Sorenstam Alone in Second at Nabisco

By Sports NetworkMarch 28, 2003, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Patricia Meunier-Lebouc posted a 4-under 68 to take the lead at the halfway point of the Kraft Nabisco Championship Friday. Meunier-Lebouc finished at 6-under-par 138, two strokes clear of overnight leader Annika Sorenstam.
'I have the chance to go into the third day leading the tournament, the major,' said Meunier-Lebouc. 'Life is just an experience. I just want to learn from it.'
Meunier-Lebouc was two shots behind Sorenstam to start the second round under windy conditions at the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club. She played alongside the two-time defending champion and made her presence known with a pair of birdies starting at the first to tie Sorenstam in the lead.
The Frenchwoman hit a 6-iron to three feet for a birdie at the fifth but struggled with a bogey at the very next hole. At the par-4 seventh, Meunier-Lebouc hit her second shot to four feet for a birdie to make the turn at minus-5.
Meunier-Lebouc chipped her third shot from off the green to nine feet at the par-5 11th to take the outright lead at 6-under and parred the remaining holes en route to the clubhouse lead.
'I know it's not going to be every single day now of my life like that,' said Meunier-Lebouc. 'That's the way it is in golf, when you feel it, you have to go for it. It's the only way to have fun.'
Sorenstam kept pace throughout the day and stood alongside Meunier-Lebouc atop the leaderboard at minus-6 thanks to a birdie at the 12th. The Swede, who is trying to become the first player to ever win this event in three consecutive years, stumbled down the stretch, however, with three bogeys over her next five holes.
'On the back, I think the wind picked up, then it would stop, then it would start over,' said Sorenstam. 'You kind of had to time it. That's not always so easy.'
At the par-5 last, Sorenstam hit a sand-wedge to nine feet for a closing birdie and a round of 72.
'For me personally, it was kind of like a roller-coaster a little bit,' said Sorenstam. 'Not a lot of pars, a lot of birdies, a lot of bogeys. I must say it was difficult today because the wind was swirling constantly on the front. It was very difficult to figure out what club to hit on certain holes.'
LPGA Tour rookie Lorena Ochoa finished three shots off the pace at 3-under-par 141. The 21-year-old picked up two birdies on the front nine and a five-foot birdie at the 11th moved her to 4-under.
Ochoa found trouble with a double-bogey at the par-4 15th and nearly dropped another shot at the very next hole. She managed to convert on a 14-foot putt to save par and hit her tee shot to three feet at the par-3 17th. Ochoa drained the putt on her way to a second-round 70.
'I did pretty good today, especially at the beginning,' said Ochoa. 'I feel pretty good. I'm playing really good on the distances with my second shot. That makes the golf course a little easier.'
Karen Stupples, Dorothy Delasin and Michele Redman finished one shot further back at 2-under-par 142. Se Ri Pak and Danielle Ammaccapane followed at 1- under-par 143.
Jenny Rosales, Maria Hjorth and Lorie Kane share ninth place at even-par 144.
Laura Davies, who can complete the career Grand Slam with a victory at this event, struggled with a 75 to finish at 1-over-par 145 along with Cristie Kerr, Donna Andrews and Catriona Matthew.
Michelle Wie chose a good spot to make her first cut on the LPGA Tour. The hard-hitting 13-year-old tallied one birdie and three bogeys to finish eight shots off the pace in a group at 2-over-par 146.
'I really didn't think about the cut. I just thought I wanted to shoot a certain score over four rounds,' said Wie. 'It was a little windy. The breezes were cool, so it wasn't that bad.'
Wie was joined by Leta Lindley, Akiko Fukushima, Dawn Coe-Jones, Michelle Ellis and Rosie Jones in a tie for 16th.
The 36-hole cut fell at 10-over-par 154 with 79 players qualifying for the weekend. Among those who didn't make the grade were Grace Park and 16-year-old Naree Song.

Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • Full coverage of the Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook sank a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without making a bogey on the Plantation Course or the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    Cook was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back.

    Bubba (64) fires his lowest round of 2017

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:12 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Bubba Watson’s plan when he left the Dell Technologies Championship in September was to take a few months off and come back fresh in 2018

    Those plans changed after a few weeks.

    “What we figured out was the mental side, preparing for kindergarten - not for me, for my son - preparing for [wife] Angie's knee surgery. It's been a tough go,” Watson said.

    “Being home and being with the family and everything, I realized how much I missed the game of golf, and that's why I wanted to come and play in these tournaments.”

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    The plan has paid off this week at the RSM Classic, where Watson is tied for 12th place after a second-round 64 on the Seaside course moved him to 7 under par.

    Watson, who tied for 51st two weeks ago in Las Vegas, got off to a quick start on Day 2, playing the opening nine in 29. Despite a miscue at the 14th hole, when his tee shot wedged into a tree, he was solid coming in for his best individual round this year.

    The left-hander was particularly sharp with his ball-striking after what has been a difficult year.

    “I want to play golf now and right now I'm swinging at it pretty nicely,” he said.

    S.H. Park (65) builds three-shot lead at LPGA finale

    By Doug FergusonNovember 17, 2017, 9:58 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies at the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Park kept right on attacking.

