Webbs Stellar Play Warrants Win

By Martha BrendleJune 2, 2001, 4:00 pm
The skies cleared just as players started the third round Saturday. A round in which, Australias Karrie Webb picked up right where she left off Friday.
I started out pretty much the way I left off yesterday - swinging the club very well and making a lot of birdie opportunities, Webb said. 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 shes won 13 times, finished second seven times and tied for seventh once.
Webb made three birdies Saturday and was 8-under with 5 holes left in her round when she made the first bogey of the day on the 401-yard par 4 14th. This was also her first bogey in 32 holes. A bogey on the 429-yard par 4 17th brought her back to 6-under-par with a very comfortable five-stroke lead over Se Ri Pak 1-under-par 69-70-70 209.
'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 hold 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 Creavy - formerly with the David Ledbetter Academy.
Pak is one stroke ahead of Catriona Matthew even par 72-68-70 210. 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 (6-over-par), gave her caddy a hug on the first then ripped a drive up the center of the fairway. Her caddy this week doubles as the proud father of Stephanie. Pride in his daughter was never more evident than upon 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 daughters 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 has 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, Inkster currently at plus one 68-72-71 211 said.
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 73 she was equally as dismayed with these afternoons efforts. 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. Leaders Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb tee off a t 2 p.m.
Getty Images

After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

Getty Images

Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

Getty Images

Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

Getty Images

Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry