Hurst grabs second-round lead at Mission Hills
Annika Sorenstam, the winner of the last two LPGA Tour events, put herself in better position to make a run at her third straight title with a two-under 70. She is tied for third place at two-under 142 with Akiko Fukushima, Se Ri Pak and two-time Nabisco winner Dottie Pepper.
Defending champion Karrie Webb posted two birdies and two bogeys at Mission Hills Country Club on Friday for an even-par 72. She currently stands seven shots off the pace at one-over par.
The second of Hurst's three career victories came in this major championship three years ago. When asked if she is using her prior success in the tournament to boost her confidence level this week, Hurst explained it's her familiarity with the course that makes her feel like a favorite to bring home the trophy.
'I think any course that you win at, you know, when you step up to the tee you feel comfortable,' Hurst said. 'I wouldn't say that I'm feeding off of 1998, but I do like coming here.'
Hurst was certainly a bit more comfortable when she first completed her second round. An early starter on Friday, Hurst had a four-shot lead when she made her way to the clubhouse at six-under par.
Hurst was able to two-putt for birdie at the par-five second and 11th, and in between she rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the sixth and a 20-footer at seven.
After a rare missed fairway at the par-four 15th, Hurst was forced to lay up with her second shot. She failed to get up and down from just short of the green, missing a five-foot putt to save par.
Although the bogey dropped her to three-under on the day, Hurst knocked a wedge stiff at 16 and drained the short birdie putt to recover the stroke. She had chance for a better finish, but missed an eight-foot birdie putt at the 17th and a 15-footer for birdie at 18.
Koch, still in search of her first win on the LPGA Tour, opened with a bogey when she missed a six-foot putt for par. She was mistake-free the rest of the way, birdieing the second, sixth, 11th and 12th to stay near the top of the leaderboard.
Koch has tallied six second-place finishes since qualifying for the LPGA Tour in 1995. Her most recent runner-up came behind Pak in the season-opening event in January.
'You know, maybe I've just saved all these years to have a really good tournament here instead,' she said.
Nanci Bowen was the last player to make the Nabisco Championship her first-ever victory when she won with a 72-hole total of three- under 285 in 1995.
Fukushima, a two-time LPGA winner and a former No. 1 player on the Japanese Tour, turned in a 68 comprised of an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys. Pak, who won four titles, including two majors, in her Rookie of the Year season of 1998, birdied two of her last four holes Friday for 69.
Sorenstam has amassed 25 victories since joining the LPGA Tour in 1994, but hasn't captured a major title since she won back-to-back U.S. Women's Opens in 1995-96.
A total of 74 players (71 professionals and three amateurs) survived the 36-hole cut, which came at seven-over-par 151.
Full Field Scores from the Nabisco Championship
Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome
Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)
The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...
And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.
Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas
He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.
Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.
Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.
In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.
Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.
Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.
Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic
Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double
Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open
Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open
Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row
Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow
Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship
The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ
Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year
And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season
Photo Galleries: Best of ...
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com counted down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below. And click here for the full collection of articles.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.