Pak Goes Wire-to-Wire at Longs Drugs
Annika Sorenstam, chasing a record-tying fifth straight victory, was eight strokes back to start the day and lost all hope of keeping her streak alive with three bogeys over the first eight holes on Sunday.
'I have enjoyed the ride, and it has been a dream come true,' said the Swede, who closed with a 75 to finish tied for 43rd at 4-over 220.
'After a day like today it motivates me to win.'
But Pak managed to continue another trend on Sunday. The victory, her 10th in four seasons on tour, ran the record for international players vs. Americans to 10-0 for 2001.
'Yes, Americans have not won this year, but we're all trying,' said Diaz, who recorded her second runner-up finish of the season. 'In the whole scheme of things, it doesn't really matter if you're from the U.S. or Korea or Europe. You're just going out and playing golf. We're all trying to win.'
Pak, at 7-under and one shot ahead of Michele Redman at the beginning of the final round, briefly lost the lead after her bogey at the first hole was followed by an eight-foot birdie putt by Redman at the 2nd.
Pak regained a share of the lead with a 15-footer for birdie at the 4th. Redman missed a 10-foot par putt at the 7th to drop one off the pace, then pulled alongside Pak again with birdie putt from 20 feet at the 9th.
Meanwhile Diaz, playing two groups ahead, registered her fifth birdie of the day with a two-putt at the par-5 12th to join the leaders at 7-under. Then, unbeknownst to her, Diaz was alone at the top when Pak bogeyed the 13th and Redman dropped a shot at 14.
'I don't think I was aware until the 17th hole,' said Diaz, who formerly played under her maiden name of Philo. 'I was trying not to look at the leaderboard. But there's a big one on 17 that I finally saw.'
Diaz suffered a bogey at the last hole when she failed to recover from an errant drive. She finished at 6-under 210 with a 68, one of only seven rounds in the 60s on Sunday.
'That was really incredible today,' said Diaz. 'All day, they were rooting for me. That was a great feeling. I apologize for letting them down in any way.'
Pak knocked a wedge to seven feet at 16 for a birdie that lifted her back into the lead, then sealed the win with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 17th.
'I knew I had to hang in there with the golf and I tried to play it hole by hole,' said Pak, who earned the winner's share of $120,000. 'I wanted to get the trophy, I promised myself.'
Pak, who captured two major championships as a rookie in 1998, posted her first win of the year at the season-opening YourLife Vitamins event in Orlando.
Pak led by two strokes after Thursday's first round. Play was cancelled Friday because of heavy rain and the event, which was originally scheduled to be played over four days, was shortened to 54 holes.
Redman missed the mark with a seven-foot par attempt at 17, then closed with a par for a 73 and solo third at minus 5. It was her fifth top-10 of the season and third top-five.
Denise Killeen, a member of the LPGA Tour since 1992, recorded her best ever finish Sunday, tying for fourth place at 4-under with Rosie Jones and Karen Weiss.
Rookie Becky Morgan shot the day's low round of 5-under 67 for a share of seventh place at minus 3 with Mi Hyun Kim.
Two-time defending champion Juli Inkster posted rounds of 79-68-74 this week to tie for 51st at 5-over par.
Se Ri Pak Bio
Full-field scores from the Longs Drugs Challenge
Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.
After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.
It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.
Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.
Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.
Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.
Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.
“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”
The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.
“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”
Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.
Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.
Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.
''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''
It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.
''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''
Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.
''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''
After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.
''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''
He's making his first start in the event.
''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.
Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.
''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''
Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.
''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.
The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.
''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''
Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.
''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.
Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.
Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.
Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.
John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.
Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years
Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.
He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.
How rare is his missing the cut there?
The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.
The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.
The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.
Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.
Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.