Sorenstam on Top Wie Shoots 67

By Sports NetworkMarch 19, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Safeway InternationalSUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- Annika Sorenstam fired a 7-under 65 to grab the lead after two rounds of the Safeway International at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. Sorenstam completed 36 holes at 12-under-par 132.
 
Cristie Kerr carded a 9-under 63 to climb into second place at 11-under-par 133. Defending champion Se Ri Pak is two strokes further back at minus-9. Lorena Ochoa, the 2003 LPGA Tour rookie of the year, heads a group at 8-under-par 136. She is joined there by Donna Andrews and Shi Hyun Ahn.
 
Michelle Wie used a 5-under 67 to move to 5-under-par 139, where she stands alone in 13th place.
 
'I don't think I hit my shots as good as yesterday, but I was definitely putting a lot better,' Wie said. 'The bogeys I made were just stupid mistakes. I felt really bad about them, but I made a lot of birdies.'
 
Sorenstam opened three strokes behind overnight leader Kim Saiki. The Swede nearly holed her second shot at the par-4 third and kicked in her birdie try. Sorenstam then knocked a wedge to 10 feet for birdie at the sixth.
 
She came back with an 11-footer for birdie on No. 9 and dropped in a three-foot birdie putt at the next to make it two straight.
 
Sorenstam dropped her third shot to the par-5 13th some 13 feet from the cup. She sank that birdie putt to get to minus-10.
 
At the par-3 17th, Sorenstam rolled in a 22-footer for birdie and came right back with a short birdie putt at the last to grab the overnight lead.
 
'I'm very happy. I thought I played good today,' Sorenstam said. 'I putted really good today and I hit good iron shots close to the pin and I'm very pleased. A little more tidy today than yesterday, so it was a good thing.'
 
Kerr, who began her day on the back nine, drained a five-foot birdie putt on No. 11, her second, to get her round going. She ran off three straight birdies from the 13th, all from within 10 feet, to move to 6 under for the event.
 
The 26-year-old knocked her third shot to five feet to set up birdie at the par-5 second. She sank a pair of birdie putts at the fourth and fifth to move to 9 under.
 
Kerr stuck a lob-wedge within two feet of the cup at the seventh for a birdie and closed out her strong round with a four-foot birdie putt at the ninth to grab second place.
 
'I played really well,' Kerr said. 'This is probably one of the best ball striking rounds I've had, and I switched to a new putter last Sunday. It just felt really good, and I just started making putts.'
 
Saiki struggled to a 1-over 73 Friday. She shares seventh place at 7-under-par 137 with Grace Park, Karen Stupples, Laura Davies and Heather Bowie. Lorie Kane is one stroke further back at minus-6.
 
The cut line fell at 2-over-par 146 with 82 players advancing to the weekend.
 
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  • Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."