Annika Feeling Better Ready for Match Play

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Annika Sorenstam is too busy trying to get her game together to worry about reclaiming the top spot in women's golf.
'Right now, I'm not really trying to chase anybody,' Sorenstam said Wednesday before her rainy pro-am round in the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
'I'm just trying to get into the swing of things. I'm just trying to get back to me and the way I played. I'm not really at the level I know I can be.'
She's making her fourth start after missing two months because of a bulging disk in her back and ruptured disk in her neck. The 37-year-old Swede took last week off after tying for 32nd in the U.S. Women's Open.
'With the competition being so tough today, you just can't take a break like I have for two months not competing and just kind of come out and compete with just a few hundred balls in practice rather than the thousand that I need.'
After winning the State Farm Classic last September for her 69th LPGA Tour title, she's winless in her past 11 starts and has dropped to third in the world behind top-ranked Lorena Ochoa and Karrie Webb.
'I've got to think long term,' Sorenstam said. 'I have no pain. I feel great and I'm starting to swing the club a little better. So give me a few weeks and I'm going to start chasing some people.'
In two weeks, she'll get to test her game at St. Andrews when the Women's British Open makes its first stop at the Old Course.
'I think it's a big, big, big deal,' Sorenstam said. 'It's a huge step for women's golf to go there. ... I'm going to enjoy every minute.'
Set to open against Katherine Hull on Thursday on the rain-soaked Wykagyl Country Club course, Sorenstam won stroke-play titles in 1998 and 2000 on the traditional layout recently renovated by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore.
'I love the changes. I think it's fantastic,' Sorenstam said. 'They took down a lot of trees. You can see the course a bit more. They totally changed the look and feel around the greens. ... The way they set up the course this year we're a lot farther back. I think this sets up fantastic for this format.'
She reached the quarterfinals the past two seasons at Hamilton Farm in New Jersey, losing to Candie Kung in 2005 and Juli Inkster last year. If Sorenstam wins her first three matches, she could face Kraft Nabisco winner Morgan Pressel in the quarters.
'One match is like one tournament,' Sorenstam said. 'It's just one day at a time.'
Pressel, seeded sixth, will open against Birdie Kim, the South Korean player who holed out from a bunker to beat her in the 2005 U.S. Open. Sorenstam and Pressel are in the lower bracket along with the second-seeded Webb and seventh-seeded Suzann Pettersen, the LPGA Championship winner.
In the upper bracket, U.S. Open champion Cristie Kerr, seeded fourth, tops the most interesting quarter of the draw.
Kerr will open against Amy Hung and could face defending champion Brittany Lincicome in the third round and fifth-seeded Se Ri Pak in the fourth.
'You just try and focus on your own game as much as you can and not really let what the other person does affect you,' Kerr said.
Pak, coming off her fifth Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic victory Sunday, will start play against Beth Bader, with the winner facing the Natalie Gulbis-Christina Kim survivor. Lincicome will open against Carin Koch.
Also in the upper bracket, Ochoa, the 2006 Sybase Classic winner at Wykagyl, will face South African teenager Ashleigh Simon.
The tour leader with three victories, Ochoa could play eighth-seeded Paula Creamer, the 2005 Sybase champion, in the quarterfinals.
'I love the place,' Ochoa said. 'I like my chances.'
Heavy rain wiped out the morning pro-am. Nearly 1 1/2 inches fell on the course Wednesday. ... After single rounds Thursday and Friday, the third round and quarterfinals will be played Saturday and the semifinals and final are set for Sunday. ... The winner will receive $500,000 from the $2 million purse. ... Inkster (1992), Sherri Steinhauer (1999 and 2004) and Michelle Redman (1997) also have won at Wykagyl. ... Marisa Baena won the inaugural event in 2005. ... The tour will be in Europe the next two weeks for the Evian Masters in France and the Women's British Open. ... The LPGA Tour acquired the Duramed Futures Tour on Wednesday. The 27-year-old developmental circuit has been the LPGA Tour's official developmental tour since 1999.
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”