Ochoa falls four back at Evian Masters

By Associated PressJuly 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Evian MastersEVIAN-LES-BAINS, France ' Helen Alfredsson shot a course-record 9-under 63 Friday to pull within a shot of leader Angela Park after the second round of the Evian Masters.
 
Park shot a 68 in her second consecutive bogey-free round, giving her a 10-under total of 134.
 
The 43-year-old Alfredsson made four birdies on the front nine and five on the back at the Evian Royal Resort to beat the old course mark of 64 held by six players.
 
Helen Alfredsson
Helen Alfredsson hugs her caddie after shooting 63. (Getty Images)
This is my favorite stop on the Tour, period, the 1994 and 98 Evian winner said. To have a course record is very special. I know the course so well and obviously love it here.
 
Five players are another shot back at 8 under ' 2003 champion Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr, In-kyung Kim, Meena Lee, and Candie Kung.
 
Overnight leader Lorena Ochoa is at 6 under after shooting a 1-over 73 following her 65 on Thursday.
 
Alfredsson, tied for 41st place overnight following a 72 on Thursday, moved to 8 under at the par-5 15th, but then missed birdie putts on the next two holes.
 
At the par-5 18th, her chip from a bunker landed seven feet from the flag to set up the last birdie. After making the putt, she pumped her fist and shared hugs with playing partners Sherri Steinhauer and Mhairi McKay.
 
I had a wonderful group, Alfredsson said. We laughed a lot and talked a lot. You just play, you make a putt and move on.
 
The course record continues Alfredssons revival after a 2007 season ruined by a back injury.
 
She was second in the U.S. Womens Open last month, finishing four strokes behind Inbee Park at Interlachen, and has climbed from 116th to No. 42 in the world rankings.
 
I am healthy, she said. I dont think Ive been healthy for 15 years according to the doctors. Having gone through all the adversity you enjoy things in a different way at the end of your career.
 
Alfredsson will pair up with the 19-year-old Park in Saturdays third round.
 
Its a great honor to have a chance to play with Helen, said Park. I know she played really well at the Open. I know were going to have a lot of fun. Shes a great person.
 
Park edged into the lead on 18 with a recovery shot to within a foot of the flag from the same bunker that Alfredsson found earlier. Park said she had to overcome early nerves playing alongside the top-ranked Ochoa, who three-putted the first green and made four bogeys in her round.
 
It was a disaster, Ochoa said. I missed second shots, I missed drivers and I missed putts.
 
The 26-year-old Mexican star dismissed suggestions she might have felt the effects of playing football on a hot Thursday evening alongside former France star Zinedine Zidane in a charity match that is an annual feature at Evian.
 
I only played for 15 minutes, Ochoa said. I just went out there and tried to enjoy it, playing with the good players. It was a good time but Im OK physically.
 
Paula Creamer moved closer to contention at 5 under after a 69 that featured three birdies and no bogeys. The 2005 champion is now eyeing Alfredssons new record.
 
I love this golf course, I play really well here, I have a lot of confidence, Creamer said. You get your irons going strong, make some putts like Helen did, then you get that momentum.
 
Im happy for Helen because shes been playing really well these last several months.
 
Annika Sorenstam birdied the final two holes for a 69 to sit at 4 under, tied for 16th place with a group that includes defending champion Natalie Gulbis.
 
The 37-year-old Sorenstam, who won here in 2000 and 2002, is making her final playing visit to Europe before retiring at the end of the season.
 
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    Next up for Koepka: Buddies and a bachelor party

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:46 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Coming off a successful title defense at the U.S. Open, Brooks Koepka arrived at the Travelers Championship in need of a nap. It appears he won’t be getting one anytime soon.

    Koepka normally wakes up by 6 a.m. without using an alarm, but without much down time since his victory at Shinnecock Hills he slept in until 8:20 a.m. Sunday morning, prior to his 10:40 a.m. tee time. Any impact to his pre-round routine appeared negligible, as Koepka fired a 5-under 65 that included seven birdies over his first 13 holes.

    “I felt like today was kind of the first day I got everything back,” Koepka said. “I was definitely running behind, but it was nice to catch up on some sleep.”

    Koepka became the first U.S. Open winner to play the week after since Justin Rose in 2013, and he finished the Travelers at 9 under with four straight sub-par rounds. While he’s got some free time in the coming days, it won’t exactly be restful.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “We’ve got 11 guys that I’m pretty close with, so I’m looking forward to hanging out with them in Boston for a few days and then [getting] back down to West Palm for a night, and then we’re off to my best friend’s bachelor party,” Koepka said. “I was really hoping to get some rest, but I don’t know how much that will happen.”

    Last year, Koepka took a month off following his U.S. Open win at Erin Hills, only touched a club once, and still finished T-6 at The Open at Royal Birkdale. While this will be his final competitive start before Carnoustie, he expects to make a strong run toward a third major title next month in Scotland.

    “I’m shutting it down for a while. I don’t feel like I need to play,” Koepka said. “I feel like my game’s in a good spot, played really well this week. Just some stupid mistakes and mental errors. That’s all it was, lack of focus and low energy. To be honest with you, I’m not surprised. I did play well though, I putted well, and I’m somewhat pleased.”

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    Spieth ends busy stretch without top-10 finish

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:39 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – There were no final-round heroics this time around for Jordan Spieth at the Travelers Championship.

    After taking the title last year with perhaps the most memorable shot of the year, Spieth appeared poised to make a robust defense of his title after an opening-round 63 gave him a share of the lead. But that proved to be as good as it would get, as he played the next three rounds in a combined 3 over to drop outside the top 40 on the final leaderboard.

    It marked the end of a pedestrian run of six events in seven weeks for Spieth, during which his best finish was a tie for 21st at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

    “A lot of cut-line golf, which is somewhat unusual historically for me, fortunately,” Spieth said after closing with a 1-under 69. “Kind of a grind, but I made actually a lot of progress where I needed to within the last few weeks.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Spieth has struggled to get on track on the greens this year, but he has started to turn a corner in recent weeks, specifically during a missed cut at the Memorial Tournament, and he picked up more than three shots on the field this week in strokes gained: putting.

    “My putting’s right on point where it needs to be. It’s getting better every single week,” Spieth said. “It’s the best it’s been in a couple years.”

    Unfortunately for Spieth, a slight uptick in putting has coincided with some regression from his normally reliable ball-striking. Of the 74 players who made the cut at TPC River Highlands, he ranked 61st in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

    “I’ve just got to kind of get my alignment back in order on the full swing. It’s tough when you swing and you think you hit a good shot, and you look up and the ball’s, it could be 15 yards right or 15 yards left, and it’s all because of alignment,” Spieth said. “It’s literally the same thing I went through with the putting. I’ve just got to find a way to get it back on track with the full swing.”

    Having concluded a busy stretch, Spieth noted that he now has “a few weeks off.” But still in search of his first quality chance to contend heading into a final round this year, he didn’t rule out the notion of adding a start before defending his title at Carnoustie next month.

    Spieth is not in the field for next week’s Quicken Loans National, but he won the John Deere Classic in both 2013 and 2015, which will be played the week before The Open.

    “As far as leading into The Open, we’ll see,” Spieth said. “Last year I went in after three weeks off and it didn’t hurt me. So I believe I can get the work in whether I’m playing or not, to get the repetitions.”

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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.



    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off charges to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''


    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open


    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.