Ochoa Hangs on for First Win

By Sports NetworkMay 16, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Lorena Ochoa overcame a second shot that nearly found water and an eagle by Wendy Ward to win her first LPGA Tour title on Sunday at the Franklin American Mortgage Championship.
She carded a 4-under 68 to win the event by a stroke over Ward. Ochoa finished at 16-under-par 272 at the Ironhorse Course at Vanderbilt Legends Club.
Ochoa, who became the first Mexican player to win an LPGA Tour event, nearly missed out on a celebration thanks to some wild play on the par-5 closing hole at the Ironhorse Course.
Ochoa was able to pull three clear coming to the 18th but Ward made things very interesting in the group ahead of Ochoa. Ward found the fairway off the tee, then knocked a 7-wood to 6 feet with her second. She rolled home the eagle putt to get within one shot of first place.
Ochoa also landed in the short grass off the tee but never looked comfortable over her second. She hit a fairway-metal into the bank the guards the 18th from water and rolled back toward the pond. Ochoa's ball stopped short of the water but she had to get down in three for the win.
Her chip came up 12 feet short and Ochoa ran her birdie try 2 feet past the hole. She tapped in the par-saving putt to join Karen Stupples and Jennifer Rosales as first-time winners on this year's LPGA Tour campaign.
'I've been waiting for this moment for a long time,' said Ochoa, who pocketed $135,000 for her first LPGA Tour win. 'I cannot express my feelings. This is for my family.'
Ward posted a 5-under 67 for her 15-under-par 273 total.
Stacy Prammanasudh also fired a 5-under 67 on Sunday and took third place at 14-under-par 274. Pat Hurst, who shared the second-round lead with Ochoa, only managed a 2-under 70 in the final round but came in fourth place at minus-13.
Ochoa began Sunday's final round with a one-shot lead and held that advantage throughout the front nine. She tallied birdies at three, five and nine but Ward flew into the race with four birdies of her own during the same holes.
When Ochoa lipped out a 5-foot par save at the 13th, she was tied for the lead with Ward. During the time Ochoa bogeyed 13, Ward had her own problems on the par-5 14th.
Ward's approach hit the green but spun back into the fairway. She chipped to 6 feet but missed the par putt, falling one behind Ochoa. Ochoa followed Ward's mistake at 14 with a 15-foot breaking birdie putt of her own to go two ahead.
Ochoa hit a safe tee ball at the par-3 16th but helped herself when she holed the 22-footer for birdie and a three-shot margin.
Hurst cut the lead to one with three birdies in her first six holes on the back nine, but fell off the pace with back-to-back bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes.
The tournament was Ochoa's to lose until Ward's eagle. Ochoa had a good look at birdie at the 17th but missed. She was able to get up and down in three to hang on for the win.
Ochoa received some extra inspiration early on Sunday. In the morning, her family found out Lorena's brother Alejandro reached the summit of Mt. Everest.
'It was difficult for him,' said Ochoa, who won 12 times in her career at the University of Arizona. 'I thought about him my whole round. I admire him very much and thanks for everything.'
For Ward, the runner-up finish was her highest this season and the eagle at 18 was enough to get her into second.
'I just had a great yardage for a 7-wood back to the pin,' said Ward, a two-time Solheim Cup player for the Americans. 'I couldn't believe it got that close. It's a fun way to finish.'
Dorothy Delasin shot a 4-under 68 on Sunday and took fifth at 11-under-par 277.
Mi-Hyun Kim, who was in second place after three rounds, struggled to a 3-over 75 on Sunday and tied for sixth place. She joined Paula Marti, who fired a 7-under 65, and Gloria Park, who posted a 69, at 8-under-par 280.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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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 Web.com 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.

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    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.