Sorenstam Defends Title Wins No 50

By Sports NetworkApril 4, 2004, 4:00 pm
TARZANA, Cal.. -- Annika Sorenstam birdied three of her final five holes Sunday to post a 3-under-par 69 to win the Office Depot Championship. Sorenstam finished the event at 9-under-par 207 for her 50th win on the LPGA Tour.
 
'It's always great to come back to a tournament where I've done well in the past,' said Sorenstam, who picked up $262,500 for her third win here. 'I'm very excited right now and very happy to finish the way I did.'
 
Sorenstam became the third youngest player to reach the 50-win mark on the LPGA Tour. She also defended a title for the 11th time on the LPGA Tour.
 
'Fifty is kind of a magical number,' Sorenstam said. 'I've thought about this for a little while. This is why I practice and why I'm here. I love to win.'
 
Ashli Bunch fired a course-record 7-under 65 in the final round to finish at 6-under-par 210. She was tied there by Meg Mallon, who closed with a 70. Bunch was later joined as course record holder by Isabelle Beisiegel, who also closed with a 65 to end at even-par 216.
 
Sorenstam, who also won here in 2001 and 2003, opened with four straight pars at El Caballero Country Club. She then dropped in a birdie putt at the par-4 fifth to move to 7 under.
 
The Swede stumbled to a bogey at the very next hole, however. She then ran off seven consecutive pars around the turn, while her opponents were making a charge.
 
Bunch, playing six groups ahead of the leader, ran off three straight birdies from the 10th to get to minus-4 and within two strokes of Sorenstam, the closest anyone was since Rosie Jones and Mallon started at minus-4.
 
Bunch settled down to par four consecutive holes. She then knocked a fairway wood within three feet to setup eagle at the par-5 17th and tie Sorenstam in the lead at 6 under. However, she missed a short birdie try at the last.
 
'When I was playing the 12th hole, I looked over and saw that Ashli hit it to one foot or so for eagle at the 17th,' said Sorenstam. 'That's when I started to feel the pressure and I just told myself to hang in there and be patient.'
 
Sorenstam knowing she had been tied for the lead turned it on. The top player in the women's game dropped her second shot to the par-4 14th within eight feet. She calmly rolled in the putt to regain the lead.
 
After a two-putt par at No. 15, Sorenstam rolled home an 8-foot birdie at the very next hole to open up a two-shot lead.
 
Sorenstam was not finished either. She two-putted for birdie at the par-5 17th, before a casual two-putt par at the last gave her the seventh wire-to-wire victory of her career. She now has won four different tournaments three times.
 
'I still have a hard time believing it's 50 wins,' said Sorenstam, who also won the Samsung World Championship, Mizuno Classic and Michelob Light Classic three times. 'Like I said, it's a magical number. I guess I try not to think too much about it because it gets me a little sentimental. But I thought I worked really hard this week, and it feels really, really good to win here.'
 
Bunch, who picked up two birdies on the front nine, used her back nine run to secure her best ever finish on the LPGA Tour. She could have pushed Sorenstam further but missed short birdie tries at Nos. 14 and 15. Bunch's best previous finish was a tie for fourth at the 1999 Welch's/Circle K Championship.
 
'To be honest, I didn't tee it up thinking I could win the tournament,' said Bunch. 'I knew I could pass a lot of people, but my husband Michael (who is also her caddie) said last night that Annika is going to be tough to beat.'
 
Mallon had a rough start with a double bogey at the second and back-to-back bogeys from the third. She rebounded with birdies at the seventh and eighth. She then birdied the 11th, but dropped a shot at the 12th.
 
Mallon closed out in excellent fashion as she birdied four of the final five holes to climb back to minus-6 and a share of second place.
 
Lorie Kane also broke the previous course record as she posted a 5-under 67 to share fourth place at 4-under-par 212. She was joined there by Mi Hyun Kim, who posted a 69.
 
Tina Barrett and Catriona Matthew shared sixth place at 2-under-par 214, with Michelle Ellis, Lorena Ochoa and Michele Redman finishing one stroke further back at minus-1.
 
Beisiegel was joined at even par by Hall of Famer Betsy King, who closed with a 1-over 73.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Office Depot Championship
  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.