Sorenstam Staying in the Hunt

By Sports NetworkMarch 29, 2003, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Patricia Meunier-Lebouc carded a 2-under 70 to extend her lead after the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship Saturday. Meunier-Lebouc's 54-hole total of 8-under-par 208 puts her three shots ahead of two-time defending champion Annika Sorenstam.
 
Meunier-Lebouc, who is looking for her second career victory on the LPGA Tour at the season's first major, brought a two-shot lead into Saturday's round.
 
She tallied two birdies over the first nine holes and drained a nine-foot putt for a birdie at the 11th.
 
At the par-4 12th, Meunier-Lebouc landed her approach within four feet of the cup for another birdie to reach 10-under.
 
She struggled down the stretch with back-to-back bogeys starting at the 16th but managed to build a comfortable margin with one round to play on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
 
'It's going to be the best experience of my life,' said Meunier-Lebouc. 'It's getting better every day, playing with Annika a lot of times, and playing with her the last day of the first major of the year, is unbelievable.'
 
Sorenstam hit a 9-iron to eight feet for a birdie at the first but struggled with a two-putt bogey at the par-3 fifth. She recovered quickly with a birdie at the sixth but found trouble again on the green with a bogey at the eighth.
 
The Swede picked up steam with a birdie at the 12th and knocked her second shot within inches at the 13th. Sorenstam tapped in for birdie but stumbled with a bogey at the 16th for a round of 71.
 
'I've been here before, I've been in this position,' said Sorenstam. 'I have a chance to finish it up tomorrow. I'm excited about that. It's been three long days, but I'm right where I want to be, and playing with Patricia again, so I'm looking forward to a good Sunday.'
 
Sorenstam can become the first player to win this event in three consecutive seasons.
 
'I know what this championship means,' said Sorenstam. 'Patricia hasn't won a major. She might be hungry, but I'm starving, so I'm just going to go out there tomorrow and do the best I can.'
 
Michelle Wie finished alone in third at 4-under-par 212. The 13-year-old fired a flawless 66 to match the low mark for an amateur at this event.
 
'I really shot good today, and I was really proud of myself,' said Wie. 'But I didn't even know what I was shooting, I thought I had to make one more birdie and I kept on going.'
 
Wie torched the front nine with four birdies and dropped her second shot inside three feet for a birdie at the 10th. At the par-5 11th, Wie chipped her third shot to seven feet for her sixth birdie of the day.
 
She had several birdie chances down the stretch but failed to convert on numerous occasions. At the par-5 last, Wie had four feet for a birdie and the chance to set a new amateur record at this event, but she missed the putt.
 
Wie, who is one year away from High School, will now play alongside the top player in the game in the final group of an LPGA major.
 
'I don't really put pressure on myself, but it's just the game,' said Wie. 'You just have to hit the ball good, putt well, chip well, everything. It's just a game.'
 
Laura Davies and Se Ri Pak, who could both complete the career Grand Slam with a victory at this event, finished tied for fourth at 2-under-par 214.
 
Juli Inkster, a two-time winner of this event, matched Wie for low score of the week with a 6-under 66. Inkster was joined by LPGA Tour rookie Lorena Ochoa at 1-under-par 215.
 
Laura Diaz and Jenny Rosales were one shot further back at even-par 216.
 
Beth Daniel shot a four-under 68 to finish in a tie for 10th at 1-over-par 217 along with Maria Hjorth, Catriona Matthew and Woo-Soon Ko.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • Full coverage of the Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • 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.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: