Three Share Lead Annika Wie Struggle

By Sports NetworkJuly 20, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Evian MastersEVIAN-LES-BAINES, France -- Marisa Baena, who won this year's HSBC Match Play Championship, fired a 6-under-par 66 Wednesday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the Evian Masters.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam had four birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey Wednesday.
Baena is joined at the top of the leaderboard by Carin Koch, who won the Corona Morelia Championship earlier this year, and Lynnette Brooky.
Paula Creamer posted a 4-under-par 68 and stands in a tie for fourth with Becky Brewerton and Christina Kim.
Annika Sorenstam, the top player in the women's game, returned to action for the first time in three weeks. She managed an even-par 72 at Evian Masters Golf Club and stands in a tie for 23rd.
The Swede opened with a birdie on the first, but faltered to a bogey on the fourth.
At the 10th, Sorenstam converted a birdie putt. She parred her next four holes before stumbling to a double bogey on 15 after hitting her tee shot out of bounds. The 34-year-old birdied her next two holes to get to minus-1, but bogeyed the last.
'It is not a good score,' Sorenstam said bluntly. 'I am very, very disappointed.'
Fifteen-year-old Michelle Wie, coming off a quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Men's Amateur Public Links championship last week, posted a 3-over- par 75 and is tied for 45th. She carded one birdie, two bogeys and a double bogey over the front nine. Around the turn, the young Hawaiian managed a birdie and a bogey.
Koch, who finished second here in 1996, birdied the second from 15 feet out to open her round. The Swede drained back-to-back birdies from the seventh to move to minus-3.
She parred four straight around the turn, then birdied the 13th. Koch closed her round with consecutive birdies from the 17th.
'I had a good day and hit the ball very well,' Koch said. 'I think I only missed two greens and I don't think I missed a fairway. I hit it pretty consistent. I had a lot of birdie chances and managed to make a few of them.'
Brooky quickly moved to minus-2 with a chip-in birdie on the third and a 3-foot birdie putt on five. She tripped to a bogey on No. 8, but came right back with a birdie on nine from 6 feet out.
Brooky made a 9-foot birdie putt on the 11th, then moved to minus-5 with back-to-back birdies from the 13th.
She bogeyed the par-5 15th. Brooky got that stroke back with a birdie at the next. She closed with a 6-foot birdie putt at the last to share the lead.
'When you tee off at the Evian Masters, you know you are going to have smooth greens because the greens here are very nice to putt on,' said Brooky. 'The footprints are not there.'
Baena got off to a fast start with an 8-foot birdie putt on the first. After a pair of pars, she sank a birdie putt on the fourth. The Columbian closed out her first nine with a birdie from 6 feet out on the ninth.
The 28-year-old climbed to 4 under with a kick-in birdie on the 12th. Baena birdied the par-5 15th after pitching her third to 2 feet. She made it two straight as she also birdied the 16th. She closed with a pair of pars to close out a bogey-free round.
'It was very, very solid round,' Baena said. 'I didn't make any long putts. I only missed one green, which I got up and down. I had a lot of opportunities for birdie that I didn't make. I had another four birdie opportunities that were inside of eight feet, but I just didn't make those putts. So it's just exciting, I'm playing really well right now.'
Beth Daniel, Kirsty Taylor, three-time runner-up here Maria Hjorth and two-time champion Laura Davies share seventh place at 3-under-par 69.
Wendy Doolan, the defending champion, carded just one birdie en route to an 8-over 80. She stands in a tie for 73rd.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.