Sorenstam Self-Made Star

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 19, 2003, 4:00 pm
Ladies Professional Golf AssociationORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Annika Sorenstam was cold, wet and tired of hitting balls in the rain when she called her father and asked him to take her home.
The road out of Bro-Balsta Golf Club in Stockholm loops around the driving range, and Tom Sorenstam couldn't help but notice the other teenagers still practicing.
``He didn't say anything when he picked me up,'' Sorenstam said. ``But when we drove away, he said, 'I just want you to know there are no shortcuts to success.' I knew what he meant. To get better, you have to practice. Just by saying that, it hurt me that I went home.
``Because I wanted to be good,'' she added. ``And I knew he was right.''
That lesson transformed Sorenstam into one of the greatest players in LPGA Tour history, one whose success comes more from determination and will than raw talent.
At 33, Sorenstam already has won 47 times and the career Grand Slam. She is seventh in career victories on the LPGA Tour; no other active player has more than 35 wins. She is the only woman to shoot 59, the only one to go over $2 million in a season (twice).
And in May, she became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour, with two rounds at the Colonial that proved she is up to any challenge.
``I equate her to Michael Jordan,'' Meg Mallon said. ``When he came out of college, they said all he could do was dunk, so he developed a jump shot and had the best jump shot in the game. They said he wasn't a team player, so he went out and won six championships.
``She sets goals, and she achieves them. Instead of a door closing, she shoves it wide open.''
The next stop for Sorenstam is induction Monday night into the World Golf Hall of Fame, where she will be joined by Nick Price, the late Leo Diegel and Chako Higuchi, a pioneer on the Japanese LPGA Tour.
Sorenstam earned enough points from the LPGA criteria to qualify for the Hall of Fame nearly three years ago. The final requirement was 10 years on the LPGA Tour, which she completed last week.
Still, she has been too busy getting stronger in the gym, longer off the tee and as close to perfect as golf allows to grasp the magnitude of her achievements.
Sorenstam has been rehearsing her Hall of Fame speech, another example of how far she has come.
She was so shy as a junior that Sorenstam would purposely lose tournaments to avoid having to give a speech.
``I was afraid to get up there,'' she said. ``When I played, the prizes were CD players and other cool things. I wanted the prize, but I didn't want to stand up with parents and other players looking at me. It scared me. I three-putted on purpose a few times, and afterward I would come home and feel bad, because I knew I was better.''
That stopped when she miscalculated the score, won the tournament and gave her speech.
``I hated it,'' she said. ``But once it was over, it wasn't a big deal.''
She never could have imagined going on ``Today'' and ``The Tonight Show,'' or speaking to 400 reporters in the press room at Colonial.
``I'd have to say I changed,'' she said with a laugh.
Sorenstam describes herself as a late bloomer, anyway.
She didn't start playing until she was 12, splitting time with tennis until she became frustrated that the coaches at Kungsangen TK Tennis Club were devoting all their time to two of the best juniors.
``I worked so hard and didn't feel like I got any attention or anything,'' she said. ``So I said, 'Fine, I've had enough.' Golf was the perfect sport. In tennis, you always had to have a partner, and the partner always wanted someone who was a little better. In golf, I could be on my own.''
Each result made her hungrier, and soon she was good enough to get a scholarship to Arizona, where in 1991 she became the first freshman and foreign-born player to win the NCAA women's title.
Success as a pro came quickly, too.
Rookie of the year in Europe in 1993. Rookie of the year on the LPGA Tour in 1994. Player of the year in 1995, when she also won the U.S. Women's Open and the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average.
``I had success so early, so much and so fast, that I had to take a step back and say, 'Where do you go from here?''' she said. ``I've never been in that situation. I've always been chasing somebody.''
Before long, she was chasing Karrie Webb, who was winning all the majors, all the trophies and most of the money.
Sorenstam began a punishing fitness routine that included weights, aerobics, swimming and kickboxing. She stayed on the practice green until she couldn't see. She studied her statistics in search of a weakness.
Within two years, she became more dominant on the LPGA Tour than Tiger Woods was on the PGA Tour.
And it's only gotten better.
``Some people get to No. 1 and realize they don't want to do what it takes,'' Juli Inkster said. ``Annika has no problem with that. She's always trying to get better.''
For all she has done, Sorenstam's signature moment might be missing the cut at Colonial.
No one has faced more scrutiny for playing, or more pressure over one tee shot. It became even tougher when Vijay Singh said two weeks before the tournament: ``I hope she misses the cut.''
``When I heard that comment, I was like, 'They really don't want me there.' I stepped into their territory,'' she said. ``I never looked at it like that. I want to be like them. To do that, I've got to be there and try it.''
She putted for birdie on every hole and shot a respectable 72, followed by a 3-over 75 to miss the cut by four.
Still, she was a huge hit for her courage and grace.
``People saw who I am,'' she said. ``I love to challenge myself. I'm not afraid of challenges. I have emotions and I love what I do. I was a better player when I left, even though I didn't get to play on the weekend.''
Not even Sorenstam is sure what awaits.
How much longer can she keep this up?
How much harder can she work?
She has hinted that retirement could come sooner than people think.
``It will be sad when I realize that day has come,'' she said. ``But that day, I'll feel like I'm full, complete. And I won't have motivation to practice, to push myself.''
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 2:30 pm

Tiger Woods is under par in the final round of the 147th Open Championship and stalking the lead. We're tracking him on Sunday at Carnoustie.

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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.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”