Annika Sorenstam - January 12, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamJanuary 12, 2012, 1:11 pm

The LPGA Tour released its schedule for 2012 this week with five more events and $7 million more in total prize money over 2011. The biggest story in this announcement is that there are more domestic LPGA Tour events which is a great sign for the future and proof that Michael Whan is doing great work. Whan has had a very tough job and she thinks that the job of LPGA Tour Commissioner is the toughest in sports even with a strong economy. He has worked very hard to get the opinions of all of the players as well as the whole organization and has been able to make some great progress in a relatively short amount of time.

In her final year on the LPGA Tour, she won the Michelob ULTRA Open on the LPGA Tour in 2008 and so she is obviously thrilled that an LPGA Tour event will be returning to Kingsmill for the first time in a few years. She was very relieved that she was able to announce that she was stepping away from the game on the heels of a win instead of a runner-up finish. Moving the RICOH Women’s British Open to September is great for the event and great for the LPGA Tour because it schedules the Major Championships over a few months instead of a few weeks like in 2011. It is very important that the LPGA Tour is able to play their Major Championships on great golf courses like Oakmont and St. Andrews because it shows that the LPGA Tour is getting more respect all around the world. She thinks that 2012 will be a great year for the LPGA Tour.

Annika will be at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, CA next week. She thinks it is wonderful that former President Bill Clinton is a great person to step in and use his influence to both help this event and to raise awareness about healthier habits in life. Clinton has been able to bring in some great names like Norman, Mickelson, and Anthony Kim which really helps to bring this event up from where it was the past few years.

After the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, pace of play once again became an issue at the forefront of the coverage. When she was on the LPGA Tour, she dealt with slow play a lot. She considers herself to be a fast player and whenever there is slow play, it hurts everyone involved and helps absolutely no one. It is a problem on every tour and pace of play is one of the most important things to the success of golf. When it comes to solutions, the answer is difficult because while everyone knows what the problem is, no one (her included) is sure what exactly can be done to make everyone play quicker. There are ways to make the pace quicker but since money no longer makes an impact on players, stroke penalties may be needed to get the attention of slow players.

The Annika Invitational on the AJGA is being held for the fourth year at the Reunion Resort in Orlando. The AJGA is doing a great job to teach young players the need to develop good habits when it comes to playing quickly as well as how to behave when you are on the golf course. She has been very happy to offer her perspectives to these players and it has been wonderful to raise a lot of money for charities and the Annika Foundation has done great work. Over the years, she is seeing increased talent among these young players from any and all countries around the world. These kids have all of the resources they need but as the game of golf grows, it is important to continue to inspire them to choose golf because there are so many choices in the world today.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen: