim is used to playing a lot of golf. In her three-year career on the LPGA Tour, the 21-year-old has played in 84 of 85 tournaments in which she has been eligible to compete.
 
However, this week she is doing more than competing. Expect Kim to be a little more giddy than usual, because when she tees it up in the $1 million Longs Drugs Challenge, she won't just be one of the 144 women trying to win the last full-field event of the season, she will be the defending champion.
 
Kim, who grew up in nearby San Jose, Calif., became a Rolex First-Time Winner a year ago competing in her 53rd event as an LPGA member. Since then, she has become one of the most charming, colorful and accommodating members of the Association. With bright clothes, a Crest-worthy smile and a quick wit, she is an instant fan favorite and a reporter's dream interview.
 
Turns out, she is also is quite a cheerleader. As a member of this year's winning U.S. Solheim Cup Team, Kim posted a 2-1-1 record to help secure the victory, but the lasting image from this year's competition will be of her encouraging her teammates to victory. With red, white and blue streamers in her pigtails, which flowed from a backward blue beret emblazoned with a U.S. flag, the gregarious Kim was a visible and vocal force for her team. She led fans in chants and cheers until she was hoarse, and by that time, the U.S. had won back The Solheim Cup.
 
This week, the LPGA's Ironwoman is back to competing as an individual in her 26th tournament this year and 85th of her career. Nobody plays more events then Kim, and you would be hard pressed to find someone that has more fun.
 
Just how often does Kim play? Well, consider the fact that Annika Sorenstam is playing in the Longs Drugs Challenge this year for the first time since 2001, when she finished tied for 43rd. In the time span between her last visit and this week, which is more than four years, Sorenstam has competed in 92 LPGA events. That is only eight more than Kim, who in 2001 was still competing in the U.S. Girls Junior Championship.
 
Sorenstam has seven wins on Tour this year and 63 for her career, but the last time fans at the Longs Drugs Challenge saw her was 36 wins and $10 million ago. It was before she became a one-name superstar, teed it up with the men at Colonial and became a member of the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame. Now, every tournament Sorenstam enters, she is the favorite to win.
 
No sport has seen an athlete who has been able to maintain dominance as long as Sorenstam. She has earned more than $18 million in career earnings and is the only player to earn more than $2 million in a season, something she has done the previous four years and is on the verge of doing again this year. No other player in LPGA history has earned more than $2 million in a season. Sorenstam has finished atop the ADT Official Money List seven times in her career, is a seven-time Rolex Player of the Year and a five-time Vare Trophy winner for lowest scoring average. Not surprisingly, she leads all three categories again this year.
 
Last year, Kim carded four rounds in the 60s to finish the tournament at 18-under-par 266 to hold off a pair of LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame members in Karrie Webb by one stroke and Juli Inkster by two.
 
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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.