Webbs Stellar Play May Warrant Repeat
I started out pretty much the way I left off yesterday, swinging the club very well and making a lot of birdie opportunities, said Webb following a 1-under-par 69 at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
I really feel good about my round. I probably had just a couple of loose iron shots coming in, but I cant be too hard on myself today. I shot 1-under and there werent too many other red numbers up on the board.
I was really impressed with the job the greens superintendent and his crew did. The course was in great shape today. You would never know that there was that much rain yesterday. There wasnt one part on the fairways where you felt water under your feet. The greens were probably a little bit softer that they were yesterday but we had a breeze today that dried them out.
Webb completed her second round Friday at 5-under-par 135 and in sole possession of the lead.
I put a lot of emphasis on the Majors now. I always have, Webb said in a press conference Friday. Youre not ever going to win every single time you put yourself in contention, but the more times you put yourself in that position, the more chances you have and maybe you get lucky a couple of times.
Of the 21 times Karrie has held the final-round lead, shes won 13 times, finished second seven times and tied for seventh once.
Webb made three birdies Saturday and was 8-under for the tournament with 5 holes left in her round when she made her first bogey in 32 holes on the 401-yard par-4 14th.
Another bogey on the 429-yard par-4 17th brought her back to 6-under-par, where she finished the day.
However, the defending champion still holds a very comfortable five-stroke lead over Se Ri Pak, who stands at 1-under-par after a third-round 70.
'I missed so many great birdie chances for 34 holes. I kept missing putts. I misread or missed speed,' Pak said. 'It was a little confusing. But I just - actually, I find out something on the 18th hole that I'm going to be working on tonight. And I think tomorrow everything will go into the hole.'
Pak has been working on her putting with Tom Creavey, formerly with the David Ledbetter Academy.
Pak is one stroke ahead of Catriona Matthew.
Inclement weather forced Matthew to complete 36-holes today. Im delighted with 2-under for my 36 holes. I played well this morning and shot 2-under, Matthew said Saturday evening. And really played well this afternoon. Overall Im pretty pleased.
Stephanie Keever, one of four amateurs to make the cut, gave her caddie a hug on the 1st, and then ripped a drive down the center of the fairway.
Her caddie this week doubles as the proud father of Stephanie. Pride in his daughter was never more evident than upon the completion of her second round Friday. While Stephanie and the rest of her group made their way to the 18th green, Stephanies dad, Larry, was spotted taking a picture of the leaderboard with his daughter's name and score on it.
Keever completed the third round at 13-over-par after recording a disastrous 10 on the 351-yard par-4 13th.
Juli Inkster had a tumultuous third round; consisting of five birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey on the 401-yard par-4 14th.
After three disastrous holes on the backside, Inkster made a birdie on the 429-yard par-4 17th.
It gave me a little hitch in my giddy up, said Inkster, who is at 1-over after a 71.
Annika Sorenstam arrived at the course at 5 a.m. to finish her second round. She was not pleased with the early performance. And after recording her worst score this week, 3-over-par 73, she was equally as dismayed with her afternoon effort.
Im really disappointed with my play today. I expected to do better, Annika said just off the 18th green. It just didnt go my way and thats the way it is.
The first group tees off at 9:10 a.m. Sunday morning. The final twosome of Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb tee off at 2 p.m.
Full-field scores from the U.S. Women's Open
Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.
Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.
“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”
The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.
“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”
Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.
Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.
Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.
''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''
It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.
''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''
Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.
''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''
After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.
''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''
He's making his first start in the event.
''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.
Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.
''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''
Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.
''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.
The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.
''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''
Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.
''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.
Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.
Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.
Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.
John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.
Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years
Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.
He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.
How rare is his missing the cut there?
The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.
The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.
The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.
Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.
Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.
Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur
Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.
The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.
They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.
It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.
“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”
The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.
The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.