Prammanasudh Tops Ochoa for First Victory

By Sports NetworkMay 1, 2005, 4:00 pm
04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Stacy Prammanasudh shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to earn her first victory on the LPGA Tour at the Franklin American Mortgage Championship. She finished at 14-under-par 274, which was good for a three-shot win over Lorena Ochoa.
'I can't even describe it,' said Prammanasudh, who collected $150,000 for the win. 'I worked so hard for this. There were tough competitors out there. I'm just glad I finished on top.'
Stacy Prammanasudh
Stacy Prammanasudh won her first LPGA Tour title by holding off the defending champ Lorena Ochoa.
Ochoa, who made this her first career title last year, birdied the last hole at the Ironhorse Course at Vanderbilt Legends Club for a 2-under 70. She came in at 11-under-par 277.
Cristie Kerr (68), Christina Kim (68) and Catriona Matthew (71) shared third place at minus-9.
Prammanasudh came into the final round with a two-shot advantage over Ochoa, but the two were knotted in the lead quickly on Sunday. Ochoa tapped in for a short birdie putt at the second, then Prammanasudh three-putted the third green to fall into a tie for the lead at minus-10.
The sixth hole proved to be critical on Sunday. Prammanasudh rolled in a 35- footer for birdie, while Ochoa missed a 15-foot par putt. Prammanasudh's lead was two, but she padded the edge at the par-5 seventh. She chipped her third inside a foot and tapped in for a three-shot lead, which she took to the turn.
Ochoa cut into the lead at the 13th when her 12-foot birdie putt fell into the cup. She had a great chance at birdie at the 15th, but her 5-foot try moved right at the end.
Prammanasudh held a two-shot lead as the pair played the par-3 16th. Ochoa hit her tee ball 30 feet from the hole, while Prammanasudh was half that distance. Ochoa's birdie putt came up short, but Prammanasudh sank her putt for a three-shot advantage.
Ochoa could not use her length to her advantage on the short, par-4 17th. She only made par, but Prammanasudh hit her second close. She had 87 yards to the pin and knocked her approach past the hole. The spin brought the ball back to three feet and she converted the short putt for a four-shot margin with one to play.
After a long wait on the par-5 18th tee, Ochoa finally made a putt on the back nine. She rolled in a 15-footer for birdie at the last and Prammanasudh two-putted for a routine par and her first LPGA Tour victory since joining the circuit in 2003.
'I feel great. I don't know if I really believe it yet,' admitted Prammanasudh. 'To be able to hold off a competitor like Lorena and Catriona and some of those bigger names out there is special.'
Ochoa collected her third runner-up finish this year.
'I wanted to be the champion, but I'm happy for her,' said Ochoa. 'I'm happy with my second place. She didn't let me breathe. It was pretty exciting until the 16th.'
Rachel Hetherington (67), Karrie Webb (71) and Heather Bowie (72) shared sixth place at 4-under-par 284.
Jeong Jang struggled to a 2-over 74 in the final round and finished alone in ninth place at minus-3. Grace Park fared worse than Jang on Sunday. Park posted a 3-over 75 and took a solo 10th at minus-2.
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    Romo set to make PGA Tour debut at Punta Cana

    By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:43 pm

    While much of the attention in golf this week will be focused on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tony Romo may send a few eyeballs toward the Caribbean.

    The former quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst will make his PGA Tour debut this week, playing on a sponsor invite at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. The exemption was announced last month when Romo played as an amateur at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he's apparently been hard at work ever since.

    "I'll be treating it very serious," Romo told reporters Tuesday. "My wife will tell you she hasn't seen me much over the last month. But if you know me at all, I think you know if I care about something I'm going to commit to it 100 percent. So like I said. you'll get the best I've got this week."

    Romo retired from the NFL last year and plays to a plus-0.3 handicap. In addition to his participation in the Pebble Beach event, he has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open multiple times and last month played a North Texas PGA mini-tour event as an amateur.

