Webb Ward Lead Annika One Back

By Sports NetworkJuly 31, 2003, 4:00 pm
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Defending champion Karrie Webb fired a 5-under-par 67 Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club. Webb was joined in the lead by Wendy Ward.
Annika Sorenstam, who is looking to complete the career grand slam, stands alone in third place at 4-under-par 68. Se Ri Pak leads a group of seven players tied at 3-under-par 69, including Jenny Rosales, Georgina Simpson, Karen Stupples, Shani Waugh, Lorie Kane and Christina Kuld.
Webb did not get off to a good start when her tee shot at the par-3 fifth found a greenside bunker. She left her second shot in the bunker, but managed to salvage bogey.
She came right back, however, to birdie the next to get back to even par. The Australian followed that up with another birdie at the seventh.
Around the turn, Webb struggled with a bogey at the 10th. She missed the green right and was unable to get up-and-down for par. Webb came back to two-putt for birdie on the par-5 11th.
Webb dropped a 6-iron within eight feet to set up birdie at the 14th. She came right back at the next when she rolled in a 25-footer for eagle to move to 4-under. She capped her round by running home a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to grab a share of the lead.
'The weather conditions were a lot more favorable than we thought this morning, so the course probably played as easy as it can,' said Webb. 'Anything under par around here I think is a great score no matter what the conditions are.
'So I was really glad to keep the ball in play for the most part of the day, and I made a couple of really long putts out there.'
Webb, who finished fifth at the Evian Masters last week, is trying to use that momentum to her benefit this week.
'Right now I have quite a bit of momentum going,' said Webb, a three-time winner of this event. 'I feel comfortable on the golf course. One of the things I've struggled with is feeling comfortable on the golf course. Just standing out there confidently and hitting shots, I did that pretty much all day today.'
Ward got on the board when she dropped a wedge within four feet to set up birdie at the fourth. She followed that with an up-and-down birdie at the par-5 sixth. The Texan came right back to birdie the par-5 seventh to move to 3-under.
However, she could not maintain that momentum. Her drive found a fairway bunker at eight and she was forced to pitch out. Ward's third found a greenside bunker, but she managed to get up-and-down for bogey.
On the back side, Ward birdied the par-5 11th. She made it two straight by sinking a 20-footer for birdie on the 12th and capped her round by sticking a wedge 10 feet from the cup for birdie on No. 16.
'I hit a lot of good iron shots and always gave myself an opportunity,' said Ward. 'I think I only missed one or two greens, and whenever you have a birdie putt -- whether it's 15 feet or 20 feet -- out here, anything on the green is usually good.'
Sorenstam, who owns three wins this season, mixed six birdies and two bogeys over her round. She stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the third but quickly recovered that stroke with a birdie at the next.
The Swede stuck a 9-iron within two feet at the ninth to begin a run of four birdies in a six-hole stretch. During that run, she also birdied 11, 12, and 15.
But, she dropped a stroke at the 16th after her drive found a fairway bunker. After a pitch out of the bunker, her third missed the green right. She atoned for that mistake when she drained a 32-footer for birdie at the 17th.
'The course is in such good shape, especially the greens,' said Sorenstam. 'They are very, very true. I think that's why you see a lot of low scores. Once you are on the green, if you hit a good putt, you know it's going to go in and obviously that's helpful.'
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, who won the season's first major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, leads a large group of players at 2-under-par 70. Helen Alfredsson, Gloria Park, Danielle Ammaccapane and Rachel Teske are also among 13 players at minus-2.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Weetabix Women's British Open
  • Weetabix Women's British Open Leaderboard
  • TheGolfChannel.com Bio: Karrie Webb
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    Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

    After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

    La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

    "Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."

    Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

    The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

    "That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."

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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings.