Prammanasudh Leads in Tennessee

By Sports NetworkApril 30, 2005, 4:00 pm
04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Stacy Prammanasudh fired a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take the lead after three rounds of the Franklin American Mortgage Championship. She stands at 11-under-par 205 and is two ahead of defending champion Lorena Ochoa.
 
Ochoa posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday and is one ahead of Catriona Matthew, who carded a 7-under 65 in the third round. Matthew is three back at minus-8.
 
Christina Kim shot a 3-under 69 in round three and is alone in fourth place at 6-under-par 210. Cristie Kerr, who was part of a logjam atop the leaderboard after the second round, posted an even-par 72 and is tied for fifth with Grace Park and Jeong Jang, who both put together rounds of 2-under 70. The trio is knotted at 5-under-par 211.
 
Prammanasudh, who trailed the four second-round co-leaders by a single shot, took some time to break into red figures in her third round. She parred her first five holes, then knocked a 4-iron to 5 feet to set up birdie at the sixth.
 
Prammanasudh got on the par-5 seventh green in two with a 5-wood and two-putted from 35 feet for back-to-back birdies. The 25-year-old tallied her third birdie in a row at the eighth when she rolled in a 25-footer.
 
At the 10th, Prammanasudh hit an 8-iron to 8 feet and she converted the birdie putt. She drained a 6-footer for birdie at the 15th which tied her for the lead with Ochoa, who was already in the clubhouse.
 
Prammanasudh had only a pitching-wedge for her second at the short, par-4 17th. Her approach stopped 6 feet from the cup and she sank the birdie try for sole possession of the lead.
 
She birdied the closing hole at the Ironhorse Course at Vanderbilt Legends Club to take a two-shot lead. Not only will Prammanasudh be in search of her first LPGA Tour victory, but Saturday marked the first time in her young career that she held the lead with one round to play.
 
'It's a feeling I've never had to experience before,' said Prammanasudh. 'But, I've got another 18 holes and five hours. There a lot of tough competitors out there, so it will be tough.'
 
Directly in Prammanasudh's rear-view mirror will be Ochoa. When Prammanasudh was a senior at the University of Tulsa, Ochoa was wrapping up her collegiate career at Arizona State University. Ochoa left after her sophomore season and was ranked No. 1. Prammanasudh was No. 2, but now she can exact some revenge.
 
'She's going to play her game and I'm going to stick to my game,' said Prammanasudh, referring to last year's winner. 'I just know that she is mentally tough and that I have to go out and beat her and whoever else.'
 
Ochoa, one of the four second-round co-leaders, collected four birdies in her first 11 holes, all from outside 10 feet. The defending champion hit a 4- iron over the green at the 13th, but chipped inside 4 feet. She missed her par putt to fall to 8 under par for the championship.
 
Ochoa reclaimed the dropped shot at the very next hole. She hit a 7-iron to two feet with her third at the par-5 hole and tapped in for her fifth and final birdie of the round.
 
'I feel confident about my game and I'm going to come out tomorrow and play my game,' said Ochoa. 'I'm going to do the same thing I've been doing. It is a special place for me, kind of like home. I hope I can keep that feeling going.'
 
Giulia Sergas (70) and Heather Bowie (72) share eighth place at minus-four, while Karrie Webb (72) is alone in 10th place at 3-under-par 213.
 
Liselotte Neumann and Wendy Ward were part of the group that shared the second-round lead, but both struggled to rounds of 4-over 76 and are tied for 13th place at minus-1.
 
Related Links:
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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.