Annika Takes Control Wie Five Back

By Sports NetworkOctober 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Samsung World ChampionshipPALM DESERT, Calif. -- Annika Sorenstam caught fire late in her third round on Saturday and that vaulted the Swede to the top of the leaderboard at the Samsung World Championship. She fired a 6-under 66 and completed 54 holes at 15-under-par 201 at Bighorn Golf Club.
Michelle Wie, who shot into contention with a 65 on Friday, struggled in Saturday's final group. She dropped three shots in her first three holes, but calmed down to shoot a 1-under 71.
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie got off to a troubling start but was able to right the ship and sits in third place.
Wie is alone in third place at minus-10, one shot worse than Gloria Park, who carded a 4-under 68 on Saturday.
Wie three-putted the second green and made bogey. Things got worse on the next hole as the 16-year-old, who is making her debut as a professional this week, missed a 4-foot par save at three. She failed on her 3-footer for bogey and suddenly walked off with a double bogey.
The new pro cooled down and rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the sixth. Wie holed another birdie putt from that length at the 12th and clawed her way into third with some late birdies.
She birdied 15 and 17 and has a chance for a large paycheck the first time she can collect one.
Wie may be in good shape, but she will have to pull off an amazing feat to topple Sorenstam.
The No. 1 player in the world moved into a share of the lead with three consecutive birdies from the second, where she holed a 20-footer. Overnight leader Grace Park bogeyed six to fall one back, then Sorenstam blasted ou a bunker at seven to 5 feet. She made the birdie try and was two ahead, but things got ugly around the turn.
At the ninth, Sorenstam hit a 7-wood 60 feet left of the stick. She ran her birdie try 4 feet past the hole, then pushed her par putt.
Grace Park stopped being a threat when she made a complete mess of the par- 3 eighth and took quadruple-bogey. Sorenstam had the lead, but missed another shortish par putt at 11 and the advantage was only one.
She had 6 feet for birdie at 12, but the putt lipped out. Sorenstam made another routine par at 13 and posted her four-shot lead with some outstanding putting late in the round.
Sorenstam, the defending champion, ran home an 18-foot birdie putt at the 14th to move two clear. Her approach at 15 stoppght feet short of the cup, and she drained the birdie try.
Gloria Park got into the clubhouse at minus-11, so Sorenstam had a two-shot lead. But not for long, as the Swede converted a 12-foot birdie putt at the 16th, her third in a row.
Sorenstam's 20-footer for birdie at 17 nearly fell in the hole, but stayed above ground. At the closing hole, Sorenstam nearly holed out, but the ball did not spin into the cup. She settled for a tap-in birdie and the lead heading into the final round for the 64th time in her career.
'I thought I played really well all day,' said Sorenstam, who has gone on to victory 43 times with the lead heading into the final round. 'I started really strong, had a little tougher stretch in the middle, but played really solid in the end.'
If Sorenstam visits the winner's circle on Sunday, not only would it be her eighth victory of 2005 and her 64th on the LPGA Tour, but the Hall of Famer would accomplish something she has never done before.
A win would be her fifth at the Samsung World Championship. Mickey Wright won the Sea Island Open five times and is the only player in LPGA Tour history to title at the same event five times.
'I'm looking forward to a great Sunday,' admitted Sorenstam. 'It was one of those days where I made some. I did miss a few, but that's to be expected. It feels good to finish better than yesterday.'
Cristie Kerr and Catriona Matthew are knotted in fourth place at 9-under-par 207. Both players managed rounds of 1-under 71 in the third round.
Pat Hurst (68), Marisa Baena (70), Sophie Gustafson (70) and Rookie of the Year and two-time winner this season Paula Creamer (73) are tied for sixth place at minus-8.
Grace Park ended up with a four-over 76 and shares 10th with Rosie Jones, who posted an even-par 72. The pair is knotted at seven-under-par 209.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.