Annika Wie Just One Back at Nabisco

By Sports NetworkMarch 24, 2005, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Rosie Jones carded a 3-under-par 69 on Thursday to join Karen Stupples and Mi Hyun Kim in the lead after the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Annika Sorenstam, who is seeking her fifth consecutive victory on the LPGA Tour, posted a 2-under-par 70 to share fourth place with Carin Koch, Juli Inkster and amateurs Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel.
Jones, a 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour who has never captured a major championship, played a sandwedge inside 5 feet for a birdie at the par-5 second. She coasted around the turn with a string of pars as the wind picked up before her approach to the par-4 15th landed within 15 feet of the cup.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam is eyeing her fifth straight LPGA win.
The 45-year-old drained the birdie putt and knocked her third shot to 2 feet for a tap-in birdie at the par-5 18th.
'Fortunately I didn't make any bogeys today, but it's the type of golf course you know that you're going to make them, so you want to take advantage of every birdie that you can,' said Jones. 'I felt that I had to be really patient having missed a few opportunities. Last thing you want to do is get a little bit frustrated.'
Jones has come close several times in her hunt for a major title, including a couple of top-3 finishes on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club. She has stated that she will retire at the end of this season, and the time is running out for her to taste major glory.
'I'm trying to have fun,' said Jones. 'I'm trying to enjoy every tournament that I go to because I know this is probably going to be the last. Except for here, I may come back, I may come back to play a couple majors or something like that, but I don't really want to take on the magnitude of what you have to do every year.'
Stupples ran off a pair of birdies and a bogey over her first nine holes. She picked up a birdie at the par-5 11th and moved to 3 under with a birdie at the par-4 13th. Stupples found trouble with a bogey at the 14th, however, but rolled in a 14-foot putt for a birdie at the par-4 16th to grab her share of the lead.
'I enjoy the majors,' said Stupples, who won last year's Women's British Open. 'I like them for the challenge the courses bring. I know that you have to fight for every single shot out there, so it helps me concentrate a little better.'
Kim bogeyed the first but recovered with a birdie at the par-4 third. She then birdied the par-5 ninth and added a birdie at the par-5 11th.
The Korean tallied another birdie at the par-4 15th for her piece of first.
Sorenstam has won her last four starts on the LPGA Tour dating back to the end of the 2004 season. She knocked off Lorena Ochoa in a playoff last week at the Safeway International and looked to carry her momentum into the season's first major with an eagle at the par-5 second.
The Swede then birdied the fourth but gave a shot back with a bogey at the par-3 eighth. Sorenstam dropped another shot at the par-4 12th after she missed the green with her approach but she responded with back-to-back birdies from the 13th to climb to 3 under.
Sorenstam was unable to find the green at the par-3 17th and chipped her second shot 8 feet from the hole. She was unable to convert en route to another bogey to finish one shot behind the leaders.
'Not a bad start,' said Sorenstam, who won this event in 2001 and 2002. 'You cannot take anything for granted around here. I had some good holes and had some bogeys and couldn't really rebound with too many birdies.'
Wie dazzled the crowds early on with a birdie at the second. She then hit her third shot to 4 feet for a birdie at the par-5 ninth and converted a 5-foot putt for a birdie at the par-4 10th to make it two in a row.
The 15-year-old, who has a pair of top-10 finishes at this event, parred her next six holes but missed the green at the par-3 17th. Wie chipped to 6 feet but was unable to save par.
'I just have to again move that one step ahead,' Wie said of challenging on the LPGA Tour. 'I think that I'm getting there. I just have to work on it a little bit harder.'
Jennifer Rosales, Liselotte Neumann, Sophie Gustafson, Lorie Kane, Pat Hurst, Donna Andrews, Dorothy Delasin, Sherri Steinhauer and Michelle Estill share ninth place at 1-under-par 71.
Defending champion Grace Park, who is suffering from a bad back, collected a birdie and two bogeys to finish four shots off the lead in a group at one- over-par 73.
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    Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

    Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

    Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

    A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

    A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

    Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

    Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

    (More coming...)

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    Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

    Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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    McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

    McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    “I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

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    “I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

    This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

    A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

    McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

    “It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

    As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

    “It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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    Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

    By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

    PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

    She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

    Her confidence is high.

    “Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

    Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

    Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

    “One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

    “I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

    Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

    “I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

    That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.