Hurst Blunder Gives Alfredsson Title

By Sports NetworkOctober 5, 2003, 4:00 pm
LINCOLN, Calif. -- Helen Alfredsson posted a 2-under 70 Sunday to win the Longs Drugs Challenge by one stroke. Alfredsson, who was able to win when Pat Hurst double-bogeyed the final hole, finished the event at 13-under-par 275.
Hurst's late double bogey cost her the win and dropped her into a tie for second. She shot a 2-under 70 to finish at 12-under-par 276 alongside Jung Yeon Lee (70), Se Ri Pak (70), Grace Park (69) and Rachel Teske (70).
The leaderboard was crowded all day at Lincoln Hills Club. Teske, Lee and Hurst all had the lead at one time or another.
Alfredsson was able to survive thanks to her bogey-free back nine. On the front side, she birdied the par-5 second from 12 feet out, but dropped shots at the fifth and ninth.
She was at 10 under heading to the back nine, trailing several players. The Swede began to make her move with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 11th. She came right back to convert consecutive short birdie putts from the 13th to move to minus-13. She had a chance for birdie at the last, but could not convert.
'I had a decent chance of making that putt, but I didn't hit it hard enough and it broke on me,' said Alfredsson.
At that point she held the lead, but Hurst would climb past her.
Hurst began the day at 10 under, one shot behind Alfredsson, her playing partner. Hurst birdied the second and fourth to grab share of the lead with Alfredsson.
Hurst, like Alfredsson, bogeyed the fifth. Hurst came back with a birdie at the eighth to get back to 12 under. She birdied the 10th and later birdied the 15th to get to 14 under, where she held a one-shot lead.
Hurst needed to par in to win. She was able to par Nos. 16 and 17, but the 18th was her downfall. She knocked a wedge onto the front of the green with her second, but four-putted to a double bogey.
'The first three putts were all downhill, so I thought they would be faster than what they were,' Hurst said. 'I had been missing some putts coming in, and it would have been good to have a cushion. I was hitting it close and nothing would fall. That kind of hurt more than 18.'
The double bogey gave Alfredsson her first win since the 1998 Welch's/Circle K Championship.
'When you haven't been playing well, you want it so much,' said Alfredsson, who picked up $150,000 for the win. 'If this is a dream, don't wake me up.'
Alfredsson, despite the win, had mixed emotions about the finish.
'I have mixed emotions, not for me but for somebody else,' said Alfredsson. 'I don't like to see the way Pat finished because she played so well. You wish you could win it outright, but not by someone missing like that.'
Karrie Webb fired a 4-under 68 to move into a tie for seventh. She was joined at 10-under-par 278 by Catriona Matthew (70) and Lorena Ochoa (69). Gloria Park finished one stroke further back at minus-9.
Ochoa made 19 of 20 cuts this season and with that earned the 2003 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award, beating out Young Kim and Suzann Pettersen.
'I'm very excited. This was one of my goals at the beginning of the year and it's nice to achieve your goals and be recognized for your efforts,' said Ochoa, the first rookie of the year from Mexico. 'It's been a hard year for me in many ways, but I'm super happy with the results.'
Cristie Kerr, the 2002 champion, stumbled to a 3-over 75. She finished at 1-under-par 287 in a tie for 35th.
Related Links:
  • Long Drugs Challenge Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - Longs Drugs Challenge
  • Getty Images

    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

    Getty Images

    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

    Getty Images

    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideki Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

    Getty Images

    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."