Stupples Maintains Advantage

By Sports NetworkJuly 30, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Weetabix WomenBERKSHIRE, England -- Karen Stupples posted a 2-under 70 on Friday to extend her lead at the Women's British Open. She stands at 9-under-par 135 and leads by three strokes over three players at Sunningdale Golf Club.
 
The 9-under-par 135 tied the 36-hole record for this event, when it has been contested on a par-72 layout. Karrie Webb originally set the mark in 1997, while Catriona Matthew equaled the number in 2001.
 
Beth Daniel, the 47-year-old American who became the oldest winner on the LPGA Tour last year, shot a 3-under 69 and is tied for second place. Seol-An Jeon, who also carded a 69, and Jeong Jang, who shot a 68, joined Daniel at 6-under-par 138.
 
Defending champion Annika Sorenstam was in the hunt Friday, but stumbled late. Stupples already posted her 9-under-par total so Sorenstam knew what she needed to do when she teed off.
 
She tallied three front-nine birdies to get within two, but a pair of late bogeys and zero birdies on the back nine dropped her down the leaderboard.
 
Sorenstam, who can join Mickey Wright as the only players to successfully defend all four major titles, only managed a 1-under 71 and is part of group in fifth at minus-5.
 
'I still shot under par, so I have to look on the bright side,' said Sorenstam, who captured her second consecutive LPGA Championship title last month and repeated at the U.S. Women's Open in 1995-96 and at the Nabisco Championship from 2001-02. 'I lost a little ground, but then again I'm right there. There's two more days. It's not the end of the world by any means.'
 
Sorenstam will have to catch Stupples, a feat she accomplished last week.
 
Stupples, who won the season-opening Welch's/Fry's Championship with a historic, four-round total of 258, carded seven birdies in a flawless round on Thursday. Friday's round was also mistake-free, but thanks to different conditions, offered fewer birdies.
 
At the par-5 opening hole, Stupples knocked a 7-wood to 40 feet. She two-putted for birdie to reach 8 under par for the championship.
 
After one birdie in one hole, things cooled off for the 31-year-old from Dover, England. Stupples found a greenside bunker at the seventh and had little green to use. She blasted out to 8 feet and sank the par-saving putt.
 
'It was very, very boring,' admitted Stupples. 'Fairways and greens most of the way around today. And then if I missed the green, it was just on the fringe where I could putt real easily or chip real easily.'
 
Stupples gave herself good looks for birdie at the ninth and 10th. Her birdie try at nine never grazed the hole, but her putt at No. 10 circled the cup before rimming out.
 
Stupples parred her next six holes, then broke into red figures again at the 17th. She tried to run a 5-iron back to the hole, but due to overnight rain, the ball never got to the flag. Instead, Stupples drained the 40-foot birdie putt to get to 9 under.
 
So, is a two-birdie, no-bogey round boring?
 
'It can be,' said Stupples. 'It was frustrating at times, but I had a couple of good opportunities, they just didn't go in the hole. But I think if you can come through today and still be under par, even though things don't quite go according to plan, it's a good day.'
 
Stupples is bogey-free for the tournament and for the second week in a row, owns the 36-hole lead. At last week's Evian Masters, Stupples stumbled and came in fourth and this is her first reasonable chance at one of the majors.
 
'It's worked very well the last couple days,' said Stupples, referring to her strategy. 'I'll just be patient and see how it all pans out.'
 
Laura Davies needs a victory this week to become eligible for the Hall of Fame. She posted a 3-under 69 and is tied for fifth with Sorenstam, Laura Diaz (69), Jung Yeon Lee (72), Rachel Teske (69), Natalie Gulbis (71), Heather Bowie (69) and Paula Marti (66). That group is through two rounds at 5-under-par 139.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 2-over-par 146 and among the notable players who will sit out the weekend are: Rosie Jones (148), Mi Hyun Kim (148) and reigning U.S. Open champion Meg Mallon (150).
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Weetabix Women's British Open
  • Full Coverage - Weetabix Women's British Open
  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.