LPGA Tour Top 5 in 2004

By Golf Channel NewsroomNovember 16, 2004, 5:00 pm
The 2004 LPGA season was an historic one. Annika Sorenstam earned her 50th career tour victory. Se Ri Pak qualified for the Hall of Fame. And scoring records fell by the wayside. But many of the most memorable moments came by way of The Comeback. From Doolan trumping Sorenstam to Sorenstam trumping Park, here are the top 5 tournaments this season.
 
No. 5 -- Evian Masters

04 Evian MastersWendy Doolan did to Annika Sorenstam at this years Evian Masters what Sorenstam had done so many times to so many others. Doolan started the final round in France trailing Sorenstam by Wendy Doolanfive shots. The 35-year-old Australian, who had only two career LPGA victories to her credit ' compared to Annikas 52, then played a five-hole stretch in the middle of her final round in 7 under par. It was almost as if Doolan and Sorenstam had swapped identities, as Annika played her first 15 holes in 2 over. Heading to the 16th, Sorenstam found herself four down, before birdieing her final three holes. But it wasnt enough. Doolan overcame a bogey at 16 with a closing birdie at the last for a 65 and a one-stroke victory over the defending champion.
 
There were a lot of birdies and eagles there in a few holes and I'll cherish that for a long time, Doolan said. Every win is a special win and that's why we are out here practicing hard each week and when it came down to it, I made the putt that matters.
 
No. 4 -- Samsung World Championship

Sorenstam turned the table at the Samsung World Championship ' not on Doolan, but rather on her newest rival, Grace Park. This time, it was Sorenstam who was three down to start the final round of an Annika Sorenstamevent. And this time, it was Sorenstam who would storm back to win. Park, who was very proud of the fact that, dating back to her amateur days, she had never blown a lead when entering the final round, overcame a rocky start on Sunday to maintain a three-stroke advantage after 12 holes at Bighorn. Then Sorenstam went into overdrive, while Park broke down. Sorenstam pitched in for eagle at the par-5 15th, and then birdied 17. Park, on the other hand, bogeyed 13, 17 and 18. When the dust settled, it was Sorenstam who was up by three ' with no holes left to play. It was another memorable comeback victory for Annika, and a bitterly disappointing defeat for Park, who remarked, Im the biggest loser.
 
It's a wonderful day, said Sorenstam, who won for the 54th time on the LPGA Tour. I'm very pleased with the way I played today. To win this championship again means a lot to me.
 
No. 3 -- Weetabix Womens British Open

04 Weetabix WomenAnother remarkable come-from-behind victory ' this one authored by Karen Stupples. It wasnt the deficit overcome, however, which was so impressive; it was the manner in which she came back to Karen Stuppleswin. Stupples kick-started the 2004 LPGA season with a record victory at the Welchs/Frys Championship. She shot 22-under 258 that week in Tucson and would again showcase that firepower to capture her first major championship. Rachel Teske and Heather Bowie sat on the third-round lead at Sunningdale, but Stupples, who was one back, ripped that right out from under them immediately on Sunday. Stupples eagled the par-5 first, and then holed a 5-iron for double eagle at the par-5 second. She stalled with six pars and one bogey over her next seven holes, only to ignite once again as soon as she made the turn. She made five birdies to one bogey on the back side for an 8-under 64. Amazingly, it wasnt even the lowest round of the championship. Finlands Minea Blomqvist posted a 10-under 62 Saturday to become the first-ever player ' male or female ' to break 63 in a major. The record belonged to the Fin, but the trophy went to the Englishwoman, who finished five clear of second place.
 
I knew I needed to get off to a good start, said Stupples, who even shocked herself with her beginning. It just shows you never to give up and you should always keep fighting for your dreams because you never know what is going to happen. If you work hard enough and try hard enough, good things will happen for you.
 
No. 2 -- U.S. Womens Open

2004 U.S. WomenCertain tournaments define certain players ' for better or for worse. The 2004 U.S. Womens Open will forever define Meg Mallon ' for the better. Mallon was already an Open champion when she arrived Meg Mallonat the Orchards Golf Club, but that victory came way back in 91. She had since recorded 11 top-5 finishes in majors, but only one of those was a win. After three rounds in her home state of Massachusetts, she was in good standing to get another good finish. Still, she needed something special to break through and claim victory. And her putter was special, indeed, on Sunday. Trailing overnight leader Jennifer Rosales by three, and deadlocked with Annika Sorenstam and Kelly Robbins to start the final round, Mallon needed only 25 putts in winning her fourth career major. Her closing 65 was the lowest final round by a champion in the 59-year history of the event, and good enough for a two-shot win over Sorenstam. Mallons round included a 50-foot birdie at the fourth to get her going and a 25-foot par save at the 15th to keep her in command. Not even a late Annika rally was enough to catch the 41-year-old, who felt fated to win with many of her family members watching in the gallery.
 
My brothers and sister were here today and it was a family effort,' said Mallon. I couldn't even look at them all day today because I knew they were getting emotional, as was I.
 
