Annika Just One Back at Sybase

By Sports NetworkMay 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Sybase ClassicNEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Hee Jung Park fired a 4-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Annika Sorenstam after two rounds of the Sybase Classic.
 
Park stands at 4-under-par 138 and will have a chance to pick up her third LPGA victory on Sunday after the decision was made to shorten the event to 54 holes.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam has a chance to atone for her missed cut last week.
Inclement weather forced the eventual suspension of the first round on Thursday, and severe weather wiped out Friday without a shot being taken. Fifteen players finished their opening round Saturday morning.
 
The weather held up Saturday, and Sorenstam, one week after missing the cut for the first time in four years, took advantage by matching Park's 67 to get to 3-under-par 139.
 
'Obviously I'm happy. I get to play Sunday and that's a good thing,' said Sorenstam, before joking, 'I've improved from last week.'
 
Allison Hanna tied Park for the lead, but bogeyed two of her final three holes to end the day alone in third place at 2 under after a 71.
 
Laura Diaz, Helen Alfredsson, Seon Hwa Lee, Hee-Won Han and Juli Inkster share fourth place at minus-1.
 
One shot further back, Natalie Gulbis leads a group tied for ninth place at even-par. Gulbis held the first-round lead, but struggled late on Saturday and shot a 3-over 74.
 
Lorena Ochoa, the second-ranked player in the world, is also at even-par after her second consecutive 71.
 
Defending champion Paul Creamer was even-par on the day and stands in a tie for 12th place with five others. Creamer became the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour in 53 years when she broke through here last year.
 
Park's last LPGA win came at the 2002 Sybase Classic when she was still known as Gloria Park. Currently ranked 43rd in the world, Park is without a top-10 finish in nine previous starts this season.
 
'I [haven't] had a good year so far,' Park admitted. 'It was kind of slow. Since I got here, I have a good memory and I feel good about it. So maybe I have extra confidence in my game, more focus.'
 
That confidence showed up early in her round when Park, who began on the back nine, knocked short irons within three and 20 feet to set up birdies at the 12th and 13th holes, respectively.
 
That moved the 26-year-old Korean to minus-2, and she moved further into red numbers with a 10-foot birdie putt at 16. Park three-putted from 30 feet to bogey the 18th, but got that shot back and more with consecutive birdies at Nos. 2 and 3.
 
She moved as low as 5 under with a 15-foot birdie putt at the eighth, then gave another stroke back after coming up short of the green with her approach at the ninth.
 
Park tied for second last year when she missed a birdie putt at 18 and Creamer made a 17-footer for the win. She still thinks about the missed opportunity.
 
'I thought 'This is the hole, I need to make it.' But I didn't.' Park said.
 
After not making the cut last week at the Michelob Ultra Open -- her first missed cut since the 2002 Women's British Open -- Sorenstam has played steadily this week, although not spectacular.
 
She opened with a 1-over 72 in the first round Thursday, then followed that with five birdies and one bogey in the second round.
 
When she was on her game Saturday, Sorenstam was knocking shots stiff. She hit short irons within three feet at the sixth and four feet at the ninth to set up her first two birdies. But the world No. 1 also found trouble at the eighth, hitting the rough and a bunker on the way to a bogey.
 
Park came from behind to defeat Sorenstam for her Sybase victory in 2002, with Sorenstam finishing one shot shy of making the playoff.
 
'I haven't thought about that,' Sorenstam said. 'I am more focusing on my own game.'
 
The cut line fell at plus-8, with 71 players moving on to the final round Sunday.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.