Pak in Familiar Spot at Jamie Farr

By Sports NetworkJuly 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
2005 Jamie Farr Owens Corning ClassicSYLVANIA, Ohio -- Se Ri Pak isn't sure why she plays so well at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Everyone else in the field wonders what her secret is, too.
 
The four-time tournament winner shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take the first-round lead. It was the best opening round in the tournament's 23-year history.
 
Alena Sharp was two shots back at 6 under. Only five others were within five shots of the lead, including defending champion Mi Hyun Kim.
 
Pak bogeyed her first hole, after hitting into the rough, then strung together three consecutive birdies. She ran off five birdies on the back nine, making a 25-putt on the 17th hole.
 
She is trying to match Mickey Wright's tour record of five victories in one event and knows the course better than any player in the tournament.
 
'Everyone asks why, I don't know,' she said. 'I always feel comfortable here.'
 
Pak won her first Farr title in 1998 when she was 20 and always seems to be in contention. She also won in 1999, 2001 and 2003.
 
Canada's Alena Sharp had seven birdies and one bogey to shoot 65. Her approach shot on the final hole nearly bounced in for eagle. Sharp is having her best season since turning pro in 2005.
 
'I learned last year how to make the cut,' she said. 'This year I feel I have a good shot at winning a tournament.
 
'I don't want to get ahead of myself. It's only Thursday.'
 
She has a history this year of starting fast before fading. She was within a shot of the lead after one round at the Wegmans LPGA last month only to finish tied for 64th.
 
Pak made a 15-foot putt on No. 11 and a 12-foot putt on the next hole to charge out in front. She then finished her round with a pair of birdies.
 
'I've won so many times and have so many great memories,' she said. 'Maybe that's why my game is a lot more solid on the golf course.'
 
Rookie Jin Young Pak, playing in her first tournament since hurting her back two months ago, finished at 4 under.
 
'I'm just happy I can play,' she said.
 
The Korean with the same last name as the first-round leader said she knew about this tournament before she left home because of Se Ri Pak's success.
 
The dry, fast course provided a slew of low scores in the morning, a sharp contrast from a year ago when heavy rains drowned the fairways and threatened to cancel the tournament.
 
But strong, shifting winds made the course at Highland Meadows Golf Club a challenge later in the day.
 
Kim bogeyed her final hole after the wind pushed her tee shot far right. U.S. Open champion Cristie Kerr, playing in the same group, also bogeyed the blustery hole.
 
'It messed with us,' Kerr said.
 
Kim had five birdies and two bogeys to shoot 68. She won last year's tournament with an 18-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff to beat Natalie Gulbis.
 
Cari Wood, playing in the afternoon, birdied her first four holes and then contended with wind gusts that reached up to 25 mph.
 
'That's just the luck of the draw,' she said.
 
Wood finished at 3-under 68 and was tied for third along with Kim, Aram Cho and Morgan Pressel.
 
'I just hit a few too many shots that got away from me,' Pressel said.
 
Kerr was among 13 players six shots behind the leader at 2 under. Also at 2 under were Brittany Lincicome and Laura Diaz.
 
Absent were the tour's top two money leaders, Lorena Ochoa and Suzann Pettersen, along with 2000 tournament winner Annika Sorenstam.
 
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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.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.