    The 24-year-old from South Korea added a 30-foot eagle putt late in her second round and finished with a 7-under 65, giving her a three-shot lead going into the weekend at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Nothing seems to bother her, even the chance to cap off an amazing rookie season by sweeping all the big awards on the LPGA Tour.

    ''To be honest, I don't feel quite as nervous as I thought I would,'' Park said through an interpreter. ''After the first shot, after the first hole, I felt a lot more comfortable. I'm not feeling as nervous as I thought I might be going into today.''

    Leave that to the players chasing her.

    Even with a three-putt bogey on the final hole, Park was at 12-under 132 and was three shots clear of Caroline Masson (66) and Sarah Jane Smith (69).

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    More importantly, none of the other players in the chase for the $1 million Race to the CME Globe bonus or any other big award was within five shots of Park, who is trying to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win LPGA player of the year.

    Lexi Thompson, who leads the Race to the CME Globe and the Vare Trophy for lowest adjusted scoring average, shot a 67 and wound up losing ground. She was six shots behind and must stay within 10 shots of Park to win the Vare.

    So Yeon Ryu, who leads the points-based award for player of the year, managed a 71 with her sore right shoulder but was 11 shots back.

    The other two players who need to win the tournament to collect the $1 million bonus also had their work cut out for them. Brooke Henderson had another 70 and was eight shots behind, while world No. 1 Shanshan Feng shot 73 and was 11 shots behind.

    Park was in control, only she didn't see it that way.

    ''I don't think it's quite that far of a lead,'' Park said. ''Two, three shots of a lead can change at any moment. We will have to see what's in store for this weekend.''

    Park began her big run with an 18-foot birdie on No. 5, got up-and-down for birdie from just off the green at the par-5 sixth, holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 7, and then closed out the front nine with birdie putts from 8 feet and 15 feet.

    ''I actually didn't know that I was going five birdies in a row,'' Park said. ''Come hole No. 10, I realized that I hadn't been jotting down my scores as diligently, and so I realized it a little bit later on. And it felt great.''

    That gave her the lead by one shot over Suzann Pettersen, except that Pettersen faded badly on the back nine.

    Pettersen dropped four shots in a three-hole stretch by getting out of position off the tee and she shot 39 on the back nine for a 70 to fall five shots behind.

    ''I feel like I'm playing good,'' Pettersen said. ''Three bad drives on the back nine cost me four shots. That should not be possible on this course, where the fairways are about 100 yards wide.''

    Park was honored at an awards banquet Thursday night as the LPGA rookie of the year. Now, she has more awards in her sights. A victory would give her the award for player of the year. She would capture the money title, which she leads over Ryu. And depending on how the weekend goes, she might be able to surpass Thompson in the race for the Vare Trophy.

    Thompson did well to recover from two bogeys on her opening three holes.

    ''I hit a few really erratic shots in the beginning. It wasn't a good start to the round,'' Thompson said. ''Just tried to stay positive and find something that could work for the last 14, 15 holes.''

    Lydia Ko fell six shots behind in her bid to avoid a winless season. She was one shot behind going into the second round but managed only three birdies in her round of 71.

    Park, meanwhile, had everything going her way. Even when she pulled her drive on the par-5 14th into a sandy area with a root next to her ball, she picked it clear and sent it through a goal post of trees back to the fairway. Three holes later, she blasted a drive and had only a 7-iron into the green at the par-5 17th, which she hit to 30 feet and made the long putt.

    Does anything make her nervous?

    ''I hate spiders,'' she said. ''But in terms of golf, I always get nervous to this day on the first tee. I can feel my heart pounding.''

    It's a feeling that doesn't appear to last very long.

    Korda sisters poised to make a run at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 9:47 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Jessica Korda wasn’t feeling well making her way around the CME Group Tour Championship battling congestion Friday, but the leaderboard walking to the ninth tee gave her a nice lift.

    That’s where she saw younger sister Nelly’s name tucked right next to hers.

    They were within a shot of each other amid hard charges up the leaderboard, with Nelly playing just in front of her.

    “I was like, 'Dang!’ It was good to see,” said Jessica, 24. “It’s fun to see her playing this well. I know what she puts into it. I’m kind of jealous of the rookie year she’s having, because mine sucked.”

    Nelly, 19, is looking to put a special ending on her first year on tour. She posted a 6-under-par 66, good for a tie for fourth, six shots behind Sung Hyun Park (65). Nelly has given herself a weekend shot at her first victory.

    Just a year ago, Nelly was here as a spectator, watching her sister.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    “I found it funny,” Nelly said. “I was walking to the range on Tuesday, thinking just last year, people were asking me, 'When are you going to be out here?’ It seems surreal to be out here, playing alongside my sister and the best players in the world.

    “Being in contention is really, really special.”

    Jessica shot 68 and sits a shot behind her sister.

    Nelly said seeing the leaderboard gave her a lift, too.

    “Maybe it amps me up just a little bit,” Nelly said. “It’s a friendly competition. Even though we want each other to succeed, we also want to beat each other. I think she would say that, too.”

    Jessica is seeking her fifth LPGA title. She’s coming off a tie for third at the Blue Bay LPGA last week.

    Jessica is 35th on the LPGA money list this year, with $515,521 in earnings. Nelly is 51st, with $388,983 in earnings.

    “I definitely look for Jess on the board,” Nelly said. “We’ve very supportive of each other.”