Ochoa Delivers Third Title

By Futures Tour MediaAugust 11, 2002, 4:00 pm
Futures TourMORGANTOWN, W. Va., ' Rookie Lorena Ochoa of Guadalajara, Mexico, captured her third tournament in nine starts at the $70,000 Betty Puskar Futures Golf Classic held at The Pines Country Club in Morgantown, W. Va. Ochoa fired a 69 (-3) for a 207 (-9), defeating non-exempt LPGA Tour member Erika Wicoff of New Albany, Ind., and Teresa Ishiguro of Sutter Creek, Calif., by two shots. Wicoff and Ishiguro shot rounds of 66 (-6) and 70 (-2).
Ochoa, who came into the final round with a one-stroke deficit to Jimin Kang of Seoul, Korea, at 138 (-6), caught up early on in the match with a birdie on two. A bogey on eight was wiped out with a birdie on nine. Through nine holes, Ochoa was tied with Kang, her playing partner, and Ishiguro at 7-under-par for the tournament.
As Ochoa made the turn, she recorded her second bogey in three holes on the par-4 394-yard 10th hole. The 20-year-old came back with another birdie, her third of the day, on 12, to go to 7-under-par again. An additional birdie on 14 gave her the outright lead and in true Ochoa fashion, she finished strong by capping off her round with a 10-foot birdie putt on 18. She ended with a 69 (-3) for a 207 (-9) total.
'The round seemed very long today,' commented Ochoa, who picked up the $9,800 first-place check and moved to top spot on the Futures Tour Money List. 'I was a little frustrated with my play on the front nine. Once I made the turn, I started from zero. I stayed patient, played consistent, and my goal was to finish strong. Im very pleased.'
Wicoff made an impressive run for her second Futures Tour career victory. She started the day tied for 16th at 143 (-1) and recorded only one birdie through the first nine holes. Wicoff turned in a scorching back nine, picking up birdies on 10, 12, 16, and she chipped in from 30 feet for eagle on the final hole, the par-5 446-yard No. 18. Wicoff finished with a 6-under-par 66. Oddly enough, she was victorious at the 1996 Betty Puskar Futures Golf Classic, where she also shot a final-round 66 (-6) for a 212 (-4).
'Regardless of the outcome, my goal was to play well,' said Wicoff. 'Things were pretty slow on the front nine. I just kept telling myself that I needed to make birdies if I wanted something to happen. When I saw the leaderboard on 16, I knew I was only a couple shots away from Lorena. I was determined to finish strong with at least a birdie, and it turned out to be a lot better.'
Ishiguro, who started at 5-under-par 139, carded three birdies and one bogey to match Ochoa and Kang, who were playing one group behind. Like Ochoa, Ishiguro bogeyed 10 and birdied 12 to remain tied with her competitor. She parred her remaining holes and finished one shot back of Ochoa at 7-under-par 209, her career-best finish on the Futures Golf Tour.
Second-round leader Jimin Kang of Seoul, Korea, recorded one birdie and one bogey on the front side, but collapsed with two straight bogeys on 10 and 11. Kang was unable to recover and ended the round at 1-over-par 73. Kang finished in fourth with a 54-hole total of 210 (-6).
It felt like dj vu for Ochoa, who was paired with Kang three tournaments ago in the final round of the M&T Bank Loretto Futures Golf Classic in Syracuse, N.Y. Kang beat Ochoa by one shot. Rather than suffer the agony of defeat, Ochoa promised herself that things would be different this time around.
This is Ochoas third victory of the season, becoming the first player to do so this year. The rookie turned professional and joined the Tour in mid-May. In only nine tournaments, she has posted three wins, and four runner-up finishes, placing out of the top five only once. By reviewing her performance, it is clear that Ochoa has made a smooth transition from the amateur to professional ranks.
She credits LPGA superstar Annika Sorenstam of Stockholm, Sweden, another product of the University of Arizona, for helping Ochoa make the grueling decision of leaving school to turn professional. The two have become good friends and even had the opportunity to play in the third round of the Nabisco Kraft Championship, an LPGA major, in late March. Sorenstam was the eventual winner, while Ochoa, who was still an amateur, placed eighth with a 285 (-3), only five shots short of Sorenstam.
'Annika gave me some great advice before I decided to turn professional,' Ochoa commented. 'We have become good friends and I really admire all of her accomplishments. I also had the chance to play a play a practice round with her during the U.S. Open and I am looking forward to playing again with her soon.'
Ochoas goals are to not only make it onto the LPGA Tour, but she is determined to follow in the footsteps of her friend. She has made a remarkable start.
Getty Images

Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

Hey, whatever works.

Getty Images

Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

“I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

“I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”

Getty Images

Curry jokes about Romo's 77: 'Got him by a stroke'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 8:40 pm

This just in ... professional athletes are competitive. Even when they're playing their secondary sport.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption Thursday, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo started hot with an even-par 36 on his opening nine holes, but faded down the stretch to open with a 5-over 77.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Ron Kroichick, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry couldn't help but crack a smile when informed of the score, saying, "I got him by a stroke."

Curry was referencing his brief foray into pro golf last August, when he shot back-to-back 4-over 74s at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic.

So just in case Romo needed another reason to go low tomorrow when he tees off at 1 p.m. in the second round, he's got one.

Getty Images

Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 1-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-1-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-2-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 1-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 2-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-1-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 1-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-1-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-2-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0
(61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 2-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1