Notes Slow Play Bothersome Annikas Awesome Stats

By Associated PressJune 11, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 McDonaldHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- Michelle Wie stood next to her 300-yard drive in the middle of the eighth fairway, hands on hips.
The players in front of the 15-year-old from Hawaii were busy lining up putts on the par-5 hole, and the group behind watched from the tee.
Somebody forgot to tell the players that Saturday was moving day at the LPGA Championship.

Michelle Wie
Despite the slow pace of play, Michelle Wie managed a 1 under par to move into a tie for third.
At times, Bulle Rock Golf Club had the look of a local muni, with groups stacked up. The average round was about 4 1/2 hours -- for twosomes.
``It was pathetic,'' Laura Davies said. ``I'd like to take a gun and shoot the slow ones. How can you play 4 1/2 hours in two-ball on a golf course like this?
``They stand over these putts for a quarter of an hour.''
The slow pace even bothered Annika Sorenstam, who stretched her lead to five strokes heading into the final round.
``I was looking forward to twosomes,'' the two-time defending champion said. ``I thought the pace would be fast. Tempo and rhythm are very important to me. Today, it felt like we waited on every single shot.''
Play was so tardy that CBS ended its telecast at 6 p.m., with the final pairing of Sorenstam and Davies on the 17th green, even though the tour had allotted 4:20 for each group's round.
The slow play seemed to be most evident on the front nine, with groups waiting on almost every tee, starting at No. 3.
``Yeah, I noticed it was slow,'' said Wie, who shot her second straight 71 and was at 5 under, seven strokes behind Sorenstam.
When it was suggested that 6,400-yard, Pete Dye-designed Bulle Rock was the problem, Davies, who had a 2-over 74, scoffed.
``They're just slow,'' Davies said of her tour brethren. ``Annika's the best player in the world, and she's not slow.''
Veteran Rosie Jones agreed.
``On this course, it should be 4 hours,'' Jones said. ``The front nine has been slow all week. There are some tough holes and some tough pin placements there.
``But yesterday (Friday), there were three groups on 17, so you just can't figure it out.''
Wie, the first amateur to play in the McDonald's LPGA Championship, had a taste of fast and slow play.
In Friday's second round, Wie was in the first group off the 10th tee at 7:15 a.m. and her threesome got around in under 4 1/2 hours.
``Yesterday, it seemed like we were running for our life,'' she said.
Saturday was a real test.
``You just have to concentrate and think about other things. I think I did that pretty good,'' Wie said.
Defending U.S. Women's Open champion Meg Mallon anticipated the long day.
``We knew this golf course was going to take some time to get around,'' she said.
Annika Sorenstam's dominating performances on the LPGA Tour are producing incredible statistics.
The Swedish star has scored in the 60s in 14 straight rounds and in 22 of 29 rounds this season. The LPGA Tour record for most rounds in the 60s in a season is 51, set by Lorena Ochoa a year ago.
Sorenstam has won 17 tournaments twice, including the LPGA Championship. If she can maintain her lead at Bulle Rock and win the second leg of the Grand Slam, she'll add the event to the eight tournaments she's won three times.
Sorenstam has won the Samsung World Championships (1995, '96, '02, '04) and Mizuno Classic (2001, '02, '03, '04) four times.
Rosie Jones has to look toward the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open if she hopes to win a major before retiring at the end of the year.
After starting the third round tied for 11th and in contention six shots behind Annika Sorenstam, Jones struggled to a 2-over 74 and slipped into a tie for 17th place at 1 under, 11 strokes off the pace.
She's satisfied she gave the LPGA Championship her best shot.
``I feel good when I play well, and I just didn't have my game,'' she said. ``I really thought I could go out there and shoot 2 or 3 under. But I just couldn't do it.''
Jones, whose first season on tour was 1982, liked her chances at the championship's new venue.
``I got excited the first time I saw Bulle Rock,'' said the 13-time winner whose last victory came in 2003. ``I loved it, loved it, loved it. Drove in, and loved it.
``It's just a great golf course ... It's just fun.''
Former LPGA Championship winners Juli Inkster, Karrie Webb moved up the leaderboard in the third round.
Inkster, who won the McDonald's LPGA title in 1999-00, shot a 1-under 71 in the third round and moved from 47th to 28th at 1-over 217.
Webb, who fulfilled the 10-year tour requirement to get into the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame after the first round, moved into a tie for 54th after a 72. The Australian, who won the championship in 2001, was tied for 70th after making the cut on the number. She stands at 5-over 221.
Cristie Kerr had the lowest score of the third round, carding a 5-under 67 and vaulting from a tie for 47th place to a tie for 10th at 3-under 213. ... Young Kim moved into second place, five strokes off the lead, helped by an eagle at the 380-yard, par-4 fourth hole, where she sank a 7-iron from 155 yards. She finished with a 4-under 68. Michelle Redman also had an eagle on the 481-yard, par-5 eighth.
``It's a race for second place now, the way I'm looking at it.'' -- Two-time LPGA Championship winner Laura Davies on the prospect of anyone catching leader Annika Sorenstam in Sunday's final round.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - McDonald's LPGA Championship
  • Full Coverage - McDonald's LPGA Championship
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    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

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    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

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    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

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    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.