Annikas Season Ends Without a Win - COPIED

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam's worst year since she was a rookie offered one last hope Friday afternoon in the ADT Championship when she was among three players desperate to claim the last two spots in the chase for $1 million.
 
Considering how her season has gone, she might have seen this coming.
 
Sorenstam hit a quick hook with a 5-iron into the face of a bunker, blasted over the green and was eliminated in a 3-for-2 playoff at Trump International, ending her year without a victory for the first time since 1994.
 
'I'll get over it,' she said tersely. 'I'll be back.'
 
Just not for the weekend, where the 16 players who advanced to Saturday will start the third round with their scores wiped clean.
 
Ai Miyazato of Japan saved par with a 7-foot putt on the 17th hole in the playoff, and two-putted from 35 feet on the 18th hole for par to secure one spot. The other went to Natalie Gulbis, who also had pars on the two playoff holes.
 
Mi Hyun Kim had a 2-under 70 and finished atop the leaderboard at 7-under 137, one shot better than Kraft Nabisco champion Morgan Pressel, who switched to a conventional putting grip for the first time in her life and is seeing instant gratification.
 
The clutch play came from Karrie Webb, who opened with a 76 and was on the verge of going home until she shot 70 with a stunning finish. Webb was a 3 over and hopeful of two-putting from 50 feet to at least get into a playoff. She fell to the ground when her putt dropped into the hole for birdie, qualifying for the weekend.
 
The quirky nature of this format was best illustrated at the end of the day. When the playoff was over, Miyazato and Gulbis instantly picked up 10 shots on the leader because everyone starts Saturday with a clean slate.
 
Also in the 16-way tie for first were Lorena Ochoa, Christina Kim, Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr, Sophie Gustafson, Paula Creamer, Juli Inkster, Nicole Castrale, Catriona Matthew, Seon Hwa Lee and Sarah Lee.
 
The field will be cut in half to eight players after Saturday, and the scores again will be wiped clean, setting up an 18-hole shootout Sunday with $1 million going to the winner. Second place is worth $100,000.
 
This is the second year of this format, and the second year Sorenstam was headed home on the weekend. But it was not nearly as shocking this year considering her circumstances. She missed nearly two months of competition with injuries to her back and neck, and figures she played at full strength in less than half her events.
 
But she was playing better, that might be the most frustrating of all.
 
Her opening 74 was slowed by three balls in the water. She came out firing in the second round with three birdies on the first six holes when her 4-iron to the peninsula green on the par-3 seventh faded slightly and into the water. She took a penalty drop into a hanging lie in the rough and nearly shanked the next shot into the water. Once on the green, she two-putted for a quadruple-bogey 7.
 
'That's probably the toughest thing you can do in golf is to get off to such a great start and then walk away after the seventh hole and be 1-over par,' she said. 'It's tough to describe in words, but it feels like you get stabbed in the back, even though it was your own fault. I was on such a high, and then you're on such a low in 10 minutes.'
 
Worse yet was missing a 3-foot par putt on the 16th, then narrowly missing a birdie putt on the 18th.
 
Nothing stung like the playoff among three players with worldwide appeal in women's golf. Sorenstam was in great shape off the 18th tee on the second extra hole, but she came over the top of the 5-iron, it hooked sharply and all she could see in the fading sunlight was a white splash of sand. Sorenstam faced a long bunker shot on the upslope, and she misjudged the distance.
 
The 20-foot par putt from off the back of the green never had a chance. And after Miyazato made a 4-foot par putt, with Gulbis only a foot away for par, Sorenstam nodded to Gulbis to finish up as she handed her caddie the putter.
 
'The bad second shot set me up for a tough shot,' Sorenstam said. 'I had a chance to be part of the weekend, and it didn't happen.'
 
The low round of a cool, blustery day belonged to Pressel, the 19-year-old who lives a half-hour away and has playing privileges at Trump International. She ran off eight birdies in her round of 65 to easily qualify for the weekend, and give her renewed confidence that a mini-slump might be over.
 
What helped was her putting grip. Pressel has been cross-handed since she first placed a putter in her hands as a child, but after more frustration at the Mizuno Classic, where she finished 25th.
 
'I putted better than I can ever remember putting, so that's kind of nice,' Pressel said. 'This is the best I've played in a very long time. I'm pretty happy about that.'
 
Still to be determined is who has the momentum -- those who have played well for two days but now have to start over, or those who narrowly squeaked into the final 16 and feel as though they have a second chance.
 
'The first part of the job is done,' Pettersen said. 'Now, we're all starting over.'
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - ADT Championship
  • Full Coverage - ADT Championship
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

    Getty Images

    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

    Getty Images

    Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

    A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

    The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

    There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

    As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

    This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

    Getty Images

    Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

    There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

    Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

    Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

    The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

    Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.