Sorenstam Ready to Move Forward

By Associated PressJune 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Annika Sorenstam is ready for a new challenge after her disappointing finish in the U.S. Women's Open.
Her Grand Slam bid derailed last week at Cherry Hills, the Swedish star will open the inaugural HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship on Thursday against former Solheim Cup teammate Joanne Morley.
'Match play is very, very different than stroke play,' Sorenstam said Wednesday. 'I think it's fun to have a different format. It's a little bit more drama because anything can happen and every hole is a different match.'
Last week in Colorado, she finished over par in a 72-hole event for the first time in four years, tying for 23rd at 12 over ' nine strokes behind winner Birdie Kim.
'I've analyzed last week quite a bit trying to figure out what happened and pretty much what really didn't happen,' Sorenstam said. 'I just came to the conclusion that I tried, but things just didn't add up. I was pretty happy with the way I hit the ball and pretty happy the way I was putting. I just wasn't happy with where I ended up.'
Sorenstam has six victories ' including major wins in the Nabisco and LPGA Championship ' in nine starts this year to push her LPGA Tour total to 62. She will have to win six matches ' four on the final two days ' on Hamilton Farm's hilly, water-logged Highlands Course to take the $500,000 winner's check.
'Obviously, endurance is going to play a role, there's no doubt about it,' Sorenstam said. 'It's a hilly course and you've got to be in good shape, especially if the temperatures are up there. If we get the humidity, it could be quite tough. Having said that, I'm glad that I've been working out the last few years.'
The Hall of Famer played her pro-am round Wednesday morning before heavy rain drenched the already soggy course 45 miles west of New York City.
'Today, I was playing very aggressive,' Sorenstam said. 'The fairways are quite wide and it's also very wet. You don't get a lot of roll. You hit it somewhere and know it's going to stop there.'
Sorenstam and Morley, a 38-year-old English player who won the European tour's German Open in 1996 and 2000, had lunch together Wednesday. They were teammates in Europe's loss to the United States in the 1996 Solheim Cup in Wales.
'I'm looking forward to playing against her,' Sorenstam said.
Cristie Kerr, second behind Sorenstam among the 60 qualifiers from the money list in the 64-player field, will face Lindsey Wright, while third-seeded Lorena Ochoa will open against Laurie Rinker, and No. 4 Paula Creamer will play Maria Hjorth.
'I live part-time in Manhattan, so I'm very familiar with the area,' Kerr said. 'Being from Miami, I love hot and humid weather, so I feel right at home here. ... I'm staying at a really nice house that a friend of mine lent me. So instead of being in a hotel, it's a little bit more of a homey feel.'
Kerr, the Michelob Ultra Open winner early last month, tied for 10th last week for her only top-10 finish in her last four events. She had six top-three finishes in her first eight tournaments of the year.
'I've played well, but things haven't quite come together,' Kerr said. 'I'm a little disappointed with the way I've played the last month and half, but that's golf.'
In other first-round matchups, fifth-seeded Natalie Gulbis will face Marisa Baena, Kim will open against Sophie Gustafson, Japanese star Ai Miyazato will play Laura Diaz, and Hall of Famer Juli Inkster will face Sung Ah Yim.
Inkster is 4-1 in singles play in the Solheim Cup and swept the 1980-82 U.S. Women's Amateur titles, winning 18 straight matches.
Sorenstam is 3-2-1 in Solheim Cup singles. She also won the 2001 CISCO World Ladies Match Play in Japan, beating Se Ri Pak 1-up in the final. ... First-round losers will get $5,000 from the $2 million purse. ... Sixteen countries are represented in the 64-player field. There are 23 Americans, 13 players from South Korea, five from Sweden, three each from Australia and England, two each from Scotland, Canada and Japan and one each from France, Italy, Mexico, Taiwan, Chili, Brazil, Colombia and the Philippines. ... Players will be shuttled by cart from the greens to tees on Nos. 3-4 and 11-12, both long, uphill stretches.
Related links:
  • Macth Play Tee Times
  • Full Coverage - HSBC Womens World Match Championship
  • Getty Images

    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

    Getty Images

    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

    Getty Images

    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

    Getty Images

    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.