    According to Romo, one of the key differences between pro football and golf is the fact that his former position is entirely about reactive decisions, while in golf "you're trying to commit wholeheartedly before you ever pull the club out of your bag."

    "I'm not worried about getting hit before I hit the ball," Romo said. "It's at my own tempo, my own speed, in this sport. Sometimes that's difficult, and sometimes that's easier depending on the situation."

    Romo admitted that he would have preferred to have a couple extra weeks to prepare, but recently has made great strides in his wedge game which "was not up to any Tour standard." The first-tee jitters can't be avoided, but Romo hopes to settle in after battling nerves for the first three or four holes Thursday.

    Romo hopes to derive an added comfort factor from his golf in the Dallas area, where he frequently plays with a group of Tour pros. While Steph Curry traded texts with a few pros before his tournament debut last summer on the Tour, Romo expects his phone to remain silent until he puts a score on the board.

    "I think they're waiting to either tell me 'Congrats' or 'I knew it, terrible,'" Romo said. "Something along those lines. They're probably going to wait to see which way the wind's blowing before they send them."

    Romo will tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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    Spieth vs. Reed random? Hmm, wonders Spieth

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Monday’s blind draw to determine the 16 pods for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t exactly feel “blind” for Jordan Spieth, whose group includes Patrick Reed.

    Spieth and Reed have become a staple of U.S. teams in recent years, with a 7-2-2 record in the Ryder and Presidents Cup combined. So when the ping-pong ball revealed Reed’s number on Monday night Spieth wasn’t surprised.

    “It seems to me there's a bit more to this drawing than randomness,” laughed Spieth, whose pod also includes Haotong Li and Charl Schwartzel. “It's not just me and him. It's actually a lot of groups, to have Luke List and Justin [Thomas] in the same group seems too good to be true. It might be some sort of rigging that's going on, I'm not sure.”

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    Spieth will play Reed on Friday in the round-robin format and knows exactly what to expect from the fiery American.

    “I've seen it firsthand when he's been at his best. And we have history together in a couple of different playoffs, which is a match-play scenario,” Spieth said. “I've got to take care of work tomorrow and the next day for that day to even matter. But even if it doesn't matter, trust me, it will matter to both of us.”

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    U.S. Open champ Koepka (wrist) to miss Masters

    By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:12 pm

    Reigning U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka will miss the Masters, according to a USA Today report.

    Koepka has been battling a left wrist injury since late last year, and he hasn't played since finishing last at the limited-field Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January. Weeks later he revealed that he had a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) tendon but hoped to return in time for the season's first major.

    According to the report, Koepka only started putting this week and plans to begin hitting chips next week.

    "They said I would be about 80 percent, but I can't play 80 percent," Koepka said. "I either have to go full bore or not at all. I don't want to risk getting it re-injured and then be out a long time."

    Koepka has finished T-33 or better in each of his three prior Masters appearances, culminating in a T-11 result last year.

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    Spieth's agent leaving firm, but keeping Spieth as client

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:07 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Jay Danzi has stepped down as COO of Lagardère Sports U.S., and will take one of the game’s most marketable players, Jordan Spieth, with him.

    In a press release, Danzi said, “after careful consideration I feel that it’s time for a new adventure.” Danzi will represent Spieth independently.

    “It’s been a privilege having Jordan be part of the Lagardère Sports’ family for the last five years and watching him grow from a promising young player to someone who transcends the game,” said Steve Loy, Lagardère Sports president of golf. “We are also grateful for Jay’s contributions over the years, in golf and other areas of our business.”

    Lagardère Sports underwent an aggressive expansion in recent years, acquiring numerous boutique firms including Danzi’s business and Crown Sports Management.

    Although losing Spieth, the world’s fourth-ranked player, and Danzi, who took over as Lagardère COO in February 2017, is a setback, the firm still has a number of high-profile clients including Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.