Sorenstam Ties Inkster at ShopRite

By Sports NetworkJune 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Annika Sorenstam fired a 6-under 65 on Saturday to join overnight leader Juli Inkster atop the leaderboard at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Inkster, who shot a second-round 67, and Sorenstam are knotted at 10-under-par 132 at the Seaview Resort Bay Course.
 
Laura Davies established a new course record on Saturday with a 9-under 62. She is alone in third place at minus-9, while Pat Hurst, who carded a 64 on Saturday, has sole possession of fourth at 7-under-par 135. Catriona Matthew posted a 5-under 66 and is in fifth at minus-5.
 
Sorenstam parred her first two holes, then came up short of the green with her second at the par-5 third. She chipped to tap-in range, then sank a 4-footer at the next for back-to-back birdies.
 
She parred the next five holes, but found trouble at the 10th. Sorenstam landed her approach 15 feet from the cup, but three-putted for bogey, including a missed 3-footer for par.
 
'I don't really know what happened,' admitted Sorenstam. 'I told my caddie I hit three good putts. That's the way I'm going to look at it I'm not going to analyze it too much.'
 
Sorenstam rebounded in a big way on the second nine. She hit a sand-wedge to 8 feet at both the 12th and 13th holes and walked away with birdies. The Swede parred No. 15, but converted a 6-foot birdie putt at 16 and a 5-footer at the last to grab her share of the lead.
 
Sorenstam has already had a stellar 2005 campaign. She owns four victories, including the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Next week is the McDonald's LPGA Championship and the top player in the game wants to be ready. The strength at the top of the leaderboard should help.
 
'I'm looking forward to it,' said Sorenstam. 'Juli is playing great golf. Laura played a superb round. Anything can happen. A lot of important things can be decided in the next few weeks.'
 
Inkster, who held a two-shot lead at the start of the second round, found trouble early in round two. Her drive at the second found the right rough and she had to pitch out. Inkster knocked a sand-wedge to 15 feet, but two-putted for a bogey.
 
That would be the last hiccup for the 44-year-old Hall of Famer. She hit a 9-iron to 18 feet to set up birdie at four, then made it back-to-back birdies with a 12-footer at the fifth. Inkster collected her third birdie in a row with another 12-footer at six.
 
Inkster played steadily around the turn with pars. At the 13th, Inkster played a sand-wedge to 13 feet and rolled in the birdie try. She reached 10 under par when she ran home a 6-foot birdie putt at 17.
 
'Even though I didn't score as well, I thought I played well and had a lot of opportunities,' admitted Inkster. 'I'm starting to play a little better and my swing is starting to feel a little better.'
 
Inkster has not won on tour since 2003 and for her to get back into the winner's circle, she will have to go through the No. 1 player in the sport.
 
'I feel very comfortable playing with Annika,' said Inkster, who overtook her for the win at the 2002 U.S. Women's Open. 'I'm going to have to play really well to win.'
 
Natalie Gulbis and Carin Koch both shot rounds of 4-under 67 on Saturday and are tied for sixth place at minus-4.
 
Defending champion Cristie Kerr fired a 5-under 66 and shares eighth with reigning Women's British Open champion Karen Stupples (67), Joanne Morley (67), Jeong Jang (70) and Mi Hyun Kim (71). The group finished 36 holes at 2-under-par 140.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 146 and 77 players advanced to the final round.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - ShopRite LPGA Classic
  • Full Coverage - ShopRite LPGA Classic
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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."