Annika Looking for Three Straight

By Associated PressNovember 15, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam has three wins in official LPGA events this year, nearly $2 million in tour earnings and still has a stranglehold on the world's No. 1 women's ranking.
So how would she assess her season?
'Disappointing,' Sorenstam said.
To some players, that would be ridiculous. But Sorenstam has grown accustomed to dominance, which simply wasn't there for her in 2006. Her five-year grip on the LPGA's player of the year award is gone, the title wrested away by Mexico's Lorena Ochoa. Sorenstam almost certainly won't win the Vare Trophy for the seventh time either, with that one sure to be wrapped up by Ochoa this weekend, too.
There is one award she can still take this year: the money title, although its status is now diminished in Sorenstam's eyes. Yet if she wins the ADT Championship at Trump International for the third straight year, she'd claim the gaudy, LPGA-record $1 million first prize and eclipse her single-season earnings record ($2,863,904) set in 2002.
'I know I'm not going to get player of the year and I know I'm not going to get the Vare Trophy,' Sorenstam said Wednesday. 'So, the money list, if I can win that -- whether it means anything or nothing -- I think it'd be great.'
Sorenstam is among many players who believe the huge payday that awaits the winner Sunday shouldn't entirely count as official money. The $1 million first prize doubles the previous largest in LPGA history, and is roughly five times bigger than the winner's check at an average tour stop.
The ADT Championship is a 32-woman field, which gets cut in half for Saturday's third round. After that, it gets trimmed again, down to eight -- and the scores get wiped away, setting up a one-round, big-money shootout.
And it's virtually winner-take-all, with second place worth $100,000 and third $20,500.
'Golf's normally decided over four rounds and this year it's decided, really, over one,' said Karrie Webb, a two-time winner of this event. 'It makes for an exciting finish and none of us have ever played for a first-place, $1 million check. So I think everyone's going to be very nervous about it ... but the person who wins won't be complaining at all.'
Even the tournament host said he's not certain what to think of the format.
'We've had a tremendously successful tournament here, so I'm not sure that I like it,' real estate mogul Donald Trump said after dropping off Sorenstam from his golf cart following Wednesday's pro-am. 'I'll let you know, probably at the end of Sunday. I'm really not sure.'
Webb was the first LPGA player to crack the $1 million single-season earnings mark, going over that plateau in 1996 by winning this event (then known as the ITT Tour Championship) and claiming the $150,000 winner's check.
Now, for the first time, an LPGA player will make seven figures in four days.
'It's a tremendous milestone,' LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens said, 'but it took too long.'
Still, it's going to be exciting, even for Sorenstam, whose career earnings on the LPGA Tour alone total more than $20 million.
She won only one of her first nine events in 2006, then captured the U.S. Women's Open. And although she says she's ready to go skiing and for the year to end, Sorenstam is playing her best golf of the year now with a win, two seconds and two thirds in her last five events.
And she's vowing to be better in 2007, plus knows another win would serve as a fine springboard into the offseason.
'It's tough to be at the top and always find new ways to practice and always find new motivation and, you know, kind of pave the way,' Sorenstam said. 'This year, I haven't really done a good job of that. But this winter, I'm going to try to find new ways to get back to where I want to be.'
Cristie Kerr was given the LPGA Komen Award for her work raising money for breast cancer. Kerr's mother, a breast cancer survivor, surprised her by giving her the award. ... The 2007 LPGA schedule was released Wednesday, with no announcement on the site of next year's ADT Championship. Talks are apparently ongoing. 'They want to come back very badly,' Trump said, adding that he's easy to negotiate with. Wherever it is played, the purse ($1.55 million) and first-prize payout will remain the same. ... Four players tied for ninth at last year's ADT, each taking home $22,750 -- or $2,250 more than this year's third-place finisher will pocket. ... Ochoa's birthday was Wednesday, and she was surprised with a cake after her pro-am round.
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  • American Junior Golf Association

    Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

    While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

    There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

    According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

    Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

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    McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

    By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

    They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

    McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

    Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

    On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

    Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

    10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

    12/1: Tony Finau

    14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

    20/1: Francesco Molinari

    25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

    30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

    40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

    50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

    60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

    80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

    100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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    Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

    By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

    Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

    It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

    Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

    “I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

    “I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

    Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

    At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

    Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

    “I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.

    “Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

    “Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

    After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

    “I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

    Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

    “It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

    “Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

    On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

    Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

    “She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

    Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

    At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

    At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

    Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

    “I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

    Her overall assessment of her day?

    “It was a great experience,” she said.

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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.