Annika Hurst Share Open Lead

By Associated PressJuly 1, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 U.S. Womens OpenNEWPORT, R.I. -- Annika Sorenstam could not have asked for a better day in the U.S. Women's Open.
 
She played solidly for an even-par 71 in the morning to keep a share of the lead, then spent the afternoon resting in her palatial quarters as Pat Hurst, Michelle Wie and the rest of her challengers battled the blustery conditions at Newport Country Club, knowing they would have a short night before the marathon finish.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam reacts to a missed birdie putt in the second round.
'I'm sure she's home just getting out of the covers from a nice, two-hour nap,' Juli Inkster said after scrapping around Newport for more than five hours in the sun for a 1-under 70.
 
They'll need plenty of rest for the 36-hole Sunday, the first in 16 years at the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Sorenstam was in the best shape of all -- physically, for sure -- by finishing her round about 1 p.m. at 2-under 140. Hurst had consecutive bogeys in the middle of her round, then steadied herself with a birdie on the par-5 16th for a 71 to tie for the lead.
 
One shot behind was a group that included Wie and her wild day.
 
Tied for the lead, Wie took two shots to get out of a muddy bunker and made double bogey on the 17th hole. In danger of falling farther behind, the 16-year-old from Hawaii escaped with an amazing par on No. 7 by taking an unplayable lie from the shrubs, blasting an 8-iron out of the muck and over a ravine to within 10 feet, and making the putt.
 
'It was all in all a very good hole,' she said. 'Right after it went in the hole, I laughed at myself. It was pretty ridiculous.'
 
Wie wound up with a hard-earned 72 and was at even-par 142, along with 19-year-old amateur Jane Park (73) and Shi Hyun Ahn (71). Inkster, a two-time Women's Open champion, was another shot back at 143 in a group that included five-time major champion Se Ri Pak (74) and 19-year-old Paula Creamer (72).
 
All of them face a brutal challenge Sunday.
 
The pressure in the final round already is enormous at the U.S. Women's Open, by far the biggest championship on the LPGA Tour. But they first have to play 18 holes to get there, making for a 10-hour day on a course that is relentless.
 
'It's going to be a grind,' Inkster said. 'You've just got to hang tough and try not to blow a gasket out there.'
 
Dense fog that wiped out Thursday's first round is the culprit for the first 36-hole Sunday at the Women's Open since 1990, and what happened that day is a reminder that this tournament is far from over. Betsy King overcame an 11-shot deficit at Atlanta Athletic Club to overcome fast-fading Patty Sheehan.
 
Even with Sorenstam atop the leaderboard, looking determined to end her 10-year drought in the Women's Open, this tournament is still up for grabs. There were 18 players within five shots of the lead with 36 holes to play.
 
'Today is normally moving day,' Creamer said. 'Tomorrow, we're just going to have to keep it going.'
 
Sorenstam played another tidy round in mild breezes, opening with 13 consecutive pars until she hit a 4-iron to 15 feet on the par-3 fifth. It was back-and-forth from there, a 7-wood that didn't reach the sixth green for bogey, a 15-foot birdie putt on the seventh that hung briefly on the edge of the cup before falling, and a bogey on the ninth when 7-wood from the rough came up short.
 
'It's going to be a long day tomorrow, and I think the key for me now is to get some lunch and rest, and totally recharge my batteries, and give it my all tomorrow,' she said.
 
Most of the women have experience with 36 holes, having played in the Solheim Cup, or in the case of players like Wie or Park, competing in various U.S. Amateur events.
 
But those weren't held on such a demanding course as Newport.
 
'I'm tired after 71 shots,' Sorenstam said. 'Tomorrow is going to be probably double that, and that takes a lot out of you.'
 
For Wie, it was all she could do to hang on in the second round.
 
Her confidence was high after saving par with an 8-foot putt on the 10th hole, making a 15-foot birdie on the 12th, and bouncing back from a bogey on the 15th by nearly reaching the 549-yard 16th in two shots.
 
Then came a 6-iron that leaked into a bunker, settling in a large puddle from so much rain earlier in the week. After dropping in mud-caked sand, she tried to get it close to the hole and didn't get out of the sand, fortunate to escape after that with double bogey.
 
Nothing quite topped the par at No. 7.
 
First came a fairway metal that hooked so badly, Wie hit a provisional in case it was lost. She found the original, and took a one-shot penalty for two club lengths of relief, although that was no bargain.
 
'I saw the area where I was going to drop it and said, 'Oh, great. I'm either going to be in the weeds or I'm going to be in a mud patch.' I tried to land it on a piece of grass.'
 
She missed, and it sat in the muck of trampled weeds. Taking her right hand off the club at impact, she hammered an 8-iron from 140 yards and it came out perfectly, and the par putts might have been her most important shot.
 
Wie has been a factor on Sunday in the last five majors, and her putting stroke was far improved than three weeks ago at the LPGA Championship, when she took a dozen more putts than Pak in finishing two shots out of the playoff.
 
'It's going to be the first time playing 36 holes in the U.S. Open,' she said. 'It's going to be a fun ride, playing 36 holes in one day. I'm not going to take it too seriously, try not to pump myself up too early. Play hole by hole, and eventually it will add up to 36.'
 
It only it were that simple.
 
King's victory in Atlanta showed that momentum can change quickly, and even a deficit that reaches double digits is no reason to lose hope. Throw in a U.S. Open course, and Sunday will be a matter of who can survive.
 
'Thirty-six holes on another golf course would be no problem,' Inkster said. 'Out here, you're going to have to hit the ball solid.'
 
Inkster was reminded of the strange week when she finished her 18th hole, traded hugs with her playing partners and said what she always does after the second round of a tournament -- good luck on the weekend.
 
Then she caught herself.
 
'Have a good day tomorrow,' she said.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.”