Ward Takes Three-Shot Lead

By Sports NetworkApril 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Wendy Ward posted a 4-under 68 on Friday to move into the lead after the second round of the LPGA Takefuji Classic. She stands at 11-under-par 133 and is three ahead of Karrie Webb and Moira Dunn.
Webb, who shared the first-round lead of this 54-hole event with Ward, only managed a 1-under 71 in the second round. Dunn carded a 5-under 67 to join Webb at 8-under-par 136.
Lorena Ochoa established a new course record on Friday with a 9-under-par 63. The former mark of 65 was set in 2003 by Michele Redman.
'I am just excited the way I played today,' said Ochoa. 'I was feeling very good from the beginning. I was in red numbers really quick and I started viewing the tournament in a different way.'
Ochoa is tied for fourth place with 16-year-old amateur In-Bee Park (71), Nicole Perrot (71) and Mi Hyun Kim (71) at 7-under-par 137.
Ward began on the back nine at the Las Vegas Country Club on Friday and got off to an uneventful start. She parred her first eight holes before a birdie at the par-5 18th, when her pitching-wedge third shot stopped almost 2 feet from the hole.
'It was a slow start,' admitted Ward. 'But that's okay.'
It was okay because Ward caught fire on her second nine. First, she dropped a shot at the first when her drive landed in the trees on the right side. Ward two-putted from 10 feet for a bogey, but the 31-year-old atoned for the mistake.
At the second, Ward hit a 59-degree wedge to 7 feet to set up birdie. She parred her next three holes, but used a pitching-wedge to get 3 feet from the cup at six. Ward birdied that hole, then gave herself the three-shot lead with her closing two holes.
On the eighth, Ward only needed a pitching-wedge for her approach and stopped the ball 9 feet from the hole. She drained the birdie putt, then missed the green right with her second at the par-5 ninth. Ward chipped to 6 feet and converted the birdie putt for the lead at the midway point.
'You have to stay aggressive on this course. There is no doubt about that,' said Ward. 'I was making some really good saves, but that doesn't jump you ahead any. It was important that I made a birdie on 18 and got it going a little bit after that.
Ward has three victories on the LPGA Tour, but is winless since the 2001 Wendy's Championship for Children. She has no top-10s so far in 2005, but recent work with a sports psychologist and a change in putters makes Ward believe she is ready to return to the winner's circle.
'It's a tendency when you shoot a low number to kind of fall back into a comfort zone and protect a little bit,' said Ward, who opened with a 65 on Thursday. 'I talked to her (Debbie Crews, her sports psychologist) last night and she said, 'you know what you have to go do tomorrow?' I said, 'yes, more of the same.' She said, 'no, you've got to turn it up a notch.''
Webb had an up-and-down round on Friday. She rolled in a 7-foot birdie putt at the second, but dropped a shot at the next when she three-putted from 40 feet at the par-3 third.
The 2000 champion of this event collected back-to-back birdies around the turn. She wedged her approach to a foot at the ninth, then sank a 6-footer at No. 10.
Webb was tied for the lead with Ward at 9 under until Webb once again had trouble with a 7-iron at a par-3 hole. She three-putted again from 40 feet to fall to 8 under par. When Ward birdied her final two holes, Webb fell three back.
'I just didn't feel as comfortable as I did yesterday,' admitted Webb, who outlasted Annika Sorenstam in a playoff for her win in 2000. 'I've got to be a little bit sharper tomorrow and give myself more opportunities.'
Dunn overcame a double bogey on her second hole, the 11th at Las Vegas Country Club, with eight birdies and one bogey.
Redman (68), A.J. Eathorne (67), Dawn Coe-Jones (68), Paula Creamer (68), Dorothy Delasin (69) and Wendy Doolan (72) are tied for eighth place at minus-6.
Defending champion Cristie Kerr made the cut on the number Friday. She shot a 1-under 71 in the second round to finish at 1-under-par 143.
Related Links:
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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 Web.com 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.