Annika Sorenstam - July 2, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamJuly 2, 2012, 12:53 pm

Tiger Woods earned his 74th career PGA TOUR win on Sunday and when she hears people say that he is “back,” she is not sure what they mean by that but she is very happy to see him winning again. His performances have been as consistent as they have been in the past but he is playing well more often and now she would like to see him play at that level in the Major Championships.

When she was asked about Tiger’s shot around a tree in the final round, she said that not too many players would even try that. Tiger has enough control in his swing to be able to have confidence that he can pull off a shot like that and he has done so more often than anyone else in the game while he has been a professional golfer.

Over the years, Tiger has been very good at not letting little things bother him and up until this week, he seemed to have problems with letting those kinds of things creep into his game and his attitude. When that would happen, his game would suffer. Tiger in his statements and his actions showed that he was not going to let the heat bother him and he was able to go out and play his game and win on a course that he likes and where he has played well in the past.

Looking ahead to The Open Championship, Tiger has played very well there in the past and he knows how to handle the elements. She thinks that he will know what to do when he gets to Royal Lytham and while he has not played as well as he would like in the first two Majors this year, you cannot dismiss the fact that he has won very impressive events on very impressive courses like Bay Hill, Muirfield Village, and Congressional.

On Friday, she participated in a “preview” event for The First Tee of Central Florida at Bay Hill. She felt that the event went very well and it is very surprising that the Orlando area does not have a First Tee chapter. She enjoyed giving a clinic for a lot of kids as well as teaching them about the nine core values and the nine healthy habits. The First Tee of Central Florida has hired a new executive director and she is very excited about the future of this chapter. The intention of The First Tee is not to create superstars in golf but instead to create solid citizens who have strong character and display strong values using golf as a vehicle for those lessons.

Ai Miyazato shot a final round 65 to win in Arkansas the week before the U.S. Women’s Open but World #1 Yani Tseng missed the cut. She spoke with Yani on Friday and Saturday and Yani is certainly disappointed in the way she played last week. Annika said that she is optimistic that she will recover and that she will be ready to compete on Thursday at Blackwolf Run. That course will be a very tough test and she knows from personal experience as she finished T41 in the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open. She is always flattered when players on the LPGA Tour seek her out for advice because when she was younger, she would seek out other players for advice and they were always very generous with her. She sees a great deal of potential in Yani and she wants her to do well in her career and in her life.

When Se Ri Pak won the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open, no one had any idea at the time what that would mean for South Korea. She was playing very well at the same time that Pak was and she got to play a number of rounds with her and the impact that Pak had on her home country was truly amazing and you continue to see the significance of that win today.

While Ai Miyazato is not a long hitter, she is very consistent off the tee and is excellent around the greens. It took her a while to become comfortable on the LPGA Tour after dominating in her home country of Japan but now that she has, she clearly has learned how to win in the United States and although Blackwolf Run is a long course, Annika would not be surprised to see Ai Miyazato contend in the U.S. Women’s Open this week.

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Romo set to make PGA Tour debut at Punta Cana

By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:43 pm

While much of the attention in golf this week will be focused on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tony Romo may send a few eyeballs toward the Caribbean.

The former quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst will make his PGA Tour debut this week, playing on a sponsor invite at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. The exemption was announced last month when Romo played as an amateur at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he's apparently been hard at work ever since.

"I'll be treating it very serious," Romo told reporters Tuesday. "My wife will tell you she hasn't seen me much over the last month. But if you know me at all, I think you know if I care about something I'm going to commit to it 100 percent. So like I said. you'll get the best I've got this week."

Romo retired from the NFL last year and plays to a plus-0.3 handicap. In addition to his participation in the Pebble Beach event, he has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open multiple times and last month played a North Texas PGA mini-tour event as an amateur.

According to Romo, one of the key differences between pro football and golf is the fact that his former position is entirely about reactive decisions, while in golf "you're trying to commit wholeheartedly before you ever pull the club out of your bag."

"I'm not worried about getting hit before I hit the ball," Romo said. "It's at my own tempo, my own speed, in this sport. Sometimes that's difficult, and sometimes that's easier depending on the situation."

Romo admitted that he would have preferred to have a couple extra weeks to prepare, but recently has made great strides in his wedge game which "was not up to any Tour standard." The first-tee jitters can't be avoided, but Romo hopes to settle in after battling nerves for the first three or four holes Thursday.

Romo hopes to derive an added comfort factor from his golf in the Dallas area, where he frequently plays with a group of Tour pros. While Steph Curry traded texts with a few pros before his tournament debut last summer on the Tour, Romo expects his phone to remain silent until he puts a score on the board.

"I think they're waiting to either tell me 'Congrats' or 'I knew it, terrible,'" Romo said. "Something along those lines. They're probably going to wait to see which way the wind's blowing before they send them."

Romo will tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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Spieth vs. Reed random? Hmm, wonders Spieth

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Monday’s blind draw to determine the 16 pods for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t exactly feel “blind” for Jordan Spieth, whose group includes Patrick Reed.

Spieth and Reed have become a staple of U.S. teams in recent years, with a 7-2-2 record in the Ryder and Presidents Cup combined. So when the ping-pong ball revealed Reed’s number on Monday night Spieth wasn’t surprised.

“It seems to me there's a bit more to this drawing than randomness,” laughed Spieth, whose pod also includes Haotong Li and Charl Schwartzel. “It's not just me and him. It's actually a lot of groups, to have Luke List and Justin [Thomas] in the same group seems too good to be true. It might be some sort of rigging that's going on, I'm not sure.”

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Spieth will play Reed on Friday in the round-robin format and knows exactly what to expect from the fiery American.

“I've seen it firsthand when he's been at his best. And we have history together in a couple of different playoffs, which is a match-play scenario,” Spieth said. “I've got to take care of work tomorrow and the next day for that day to even matter. But even if it doesn't matter, trust me, it will matter to both of us.”

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U.S. Open champ Koepka (wrist) to miss Masters

By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:12 pm

Reigning U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka will miss the Masters, according to a USA Today report.

Koepka has been battling a left wrist injury since late last year, and he hasn't played since finishing last at the limited-field Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January. Weeks later he revealed that he had a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) tendon but hoped to return in time for the season's first major.

According to the report, Koepka only started putting this week and plans to begin hitting chips next week.

"They said I would be about 80 percent, but I can't play 80 percent," Koepka said. "I either have to go full bore or not at all. I don't want to risk getting it re-injured and then be out a long time."

Koepka has finished T-33 or better in each of his three prior Masters appearances, culminating in a T-11 result last year.

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Spieth's agent leaving firm, but keeping Spieth as client

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:07 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Jay Danzi has stepped down as COO of Lagardère Sports U.S., and will take one of the game’s most marketable players, Jordan Spieth, with him.

In a press release, Danzi said, “after careful consideration I feel that it’s time for a new adventure.” Danzi will represent Spieth independently.

“It’s been a privilege having Jordan be part of the Lagardère Sports’ family for the last five years and watching him grow from a promising young player to someone who transcends the game,” said Steve Loy, Lagardère Sports president of golf. “We are also grateful for Jay’s contributions over the years, in golf and other areas of our business.”

Lagardère Sports underwent an aggressive expansion in recent years, acquiring numerous boutique firms including Danzi’s business and Crown Sports Management.

Although losing Spieth, the world’s fourth-ranked player, and Danzi, who took over as Lagardère COO in February 2017, is a setback, the firm still has a number of high-profile clients including Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.