Couples Wins Sorenstam Second

By Sports NetworkNovember 30, 2003, 5:00 pm
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Fred Couples, the all-time money winner in Skins Game history, picked up another $580,000 on Sunday to win the 21st annual Skins Game.
 
Couples finished the event with $605,000 and eight Skins easily defeating Annika Sorenstam and Phil Mickelson. However, it took Couples four extra holes to win the final 'Super Skin' worth $200,000.
 
Sorenstam, the first woman to play in this event, earned another $50,000 Sunday to finish the event with $225,000. Mickelson, like Sorenstam earned four skins, but earned just $170,000. Mark O'Meara, the 2002 Skins Game champion, was shutout.
 
'It was a fun day. I've been saying all along, every time I get in one of these things, you get embarrassed and you fail and you do a couple of good things and you make a 100-footer (actually 55) to win a couple of skins,' said Couples. 'It's pot-luck. I feel very grateful for what happened.'
 
Sorenstam, who had holed out for eagle at the par-5 ninth to win four Skins and $175,000 on Saturday, came out firing. She rolled home a 15-footer for birdie at the 10th to win another skin at Trilogy Golf Club.
 
'It was a great start for me,' said Sorenstam. 'I was happy to win another skin. It was a great day.'
 
Sorenstam, whose $175,000 on the first day set a new Saturday record in the made-for-TV event, was the only player to miss the green at the 11th, but all three players left with pars. Couples had short chances to win Nos. 12 and 13, but missed two putts from within seven feet.
 
Couples, who did not hit a fairway all day, drained an 18-footer for birdie at the 14th to win four skins and $265,000. All three of his foes had a chance to halve him on the hole, but none could convert.
 
Lefty got back on the board at the very next hole. After Couples, Sorenstam and O'Meara missed birdie tries, Mickelson sank a 12-footer for birdie and $70,000.
 
With three holes to play, all four golfers still had a chance to win the event. At the 16th, Mickelson, Couples and Sorenstam missed their birdie tries. O'Meara, who won $405,000 last year at the Skins Game, had a seven-footer to win his first skin, but his putt slid by the right edge.
 
The long par-3 17th was now worth $140,000. Sorenstam missed the green long and was unable to pitch in. Couples then won the event as he rolled in a bomb from 55 feet out.
 
Mickelson and O'Meara had birdie attempts from within 15 feet, but neither could make their putt. Couples' lengthy putt set the record for longest putt to win a skin.
 
The 18th hole's 'Super Skin' worth $200,000 created the best drama of the second day. Mickelson and O'Meara both made short birdie putts to force extra holes to determine the winner of the final skin.
 
The foursome returned to the 18th tee and this time around all four left with pars.
 
'I knew I had to make my putt because I knew that Phil was going to make his,' said O'Meara. 'I didn't hit a good putt obviously. It was disappointing, but it was great to play with these guys.'
 
'Well, I had the easiest putt, obviously - a three-footer to win $200,000 and I missed it,' Mickelson said.
 
It was back to No. 17 for the group. Sorenstam and O'Meara missed the green and were eliminated as Mickelson and Couples both sank short birdie putts.
 
Couples and Mickelson both made short birdie putts on No. 18, the third extra hole. Mickelson, who went 0-5 last week at the Presidents Cup, then joked with Couples, that the pair should just split the final $200,000 since he was getting tired.
 
Not to worry for Lefty, the playoff would be over shortly. Couples dropped a 3-iron within 18 feet of cup at the 17th, while Mickelson stuck his shot within six feet. Couples sank his birdie putt, his third straight birdie on the hole, and Mickelson's try slid past the right edge to give Couples the final skin.
 
'I stepped up and hit a good 3-iron and Phil hit his third prettiest iron of the day to six feet,' said Couples. 'I happened to make it and he just missed.
 
'I was just looking forward to playing with Annika. I think she played terrific golf. I certainly didn't play better than Annika. I just made a few more putts and hit a couple of lucky shots.'
 
O'Meara became the fourth defending champion to get shutout the following year. He became the 21st person in event history to be shutout at the Skins Game.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.