Jang Wins Womens British Wire-to-Wire

By Sports NetworkJuly 31, 2005, 4:00 pm
04 Weetabix WomenSOUTHPORT, England -- Playing along side the best women's golfer in the world and among the sport's biggest names, Jeong Jang stole the show for her first career win.
Jang posted her second straight round of 3-under 69 Sunday to capture the Women's British Open, finishing as a wire-to-wire winner at 16-under-par 272 for the tournament.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam made an early run, but couldn't sustain it late.
That was good enough to hold off 2000 winner Sophie Gustafson and everyone else in the field, including playing partner and leading money-winner Annika Sorenstam, whose final-round 71 landed her in a fifth-place tie at 9-under 279.
'I feel just great and I don't know how to feel more than that,' said Jang. 'It's fantastic. It's really fun. I didn't know that golf could be this fun.'
Gustafson fired a 5-under 67 in her final round to finish second at 12-under-par 276. Fifteen-year-old amateur Michelle Wie birdied her final two holes to shoot a final-round, 3-under 69 and shared third place with Young Kim at 10-under-par 278.
Sorenstam, who was seeking her third major title of the year, tied for fifth place with Liselotte Neumann and Cristie Kerr. Sorenstam and Kerr began the day in a second-place tie, five strokes off the pace.
Jang admitted Saturday that she would be nervous playing along side Sorenstam, who has come from behind to win 19 of her 62 career titles. But the South Korean didn't blink in the face of added pressure, opening her final round with a birdie at the par-4 first after knocking a 9-wood within 5 feet.
'The wind was left-to-right, so I aimed it under the TV camera, left side,' Jang said of her second shot of the day. 'That's my favorite club, 9-wood.'
Jang then strung together seven consecutive pars before a birdie at No. 9 moved the 25-year-old to 15 under around the turn. Jang stumbled to a bogey at the par-4 11th -- her only misstep of the round -- but got the stroke back after sinking a 3-foot birdie putt at the 15th.
By then, Sorenstam was all but out of contention for her third major title of the year. She dropped in birdies at Nos. 3 and 6, but bogeyed the ninth to fall to 9 under around the turn.
Three more birdies on the back-nine -- at 11, 15 and 17 -- were offset by a bogey at the par-4 16th and a double-bogey at the par-5 last.
Sorenstam's double on No. 18 was the result of a tee-shot she sliced out-of-bounds. Her fourth shot from the rough rolled past the hole and on to the back fringe, where she needed three putts to finish her round.
In direct contrast was Jang, who followed Sorenstam's collapse by sealing her win with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th. It was a fitting end to a consistent tournament for the six-year pro.
'I couldn't sleep last night,' said Jang. 'I just slept like a couple of hours, I think maybe three hours. I was nervous.'
Gustafson emerged as Jang's only real challenger during the round. Playing with Wie two groups ahead of the leader, she collected three birdies and two bogeys on the front-nine before shooting 4 under on the back-nine to get to minus-12.
But even that wasn't good enough to topple Jang.
'Obviously I am disappointed, but I played well,' Gustafson said.
Wie birdied No. 18 in each of her last three rounds. She parred her first 11 holes Sunday and got to 8 under with a birdie at No. 12 before collecting her two birdies at 17 and 18 to complete a bogey-free round.
'It was my first time playing over here and it was so great,' Wie said. 'Playing on a golf course with so much history, I just can't explain it. It was so awesome.'
Natalie Gulbis shot a 6-under 66 in her final round to finish tied for eighth place with Grace Park and 20-year-old amateur Louise Stahle at 8-under-par 280. Ai Miyazato, Karrie Webb and defending champion Karen Stupples were one stroke further back in 11th place.
Brandie Burton had the round of the day at 7-under 65. She collected five birdies and an eagle and finished tied for 22nd place at 3-under-par 285.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.