Sorenstam Gaffe Gives Yim Title

By Sports NetworkApril 23, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Florida Natural Charity ChampionshipSTOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- Annika Sorenstam double-bogeyed the 17th hole on Sunday, allowing Sung Ah Yim to escape with her first LPGA title at the Florida's Natural Charity Championship.
Yim closed with an even-par 72 to finish the tournament at 16-under-par 272 for a two-shot victory over Sorenstam, Cristie Kerr and Karrie Webb.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam reacts to hitting her tee shot O.B. on the 17th hole.
Sorenstam, the defending champion and third-round leader, was tied with Yim for the lead before she drove out of bounds on 17, leading to her double-bogey 6.
She stumbled to a 3-over 75 in her final round to end at 14-under-par 274.
'There's not much to say other than it was a horrible day, and I would like to forget about it,' said Sorenstam, who also had five bogeys to go along with four birdies.
'There were a lot of shots today that didn't happen.'
The last time Sorenstam held a third-round lead and didn't come away with the win was at the 2004 Evian Masters. Looking for her 68th career victory, she entered the day having won each of the last six times she held at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
'I'm more disappointed in me than anything else,' Sorenstam said.
Kerr shot a three-under 69 to move into a tie for second, while Webb got there with a final-round 70. Suzann Pettersen, Juli Inkster and Hee-Won Han shared fifth place, one stroke further back at minus-13.
Not only had Sorenstam won each of the last six times she held at least a share of the 54-hole lead, she had also done it 27-of-44 times in her career.
But something was wrong with the world's top female golfer from the beginning on Sunday.
Sorenstam opened with a three-putt bogey at the par-four first, and would later go bogey-birdie, bogey-birdie on four consecutive holes from the fourth.
Two more bogeys at 10 and 12 -- including one on another three-putt at 12 -- dropped her into a three-way tie for the lead with Kerr and Yim at minus-14.
Kerr briefly held the lead alone after a birdie ahead at the 14th, but she double-bogeyed the 15th. Sorenstam and Yim then reclaimed the lead with matching birdies at the par-4 14th.
Sorenstam could have salvaged a bogey at 17, but she two-putted after knocking a 7-iron within 5 feet. After closing with a birdie to earn her share of second place, all Sorenstam wanted to do was forget about the round.
'I'm not going to the range,' Sorenstam said afterward. 'I'm going home. I'm just going to get focused and get my game ready for next week.'
Meanwhile, Yim quietly finished off an even-par round by making a four on 17 before rolling in a birdie putt at the 18th for her two-shot win and a $210,000 paycheck.
Sorenstam was impressed with one aspect of the South Korean's game in particular.
'She didn't hit greens, but her short game helped her,' said Sorenstam. 'She had a lot of up and downs to keep the score going. And she missed a lot of putts early on, kind of like I did, but in the end she was pretty solid.'
Karine Icher fired a 3-under 69 to move into a share of eighth place with Jeong Jang (72) and Sherri Turner (72) at minus-12. Beth Daniel (73) and Brittany Lang (73) were knotted in 11th place, one shot further back.
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    Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

    Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

    There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

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    Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

    The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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    Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

    Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

    It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

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    Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

    While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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    McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

    Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

    The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.

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    McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

    McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.

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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

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    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.