World Waits - At Least Some Do

By George WhiteMay 5, 2005, 4:00 pm
So, after nearly six months, its finally come down to this ' Annika Sorenstam is going to go for the record this week. Shes won every tournament shes entered for such a long time now. Finally, shes playing in her sixth, and while most of her golfing buddies feel she hasnt gotten nearly what she deserves, she comes knocking on the door of the Michelob Ultra Open.
On Nov. 5, 2004, it all started when Sorenstam had a ridiculously easy time of it at the Mizuno Classic by beating the field by nine shots. Since it was played in Japan, not too many on this side of the Pacific noticed. Sorenstam opened with a 63 and quickly defused all suspense. So easy, this winning of golf tournaments
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam will try to win for the sixth straight time this week at Kingsmill.
Since that day, Sorenstam has won every time she has gone to the post. She, of course, has been idle for long periods of time. She didnt play after her second victory, at the ADT Championship Nov. 21, until March 6 of this year when she won the MasterCard Classic. That one was in Mexico, incidentally. And that was almost 3 months since her previous win.
Ho-hum now back to golf. Annikas schedule makes Tiger Woods seem like Dana Quigley. She plays a little, then she doesnt play, then she plays a little more. But one thing is almost always certain when she DOES play ' she wins.
Actually, the LPGA didnt start the season until the last week of February. Sorenstam missed the first two events, but the third one, she played. And, of course, she won. Sorenstam came from three shots down the start of Sunday to win it going away, taking home the hardware with a three-shot win.
Annika was getting serious about golf again ' she would play three consecutive weeks starting with that win at MasterCard. Week Number 2 came in Phoenix and Sorenstam had to go an extra hole to win it.
This was the one that very nearly got away. She was four shots down with only three to play. But leader Lorena Ochoa made double-bogey at the 16th and bogeyed the 17th, while Sorenstam got a clutch birdie at 18. In the playoff, Ochoa snap-hooked her tee shot into the water and this one was over.
That's why I practice, that's why I love this so much, she said afterwards. You know, you're always not going to win, but when you do, it just makes it so much sweeter. I'm still a little bit overwhelmed, but I would say I'm loving it.
There's only a slight part of me that thought it would be possible. But it does rank up here, of the things I've achieved You know, I've come from 10 behind, but then again, I had 18 holes to do it. Three holes is not a lot. But then again, I think today proved that you should never give up, just keep on grinding.
She left for Palm Springs just as soon as she calmed down, and the seasons first major ' the Kraft Nabisco Championship ' became her fifth victory in a row. She just won this one by eight shots, not making a bogey the last 53 holes of the tournament.
Now, almost a month after she won that event, shes trying to bump Nancy Lopez out of the record books. Lopez won her five in a row in six giddy weeks in the early summer of 1978. Annika has taken five months and three weeks to do it, but shes going to try for six.
Ironically, Sunday, when Sorenstam could get the record, is May 8. Lopez started her streak on May 12th in the opening round of the Greater Baltimore Classic.
I do believe things happen for a reason, said Annika. I believe in that type of stuff. I don't know if a good bounce is always a good sign, but hitting good shots and things going your way is always positive momentum.
There hasnt been a lot of attention paid to the try for six in a row, and the reason probably would be the length of time. Five or six months is a long time to sustain interest.
But if the fans are lackadaisical, Annika hasnt noticed. She says she is more than satisfied that her achievements get their requisite publicity, even if others in her organization arent so sure.
I think I get a lot of recognition in what I do, she says. I think people understand my success on the golf course. I mean, I feel it in my home country (Sweden.) I feel it here. I feel it among my friends. I feel it amongst you guys (the media.)
Sometimes maybe I take certain things for granted - you know, I win another tournament, but when I go home I really sit and enjoy it. I really look back at each tournament and I say, That was a good job.
I think that's very important. I don't want to just come here and go and forget about it. There's a lot of hard work behind every tournament. And I don't want to forget that.
Email your thoughts to George White
Getty Images

Down seven pounds, Thomas can gain No. 1

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 11:29 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On March 7, Justin Thomas had his wisdom teeth removed, and just when he was recovering from that, he was slowed by a bout with the flu.

In total, he estimates he lost about seven pounds, and he admitted on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play the event.

“I had a pretty serious conversation with my dad on Monday if I was going to play,” Thomas said. “I never want to play in a tournament, first off, if it's going to hurt my health. If I was sick or really sick, me trying to play this week wasn't going to do me any good.”

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

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

Thomas went on to explain he was “50/50” whether he’d play the World Golf Championship, but decided to make the start and it’s turned out well for the world’s second-ranked player.

After going undefeated in pool play, Thomas cruised past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the round of 16 and secured himself a spot in the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals. If Thomas wins his semifinal match against Bubba Watson on Sunday, he’s assured enough points to overtake Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I don't care when it happens; I just hope it happens and it happens for a while,” Thomas said when asked about the possibility of becoming world No. 1. “I don't know what to say because I've never experienced it. I don't know what's going to come with it. But I just hope it happens tomorrow.”

Getty Images

Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Tour.

''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

Getty Images

Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

“I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

“Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

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

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

Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

“I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

Getty Images

Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

“I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

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

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

By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

“I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.