Sorenstam Fires 62 for State Farm Victory

By Sports NetworkSeptember 3, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 State Farm ClassicSPRINGFIELD, Ill. ' Annika Sorenstam won the State Farm Classic on Sunday with her lowest round in more than three years.
Sorenstam had 10 birdies in a bogey-free round, making the last on a 35-foot putt from the fringe at the 18th green to finish off a 10-under 62. She ended at 19-under-par 269 to win by two shots over Cristie Kerr.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam fired a final-round 10-under 62 for the victory.
It was career win No. 69 for the top-ranked Swede and her third victory of the season, the last coming when she beat Pat Hurst in a playoff at the U.S. Women's Open in July.
Playing in this event for the first time in five years, Sorenstam equaled the course record previously held by three other players.
She also had her best round since shooting 62 in the first round of the 2003 Kellogg-Keebler Classic, which she went on to win.
'I knew I had to go low,' said Sorenstam, who also has rounds of 59 and 61 in her career. 'I was chasing some great players.'
Sorenstam collected two separate checks: $195,000 for winning the tournament and $250,000 for claiming the State Farm LPGA Series, a bonus pool check awarded to the best finisher in a seven-tournament series.
'I'm a little overwhelmed,' she said. 'I played well today, but I didn't expect all of this.'
Sorenstam began the day five shots off Maria Hjorth's third-round lead and started with a bang by making birdies on four of her first five holes -- a stretch that put her at 13-under around the turn.
She tied Hjorth at 16-under after making birdies at 11, 12 and 14 -- the last two coming on a great bunker save at the 12th and a 14-foot putt at the 14th.
Then, at the 15th, Sorenstam lagged an eagle putt within three feet to set up a birdie that gave her a one-shot lead on Hjorth.
Hjorth tied her again with a birdie at the 15th, but Sorenstam finished with two birdies to take a two-shot lead -- first draining an 18-foot birdie putt at the 17th, then rolling in a no-doubt-about-it, 35-footer at the 18th.
'It doesn't get much better than that,' Sorenstam said of finishing birdie-birdie.
Two threesomes remained on the course, but no one caught fire.
Unlike what happened in 2001, the last time Sorenstam played this event, when she carried a lead into the final round only to be defeated by Kate Golden, who shot a 63.
This time, it was Sorenstam who charged back with the low score -- her first sub-68 round since early June, when she bookended a second-round 69 at the ShopRite Classic with rounds of 64 and 67 to finish tied for second.
Sorenstam admitted, even with her 62, that she was surprised to win.
'I mean, I did play well today,' she said, 'but there was so many great players ahead of me.'
Before this week, Sorenstam hadn't played an LPGA Tour event since tying for 31st at the Women's British Open last month.
She is now third on the LPGA Tour's money list with more than $1.57 million, behind the other three-time winners this season, Lorena Ochoa and Karrie Webb.
Kerr birdied three straight holes from the 14th and closed with a five-under 67 to take second place at 17-under 271.
Hjorth had a double-bogey at the 16th, then birdied the 18th to shoot 70 and share third place with Seon-Hwa Lee and Il Mi Chung at 16-under 272. Lee and Chung both closed with 69.
Brittany Lang (66), Nancy Scranton (69) and Kyeong Bae (68) tied for sixth place, one shot further back at 273.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.