Ochoa Takes Control in Alabama

By Sports NetworkNovember 11, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Mitchell Co. Tournament of ChampionsMOBILE, Ala. -- This close to clinching Player of the Year, all Lorena Ochoa did was shoot the best round of the week.
 
Ochoa fired a 9-under 63 on Saturday and began to pull away at the Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, where a win would clinch the Mexican her first LPGA Player of the Year award.
 
She had an eagle, eight birdies and just one bogey in the third round to reach 14-under-par 202 for a five-shot lead over 2005 Rookie of the Year Paula Creamer.
 
'Well, it was an easy day today,' Ochoa said. 'If you think about it, the conditions were really tough, windy, and it got cold at the end. But it was one of those days that everything worked, and I was hitting the ball good.'
 
Already a five-time winner this season and the LPGA's leading money winner, Ochoa is now within tap-in range of becoming the first player other than Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb to win Player of the Year since 1996.
 
'This is a really big tournament for me because of that,' said Ochoa. 'I think it will be a lot easier to get that done, Player of the Year. But this is a tough tournament, and the golf course is playing tough.
 
'Tomorrow, I'm just glad I am in a good position. I'm glad that I'm in the final group. That was my goal, just to really have a chance to win the tournament.'
 
Webb, also a five-time winner this season, is second on the money list behind Ochoa, but declined an invitation this week. Sorenstam, having an off season by her standards, shunned the LPGA to play with the men in a PGA TOUR 'challenge season' event.
 
Which leaves Ochoa vying for the LPGA's top award without her closest two challengers around to stop her.
 
Not that it's been a breeze.
 
On Friday, Ochoa began her second round with a disastrous quadruple-bogey eight at the par-4 first hole. Since then, she has played 35 holes at 12 under par.
 
Saturday, Ochoa made a birdie at the third, an eagle at the par-5 fourth, and another birdie at the fifth. For her eagle at No. 4, Ochoa knocked a hybrid club within 2 feet.
 
She stumbled to her only bogey of the round at the par-3 eighth, where she landed short of the green and inside a bunker, but got that stroke back with a birdie at the ninth to make the turn at 9 under.
 
Ochoa went on another birdie run after that, making five over the next seven holes to pull away from the field. Her longest birdie putt during the stretch was from 13 feet at the 12th; the shortest was a 6-footer at the 14th.
 
On the 18th green, Ochoa had a birdie putt lip out. It would have moved her to 10-under par on the day and given her a share of the tournament record, held by Carin Koch (2002).
 
'My caddy, he caddied the 10 under, and he mentioned the 10 under,' Ochoa admitted. 'So I knew there was one before and I was trying hard to go 10 under. Actually, the last putt I had it just lipped out. It's a great day.'
 
Creamer, the first-round leader, had a 3-under 69 on Saturday and is alone in second place at 9-under 207.
 
'I'm still in the last group, which is nice,' Creamer said, reacting to Ochoa's round. 'She has been playing really well, so that will only help me motivate myself out there.'
 
Juli Inkster shot a 73 and is third at 7-under 209, and Stacy Prammanasudh is one shot further back at 210 following a 71.
 
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.