Sorenstam Leads after 36 in Florida

By Sports NetworkNovember 19, 2004, 5:00 pm
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam carded a 4-under 68 on Friday to extend her lead to three strokes through two rounds of the ADT Championship. Sorenstam completed 36 holes at 10-under-par 134.
 
Karrie Webb (69) and Cristie Kerr (70) had each grabbed at least a share of the lead during the second round, but fell off the pace. They stand in a three-way tie for second place at 7-under-par 137 with Laura Diaz (68).
 
Jenny Rosales also shot 68 to move to 6-under-par 138. Rachel Teske is one stroke further back at minus-5 after a 3-under 69.
 
Sorenstam opened her round with a one-stroke lead and quickly stretched that to two shots with a 5-foot birdie putt at the first. The Swede dropped a stroke at No. 5 to fall into a three-way tie for the lead at minus-6 with Kerr and Webb.
 
Kerr, after a bogey at six, birdied the seventh and eighth to join Webb in the lead at minus-7. Webb got there with a birdie on No. 9.
 
Sorenstam moved to 7 under with a birdie at the ninth from 6 feet out, but she still trailed Webb by one after the Australian birdied the 11th.
 
Sorenstam, the 1997 and 2002 winner of this event, moved back atop the leaderboard as she rolled in back-to-back birdies from the 11th at Trump International Golf Club to move to minus-9.
 
The women's world No. 1 tripped to a bogey at the 13th, but still led by one stroke over four people. Sorenstam rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt at 15 to move her lead back to two strokes. She came right back with a 5-footer for birdie at the 16th before parring the final two holes.
 
'I started off really good. I hit some great shots, then just suddenly started to fall apart,' Sorenstam said. 'That second shot on nine, I had such a good tee shot, I was going for the green in two, thinking maybe I could make three. I just pretty much shanked it way up right. For me to be able to turn it around and make birdie, that was big, it was real big. I want to say that was probably the key for me to have a good back nine.'
 
Webb dropped from the lead with a bogey at the 12th. She managed to par her final six holes to remain at 7 under.
 
'I think you probably don't want to be too much more than three behind going into Sunday,' said Webb. 'It's just going to depend on the weather and the wind. I wouldn't mind seeing it at least as windy as today. Just makes you think about it.'
 
Kerr bogeyed the 10th to slide back to minus-6. She atoned for that error with a birdie at the 13th, but posted five pars on the final five holes to end three back.
 
Diaz began the day three strokes off the pace and remained there with her solid play. She opened with a chip-in birdie at the first, but faltered to a bogey on No. 5 when she was unable to get up and down for par. Diaz came right back to birdie the sixth from 9 feet out.
 
The 29-year-old Diaz carded consecutive birdies from the ninth to climb to 6 under. She moved to 7 under with a birdie on 13 after dropping a 6 iron within 12 feet of the cup. Then, like Kerr, she parred in.
 
'I started with a chip in on No. 1 and that kind of gets you a little excited right off the bat,' Diaz said. 'Then I made some putts along the way. Had a lot of chances again today, but similar to yesterday, I didn't get all of them to drop. Overall, it was a pretty good day though.'
 
Meg Mallon, the defending champion, fired a 6-under 66 to get back into contention. She stands alongside Lorie Kane, who tied the course record of 65, Jeong Jang, Carin Koch and Candie Kung at 4-under-par 140. Grace Park and Shi Hyun Ahn are one stroke further back at minus-3.
 
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


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    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm