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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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.