Annika Sorenstam - February 23, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamFebruary 23, 2012, 1:10 pm

Looking at the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, Annika began by saying that many people – including Annika herself- were expecting Luke Donald to have a strong week and she was a bit surprised that the World #1 played the way he did and lost 5&4 to Ernie Els. In Match Play, all you can do is play the best golf you can and that can result in a win or a loss. It is much tougher to take a Match Play loss if you played poorly than if you played well and your opponent simply played better.

When you are leading in Match Play late in the round, it is tempting to start worrying about your score instead of your game and that really stress you out. The worst thing you can do when you are leading late is to start counting down the remaining holes because if you do that, you are vulnerable to getting caught and losing.

Tiger Woods has been working on so much over the last year and there were some swings that did not look good to her. Tiger’s position at the top of his swing looked very different and some of the shots he hit were unbelievably erratic. It is odd to see this from Tiger this week because his swing looked great at Pebble Beach. But still, a win is a win in Match Play and Tiger lives to see another round. He has a lot of work to do and seems to want it more than anybody but what Tiger needs to do is play more and to continue to work and she does not have any doubt that he will do that. The key to a successful swing is the ability to repeat it and Tiger does not seem to be able to repeat his swing often enough.

She wished that she had an update on the Olympic Course Designer announcement but she is waiting on news just like everyone else. She is not sure when she will hear something about this but she will let Erik and Gary know when she does.

Next week, she will be participating in a Ladies’ Day at The Honda Classic in West Palm Beach. There will be a lot of great people there and she looks forward to taking part and meeting with folks who are very interested in being involved with golf and the PGA TOUR.

She is heading to Phoenix, Arizona to take part in an event called Escape for Good which is a gathering a lot of athletes including herself, Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, and others and it is a chance for the athletes to raise a lot of money for a lot of different charities.

When asked about her interest in appearing on “Dancing With The Stars” after Tony Dovolani expressed his interest in having her on the show, Annika said that a year ago she received a call from the show to be involved and she turned down that offer because she was pregnant. Now that she is not pregnant, she said that she would be interested and also said that when she and her husband were dating, they took dance lessons. She would be interested in being involved but it will come down to whether or not the show wants to have her participate.

When she watched Tiger during his match with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, she saw Tiger do what great players do: turn a bad round into a not so bad round. As a result, he was able to pull off a 1UP win and now he is in the second round against Nick Watney who defeated Darren Clarke in the first round.

On the question of whether or not she would like to see more Match Play events, Annika said that she enjoys the format as a player and as a fan but she would not necessarily want to see more events like this. This format may be better for the LPGA Tour than the PGA TOUR because of the volatility and the likelihood of upsets. The timing of this event is also important because the earlier the event, the more likely people will pay attention to it. If you have this kind of event only once or twice a year, you are more likely to have the participation of all of or at least most of the best players in the world which is also important to the success of the event.

The kind of match play player which gives her the most trouble is someone who is slow and very deliberate with their game but also someone who is very chatty on the course gives her problems as well. It is wise to focus on your own game in this format and not get too emotional over individual shots and individual moments. She is also someone who likes to walk ahead of her opponent in this format.

When you are leading a match, you are more generous when it comes to conceding putts to her opponent but when you are tied or behind, you are not generous at all. When she was the Assistant Captain for the European Solheim Cup team, she did not advise the players to use forms of gamesmanship because she does not feel that is a good part of the format.

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.

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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.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.