Pair Share Top Spot at Kingsmill

By Sports NetworkMay 5, 2005, 4:00 pm
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Silvia Cavalleri and Catrin Nilsmark each carded rounds of 4-under-par 67 on Thursday to share the lead after one round of the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill.
Laura Diaz posted a 3-under-par 68. She was joined in a tie for third place by Leta Lindley, Kristen Samp, Cristie Kerr and Jill McGill.
Annika Sorenstam, who is trying to win her sixth straight start which would set an LPGA Tour record for consecutive wins, opened with a 5-over-par 76. For Sorenstam, the 76 snapped a streak of 43 straight rounds of par or better.
Sorenstam picked up a birdie and a bogey over her the first seven holes as she started on the 10th tee. She struggled to four bogeys over her next six holes. Sorenstam fell to plus-6 with a double bogey at the seventh. She recovered one stroke with a birdie on the ninth, her last.
'I thought I played good today,' said Sorenstam. 'It just didn't go my way at all. It was just one of those days. It was not the start I had in mind.'
Cavalleri faltered to a bogey at the first after her second shot found a greenside bunker. She bounced back with an eagle from 20 feet out at the par-5 seventh. The Italian moved to 2 under with a 10-foot birdie putt on the eighth of the River Course at Kingsmill Golf Club.
The 32-year-old Cavalleri parred her next two holes around the turn. She dropped in another 10-foot birdie putt at the par-4 11th. Cavalleri carded her final birdie at the par-5 15th before parring her final three holes.
'It is always tough to play in the wind, especially on this course,' Cavalleri said. 'There were some holes between trees where the wind was swirling. Plus, the greens were hard. There is not a lot of room where you can hit the green and stay on the green.'
Nilsmark got her round going with a birdie at the opening hole. She parred five straight holes before collecting her second birdie at the seventh after she chipped to five feet.
The Swede moved to minus-3 with a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 9. Nilsmark moved to 4 under with a 9-foot birdie putt at the par-4 11th.
Nilsmark did stumble to a bogey on No. 13. The 2003 European Solheim Cup captain recovered that lost stroke with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 15th. Nilsmark parred her final three holes to share the lead.
'Today I hit the ball really well. I have just been back from Sweden for four weeks,' said Nilsmark. 'I am rusty around the greens and on the greens. I took a new putter this week. I looked at it after the putt on No. 1, it didn't feel wonderful. The grip was all crooked, but I managed to hang in there.'
Shi Hyun Ahn, Grace Park, Jan Stephenson, Mi Hyun Kim and Natalie Gulbis are among 16 players tied for eighth place at 2-under-par 69.
Defending champion Se Ri Pak got off to a rough start as she shot an 8-over-par 79.
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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.