Annika Seeks Sweep Wie Some Respect

By Associated PressFebruary 20, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 Fields OpenKAPOLEI, Hawaii -- It took Annika Sorenstam 17 months to hoist a trophy again. Shes now seeking her second title in as many weeks and third straight victory in Hawaii while rising in the rankings.
 
Fresh off a two-stroke victory in the season-opening SBS Open, Sorenstam is trying to complete the Hawaiian sweep at the Fields Open, which starts Thursday. The victory was the 70th of her LPGA Tour career and first since September 2006
 
Im thrilled and Im happy, and that gives you motivation to continue and work hard, said Sorenstam, the 37-year-old Swedish star who had an injury-shortened season in 2007 where she was winless for the first time since her rookie season in 1994.
 
The win vaulted Sorenstam two spots to No. 2 in the world behind Lorena Ochoa.
 
Im not complaining, said Sorenstam, who moved past Suzann Pettersen and Karrie Webb.
 
Ochoa, who will start her season next week in Singapore in the HSBC Womens Champions, still leads Sorenstam by a large margin behind her impressive eight-win season in 2007.
 
Theres a lot of catching up to do, Sorenstam said. Im just going to focus on the things that I can control, which is my golf and my swing.
 
Sorenstam was limited to 13 events because of neck and back injuries and managed six top-10s finishes. Her scoring average of 71.27 was the highest and her earnings ($532,718) the lowest since she was a rookie.
 
The 54-hold event at Ko Olina also features Michelle Wies 2008 debut.
 
Wie, also coming off a trying year, is now healthy, stronger and eager for a strong showing at Ko Olina, where she missed a playoff by a shot in 2006, when she was a high school junior.
 
I feel good about this year, she said. I feel like everything is coming back into place.
 
Wie injured both wrists last year but kept playing, and struggling. She made only three cuts. In nine starts, she withdrew twice and only broke par twice in 19 rounds against women.
 
Sorenstam recommended that Wie take care of her body first for her long-term success.
 
Golf is important and its a big part of my life. You go as much as you can but you have to remember'and I can tell you from last year'if youre not healthy, you cannot do what you want to do, Sorenstam said. I dont know what shes doing rehab-wise, working out-wise. But you really need to take care of yourself.
 
On Tuesday, Wie said she has accepted that her injured wrists will never be 100 percent again but is as good as it can be.
 
The 18-year-old from Honolulu is starting the season against the women for the first time in five years. She previously opened at the PGA Tours Sony Open where she nearly made the cut as a 14-year-old when she shot a 68. But she didnt play Waialae this year.
 
Its definitely going to be an emotion-filled tournament and its going to be a lot of fun, Wie said.
 
Many people are curious to see how Wie performs this year.
 
Its got to be small steps, Wies swing coach David Leadbetter said. In the middle of 2006, she looked like she had a chance to win every tournament she was entering. Shes going to have to work her way back. Shes going to have to get to the point where she builds her confidence, she gets her belief back and probably the respect of a lot of people, too.
 
Sorenstam might on that list.
 
Wie withdrew from last years Ginn Tribute, hosted by Sorenstam, after shooting 14 over through 16 holes, saying she aggravated a wrist injury.
 
Wie said she withdrew because she tweaked the injury and not because of an LPGA Tour rule that bans non-tour members for the year if they shoot 88 or higher. Wie was two bogeys from that scenario when she stopped.
 
Two days later, Wie was hitting balls on the range, drawing sharp words from Sorenstam.
 
On Wednesday, Sorenstam said she wasnt sure if Wie would receive another invitation to the tournament, or even if the teen had requested one.
 
When asked if all was smoothed about between the two, Sorenstam said she hasnt talked to Wie.
 
So its not (about) being smooth or not, she said. Im just minding my own business. Its nothing I walk around thinking about. She has her career and I have mine. Thats kind of how it is. I respect her as a golfer and I know she has a lot of talent and I wish her best.
 
Last week, Sorenstam made her first appearance in Hawaii since winning the 2002 LPGA Takefuji Classic at Waikoloa. At the event, a towering 12-year-old girl made her LPGA Tour debut through a qualifier. Wie missed the cut by three strokes.
 
A lot of things have happened since then, Sorenstam said.
 
Last year, Stacy Prammanasudh won her second LPGA Tour title at Ko Olina, leading wire-to-wire en route to a one-stroke victory over Jee Young Lee.
 
Prammanasudh is paired with Sorenstam and Japans Ai Miyazato for the first two rounds. Scores should be low if the winds stay down on the resort course with generous fairways.
 
You can make birdies from 50 yards off the fairway, Prammanasudh said. On a golf course like this, you really dont know who you anticipate playing well. Obviously, (Sorenstam) has won 70 times. Theres a reason for that. But it is anybodys golf course.
 
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    Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 14, 2018, 10:40 pm

    Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

    Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.

    Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.

    Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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    Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six

    By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 10:07 pm

    CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs

    Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.

    ''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''

    The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.

    ''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''

    Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.


    Full-field scores from the SAS Championship


    ''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''

    The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.

    ''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''

    Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.

    ''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.

    Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.

    Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.

    The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.

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    Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta

    By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 5:29 pm

    WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.

    The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.

    Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.

    Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.

    English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).

    The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.

    Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.


    Full-field scores from the British Masters


    A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September

    Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.

    His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

    However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

    There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.

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    Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB

    By Will GrayOctober 14, 2018, 1:46 pm

    For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.

    Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.

    "Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.


    Full-field scores from CIMB Classic

    CIMB Classic: Articles, photos and videos


    The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.

    "That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."

    Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

    "Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."