Sorenstam Even Two Back as Play Called

By Sports NetworkJune 23, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Annika Sorenstam is certainly in the mix as she tries to secure the third leg of the single season Grand Slam.
 
She opened with an even-par 71 Thursday at the U.S. Women's Open, trailing Angela Stanford, amateur Brittany Lang and Karine Icher by two at Cherry Hills Country Club.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam reacts to one of her three birdies in the first round.
Stanford, a runner-up in 2003, and Lang completed their first rounds, while Icher is through 14 holes.
 
Inclement weather played havoc with the opening round. There was a 90-minute weather delay in the first round, then another stoppage late on Thursday. A few minutes after that delay, officials suspended the round.
 
Sixty players did not complete their opening rounds and will return to Cherry Hills at 9:30 a.m. (ET) Friday morning to finish. The second round will begin as scheduled at 9:00 a.m.
 
Nicole Perrot, Young-A Yang, Natalie Gulbis and 1988 winner Liselotte Neumann share fourth place at 1-under-par 70.
 
Michelle Wie, the amateur star who finished second to Sorenstam at the LPGA Championship, is also 1 under par through 15 holes.
 
Wie's accomplishment not withstanding, the story this week is Sorenstam. She won the Nabisco Championship and LPGA Championship to grab the first two legs of the Grand Slam.
 
Sorenstam began on the 10th hole Thursday and missed the fairway with her drive. She made bogey, then hit another errant tee shot at No. 11. The Swede saved par on her second hole, but admitted that nerves were the biggest factor.
 
'U.S. Open, a lot of people, tough golf course, a lot on my mind. There's a lot of things,' said Sorenstam, referring to what caused her nervousness on Thursday.
 
The top player in the game calmed down throughout her front nine. She hit a 7-iron to 5 feet to set up birdie at the 16th. Sorenstam came up short of the green with her second at the par-4 18th and wedged her third to 12 feet. She two-putted for another bogey, making the turn at 1-over 37.
 
Sorenstam recovered with a birdie at the first. She added another birdie at the seventh when she rolled in a 7-footer, but hit a 5-iron over the green at nine and made bogey.
 
Despite the inconsistency of her round, Sorenstam is still within striking distance. The two-time former champion of this event also knows par is a good score for a U.S. Women's Open.
 
'I think if somebody would have told me on the first tee, we'll give you level par, I think I would have taken it,' said Sorenstam. 'Having said that, it's a good start. It's a marathon.'
 
Sorenstam was joined in a tie for ninth place with defending champion Meg Mallon, Sophie Gustafson and amateur Morgan Pressel, who had the lead by herself, but dropped three strokes in her last two holes.
 
Maria Hjorth is even with two holes to play.
 
Stanford, who lost in a playoff to Hilary Lunke two years ago, hit a sandwedge to 12 feet to set up a birdie at the first. She made an unlikely birdie at four when her drive came to rest in the first cut. Stanford ran a 4-iron 30 feet from the hole and converted the putt.
 
She used a 5-iron off the tee at the par-5 fifth, but played a wedge to 5 feet with her third. Stanford drained that birdie putt, but bogeyed Nos. 6, 8 and 9 to fall back to even for the championship.
 
At the par-3 15th, Stanford hit a 5-iron to 10 feet. She ran in the birdie putt, sank a 20-footer for birdie at 17 and holed a clutch 7-foot par save at 18 to share the first-round lead of the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Stanford used some clutch putting two years ago at Pumpkin Ridge when she and Kelly Robbins lost an 18-hole playoff to Hilary Lunke. The 27-year-old did notice some similarities.
 
'Similar in that I feel like I am really in the moment,' said Stanford. 'I think in 2003, each shot I hit I was really in the moment. I felt like that today. So that was a good feeling.'
 
Lang, who will turn professional at the end of the summer, collected three birdies in her first seven holes. She drove into the rough at nine and never recovered, leaving with a bogey.
 
The back nine featured more of the inconsistent play. She drained a 5-foot birdie putt at the 10th, but gave the shot back at 12 when she three-putted from 20 feet.
 
Lang hit an 8-iron to 12 feet to set up birdie at the 14th and go ahead by one. She then fell back into a tie at 18 when she hit a poor drive and an even poorer second shot.
 
Still, the Duke University star, shares the lead.
 
'I am just going to play golf like I have been playing,' said Lang. 'I am sure I will be nervous, but it will be a lot of fun just getting the crowds on my side.'
 
Icher began on the back nine and tallied three birdies and one bogey over her first nine holes. She traded a birdie and a bogey at one and two, and parred her last three holes before the horn sounded.
 
'It's my best beginning on the major, so I hope to keep my play and my game for tomorrow morning,' said Icher, a Frenchwoman who lives in Switzerland. 'I have tried to hit the middle of the fairway, hit the green, try to keep a good rhythm on the greens and that's it.'
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.