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.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

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Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."