60th Seed Baena Wins Match Play Title

By Sports NetworkJuly 3, 2005, 4:00 pm
GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Marisa Baena, ranked 60th in the 64-player field, parred the final hole Sunday to defeat 47th-seeded Meena Lee, 1-up and win the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
 
The win was her first on the LPGA Tour and she pocketed $500,000 for the victory, the richest first-place prize in LPGA Tour history. That's big for someone who had only made $87,258 so far in the 2005 season.
 
Marisa Baena
Marisa Baena knocked off six straight higher seeds en route to the Match Play title.
'It's been a great week,' said Baena. 'I have no words. That's almost what I've made my entire career. I made $30,000 last year and here I made $500,000 in a week.'
 
Baena established a 3-up lead on the back nine, but Lee never relented. At the 15th, Baena missed a 25-footer for birdie, while Lee holed a 12-footer to win the hole and trail 2-down.
 
Lee, who hit first on almost every hole because Baena is longer off the tee, hit her approach to 15 feet at the 16th. Baena was 20 feet short of the hole and came up 2 feet short with her birdie putt. Lee once again holed the tester and now her deficit was only 1-down with two to play.
 
Lee looked to be in trouble at the par-3 17th when she missed the green left. Baena hit a 7-iron 15 feet short of the hole, then watched Lee chip to 8 feet. Baena had a chance to win the title, but her putt never touched the hole. Lee drained the par save to stay 1-down and force the final to reach No. 18.
 
At the 18th, both players found the fairway off the tee and Lee came up 40 feet short with a 7-wood. Baena landed 25 feet over the flag with her second.
 
Lee hit a tentative putt that left her 6 feet for par. Baena needed two putts to win the title and she lagged her birdie try to tap-in range. Lee conceded the match and title to Baena.
 
'It's amazing,' said Baena. 'My husband is here, my dad is here, so it's even more special for me.'
 
Baena came to the tour with a lot of promise. She lost the 1996 U.S. Amateur title to Kelli Kuehne, but had an amazing collegiate career at the University of Arizona. Baena won 10 tournaments, including the 1996 NCAA Individual title.
 
Lee, who was not even in the field last week at the U.S. Women's Open, took her second runner-up finish in this her rookie year. She tied for second at the LPGA Corning Classic.
 
Baena took the lead several times on the front nine, but Lee almost always squared the match.
 
Lee never played in a single match-play event before this week and it showed at the par-five ninth. She went through the green with her third, then chipped through on the other side with her fourth. Baena was in there close, putting for birdie, but Lee conceded instead of taking a shot with her chip and maybe holing out for par. If Baena missed the birdie putt, and Lee made her long chip, the hole would have been halved, but Lee conceded to fall 2-down.
 
Lee answered with a 10-footer for birdie at the 10th to cut the margin in half.
 
Baena built a 2-up lead at the 11th when she rolled in a 6-foot birdie putt and Lee failed to capitalize from 4 feet. Baena gave one back thanks to a poor tee shot in the bunker at 12, but she reclaimed a 2-up edge at 13. She rolled in a 7-footer for birdie at the par-4 hole.
 
Baena reached the green in two at the par-5 14th. She had 35 feet for eagle and Lee had almost the same distance for birdie. Baena lagged her birdie try close to the hole, but once Lee missed her birdie putt, she perhaps conceded early as Baena had almost 2 feet left. Baena went 3-up until Lee's dramatic comeback attempt.
 
Baena ousted Natalie Gulbis (No. 5), Grace Park (No. 37), Jennifer Rosales (No. 21) and Karrie Webb (No. 29) en route to the semifinals, where she beat Candie Kung (No. 8), 2-up.
 
Lee defeated Hee-Won Han (No. 18), Kim Saiki (No. 50), Liselotte Neumann (No. 31) and Pat Hurst (No. 39), and Wendy Ward (No. 14) to make the final match.
 
In the consolation match, Ward overcame a 3-down deficit to defeat Kung, 2 and 1. Ward ran in a pair of 15-foot birdie putts at 15 and 17 to close the door on Kung, who bested No. 1 seed Annika Sorenstam in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - HSBC Womens World Match Championship

  • Full Coverage - HSBC Womens World Match Championship
  • 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.

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.