Kerr Moves into Top Spot in Kingsmill

By Sports NetworkMay 7, 2005, 4:00 pm
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Cristie Kerr posted her second consecutive round of 3-under 68 on Saturday to take the second-round lead of the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill. She stands at 6-under-par 136 and leads by two at the River Course at Kingsmill Golf Club.
Michele Redman and A.J. Eathorne each carded rounds of 2-under 69 and are knotted in second place at 4-under-par 138. Shi Hyun Ahn (70) and Nicole Perrot (69) share fourth place at minus-3.
Saturday's second-round action went off without a hitch after heavy rain washed away Friday's play. The schedule now calls for 36 holes on Sunday to complete the tournament.
Annika Sorenstam's opportunity at history is in jeopardy as she has a chance to become the first player in LPGA Tour history to win six consecutive tournaments. She opened with a 5-over 76 on Thursday and was in danger of missing the cut.
She rebounded on Saturday with a 4-under 67. Sorenstam is tied for 26th place at 1-over-par 143 and with 36 holes to play on Sunday, the top player in the game knows anything can happen.
'You got to stay positive out there. That is what I do when I play,' said Sorenstam. 'I think tomorrow is going to be good for 36 holes. I have done well in the past with that, so I look forward to it.'
Sorenstam will have a long way to go to catch Kerr.
Kerr broke into red figures quickly at the 11th, her second hole. She hit a pitching wedge to 20 feet and drained the putt. Kerr birdied the 14th when her 9-iron stopped within tap-in range, then made it two in a row with another short birdie putt at the par-5 hole.
Kerr three-putted for a bogey from 35 feet at the 16th, but closed her front nine with a birdie. She hit a 9-iron inside 3 feet for birdie No. 4 and a 3-under 32 on her front side.
At the par-3 second hole, Kerr hit a 6-iron to within 15 feet to set up birdie. The 27-year-old made it back-to-back birdies at the par-3 third as she narrowly missed an eagle with her chip from short of the green. She tapped in for birdie to reach 8-under par for the championship.
Things fell apart toward the end of Kerr's round. At the par-3 fifth, Kerr pulled an 8-iron and left it 35 feet short. She three-putted for a bogey, then dropped another shot to par at eight. Kerr hit a terrible drive that forced her to chip out to the fairway. She knocked an 8-iron on to the green, but missed her par putt.
Despite the late-round miscues, Kerr takes the lead after the second round for the 10th time.
'I think I got mentally tired at the end of the round. It was a long day,' admitted Kerr. 'I will get plenty of rest tomorrow. See if I can hit it a little straighter coming in.'
Kerr will be looking for her first win this season and fifth overall. To do it, she'll have to be patient since this a rare occurrence with 36 holes on Sunday.
'We are going to have 10 hours plus of golf tomorrow, you have to be prepared for that,' said Kerr. 'It's not only a test of your physical game but of your mental probably equally tomorrow.'
Redman mixed three birdies and a bogey for her 69 on Saturday, while Eathorne tallied four birdies and a pair of bogeys.
Jill McGill (72) and Wendy Doolan (71) are tied for sixth place at 2-under-par 140. First-round co-leader Silvia Cavalleri (74), Jimin Kang (72), Mi Hyun Kim (72), Beth Daniel (71), Catriona Matthew (71) and Rosie Jones (70) share eighth at minus-1.
Cavalleri's fellow first-round leader, Catrin Nilsmark, struggled badly on Saturday. She shot a 13-over-par 84 and missed the cut by five shots.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 146 and among the notable players who will not be in action for the final two rounds were: Christina Kim (148), Betsy King (153) and defending champion Se Ri Pak (154).
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."