Fortunes Come True for Sorenstam

By Martha BrendleMarch 11, 2001, 5:00 pm
The rest of the field had virtually no shot of catching Annika Sorenstam during the final round of the Welch's/Circle K Championship.
 
Sorenstam hit the pavement running making birdies on two of her first three holes of the day. By the time she made the turn she had bested the rest of the field by a comfortable five stroke lead at 20-under-par, after shooting a 31 on the front side.
 
That wasn't enough for the tenacious Swede. She burned up the course on the backside as well. By the 16th she had reached 23-under-par, broken the course record that she and Pat Hurst set last year of 19-under-par, and it looked as if her goal was to break all time 72-hole record.
 
Sorenstam comments on her Welch's/Circle K win.
 

On the 18th, Sorenstam left her approach shot short of the green. Undaunted, the former University of Arizona teammate made her way up to her ball waiving her Wildcat head cover in the air. She got the ball up and down with a solid chip that left her with a 12-foot putt.
 
At 23-under and 12-feet away from the hole, Annika was tied with four others for posting the second all time lowest 72-hole score. Karrie Webb recorded the lowest score of 26-under-par 262 at the 1999 Australian Ladies Masters.
 
Sorenstam was denied a birdie after her putt lipped out of the hole. She settled for par on the last, 7-under-par 65 for the final round and her first win since last July.
 
I'll tell you an interesting story,' Annika said. 'I went to dinner Tuesday night and opened a fortune cookie and the fortune read `Your goals will come true this week.' Then the next night I went to a different restaurant, and believe it or not, my fortune cookie read the exact same fortune.'
 
She is now the proud owner of two, solid copper mesquite tree trophies. Asked if Sorenstam would use her trophies as book ends the champion quipped 'Yeah, now I'll just have to get some books.'
 
Six shots off the lead, Se Ri Pak was unable to put any pressure on Annika today. 'It was pretty hard to catch Annika because she was on fire today,' Pak said after her round.
 
Pak could have held sole possession of second but for a missed birdie putt on the 18th. She finish tied for second at 17-under-par 271. 'I don't know what happened,' Pak said of her missed putt. 'It looked like it was OK but then it just didn't go in.'
 
Jen Hanna had a tough day today. Paired with Dottie Pepper, Hanna shot a disappointing 4-over-par to finish the tournament in the middle of the pack at 9-under-par 279.
 
Pepper finished tied for second at 17-under par 271 after sinking a spectacular 50-foot putt. Just moment's prior, the fiery Pepper showed physical disgust with the results of her bunker shot. Undeterred by her bad lie, she got the ball up and down leaving her with the long putt that she ultimately made.
 
Donning flamingo pink pants, Michelle McGann had fun with the gallery as she made her way around the course shooting 8-under-par 64 in the process and finishing the tournament tied with four others in second place at 17-under-par 271.
 
Amateur Lorena Ochoa of Guatemala, Mexico shot 7-under-par 65 during the final round to record her first top ten finish. She carded a bogey free round to finish the tournament tied with Nancy Scranton and Julie Inkster at 12-under-par 276.
 
Ochoa, a freshman at the University of Arizona, received a sponsor's exemption into the Tucson event and chose to play in it over the Mexican Amateur Championship. 'It was a hard decision in the beginning, but it was the best decision for me,' she said. ' I decided it is time to move forward. I stand by my decision, and I am happy with it.'
 
This is only the second professional event the young amateur has played in. The first was the 2000 U.S. Women's Open where she shot 75-78 153 to miss the cut. 'It has been an incredible week. I really enjoyed playing,' said the 19-year-old. Everything was working for me today.'
 
Ochoa is playing in this year's U.S. Women's Open on a sponsors' exemption. 'It is one of the majors and I am honored to be one of the amateur's playing in it.'
 

News & Notes
*Pearl Sinn aced the 189 yard par-3 11th using her 7-wood.
 
*Sorenstam was winless for the last 11 tournaments she competed in yet managed to record 9 top tens.
 
Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.