Four Tied Annika Four Back

By Sports NetworkSeptember 30, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Office Depot ChampionshipRANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. -- Wendy Ward, Nicole Perrot, Karine Icher and Hee-Won Han all posted rounds of 6-under-par 65 on Friday to share the lead during the suspended first round of the Office Depot Championship at Trump National Golf Club of Los Angeles.
 
The first round was suspended due to darkness with 25 players remaining on the course. That group will return to Trump National Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. (ET).
 
Natalie Gulbis, Gloria Park and Jennifer Rosales are tied for fifth place at 5-under-par 66.
 
Defending champion Annika Sorenstam carded a 2-under 69 and is tied for 27th place.
 
Ward, who played for the United States in the Solheim Cup, opened with three straight birdies. She added another at the par-5 ninth to make the turn at 4-under 33.
 
Ward parred her first six on the back nine, then collected back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17. She parred No. 18 to get her piece of the first-round lead.
 
'I'm hitting the ball so well,' said Ward. 'I hit the ball well at the Solheim Cup, and was disappointed to not get a point out of it.'
 
Perrot recorded three birdies in her first five holes, but stumbled to a double bogey at the sixth. She managed to recover with birdies at seven and nine.
 
Perrot made three birdies in her first four holes on the second nine. She closed with five consecutive pars, but is in position for her first victory on the LPGA Tour.
 
'I played pretty good,' said Perrot, whose double bogey was the result of poor bunker play. 'I think the whole round I played very consistent and I just put the ball where I wanted to.'
 
Icher of France was the only one of the four co-leaders to start on the second nine. Like her fellow co-leaders, Icher flew out of the gate with four birdies in her first five holes. Her only dropped shot of the round came at the par-3 15th.
 
She mixed in birdies at the second, sixth and seventh holes. Icher, who won last week's Catalonia Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour, also has not won on the LPGA Tour.
 
'It's a good course,' said Icher. 'I'm really happy to play 6 under because it's a tough course. I'm going to try and keep the same routine and we'll see tomorrow.'
 
Han continued the trend of early starts by the leaders. She played in the afternoon tee times and recorded four birdies in her first five holes. Han added birdies at 11 and 15 to put her name in the mix.
 
'I'm just happy about the score,' said Han. 'I played well. Hopefully I just play like this two more days.'
 
Women's British Open champion Jeong Jang posted a 4-under-par 67 and is knotted in eighth place with Marcy Hart, Heather Bowie and Mi Hyun Kim. Jenna Daniels is four-under par, but has yet to complete her first round.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.