Pak Two Times a Winner

By Martha BrendleApril 22, 2001, 4:00 pm
It wasnt historic, it wasnt even particularly riveting golf - unless, of course, you were Se Ri Pak. For Pak it was sweet victory.
 
Pak had a game plan as she entered the final round of the rain shortened Longs Drugs Challenge. I think tomorrow, everything will not change. Same game, same plan as the last two days, Pak said following Saturdays round. Thing is, not easy to get through as a leader through 18. Behind me, there are very strong players. Mentally, I have to try to be strong. Really, I just want to play by my game and enjoy myself. Thats all.
 
Free Video - Registration Required Se Ri Pak comments on her Longs Drugs Challenge win
 
This year, Im very confident in myself, my game. Mentally, Im pretty much stronger than last years. It is helping me for the golf course. I make a plan and am smart. Tomorrow, its going to be much confidence for myself. In two days, I only missed one fairway and one missed green today. This is not an easy golf course. But I have a lot of confidence to play 18 holes tomorrow.
 
Sunday did not begin exactly as she planned. Pak made bogey on the 370-yard, par 4 first ' a hole she bogeyed for the second day in a row, but quickly turned her game around with a birdie on the par-3 4th to move back to even par. I know I would have a good day, but putting was little bit of struggle. All day I couldnt putt, I hit great shots, but I couldnt make a putt all day. I was mad, a little upset, it was difficult to play out there. I knew I had to hang in there with the golf and I tried to play it hole by hole. I wanted to get the trophy, I promised myself.
 
Making the turn at even par, Pak continued on that path until encountering trouble on the 13th - a par-3 - in the form of a bogey after three putting. It was at this point that Se Ri really needed to play smart golf. She was no longer in the lead of this tournament. A young, and winless Laura Diaz had made a putt to pull into the lead and put pressure on Pak.
 
Heading into the final stretch Pak stepped up to the challenge by birding the par-4 16th and par-5 17th. Pak made birdies on these two holes in every round of this event, though by doing it today she pulled ahead of Diaz by one shot. Even par on the last gave Se Ri a final round of 1-under-par 71.
 
62 putts later with three-day scores of 66-71-71 (208), Pak captured her second win of the season. I said no matter what I was not going to give up that trophy.
 
Laura Diaz finished in second place and smarting from letting potentially her first win on Tour slip through her fingers. Diaz finished 6-under-par with three-day scores of 70-72-68 (210).
 
The three-year veteran from Scotia, NY held the lead outright midway through her round after carding birdie on the par-4 10th and again on the par-5 12th.
 
It was nothing less than disappointing for Diaz, who played great golf this week hitting 42 greens in regulation, when Pak made back-to-back birdies once again leaving the New York native trailing the lead by one stroke. A final and poignant bogey on the 398-yard par-4 last destroyed any hopes of a win this week.
 
Michele Redman, not one for watching the scoreboard, finished 5-under 68-70-73 (211) and in sole possession of third place.
 
The stars were not in Annika Sorenstams house this week. An unusual three-day total of 4-over-par 73-72-75 (220) left her tied for 43rd place. Sorenstams game was as sharp as ever in many ways - Sunday she hit 16 greens. Ultimately, it was her putter that failed her this week.
 
The pragmatic Swede was not daunted by her performance this week. I feel good about my game, Sorenstam said after the final round. Im disappointed over all but I never really had a chance. Im going to try to do it again.
 
I feel calm. I was excited at the beginning of the week and I had a chance to do something no one else has ever done. I had a few breaks last week and this week I didnt have the breaks.
 
Next week Im going to go work with my teacher and figure out what when wrong this week. Im more than pleased with my game this year. I wasnt going out to win five tournaments in a row, I just wanted to win tournaments this year.
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Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.