Ochoa Hurst Tied on Top

By Sports NetworkMay 14, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Lorena Ochoa fired a 5-under 67 on Friday and tied Pat Hurst atop the leaderboard at the Franklin American Mortgage Championship. Hurst, who shot a 69 in the second round, matched Ochoa at 7-under-par 137 at the Ironhorse Course at Vanderbilt Legends Club.
 
The second round was suspended due to darkness but rain was the main culprit in the stoppage. There was a weather delay that lasted over an hour and several groups were unable to complete their round.
 
Those 19 remaining players will return to the course at 7:45 a.m. (ET) Saturday to finish the second round.
 
Overnight leader Nancy Scranton shot an even-par 72 and is tied for third place with Dorothy Delasin (67) and Wendy Ward (70). The trio is knotted at 6-under-par 138.
 
Ochoa parred her first four holes but knocked an 8-iron to 10 feet to set up birdie at the par-3 fifth. She parred No. 6 but went on a birdie tear to close her front nine.
 
At the par-5 seventh, Ochoa missed the green short with a 3-wood, then chipped to a foot for the tap-in birdie. Her second in a row came thanks to a 15-footer at eight but her best shot of the run came at the ninth. Ochoa hit a 4-iron to seven feet and converted the birdie putt to get to 6 under par for the championship.
 
Ochoa, the former University of Arizona standout, made her first mistake of the round at the 11th and it started with a drive into the rough on the left side. She played a 9-iron 70 feet from the hole and three-putted for bogey.
 
Ochoa reclaimed the lost stroke at the par-5 14th when she hit a wedge to three feet. She recorded her final birdie of the round at the par-3 16th. Ochoa hit a 7-iron to 15 feet and ran home the putt to grab her share of first place.
 
Ochoa was a dominant collegiate player but has yet to visit the winner's circle in her year-plus on the LPGA Tour. Last week, she shared the 54-hole lead of the Michelob Ultra Open with Cristie Kerr but Ochoa only managed an even-par 71 on Sunday and lost to Se Ri Pak.
 
'I learned I need to try and be aggressive,' said Ochoa, referring to her experience last week in Williamsburg. 'I need to try and go for it, go straight for the pin and make a lot of birdies out there.'
 
Hurst, a three-time Solheim Cupper, started on the back nine Friday and broke into red figures with a tap-in birdie at the 11th. She missed a 10-footer to save par at the 16th but closed her opening nine with back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18.
 
She continued her hot streak on the front side with a 10-foot birdie putt at the first. Hurst dropped a shot at No. 2 when she missed the green with an 8-iron but reached the green in two at the par-5 seventh and two-putted from 20 feet to make birdie.
 
'I played pretty steady,' said Hurst, who last won on tour in 2000. 'I made a couple of bogeys with short irons, but I putted well. I'm looking forward to the weekend.'
 
Stacy Prammanasudh (72) and Wendy Doolan (70) are tied for sixth at minus- 5. Gloria Park (71) and Becky Morgan (67) share ninth at 4-under-par 140.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.