Annika Trails Frenchwomand by a Stroke
Icher was one of 62 players who did not complete their rounds on Friday because of a four-hour delay caused by a series of thunderstorms. Despite the short turnaround - play was halted around 8:30 p.m. Friday and resumed at 7:15 a.m. Saturday - Icher birdied the first two of her four remaining holes to move past Annika Sorenstam and Sherri Turner by one stroke. Icher was at 8-under 136.
Moira Dunn was alone in fourth at 6 under. Sung Ah Yim and Jimin Kang of South Korea, and first-round co-leader Sophie Gustafson were all another shot back. Yim had birdied No. 2, aced the third hole, and birdied the next two holes for a stunning rally that moved her to 6 under before play was halted, but she bogeyed her final hole of the round on Saturday to fall back.
When Sorenstam completed her second round tied for the lead, the horn sounded ending play as darkness fell.
That wasn't exactly what the rest of the field needed to hear. While 62 players would have to think about completing their rounds early Saturday, the best player in women's golf would have a good night's rest.
As if trying to beat Annika wasn't difficult enough.
'That's the good news. It's been a long day for a lot of us,' Sorenstam said Friday. 'For me to be able to finish will give me a peaceful evening and I can sleep in. It'll be nice. It should be a really long weekend for some players.'
Sorenstam shot a 4-under 68 to tie Turner. Seeking her fifth win in six starts this year, Sorenstam soared to the top of the leaderboard after a delay. She had a string of four straight birdies, but consecutive bogeys halted her momentum.
'I hit a lot of good shots at times, and then all of a sudden I hit a bad one,' said Sorenstam, who had two eagles, three birdies and four bogeys in her opening 69. 'I made a few bad swings coming in. Just a few swings got away from me.'
The 48-year-old Turner, the Corning winner 17 years ago, was appreciative of her early start, and not only because of the bad weather she missed. In her first four tournaments this year, she missed three cuts and tied for 51st.
'I definitely was glad I had an early start today because when you play well and you haven't played well in a while and you have more time to think about what you did, you don't really want to do that,' said Turner, whose opening 66 tied Gustafson for the lead and was her first under-par round of the year. 'I feel good about where my game is now. It's really nice, especially being here. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I think it will be fun.'
Sorenstam birdied the first two par-5s to move to 5 under, the second coming after a nice chip-and-roll to 3 feet as the rain began to fall. Play was halted after she parred No. 6, and when she emerged from the locker room after the stoppage, she made two pars before rolling in a 16-foot birdie putt at No. 9.
A fan yelled 'You go girl!' as the putt dropped, and that's exactly what Sorenstam did. A thundering drive at the 364-yard 10th, which she bogeyed in the opening round, and a soft second shot that landed 6 feet from the pin set up her second straight birdie.
At the par-3 11th, she drove within 5 feet and made the putt to reach 8 under. She rolled in a curving 9-foot putt for another birdie at the par-5 12th hole to take sole possession of the lead at 9 under.
Then came the bogeys. At the par-5 14th, she had to lay up in front of the elevated green with her second shot instead of going for the pin as she did when she eagled the hole on Thursday. She chunked her third shot and it spun back off the front edge of the green into the rough, then mis-hit a chip and two-putted from 12 feet.
At the 125-yard, par-3 15th hole, one of the easiest on the Corning Country Club course, Sorenstam's drive landed in the sand trap to the right of the green and she two-putted from 11 feet after blasting out of the sand. 'There's been some streaks in there,' Sorenstam said. 'Once I get a birdie or an eagle, I keep on going, but then it seems like when I make a bogey, I do the same thing.'
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick
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.
Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six
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.
''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.
Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta
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.
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.
Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB
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.
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."