No. 1 -- Kraft Nabisco Championship

The biggest question entering the 2004 LPGA season was: Can Annika Sorenstam win the single-season Grand Slam? That question was answered early with a resounding No. The years first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, was contested just four tournaments Grace Parkinto the season. And after opening 71-76, the Soren Slam was and void. Annikas absence ' she didnt miss the cut; just wasnt in contention ' left center stage for a pair of youthful talents. Grace Park and Aree Song shared the lead through 54 holes at Mission Hills Country Club. Park, who had one win in each of her first four seasons on tour, was in search of her first major. Song, an accomplished amateur, was a rookie on tour, having made the cut in each of her first four Kraft Nabisco appearances prior to turning professional. It was the veteran who seemed in control as the two headed down the stretch on Sunday. Park birdied four consecutive holes to take a two-stroke advantage with just six holes to play. It was still that way when the two reached the 485-yard, par-5 18th. Song, who was trying to become the youngest woman to ever win a major, played aggressively, roping a 7-wood within 30 feet of the hole. Park, meanwhile, took the conservative route, laying up short of the water with her second shot and then hitting her third to 6 feet. Needing eagle to have any chance of forcing a playoff, Song drilled the lengthy effort right in the center of the cup and pumped her fist in the air and shouted, 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' Inwardly stunned, Park twice backed off her winning opportunity before finally converting the biggest putt of her life.
 
'My knees, my arms, my whole body was shaking,' said Park. Right in the heart. I made it. I did it.
 
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    Romo rallies to win American Century Championship

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:42 am

    SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. - Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo rallied from four points back to win his first American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe on Sunday.

    Romo, who retired after the 2016 NFL season and is now an NFL analyst, had 27 points on the day to beat three-time defending champion Mark Mulder and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, the the leader after the first two rounds.

    ''It's a special win,'' said Romo, who had finished second three times in seven previous trips to the annual celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. ''It feels like you're playing a tournament back home here. The day felt good for a lot of reasons.''

    Romo tapped in for par, worth one point, on the 18th hole to finish with 71 points, three ahead of Mulder, the former major league pitcher. He then caught a flight to Berlin, Wis., where he was to compete in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament on Monday.

    The American Century Championship uses a modified Stableford scoring system which rewards points for eagles (six), birdies (three) and pars (one) and deducts points (two) for double bogeys or worse. Bogeys are worth zero points.

    Pavelski had a 7-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th that could have tied Romo, but it slid by. He finished with 66 points, tied for third with Ray Allen, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7.


    Full-field scores from the American Century Championship


    ''It feels like nothing went in for me today,'' Pavelski said. ''But I couldn't ask for more than to have that putt to tie on the last hole.''

    Romo plays as an amateur, so his $125,000 first-place check from the $600,000 purse will go to local charities and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the primary charitable arm of title sponsor American Century Investments.

    Rounding out the top five were Trent Dilfer, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, and former tennis player Mardy Fish. Each had 62 points.

    Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who fell out of contention with a mediocre round Saturday, jumped into Lake Tahoe amidst much fanfare after losing a bet to his father, Dell. The elder Curry jumped into the lake last year, so he negotiated a 20-point handicap and won by two points.

    Other notable players in the 92-player field included John Smoltz, the MLB hall of Fame pitcher who two weeks ago competed in the U.S. Senior Open and finished 10th here with 53 points; Steph Curry, who finished tied for 11th with retired Marine and wounded war hero Andrew Bachelder (50); actor Jack Wagner (16th, 47 points); Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (tied for 18th, 44 points); actor Ray Romano (tied for 71st, minus-26 points); comedian Larry the Cable Guy (tied for 77th, minus-33 points); and former NBA great Charles Barkley, who finished alone in last with minus-93 points.

    The tournament drew 57,097 fans for the week, setting an attendance record for the fourth straight year.

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    Singh tops Maggert in playoff for first senior major

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:10 am

    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. - Vijay Singh birdied the second playoff hole to beat Jeff Maggert and win the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Sunday.

    Singh knocked in a putt from about 2 feet after a nearly perfect approach on the 18th hole at Exmoor Country Club, giving an understated fist pump as the ball fell in. That gave him his first major title on the PGA Tour Champions to go with victories at the Masters and two PGA Championships.

    Singh (67) and Maggert (68) finished at 20-under 268. Brandt Jobe (66) was two strokes behind, while Jerry Kelly (64) and defending champion Scott McCarron (71) finished at 17 under.

    Maggert had chances to win in regulation and on the first playoff hole.

    He bogeyed the par-4 16th to fall into a tie with Singh at 20 under and missed potential winning birdie putts at the end of regulation and on the first playoff hole.

    His 15-footer on the 72nd hole rolled wide, forcing the playoff, and a downhill 12-footer on the same green went just past the edge.


    Full-field scores from the Constellation Energy Senior Players


    The 55-year-old Singh made some neat par saves to get into the playoff.

    His tee shot on 17 landed near the trees to the right of the fairway, and his approach on 18 wound up in a bunker. But the big Fijian blasted to within a few feet to match Maggert's par.

    McCarron - tied with Maggert and Bart Bryant for the lead through three rounds - was trying to join Arnold Palmer and Bernhard Langer as the only back-to-back winners of this major. He came back from a six-shot deficit to win at Caves Valley near Baltimore last year and got off to a good start on Sunday.

    He birdied the first two holes to reach 18 under. But bogeys on the par-4 seventh and ninth holes knocked him off the lead. His tee shot on No. 7 rolled into a hole at the base of a tree and forced him to take an unplayable lie.

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    Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

    By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

    It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

    The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

    The week was more than nostalgic. 

    It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

    In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

    “I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

    Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

    “It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

    Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.


    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open


    The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

    “It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

    Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

    “Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

    She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

    “Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

    At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

    With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

    This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

    “A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

    Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

    “It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

    In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.

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    Suwannapura beats Lincicome in playoff for first win

    By Associated PressJuly 15, 2018, 10:49 pm

    SYLVANIA, Ohio - Thidapa Suwannapura won her first LPGA event on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at the Marathon Classic.

    The 25-year-old Thai player is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year. Her previous best finish in 120 starts was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadows to finish at 14-under 270.

    In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

    Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out. Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

    Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under 69, one shot out of the playoff.