Annika 1 Major Down 3 to Go

By Sports NetworkMarch 27, 2005, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Annika Sorenstam shot a 4-under 68 on Sunday to cruise to an eight-shot victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Sorenstam completed the season's first major at 15-under-par 273 for her third career victory at this event.
Rosie Jones, whose quest for a major title remains unfulfilled, managed a 1- under 71 to finish alone in second place at 7-under-par 281. Laura Diaz and Cristie Kerr shared third place at 5-under-par 283.
Sorenstam has dominated women's golf throughout her career and has set several records along the way. Sunday's win was the fifth in her last five starts, dating back to the ADT Championship last November, putting her in an elite group with Nancy Lopez as the only players to win five consecutive starts.
'I'm very excited, I'm very happy. I had a lot of things go right this week,' said Sorenstam, who won for the 59th time on the LPGA Tour. 'I've been driving down the street, it's been green lights, everything is perfect. Good music on the radio, you name it.'
Sorenstam took control of the event with a 66 on Saturday on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club. She carried a five-shot lead over Jones into the final round and continued to pull away with a birdie at the par-5 second after her third shot stopped within 5 feet of the hole.
The Swede knocked her second shot inside 7 feet for a birdie at the par-4 fourth and converted an 8-foot putt for a birdie at the par-3 fifth to extend her advantage to eight strokes.
'It was a very good week when it comes to the rhythm of my swing, the distance control was good,' said Sorenstam.
Sorenstam buckled down from that point on and added a birdie at the par-5 11th to reach 15 under. She caught an unlucky bounce at the par-4 13th but drained a par-saving putt from the fringe. Sorenstam continued to string along pars until the closing hole.
Sorenstam had a birdie chance at the last but she two-putted for par before the celebratory jump into the lake alongside the green.
'I want to enjoy this,' said Sorenstam, who captured her eighth career major title. 'Who knows what will happen the rest of the year.'
Jones could only hope for a meltdown from Sorenstam on Sunday to have any chance at a comeback. She hurt herself early with a bogey at the fourth, however, but came back with a birdie at the very next hole.
'I had to get off to a really good start,' said Jones, a 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour. 'I wanted to come out and play aggressive.'
The 45-year-old ran off back-to-back birdies starting at the par-five ninth to move to 8 under. She then gave a shot back with a bogey at the par-4 15th and parred her way in to take second place alone.
'She didn't show any nerves at all,' Rose said of Sorenstam. 'It would have been nice to come within three or four shots of her and put a little more pressure on her, but that didn't happen.'
Defending champion Grace Park completed a valiant effort on Sunday with a 4-under 68. Park, who was forced to pull out of last week's Safeway International because of a bad back, joined Mi Hyun Kim in a tie for fifth at 4-under-par 284.
Juli Inkster was one more shot behind at 3-under-par 285 followed by Lorie Kane at 2-under-par 286.
Beth Daniel, Reilly Rankin, Dorothy Delasin, Candie Kung and Wendy Doolan tied for ninth at 1-under-par 287.
Michelle Wie had a streak of top-10 finishes at this event snapped but the 15- year-old was still able to finish as the low amateur. Wie carded a 1-under 71 in the final round to share 14th place with Kim Saiki and Brandie Burton at even-par 288.
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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.