Han Captures Office Depot Championship

By Sports NetworkOctober 3, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Office Depot ChampionshipRANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. -- Hee-Won Han completed a final-round, 3-under 68 on Monday to hold on for a two-stroke victory at the Office Depot Championship.
 
Han finished three rounds at 12-under-par 201 for her first victory of 2005 and the fourth title of her five-year LPGA career. She ended two strokes clear of fellow Korean Soo-Yun Kang, who made her run with a 5-under 66 in the final round.
 
'I'm just pretty proud of myself,' said Han, who held at least a share of the lead after each round at Trump National Golf Club of Los Angeles.
 
Catriona Matthew shot a 3-under 68 in the final round to finish alone in third place at minus-8, while Natalie Gulbis (71) and Karine Icher (73) tied for fourth place one stroke further back.
 
Jeong Jang (74) and Katherine Hull (69) shared sixth place at 6 under, and Marisa Baena (71) was eighth at minus-5.
 
Defending champion Annika Sorenstam led a group of four players knotted in ninth place after a final-round 70. That group came in at 4 under.
 
Slow play on Friday and a long fog delay on Saturday combined to force the tournament to a Monday finish, and Han entered the day even-par through her first eight holes of the final round.
 
But the 27-year-old began distancing herself from the field with a birdie at her first hole Monday, the par-5 ninth. She knocked a sand wedge within eight feet there to make the turn at 10 under.
 
Han made it two birdies in a row at No. 10, where she again hit a sand wedge close (14 feet) to set up birdie and move to minus-11. She continued her bogey-free back nine with three straight pars after that, although she missed a 2-foot birdie putt at 13.
 
At the par-5 14th, Han moved two strokes ahead of Kang with her fourth birdie of the final round, knocking a gap wedge within 6 feet to set up her four.
 
Four straight pars to finish the round were good enough to win because Kang played her final four holes at even-par and missed a 6-foot birdie try at the 18th that would have at least given Han something to think about.
 
Han, who posted just three bogeys in the tournament during a week in which many players struggled, had said that she wouldn't like a Monday finish. But her feelings changed after the final round.
 
'Actually that's a pretty good thing because yesterday I was just waiting for five hours on the course and played like eight holes,' said Han, who collected $195,000 for her win. 'But this morning [I came] back pretty good, and started birdie, birdie. That's good for me.'
 
Tied with Sorenstam for ninth place were Kim Saiki (69), Young Jo (71) and Mi Hyun Kim (73). United States Solheim Cup members Rosie Jones (72), Beth Daniel (73) and Michele Redman (74) tied for 13th place at minus-3 with Shi Hyun Ahn (71).
 
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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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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.