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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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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    Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

    By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

    Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

    Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

    As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

    • “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

    • "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

    • "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

    • “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

    So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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    Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

    RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

    Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

    The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.


    Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


    Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

    Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.