Annika Captures Record-Breaking Win

By Sports NetworkNovember 6, 2005, 5:00 pm
LPGA logo for LeaderboardsSETA, OTSU-SHI, Japan -- Annika Sorenstam continued to make her mark on the golf record books on Sunday. She carded an 8-under 64 to win the Mizuno Classic for the fifth straight year.
Sorenstam completed the victory at 21-under-par 195 at Seta Golf Course. She became the first player in PGA or LPGA Tour history to win the same event five consecutive years.
The Swede, who had won this crown by nine strokes each of the last two years, claimed her 65th career title on the LPGA Tour.
Jenny Rosales closed with a 6-under 66 to end alone in second place at 18- under-par 198.
Yuri Fudoh matched Sorenstam's 64 in the final round to climb into a tie for third place at 16-under-par 200. She was joined there by first- and second-round leader Young Kim (70) and Sophie Gustafson (66).
Kim led by one entering the round and a birdie on the second gave the Korean a two-stroke cushion. However, she bogeyed the fourth to slide back to 14 under.
Gustafson birdied four of five holes from the third to jump to minus-14 and a share of the lead with Kim.
Sorenstam had been biding her time, as she opened with five straight pars. She then eagled the par-5 sixth. Over the three-day event, Sorenstam played the hole at 4 under par.
The eagle got Sorenstam to 15 under and a share of the lead with Rosales and Kim. The Korean birdied the sixth, while Rosales also eagled the par-5 to get to minus-15.
The 34-year-old Sorenstam took the outright lead for the first time in the final round with a birdie on the par-four eighth. Rosales joined her at 16 under as she birdied No. 10.
Sorenstam again moved one ahead as she sank a birdie try on the 11th. Rosales, playing alongside Sorenstam and Kim, birdied 12 to forge another tie. Kim, who birdied the 11th, also birdied 13 to create a three-way tie at 17 under.
From there, it was all Sorenstam. She birdied the 14th for the third straight round to move to 18 under. The Swede made it two in a row as her birdie putt at the 15th fell into the cup.
Sorenstam poured in back-to-back birdies from the 17th to close out the win in style. She has posted a cumulative total of 95 under par in her five straight wins here.
With 17 and 18 both par-5s, Rosales had an outside chance to force a playoff. However, she could only manage a birdie on the 17th and a par at the last to finish three back.
Meena Lee, who won the Canadian Women's Open earlier this year, carded a 6- under 66 on Sunday to end at 14-under-par 202. She was joined there by Karine Icher (67) and Women's British Open champion Jeong Jang (69). Karrie Webb finished alone in ninth at 12-under-par 204 after a final-round 71.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.