Webb Sorenstam Wie Headline in Lytham

By Associated PressAugust 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Weetabix WomenLYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak are out of their so-called slumps and winning majors again. Michelle Wie feels shes on the brink of winning her first tournament as a pro.
 
The Womens British Open begins Thursday at wind-swept Royal Lytham with a field featuring this seasons three major winners'the trio has won a combined 22 majors.
 
Sorenstam is going for her 11th major. That would put her even with Tiger Woods, who won his 11th major at the British Open at Royal Liverpool two weeks ago. If Sorenstam wins Sunday, shell reach for her cell phone and make sure Woods knows about it.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie is still in search of her first win as a professional.
It seems like Im trailing him and it doesnt take long until I get another text (message) to remind me who is ahead, Sorenstam said. That is another little fun game that we have and a little bit of a motivator.
 
The Swede, who has dominated womens golf for six years and won 10 tournaments last season, acknowledges shes been way below her standards. Yet, she has won two events this season, including the U.S. Open, and has twice been runner-up.
 
Its a nice thing to have to cope with not winning for a few weeks, Sorenstam said. Im looking at my game rather than looking at the results all the time. I just felt inside it wasnt really there and I was just hoping it would turn around sooner rather than later.
 
Its kind of funny when people think youre in a slump when you havent won in two or three events. I think thats a compliment rather than taking it as a negative.
 
Webbs first of three victories this year came at the opening major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage. She also won last weeks Evian Masters in France and is chasing her fourth British Open and eighth major.
 
The Australian didnt win a tournament last year, however, and, before this season, had won only two since 2002.
 
Obviously the ball is getting in the hole a little sooner, she said. Ive been working on a few things in my game and I think it boils down to just the mental side of my game, getting it to the level where I was trusting myself on the golf course and backing myself every time I stood on the first tee.
 
Like Sorenstam, Webb doesnt think she was in a slump, just not playing as well as in the past.
 
I dont think it was as bad as some people think, Webb said. But obviously I set standards pretty high.
 
Pak won the LPGA Championship at the Bulle Rock course at Havre de Grace, Md., for her first victory in 14 months. The South Korean, who won two majors in her rookie season in 1998 and has five in total, has been restricted by a combination of burnout and injuries to her neck, shoulder, lower back and finger.
 
Wie tied for second behind Webb at Evian. The 16-year-old star from Hawaii had four seconds and four third-place finishes in the past 18 months.
 
I think a win is coming, she said. It just depends how lucky you are that week and how good youre playing. I think Im playing very solidly, but its a little frustrating that I have not been able to go to the next step.
 
Despite the array of major winners, the last two British Opens have seen the title go to outsiders.
 
In 2004, Karen Stupples won the title for only her second tournament victory and, last year, Jeong Jangs triumph at Royal Birkdale was the South Koreans first in six years on the LPGA Tour.
 
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    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari

    ---

    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    ---

    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



    The second is from Sunday night.



    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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    Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

    After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

    Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

    Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

    Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.