Sorenstam Wins Fifth Title of the Year in Playoff
The 30-year-old Sorenstam earned the winner's share of $180,000 for her 28th career victory.
Sorenstam comments on her 5th win of 2001
'It's unbelieveable,' said Sorenstam. 'I'm a bit overwelmed. I've put in a lot of hard work, so to see the results is nice.'
Gustafson tried to reach the green from 126 yards out with a pitching wedge at the second extra hole -- the par-4 10th -- but her ball got caught up in the wind and fell short into the water. Sorenstam then knocked her approach from 113 yards to 15 feet and two-putted for the winning par.
The playoff began at the par-5 18th with Gustafson hitting her drive into the left rough. She blasted a soaring 7-iron onto the green and was left with 18 feet for eagle. She missed her first putt then tapped in to match Sorenstam, who went over the green with her second shot then chipped up and putted for birdie.
Gustafson, 27, shot a final-round 68 to finish regulation tied with Sorenstam at 13-under 203. Sorenstam birdied five of her last six holes Sunday to close with a 5-under 67 at Eagle's Landing Country Club.
Sorenstam, who started the day one shot back of third-round leaders Gustafson, Beth Daniel and Heather Daly-Donofrio, missed the first two greens Sunday and came away with back-to-back bogeys that dropped her to 6-under par.
'I was a little shaken, but I realized I've got 16 more holes and have posted low scores in the past,' said Sorenstam. 'I just needed the momentum and knew that if I could make one birdie, then I could make two, and so on.'
Sorenstam made it back to even par on the day with birdies at the third and seventh holes. Although she seemed to stall with pars over the next five holes, Sorenstam hit three approaches within eight feet for birdies at the 13th, 14th and 15th.
A 7-iron to the par-3 16th set up Sorenstam's 25-footer for birdie at the 16th. She finally took the lead with a three-foot birdie at the home hole.
Gustafson, playing behind Sorenstam in the final group, quicky fell from the lead she shared overnight after hitting in a bunker at the first hole and walking off with a double-bogey. She recouped the lost strokes with a 25-foot birdie putt at the second and a six-footer at the fourth, but dropped another shot at the fifth.
Her roller coaster round took a turn for the better with a birdie at the sixth followed by a holed wedge shot from 45 yards for an eagle at the short par-4 7th.
Gustafson continued to score on the back nine, rolling in a 20-foot birdie at the 10th and chipping to within inches for another birdie at the par-5 13th for the lead at 13-under. She bogeyed the next hole after plugging her approach in a bunker, but was able to force the playoff with a two-putt for birdie at No. 18.
'It was exciting. It's too bad I wasn't able to go all the way,' said Gustafson, who fell to 0-2 in playoffs.
Sorenstam, who defeated Mi Hyun Kim in a playoff for her fourth consecutive win of the season at The Office Depot three weeks ago, ran her record in extra holes to an impressive 10-3.
Dottie Pepper, who won this event in its inaugural year of 1992, fired a tournament-low 64 for a share of third place at 12-under with Daniel, who had a chance to join the playoff with a long eagle putt at No. 18 but birdied instead.
Scotland's Catriona Matthew, who notched her breakthrough win at the Hawaiian Ladies Open in February, carded a 69 to finish alone in fifth at 11-under, while Kelly Robbins finished alongside first-round co-leader Sara Sanders at minus-10.
Full-field scores from the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18