Annika Needs a Rally

By Brian HewittNovember 20, 2008, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. ' After 72 LPGA victories, 17 international wins, and a Hall of Fame career that included a stunning 59, Annika Sorenstams swan song in America has been reduced to 18 holes that more closely resemble the final round of Q-School.
 
And isnt that more than just a little incongruous?
 
Yes, folks, Annika Sorenstam, arguably the best female ever to swing a golf club, has to climb into the top 16 by end of business Friday at the ADT Championship or her competitive career, at least for now, is finished.
 
You cant really practice this format, Sorenstam said Thursday after carding a disappointing 2-over 74 that would have been even worse if she hadnt birdied two of her last five holes. I didnt perform today.
 
Which means she must perform much better Friday if she wants to advance in this unique format that pares the 32-player field to 16 after 36 holes. Sorenstam is currently tied for 23rd with two other players, six shots behind leader Katherine Hull.
 
Sorenstam is a four-time winner of this event, but not since the format changed drastically in 2006. The smart money at tricky Trump International late Thursday was guessing that a Friday 69 would get Sorenstam to the weekend.
 
But she will have to start putting better on The Donalds fast and tricky greens. Its been like this for the last six months, Annika said. But Im making zero putts. Neither of her two birdie efforts was longer than 10 feet. Suffering with Annika was a decidedly pro-Sorenstam gallery that included her father, Tom Sorenstam; her agent, Mark Steinberg; and her fianc, Mike McGee.
 
All 16 players who survive Friday will begin at level par Saturday. The ADT format then calls for a cut from 16 players to eight before Sundays virtual winner-take-all final round. And again, all eight players Sunday will start out even.
 
Very funny, yeah, really funny, said South Koreas Ji-Yai Shin when asked about the format. Shin is tied with In-Kyung Kim, one back of Hull.
 
The good news for Sorenstam, who has two more events outside the U.S. in 2008 before getting married Jan. 11, is that the winner will walk away with a cool million. Second place money drops all the way down to $100,000. Third place pays a measly $20,500.
 
Sorenstam did not look at a leaderboard all day and wouldnt learn until later that world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, at 3 over, was in an even more precarious position than she was. Im going to need to work harder, Ochoa said.
 
Hull is an Australian who admits that length off the tee isnt her strength. But she strung together a pair of nine-hole 34s that added up to 68 and sole possession of the lead.
 
Like just about everybody else here who believes Sorenstam wont play in 2009 but will return to the LPGA, perhaps after starting a family, Hull had an opinion. I dont think shes retiring actually, Hull said. I think shes too much of a competitor to really walk away from the game.
 
Which is precisely why Thursdays 74, despite a ball-striking effort that produced 14 greens in regulation, was so frustrating for Sorenstam. I was trying to enjoy this, she said. But I have too much competitiveness in my blood.
 
Friday she needs a competitive score on her card. She will have to improve on the 33 putts she needed Thursday. If not, she will have missed the first of two cuts on her last event in this country for a long time.
 
And it will be like Q-School in that there will be a number she will need to get her into the final 16 ' or at least into a playoff that will get her into the final 16. If she doesnt equal or better that number, her year in this country will be over.
 
And wont that be more than just a little incongruous?
 
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”