Annika Wie Breeze into Round 2

By Sports NetworkJuly 6, 2006, 4:00 pm
GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Annika Sorenstam, fresh off her Monday playoff victory at the U.S. Women's Open, won two holes late in her first- round match on Thursday to defeat Virada Nirapathpongporn, 3 and 2, at the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
 
'Today is a new day, new tournament, but I had a lot of people remind me of last week and congratulated me throughout the round which is very nice,' said Sorenstam, the No. 1 seed. 'That's nice, but here I am and what matters now and trying to stay focused in the moment.'
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie cruised to her first match-play victory as a professional.
Nirapathpongporn narrowed the margin to 1-down with a win at the 14th, but Sorenstam responded. She knocked an 8-iron 12 feet from the hole on the fringe at the 15th and rolled in the birdie try to move 2-up.
 
At the next hole, Nirapathpongporn took an unplayable lie and that spelled the end. She conceded Sorenstam a par and the match.
 
Sorenstam will next face No. 32 Heather Young, who advanced thanks to a 1-up victory over No. 33 Sung Ah Yim in 19 holes.
 
Michelle Wie, the second seed, had a much easier time on Thursday. She dispatched Candy Hannemann, 5 and 3, at the Highlands Course at Hamilton Farm Golf Club.
 
This is Wie's first experience in a professional match-play tournament, although match play is nothing new to her. She played in several USGA events and won the 2003 Women's Amateur Public Links.
 
'I thought it would be a little different coming into this event, but match play is the same,' said Wie. 'I haven't played match play in a long time. So I just got off to a rocky start but I did good.'
 
Wie has an interesting second-round match as she faces 34th-ranked Christina Kim, a 2-and-1 victor over Joo Mi Kim.
 
'I've played with her a lot,' said Wie, referring to her opponent on Friday. 'She's really fun to talk to, she calls me sometimes. She's a nice girl and it's going to be fun tomorrow.'
 
The other top seeds advanced easily on Thursday.
 
Lorena Ochoa, ranked third and the tour's leading money winner, beat No. 62 Il Mi Chung, 3 and 1. Karrie Webb, seeded fourth overall and the reigning Kraft Nabisco Champion, trounced 61st-ranked Nancy Scranton, 4 and 2.
 
Thursday's opening round did not feature many significant upsets, but three players in the top-10 did not make it out of the first round.
 
The highest-ranked player to lose on Thursday was No. 7 Yuri Fudoh, the Japanese LPGA Tour star who fell, 4 and 3, to Brandie Burton in Thursday's first match.
 
Ninth-ranked Jeong Jang, the current Women's British Open title holder, fell 2-down to No. 56 Marcy Hart. The 10 seed, Ai Miyazato, also lost 2-down to Kyeong Bae.
 
Pat Hurst, the 13th seed who lost to Sorenstam on Monday at Newport Country Club, can't seem to stand to be away from the golf course. She needed 21 holes to finally eliminate Reilley Rankin, 1-up, and will now meet Helen Alfredsson, the European Solheim Cup captain, in round two. Alfredsson, ranked 45th, advanced with a 3-and-2 win over No. 20 Julieta Granada.
 
That match is in Webb's part of the bracket and the No. 4 seed will play No. 29 Hee Jung Park on Friday. Park defeated 36th-ranked Rachel Hetherington, 1-up.
 
Paula Creamer, No. 6, topped Miriam Nagl, 2 and 1, and will take on defending champion Marisa Baena, the 37th seed. Last year's winner needed three extra holes to take down Wendy Ward, 1-up.
 
'You just never know what's going to happen, and the proof of it is today,' said Baena. 'The biggest difference between today and last year was every time I had a pressure shot and I needed to perform, I didn't. Today it was very sloppy. You know what, that's how match play works. You just have to play your opponent.'
 
Morgan Pressel, ranked 12th, bested Sarah Lee, 1-up in 20 holes. Pressel will face 21st-seed Meena Lee on Friday after Meena Lee eliminated Sherri Steinhauer, 2 and 1.
 
Ochoa earned a second-round match with Karine Icher, who, as the 35th seed, knocked out Stacy Prammanasudh, 4 and 3 on Thursday.
 
Mi Hyun Kim, No 14, beat Nicole Castrale, 4 and 2 to set up a second-round match with Laura Davies, the European Solheim Cup stalwart who upset 19th-ranked Jee Young Lee 2 and 1.
 
Cristie Kerr, the sixth seed, went all 18 before stopping Young Jo, 1-up. That set up a second-round battle with Sophie Gustafson, who dispatched No. 38 Gwladys Nocera, 3 and 2.
 
Laura Diaz had the easiest route to round two. Shi Hyun Ahn, the No. 22 seed, withdrew on Wednesday giving Diaz a bye into the second round. Diaz will take on Lindsey Wright, a 5 and 4 winner over No. 11 Hee-Won Han.
 
Other winners on Thursday, playing in Sorenstam's portion of the bracket, included: No. 8 Juli Inkster (2 and 1 over Tina Barrett), No. 25 Catriona Matthew (1-up in 21 holes over Beth Daniel), 16th-ranked Seon Hwa Lee (3 and 2 over Aree Song), No. 17 Brittany Lang (3 and 2 over Patricia Meunier-Lebouc), No. 24 Liselotte Neumann (3 and 1 over Karen Stupples), and Hart.
 
The remainder of Wie's bracket features: No. 15 LPGA Champion Se Ri Pak (5 and 4 over Angela Stanford), No. 47 Lorie Kane (3 and 2 over Natalie Gulbis), Burton, No. 39 Brittany Lincicome (1-up in 20 holes over Michele Redman), Bae and 42nd-rated Suzann Pettersen (2 and 1 over Young Kim).
 
Related Links:
  • Scoring - HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship
  • Full Coverage - HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
     
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  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.