Annika Trails Frenchwomand by a Stroke

By Associated PressMay 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
Karine Icher of France completed her second round Saturday with a 6-under 66 to take sole possession of first place at the LPGA Corning Classic.
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.
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”