Sorenstam Reaching for Double-Digit Wins

By Lpga Tour MediaNovember 4, 2002, 5:00 pm
OTSU-SHI, SHIGA, Japan -- Annika Sorenstam is defending the last of her eight 2001 titles as she leads the 78-player field in the Mizuno Classic at the Seta Golf Course in Otsu-Shi, Shiga, Japan.
 
Sorenstam will team with 42 LPGA players, 35 players on the Ladies Professional Golfers Association of Japan and Hiromi Kobayashi, a sponsor exemption (and a member of both Tours). They will play the 54-hole, no-cut event for the $1,130,000 purse.
 
Players vying for the $169,500 winners share include 2002 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, Beth Bauer, as well as eight 2002 LPGA tournament champions: Mi Hyun Kim, Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, Janice Moodie, Se Ri Pak, Gloria Park, Grace Park, Rachel Teske and Sorenstam.
 
The LPGA portion of the field was determined by the LPGA money list following the Williams Championship on Sept. 8. This years Mizuno Classic, now in its 27th year as an official event on the LPGA Tour, also features past Mizuno Classic champions Maria Hjorth (1999), Lorie Kane (2000), Hiromi Kobayashi (1998), Liselotte Neumann (1991, 1997) and JLPGA member Woo-Soon Ko (1994-95).
 
Hjorth holds the tournament record at 201, 15-undr-par. As the last event for LPGA players to earn money to move into the top 30 and qualify for the ADT Championship, several players are on the bubble: Dorothy Delasin (30), Meunier-Lebouc (31), Vicki Goetze-Ackerman (32), Emilee Klein (33), Neumann (34), Jeong Jang (35), and LPGA rookies Natalie Gulbis (36) and Candie Kung (37). Delasin holds the 30th position by $509 over Meunier-Lebouc.
 
In 2001, Sorenstam won the Mizuno Classic with a 203 total, three shots ahead of Laura Davies. Sorenstam recorded rounds of 66-67-70 for her eighth win of the 2001 season and her first Mizuno Classic title.
 
With a win the week before at the CISCO World Ladies Match Play Championship, Sorenstam became the first LPGA player to win two titles in Japan in a single season.
 
In the final round, Davies made birdie on the second hole to put pressure on Sorenstam, who started the day with a two-shot lead. Sorenstam made her first birdie of the day on the par-3 fourth hole. On the next hole, Davies followed up with her second birdie of the day, but a Davies bogey on the sixth hole put Sorenstam up by two.
 
Sorenstams first bogey of the tournament came on her 43rd hole of play. On the par-4 seventh hole, Sorenstam pulled her 6-iron in a bunker; she two putted for the bogey. But the Swede bounced back with a birdie on the very next hole. Sorenstam bogeyed 15, but finished the event with birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to win by three shots over Davies, who carded a final-round 71.
 
Blowing winds were unable to derail Sorenstams game. She missed only four greens throughout her entire round. And, as it turned out, Sorenstam never relinquished the lead throughout the day despite the conditions. Marisa Baena and Ko tied for third, finishing eight-under-par for the tournament. JLPGA members Aki Takamura and Ji-Hee Lee finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Sophie Gustafson, Yu Ping Lin, Silvia Cavalleri and Kayo Yamada all tied for seventh to round out the top 10.
 
Statistical Preview for the Mizuno Classic

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."