Sorenstam Humbled But Still Hopeful

By Associated PressJune 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Annika Sorenstam described the low point of her U.S. Open experience succinctly: '8-iron, putt, putt, putt, putt.'

The high point, she believes, could still come Sunday.

Despite a round of 2-over 73 that included an unseemly four-putt on the par-3 sixth hole, and despite trailing leaders Karen Stupples, Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel by five strokes with just 18 holes to play, Sorenstam was not surrendering in her quest to win the third leg of the Grand Slam.

Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam's back is against the wall as she stands five off the lead at the U.S. Women's Open.
'This is a chance I am not going to give up,' she said. 'I am going to fight to the end.'

The fight will start with Sorenstam at 6-over-par 219 courtesy of a round Saturday in which she did, in fact, move one stroke closer to the lead but still failed to take advantage of the less-than-stellar rounds being shot by those in front of her.

She closed the day tied for 16th, with 12 players between her and the leaders.

'Right now, I'm not really concerned how many players are between me and the leaders,' she said. 'I think plus-4 could be a good score tomorrow. Having said that, I am at plus-6. I know what I have got to do.'

While a score of 2 under is certainly possible for Sorenstam, she has yet to break par in three tries at Cherry Hills.

Her third round started promisingly enough, with a 35-foot putt for birdie on No. 2, but the rest of the day veered between frustrating and downright messy.

There was a three-putt bogey on the third, the four-putt double on the sixth and on No. 9, a hack out of the rough that barely left the ground and traveled maybe 10 paces forward.
Sorenstam said she was happy with the decisions she made on the course, but it seemed like nothing quite worked, especially on the par-5s, which is where big hitters like her normally have the biggest edge.

When she played aggressively, even her good shots weren't rewarded. Take her decision to hit driver on the par-5 11th, which left her smack in the middle of the fairway and in range of the green in two. She followed with long iron that landed right of the green and she needed a nice chip and two putts to save par.
But when she played conservatively, that didn't work, either. On the par-5 fifth, for example, she hit two good shots to the middle of the fairway, about 100 yards away. Her third shot, however, didn't make it to the green. She had to scramble to save par there, too.
On No. 17, the third and final par-5, she made par after hitting her fourth shot while teetering on the bank of a pond, the result of an indifferent approach from a perfect position. She made 5 there to extend her streak to 24 par-5s in which she has failed to make birdie.

'To be honest with you, I can't really take advantage of them anymore,' she said. 'Normally, par-5s are my strength, but here, I am laying up. My distance advantage really doesn't give me any benefits here.'
Despite the new and different problems the 6,749-yard Cherry Hills Country Club presents her, with its ankle-high rough and postage-stamp greens, Sorenstam can't be counted out. Nineteen of her 62 career victories have come with her trailing heading into the final round.
Most significant among those was her 1995 U.S. Open victory, down Interstate 25 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, where she overcame a five-stroke deficit to defeat Meg Mallon.

The one Sorenstam recalled Saturday was her 10-stroke comeback at the 2001 Office Depot Championship. She shot 66, won in a playoff and tied the LPGA record for biggest rally.
'It wasn't the U.S. Open, but it was a tournament with the same kind of field,' Sorenstam said.
Of course, one other comeback comes to mind whenever the venue is Cherry Hills. It was 45 years ago that Arnold Palmer drove the first green to start his final round en route to a rally from seven strokes behind for the win -- a record that still stands today.
While Sorenstam wouldn't promise to use driver on No. 1 come Sunday, she knows she needs to do something dramatic to keep her Grand Slam dream alive. 'I need to climb on the leaderboard and show them I am still here and I'mserious and we'll see,' Sorenstam said. 'I don't think I'm going to need a miracle round, but it needs to be good.'
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    M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

    LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

    Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

    Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

    Marina Alex was second after a 68.

    Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open

    So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

    Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

    Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

    It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

    The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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    Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

    By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

    Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

    When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

    It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

    Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

    Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''

    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.