Annika Stalking the Top Spot in NY

By Sports NetworkMay 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
CORNING, N.Y. -- Karine Icher of France posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take the lead through three rounds of the LPGA Corning Classic. She stands at 12-under-par 204 and leads by one over Hee-Won Han at Corning Country Club.
There was a nearly two-hour weather delay on Saturday, but the entire field completed their third round. Friday featured a four-hour delay that required several players finish the second round Saturday morning.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam sits just two shots back as they head into Sunday's final round at the Corning Classic in N.Y.
Han matched Juli Inkster's 2003 course record on Saturday with a 10-under-par 62.
'It was perfect. Everything was perfect,' said Han, whose 62 marked the lowest round in her LPGA Tour career. 'That was why I shot 10 under.'
In the rearview mirror for both Icher and Han is Annika Sorenstam. The No. 1 player in the game battled through illness to shoot a 3-under 69 on Saturday. She is alone in third place at 10-under-par 206.
'Right now I'm more concerned for how I feel tomorrow than how I'm going to play,' admitted the defending champion. 'Today I was a struggling out there. I haven't felt good all day. I haven't felt good the last three days, but today was the worst.'
Sorenstam broke into red figures early at the par-5 second. Her 5-iron approach nearly ran into the hole, but instead she two-putted for birdie from 15 feet.
She missed a 4-foot birdie putt at the fifth, and kept her par streak going until the par-5 12th. Sorenstam reached the green in two with a 4-wood, then two-putted again for birdie from 15 feet.
Sorenstam wedged her tee ball to 3 feet at the par-3 17th for her final birdie. She is two behind and could add her fifth victory of the 2005 season. It would be her second comeback win of the year.
'I'm two shots behind. I know what I have to do,' said Sorenstam. 'I'll be chasing tomorrow and keeping a close eye on everyone. I'm going to follow them and try to beat them by one or two.'
Sorenstam will chasing her former Solheim Cup teammate, Icher, a four-time winner on the Ladies European Tour.
Icher flew out of the gate in the third round with a 10-foot birdie putt at the first and a two-putt birdie from 21 feet at the second.
Play was halted after that, but Icher picked up another quick birdie at the fifth. She holed several crucial par putts around the turn, but Han caught her in the lead.
Icher made a 4-foot par putt at 16, then hit a spectacular iron shot to 3 feet at the 17th. She converted the birdie try to move one clear, but Icher had one addition hurdle to overcome if she wanted the 54-hole lead.
At the closing hole, Icher drove in the fairway, but her second hit a branch, bounced right and came up short of the green. She pitched to 9 feet and rolled in the downhill par save.
Now, she has to hold off one player who shot 62 to get back into the tournament and more importantly, the best player in the game.
'I know it's difficult, but to be focusing on my game is the secret,' said Icher. 'If I play against her, I'm done. I think she plays like this - focusing on her game and every shot and she doesn't care about the other player.'
Jimin Kang carded a 4-under 68 and is alone in fourth place at 9-under-par 207. Meena Lee also shot a 68 on Saturday and has sole possession of fifth at minus-8.
Dorothy Delasin (67), Sung Ah Yim (70) and Moira Dunn (71) are tied for sixth place at 7-under-par 209. Michelle Ellis (67) and Liselotte Neumann (69) share ninth at minus-6.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - LPGA Corning Classic

  • Full Coverage - LPGA Corning Classic
  • Getty Images

    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

    Getty Images

    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:

    Getty Images

    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

    Getty Images

    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."