Sorenstam teeing it up at Pebble Beach Invitational

By Associated PressNovember 18, 2010, 12:04 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.  – Annika Sorenstam will make a rare pro tournament appearance Thursday when she participates in the Pebble Beach Invitational.

The annual event held at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Del Monte Golf Course, is the only head-to-head, 72-hole competition among the men and women who compete on the four major professional tours.

Sorenstam retired from the LPGA following the 2008 season, and she hasn’t won since the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open on the Asian Pro Tour on Nov. 2, 2008. Six months earlier, Sorenstam won the last of her 72 LPGA titles at the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill in Virginia.

Since her retirement, Sorenstam has played sporadically in invitational and charity tournaments. She finished tied for 12th on Oct. 12 in the Mission Hills Star Trophy in China.

Defending champion Mark Brooks, a seven-time PGA Tour winner, and about a dozen players among the top 125 on the tour’s money list are entered in the $300,000 tournament.

Ryan Palmer, who last week in Florida completed his most successful PGA Tour season with a 19th-place finish at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, is the top player on the money list in the field. Palmer had five top-10 finishes, including his title at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, and was 17th in earnings with $2,985,296.

Brooks, whose last PGA Tour win was the 1996 PGA Championship, birdied the final three holes last year en route to a 3-under 69 and a two-stroke win over D.A. Points and Rickie Fowler.

Brooks, who will be eligible for the Champions Tour next March, also won the event 1993 and 2002. He also finished second in 1990 to Juli Inkster, the only woman to win the tournament.

Matt Bettencourt, Bill Lunde, Derek Lamely and Cameron Beckman, who all won PGA Tour events this season, are also in the field.

In addition to Sorenstam and Inskter, seven players among this season’s top 30 on the LPGA money list are in the tournament. Morgan Pressel at No. 13 leads the field.

Tommy Armour III, who won the event in 2008 and 2009 while a member of the PGA Tour, is among eight Champions Tour entrants. Former U.S. Open winner Scott Simpson is also among the eight Champions Tour entrants.

Jamie Lovemark, the top money earner on this season’s Nationwide Tour, will be among 17 Nationwide Tour entrants.

The low 40 professional scores and ties will advance after the 54-hole cut for the final round Sunday at Pebble Beach.

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.