Top-Seed Sorenstam Advances at World Match Play

By Sports NetworkOctober 25, 2001, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour star Annika Sorenstam posted a 3-and-2 victory over Mineko Nasu of the Japan LPGA Tour in the first round of the World Ladies Match Play Championship outside Tokyo.
Twelve of the 16 LPGA members in the 32-player field won their opening matches versus their JLPGA counterparts Thursday at Sohsei Country Club.
Sorenstam, the top-seeded player on the LPGA side, won the 7th, 10th and 15th holes before halving the 16th to take the day's first match. Nasu, seeded 16th for the JLPGA, failed to win a single hole during her match with the Swede.
Sorenstam, ranked first in the world with six wins in 2001, will face the LPGA's No. 9 seed Michele Redman in Friday's second round. Redman beat Kasumi Fujii 2-and-1.
This event, which was played as a stroke-play team competition since its inception in 1979, switched to an individual match-play format this year and offers a first-place prize of $144,000.
The first round featured 16 head-to-head matchups between the LPGA players and the JLPGA players. Players from each tour were seeded one through 16 based on their position on their tour's money list.
Six seed Kaori Higo was the first JLPGA golfer to earn a victory when she bested Nancy Scranton 1-up in the sixth scheduled match.
Laura Davies, who won the WPGA International Match Play event in Scotland last month, came from behind to beat Chieko Amanuma. The big-hitting Brit stumbled with bogeys on the first two holes but rallied to win three of the next six en route to a 2-up victory. Davies came into the contest the 15th LPGA seed while Amanuma was the No. 2 seed from the Japanese circuit.
Lorie Kane and Emilee Klein were each on the winning end of lopsided matches Thursday. Canada's Kane won six of 15 holes to dispatch Midori Yoneyama 5-and-3, and Klein brushed aside Fuki Kido 5-and-4, closing out their match by taking the 9th, 11th, 12th and 14th holes.
Se Ri Pak, the only LPGA player with a chance to catch Sorenstam for the 2001 money title, took an early 3-up lead then watched Michiko Hattori win three straight holes around the turn to square the match. Pak grabbed the 12th and 15th holes to prevail 2-and-1.
The 16th-seeded Jill McGill upset the JLPGA's top-earner, Yuri Fudoh, with a 1-up triumph in 19 holes. Fudoh came into this week 14th in the world, the highest Japanese player in the rankings.
Three other showdowns needed extra holes in round one. Kaori Harada outlasted 2000 Solheim Cup hero Carin Koch of Sweden in 20 holes. Rachel Teske, 3-down after 13, won three of the last five scheduled holes to force a 19th and got by Ikuyo Shiotani, and Aki Takamura edged Sophie Gustafson in 20 holes.
Click here for first round scores from the Cisco World Ladies Match Play Championship
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.