Pak Places Title on the Line at Bulle Rock

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
McDonalds LPGAHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- A race for the record books will be underway at this week's 53rd annual McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola, as both Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak will be battling for what could be their historic fourth victories in the event at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Md.
 
Upon the completion of Thursday's first round, Pak will officially be the first South Korean to enter the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame. With 23 career victories, the defending champion Pak has more than enough points to be eligible for the Halls of Fame. The 1998 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year only needs to complete 10 events in 2007 to fulfill the final requirement of 10 years of Tour membership.
 
Se Ri Pak
Se Ri Pak is seeking her first win since the 2006 McDonald's LPGA Championship. (Getty Images)
Should Sorenstam (2003, 2004, 2005) or Pak (1998, 2002, 2006) win this week and take home the $300,000 first-place check from the $2 million purse, it would tie either of them with Mickey Wright (1958, 1960, 1961, 1963) for the most wins at this event in LPGA Tour history. In 2005, Sorenstam's win made her the first LPGA player to win a the same major in three consecutive years, while Pak's one-hole playoff victory over Karrie Webb in 2006 broke a two-year streak without a win.
 
In 1998, Pak became the first rookie since Liselotte Neumann (1988) to win a major as her first Tour victory after posting a wire-to-wire win. Pak's win at the event in 2002 made her the youngest player to win four majors at 24 years, 8 months and 11 days.
 
Also headlining the week's event is Rolex Rankings leaders and world number one Lorena Ochoa, who tops the 2007 LPGA Official Money List with $1,200,982 and is the only player to earn more than $1 million this year. Ochoa has two wins to her name this season and is the only player in 2007 to successfully defend a title after winning the Sybase Classic presented by ShopRite. Ochoa has yet to win a major despite tallying 11 victories since 2004.
 
On April 1, Morgan Pressel became the youngest player to win a major at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days, at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She is the only player on Tour with a chance at the season Grand Slam, in which a player wins all four LPGA Tour majors in the same season.
 
The winner of this week's McDonald's LPGA Championship will earn a spot in the season-ending ADT Championship that features a $1 million first-place check, as well as the 2007 Samsung World Championship and Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions.
 
Here are the favorites at the second major championship of the LPGA Tour season:
 
Se Ri Pak
We start with the defending champion. In nine career starts at the McDonalds LPGA, Pak has three wins, including last years career reviver at Bulle Rock. Pak missed the cut last week at the Ginn Tribute, but prior to that, she hadnt finished worse than tied 13th in her previous five starts. She will try and become the sixth player to successfully defend her title in this event.
 
Karrie Webb
Meanwhile, Webb will try and accomplish something that has happened four times prior at the McDonalds LPGA. Webb is trying to go from runner-up one year to winner the next. Webb won this tournament in 2001 and has a tie for 20th and a playoff loss in two starts at this site. Webb began 2007 by winning back-to-back weeks in Australia, but she is still in search of her first win of the season on the LPGA Tour.
 
Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa is trying to overcome a playoff loss last week. (Getty Images)
Lorena Ochoa
Upsets are not the norm at this major championship. In fact, Chris Johnson, back in 1997, is the last winner who isnt a current Hall of Fame member (Pak will officially be eligible after this event). Ochoa isnt a surefire Hall of Famer, but shes headed in the right direction. She just needs to add a few majors to her resume. She would love to start this week. Ochoa, who lost in a playoff last week, has finished inside the top 10 each of the last three LPGA Championships.
 
Cristie Kerr
Another player whose career could use a major boost is Kerr. Despite having eight wins over the last three full seasons, the 29-year-old has yet to be crowned a major champion. Kerr has nine top-5 showings in majors, including a tie for fifth at this event a year ago. She wilted a little bit under the back-nine pressure Sunday in South Carolina, but her third-place finish was her best of the season.
 
Pat Hurst
Hursts name doesnt usually come up when talking about major favorites, but she has a good track record in the big events. Hurst won the 1998 Kraft Nabisco and has seven other top-10s in majors. Hurst lost to Sorenstam in an 18-hole playoff at last years U.S. Womens Open and has cracked the top 10 each of her two appearances at Bulle Rock.
 
Four more to keep an eye on at Bulle Rock Golf Course:
 
Annika Sorenstam
It almost seems sinful to not include Sorenstam among the top 5 favorites. But given her layoff due to injury and her relatively poor showing last week in her own event, it would seem unlikely that she would be able to contend for four rounds. Still, she worth keeping an eye on this week as she has won this event from 2003-2005, the last of which occurred at Bulle Rock. She also tied for ninth last year.
 
Morgan Pressel
Pressel technically is the only player with a chance to win the seasonal Grand Slam, having already won the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She has played this tournament only once, tying for 69th.
 
Laura Davies
A win this week would put Davies into the Hall of Fame. She is a two-time LPGA Championship winner, doing so in 1994 and 96. She tied for third on this course in 2005.
 
Michelle Wie
It will be quite interesting to see how Wie fares this week. Anything, it would seem, is possible. Given her record in this event (T5 in 2006; T2 in 2005), it wouldn't come as a huge shocker if she contended for the title. Given her recent performance, it also wouldn't be too surprising if she didn't make it to the weekend -- or maybe even to Friday.
 
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    Information from LPGA Tour media was used in this story.
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    'Hungover' Pepperell improbably in mix after 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 4:20 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eddie Pepperell’s 11:40 a.m. tee time on Sunday at The Open was a tad early, and not just because the Englishman was heading out more than three hours before the leaders.

    Following a third-round 71 that dropped him eight strokes off the lead, Pepperell did what many golfers do after a less-than-stellar round – he drank.

    “Honestly, I was a little hungover. I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night,” said Pepperell, who said he went to bed on Friday at around 11:30 p.m. “I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn't say a write-off, but I didn't feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn't have been heartbreaking.”

    Pepperell was much closer to the former on Sunday, posting a round-of-the-day 67 to move to within one stroke of the lead held by multiple players as the leaders made the turn.


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    Pepperell had just a single bogey on a blustery day at Carnoustie and closed his round with birdies at Nos. 14 and 17. It was one of just four rounds in the 60s on a course that had become increasingly difficult with each gust.

    With six players tied for the lead at 6 under par, including defending champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Pepperell planned to wait and see how the afternoon progressed.

    “The only hope I have is that it's Carnoustie, and the last three, four holes, even though they're downwind, still anything can happen with obviously pressure and all that sort of stuff out here,” he said. “So I'll have to hang around.”

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is stalking his 15th career major championship trophy. Follow the action with our tracker to see if he can get it done at Carnoustie.


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    Pros melting down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 3:42 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

    His fellow pros have been watching and tweeting like your average fans.

    We're compiling their missives below:

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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

    7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.

    4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.


    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.