Sorenstam Set to Defend ADT Championship

By Lpga Tour MediaNovember 14, 2005, 5:00 pm
2004 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The 2005 LPGA season ends this week with one of the most exclusive events on Tour. An elite field, which includes only the top-30 players from the ADT Official Money List, will gather at Trump International Golf Club to compete for $1 million in prize money at the ADT Championship.
 
The name at the top of that list once again is Annika Sorenstam, who will defend her eighth title of the year and her third at this event. Sorenstam is enjoying yet another remarkable season on the LPGA Tour with nine wins in 19 starts and nearly $2.4 million in earnings.
 
Sorenstam is looking to record her 10th victory of the season, which would be her second time to reach double-digit wins in her illustrious career. In 2002, Sorenstam won 11 times and joined Carol Mann (1968), Betsy Rawls (1959), Mickey Wright (1961-64) and Kathy Whitworth (1968) as the only players in LPGA history to win 10 or more tournaments in a season. A win at this week's ADT Championship would put her in even more elite company, as only Wright has won 10 or more times in two separate seasons.
 
Sorenstam currently leads the race for the Vare Trophy, which goes to the player with the lowest scoring average with a minimum of 70 rounds played. She enters the week with a 69.2576 scoring average, which leads Cristie Kerr by more than a stroke (70.7500). Sorenstam could collect her sixth Vare Trophy, the second-most in LPGA history behind Whitworth's seven.
 
Sorenstam's nine wins this year include two major championships, the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola, her eighth and ninth career major titles. She also made history at the Samsung World Championship, which she won for the fifth time in her career, tying Wright as the only players to win the same tournament on five separate occasions. Sorenstam recently won the Mizuno Classic for the fifth-straight time, becoming the first professional golfer, on either the LPGA or PGA Tours, to win the same tournament five consecutive times.
 
Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Paula Creamer, who is ranked second on the ADT Official Money List, will look for her third victory of the season.
 
Creamer, 19, was a Rolex First-Time Winner at the Sybase Classic Presented by Lincoln Mercury in May, and also won the Evian Masters in July by an impressive eight shots.
 
Creamer, who scored the most U.S. points at The Solheim Cup this year, also picked up two international wins in Japan this season. She has amassed more than $1.4 million in earnings in her first season, becoming the youngest and fastest player to earn more than $1 million in her career. Creamer's 70.9481 scoring average ranks third in the Vare Trophy standings.
 
Kerr will also look for her third victory of the season at the ADT Championship. She won the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill in May and the Wendy's Championship for Children in August. Kerr is enjoying the second best season of her career as she has won more than $1.3 million this season.
 
Along with Creamer, seven other Rolex First-Time Winners will compete at the ADT Championship. Headlining the list is Jeong Jang, who has won more than $1 million this season for the first time in her career. Jang became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the Weetabix Women's British Open, one of four LPGA majors. Other first-time winners set to compete for the title include Jimin Kang, Birdie Kim, Marisa Baena, Heather Bowie, Meena Lee and Soo-Yun Kang.
 
After coming into the final round with a one-shot lead over Kerr and Jennifer Rosales last year, Sorenstam and Kerr tied at 13-under-par to end the final round. Sorenstam went on to defeat Kerr in a one-hole, sudden-death playoff to become the event's first three-time champion.
 
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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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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.