Sorenstam Faces the Big Boys Again

By Associated PressNovember 20, 2003, 5:00 pm
PGA TourAnnika Sorenstam is playing against the men again, and she thinks her chances are at least a little better this time.
Sorenstam will compete against Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson and defending champion Mark O'Meara next week in The Skins Game at the Trilogy Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif.
The skins format, in which each hole is a separate competition for the combined prize of $1 million, offers a better chance for success than Sorenstam had when she competed in the PGA Tour's Colonial in May.
At the Colonial, Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour. She had a solid two rounds, but failed to make the cut.
'I do feel I'm a little more aggressive just because every hole is a new match,' she said Wednesday in a conference call. 'It's a fun format.'

Sorenstam is the first woman to participate in the 20-year history of The Skins Game. She comes with some recent experience after going against Retief Goosen, Jesper Parnevik and a local pro last week in the Tiger Skins tournament in Singapore. Goosen won the event with $130,000. Sorenstam won five skins and $35,000.
The financial stakes will be higher in the Nov. 29-30 competition on the new Trilogy course, which stretches nearly 7,200 yards.
'I mean, obviously, the length is a factor,' Sorenstam said. 'I mean, it's going to be very hard to win skins on birdies on the par 5's. So when I was playing last week, I was figuring maybe the par 3's will be my chance. And that's exactly what happened.'
She also figures to play her solid game and let the men take the big risks.
'Of course, I would like to hit it further, you know, another 10 or 20 yards, but I just can't do it,' Sorenstam said. 'So my strategy is to try and keep the ball on the fairway. I know I can make birdies. Last week in Singapore, I made seven birdies and one bogey, which was way more than the guys made.'
She said her Skins Game appearance is not just a novelty.
'I want to have fun, but then I'm also very competitive,' Sorenstam said, 'and I'm looking forward to a great week. This is my chance to play with the guys and I've always enjoyed that. And what I like the most is the challenge that I've really, really got to play my best to even have a slight chance.'
Sorenstam has been halfway around the world the last few weeks. From Singapore, she flew to Florida for this week's LPGA Championships, then it will be across the country to California.
She called this year her most rewarding.
'This is definitely the most memorable year I've had so far,' she said, 'I mean, exciting as well as a learning experience as well, just because of the Colonial and satisfying in the sense that I won two majors that I hadn't won before to get the career grand slam.'
The skins games against the men are terrific, but Sorenstam said she will not be coaxed to compete in another PGA Tour event.
'I loved the Colonial. It was the greatest thing that happened to me golf-wise and I learned so much,' she said. 'It was really, really memorable. But I figure if I do it again, it won't be the same.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

DEFCON Tiger: Athletes tweet while watching Tiger

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

Tiger Woods grabbed the Tour Championship lead and the sports world by the throat Saturday, making birdie on six of his first seven holes in his third round and sending social media into a frenzy.

Here's a sampling, and we'll start with two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.

Getty Images

Lewis fires 61, two behind Herbert in Portugal

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 8:13 pm

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis came within two shots of tying English countryman Oliver Fisher's European Tour record on another day of low scoring at the Portugal Masters on Saturday.

Lewis returned a 10-under 61 in the third round, just 24 hours after Fisher carded the first 59 on the circuit. Lewis moved to two strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert of Australia.

Lewis acknowledged the thought of another 59 crept into his mind: ''It's something I noticed with three holes to go. I wasn't that bothered at the end of the day.

''I'm pleased that I shot 10 under par. I can only continue to make birdies and see what happens tomorrow.''

Herbert, who is playing off invites this season as he looks to earn his full tour playing privileges, shot a 64 for a 19-under total of 194.

Fisher took 10 more strokes than he did on Friday and was in a group on 14-under 199.

Sergio Garcia of Spain, trying to find form ahead of next week's Ryder Cup, was on 204 after a 68.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 22, 2018, 7:25 pm

After grinding out a 68 on Friday, Tiger Woods is trying to get the lead all to himself in Round 3 at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him.

Getty Images

Highlights: Tiger birdies six of his first seven

By Nick MentaSeptember 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

Tiger Woods entered Saturday tied atop the board and wasted little time taking the outright lead at East Lake.

Woods moved clear of the field with this birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.

Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.

One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.

He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.

He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.

He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.

Looking to make the turn in 29, Woods instead missed the green at the par-3 ninth, failed to get up and down for par, and had to settle for 5-under 30.