Kung Slams Sorenstam at Match Play

By Sports NetworkJuly 2, 2005, 4:00 pm
GLADSTONE, N.J. -- No. 1 seed Annika Sorenstam blew a 2-up lead with four holes to play on Saturday en route to losing to eighth-seeded Candie Kung in the quarterfinals of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
 
Kung won 1-up as Sorenstam missed a 5-foot par putt on the final hole.
 
'I made a few mistakes on the last four holes,' admitted Sorenstam. 'Sometimes there's not much you can do. Candie played really good and sometimes it doesn't go your way. I think that's what happened on the last hole.'
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam was all smiles early but in the end Candie Kung beat the No. 1 player in the world.
The two came up the par-4 18th at Hamilton Farm Golf Club tied and both found the fairway off the tee. Neither hit the green with their second shots, and were almost equally away from the hole on different sides of the green.
 
Sorenstam got relief from a sprinkler head right of the short grass, then putted 5 feet past the hole. Kung lagged her putt from the left side to tap-in territory and was conceded par.
 
Sorenstam blew her putt by on the right side and it was Kung who moved to Sunday's semifinals.
 
'I couldn't believe she missed that, but I'm going to play tomorrow,' said Kung.
 
Kung will face Marisa Baena, No. 60, in one of Sunday's semifinal matches. Baena knocked off 29th-ranked Karrie Webb, 2 and 1.
 
Meena Lee also benefited from a missed short putt on the final hole in her quarterfinal match. Pat Hurst, the 39th seed, hit the side of the cup from 3 feet on the 18th to lose, 1-down to the No. 47 seed.
 
Lee will meet Wendy Ward, the 14th-ranked player, in the semifinals. Ward bested No. 59 Sophie Gustafson, 2 and 1.
 
Sorenstam built a 2-up lead with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 12th and a 5-footer at No. 13. Kung answered with a 12-footer at the 15th. Sorenstam had a chance to halve the hole, but her try from 10 feet missed.
 
Kung drew even at No. 16. A bad drive by Sorenstam led to bogey, then Kung nearly won the 17th, but her birdie putt lipped out of the hole.
 
Kung closed it out on 18 giving her the upset, although not as big an upset as some might think. Kung is eighth on the LPGA Tour money list and is a three- time winner on tour.
 
'I really don't feel like I put extra pressure on myself,' said Kung. 'I felt pretty confident with my game and feel like I'm up there with her. I hit my shots closer than her pretty much all day long.'
 
Baena never trailed in her match with Webb and was 1-up at the turn. Webb came up short in the fringe with her third at the par-5 14th, while Baena's ball stopped 10 feet from the hole. Webb missed her try and Baena converted her putt to move 2-up.
 
Webb made a mess of the par-4 15th as she went from the left rough into a greenside bunker. She made bogey and fell 3-down with only three to play.
 
The Australian made things interesting at 16. She hit her approach to 5 feet, while Baena was over the green with her second. Baena's chip came up 3 feet short of Webb's ball so Baena conceded the hole and moved to the 17th.
 
Webb's 4-iron landed in a right, greenside bunker and Baena played to the center of the putting surface. Webb blasted out to 5 feet and Baena lagged up just inside Webb, who rolled in her par putt. Baena sank her short par-saver to move into the semifinals.
 
Hurst evened the match at the 13th, then drained an 8-footer at No. 14 to win the hole and go 1-up. Lee rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to square the match at 15, then Hurst missed a nine-footer to lose the 16th and fall 1-down.
 
The players halved 17 although Hurst's 20-footer that could have squared the match came up a foot short. At 18, Lee's second came up 65 feet short. Her birdie try came up 12 feet short and Hurst, who missed the green with her approach, chipped to 3 feet. Lee's par try never touched the hole, but Hurst hit her short putt too hard and missed right.
 
Gustafson built a 2-up lead around the turn thanks to a 7-foot eagle at the ninth. Ward won No. 10, then rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at 11 when two putts could have won the hole.
 
Ward took the 13th when Gustafson had trouble getting out of a bunker. Ward extended her cushion when she won No. 15, then the duo parred in to give Ward the match.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - HSBC Womens World Match Championship

  • Full Coverage - HSBC Womens World Match Championship
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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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).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    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 contacted 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.