Wie in Contention Annika Six Back

By Sports NetworkJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Nicole Perrot, a little-known player from Chile, took the lead at the U.S. Women's Open, but the bigger story is one woman's fading chances for history and a girl's chance at making it.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie has made six birdies and six bogeys through two rounds.
Annika Sorenstam's quest for the single-season Grand Slam took a blow on Friday as she bogeyed her last three holes. She shot a second-round, 4-over 75 and is tied for 22nd place at plus-4.
 
'I thought I played pretty good until the last three holes,' said Sorenstam, a two-time winner of this event. 'Obviously I am disappointed with the finish, but I tried the best I could, and the only thing you can do is keep on trying.'
 
The other story of women's golf is in excellent position heading to the weekend. Fifteen-year-old amateur Michelle Wie carded a 2-over 73 in the second round and is tied for second place with Lorena Ochoa (68) at even-par 142.
 
'It was a little tough out there, the second round today,' said Wie, who finished second to Sorenstam two weeks ago at the LPGA Championship. 'I had very close birdie putts and I didn't make any. If I had made those it would have been a different story, but I am still happy with the way I finished.'
 
What did Sorenstam in on Friday was the putter. Several times she grazed the hole, but in the end, the tour's top player amassed 35 putts in her second round.
 
She was even through her round after eight holes, but dropped a shot at the ninth when her 15-footer failed to fall into the cup. Sorenstam parred her next six holes on the back nine, but ran into trouble late.
 
Sorenstam played consistently on the back nine, but could not make anything. She bogeyed her final three holes to fall six back, but the winner of this year's Nabisco Championship and LPGA Championship does not think her Grand Slam hopes are squashed.
 
'Anything can happen,' said Sorenstam. 'There are birdies out there because I haven't made them so I am going to go out there and find them tomorrow.'
 
Meanwhile, Wie woke up early to complete her weather-delayed opening round. She got off to a rocky start with a bogey at her first hole, No. 10. Wie drove into the right rough and fell short of the putting surface with her second. The 15-year-old chipped to 9 feet and missed the putt.
 
Wie gave herself great looks at birdie from the 11th through 13th, she did not make any of them, but parred those and the remaining holes on her opening nine.
 
She still had not broken into red figures and the round continued to go backward. At the second, Wie missed a 12-footer for par. The wind got her at eight and her 6-iron came up short of the green. Wie chipped 20 feet short and two-putted for another bogey.
 
But Wie recovered at the ninth. She hit a 7-iron inside 2 feet and tapped in for the lone birdie of her round.
 
Wie will play with Perrot in the final round Saturday. Can this 15-year-old amateur, with only one USGA victory to her name, break through in the biggest event in women's golf?
 
'I think so,' replied Wie. 'I feel like I am ready. I feel like I am playing well enough and as long as I make a couple more putts, play a little bit more consistently, if I play under par, I think I have a good chance.'
 
But these superstars will be chasing Perrot, a two-time winner last year on the Futures Tour.
 
She bogeyed the par-5 fifth hole for the second time in as many rounds, but Perrot climbed atop the leaderboard with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11.
 
Then severe weather hit the area and delayed play for 43 minutes.
 
That hurt Perrot as she landed in a right bunker and made bogey at the 12th. She appeared to be in trouble at the 14th, but holed a clutch 12-footer to save par and stay atop the leaderboard.
 
She parred her remaining holes, now the runner-up at the 2001 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship finds herself atop the leaderboard through two rounds of the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Will it change her strategy?
 
'The golf course is playing really tough,' said Perrot. 'There are two more very tough days. I'm focused on playing shot-by-shot and my routine. I'm not focused about score.'
 
Ochoa moved up thanks to some long putts on the back nine. She holed birdie putts from 10 feet at the 11th, 35 feet at the 15th and 40 feet one hole later.
 
Unfortunately last week's Wegmans Rochester LPGA winner also mixed three bogeys into her back nine, including a dropped shot at the last.
 
'I am extremely happy with my round today. It was tough out there,' said Ochoa.
 
Paula Creamer rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt at the 13th and was 8 under through nine holes. The weather delay really cost her because she went 3 over the rest of the way.
 
Creamer shot a 1-under 69 and shares fourth place with Rachel Hetherington (69) and Angela Stanford (74) at 1-over-par 143.
 
Amateur Morgan Pressel (73) and Karine Icher (75) are knotted in seventh at plus-2.
 
There is a huge group tied for ninth at 3 over par. Among them are: defending champion Meg Mallon, Natalie Gulbis, Cristie Kerr, Se Ri Pak, Liselotte Neumann and Rosie Jones.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 8-over-par 150 and Carin Koch, Stacy Prammanasudh, Pat Hurst, Beth Daniel and Laura Davies all missed out on the weekend.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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.