Fudoh maintains lead Inkster three back

By Associated PressAugust 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ricoh WomenSUNNINGDALE, England ' Yuri Fudoh of Japan shot a 3-under 69 to lead by one stroke after the third round of the Womens British Open on Saturday.
 
Natalie Gulbis
Natalie Gulbis plays her second shot at the 1st hole. (Getty Images).
Fudoh, who qualified for the tournament by finishing in the top 15 of the championship a year ago at St. Andrews, is at 13-under 203 at Sunningdale and in sight of her first major title.
 
Ji-Yai Shin of South Korea (70) is second after making a bogey at the 18th. Shin drove her tee shot into the rough, then pulled her second shot into the gallery. Taking a drop, she pitched 20 feet past the hole and then missed the par putt.
 
Fudoh was the leading money winner on the Japanese LPGA from 2000-05 and has won 45 tournaments in her home country. She is using veteran caddie Peter Coleman, who helped Bernhard Langer win two Masters titles.
 
He has helped on the distance and I think 50 percent of what I have done is because of the caddie, Fudoh said through an interpreter.
 
Fudoh said she has no plans to move to the LPGA Tour in the United States.
 
I dont think I have enough power to play on the LPGA, like physical condition, she said.
 
Ai Miyazato of Japan (68) is two shots back from Fudoh. Then came two Americans, Cristie Kerr (70) and Juli Inkster (71), who are another stroke back.
 
Inkster, who is aiming to win her eighth major a record 24 years after her first, started one shot behind Shin and Fudoh at 9 under. She took the lead by pitching her second shot to within 8 feet of the flag at the first hole and making the eagle putt.
 
Aiming to become the oldest winner of a womens major at age 48, she narrowly missed another eagle at the second when she pitched out of the rough and the ball rolled just past the flag for a short birdie putt to go to 12 under. But Inkster lost her way soon after the turn, dropping shots at the 11th and 12th and at the 17th, where her 30-foot par putt shaved the hole. At the 18th, she missed a 4-foot birdie putt.
 
Inkster wants to go one better than the 53-year-old Greg Norman, who almost became the oldest winner of a mens major two weeks ago when he led the British Open at Turnberry with nine holes to play.
 
Im happy for what he did and hes a great player and he seems like the Greg Norman of old, Inkster said. But Ive got to go out there tomorrow and play golf and I dont think Greg Norman is going to help me around, so I have to do it on my own.
 
Defending champion Lorena Ochoa (71) also had a bad back nine to fall five shots off the lead. Having picked up four shots before the turn to move within one of the lead, the Mexican became wild off the tee, finding the rough at the 11th, 17th and 18th to drop three shots.
 
Of course I would love to be closer, if not in the lead, Ochoa said. But this is my position; there is nothing I can do about it. I have nothing to lose. I hope to get a good start tomorrow and we will see.
 
Annika Sorenstam, who won in 2003 among her 10 majors, shot a 70 for her best round of the week. But two late bogeys prevented her from becoming a title threat in her last major championship.
 
The Swede birdied the second and ninth holes and eagled the 11th with a 38-yard chip-in. She finished at 2-under 214.
 
Sorenstam had been still hoping to mount a challenge after two level-par rounds of 72, but dropped shots at the 13th and 17th holes. She also left a 10-foot birdie putt at the last just inches short of the hole.
 
After the 11th, I was hoping to get to 5 or 6 under and still have a chance, she said. Today was a little better, more regular golf. I missed a few shots here and there but I kept going, and when you hole a shot like that on the 11th, it keeps the momentum going.
 
Sorenstam, who announced in May that she would retire at the end of the year, is hoping her last day in a major will give her the sort of finish she wants.
 
I want to have a good final round, she said. What was really special was coming down the last eight with that great support. Teeing up so early compared with leaders, we still had a huge crowd and it was very special coming up 18. I hope it will be like that tomorrow.
 
Sorenstam will marry in January and plans to start a family while concentrating on various golf and business commitments. But she said she had been approached about being a captain of Europes Solheim Cup team.
 
Im not going to play next year, but I have been asked about being a captain and I said Id be honored if asked, Sorenstam said. Its a tremendous honor.
 
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    Woods on firing shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

    His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

    “I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

    “I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

    Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

    It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.


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    Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

    Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

    But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

    Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

    “It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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    After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

    In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

    No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

    Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

    “I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

    Let it go.

    Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

    “I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

    It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

    During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

    Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

    “It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

    McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

    It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

    “I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

    The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

    Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

    The only thing left to do?

    Let it go.