Annika Begins Grand Slam Quest

By Lpga Tour MediaMarch 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - With three tournaments in the books, it's time to get serious.
And it doesn't get any more serious than a major championship. This week, 98 players are looking to take the traditional and memorable leap from the 18th green into Champions Lake at the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
For four days, the top professionals and amateurs in the world will battle for the $1.8 million purse on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Grace Park took the victor's dive at the 18th last year after running in a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole to claim a one-shot win over Aree Song for her first major championship title. Song and Park were co-leaders after the third round and the duo dueled all day on Sunday. Trailing by one on the 18th, Song reached the par-5 final hole in two and made her 30-foot eagle putt to pull even with Park, setting up a dramatic finish in which Park rose to the occasion and sank the winning putt.
With one of the most elite fields of the year, every player had to earn an invitation to the Kraft Nabisco Championship and most certainly will have to work hard to earn the title.
Annika Sorenstam once again begins her quest for the coveted Grand Slam, or perhaps more appropriately named the Sorenslam, as she chases history in her bid to win all four major championships in one calendar year. Sorenstam has won at least one major every year since 2001 and was two shots away from a chance at the Sorenslam in 2003.
Sorenstam, who with a win this week can tie Nancy Lopez's record of five consecutive wins in tournaments played, claimed back-to-back Kraft Nabisco Championship titles in 2001 and 2002 and won the Weetabix Women's British Open in 2003 to finish off the LPGA Career Grand Slam. In 2001, Sorenstam became the only player in LPGA history to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship after winning the week before, a feat she could replicate should she win her third Kraft Nabisco Championship title after taking home the Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola trophy last week.
With all of that on the line, however, Sorenstam remains dialed in on one
goal: winning the four major championships.
'All I want to do is win majors, and that's my focus this year,' said Sorenstam last week in Phoenix.
Sorenstam, Park and Song are three of the top players, but they aren't the only ones in contention for the title this week. Karrie Webb, winner of the 2000 Kraft Nabisco Championship, finished third a year ago, just two shots behind Park. Lorena Ochoa, who placed second to Sorenstam at last week's Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, traditionally plays well at Mission Hills.
Another player to watch is Japanese teenage sensation Ai Miyazato, making her debut in the United States courtesy of a sponsor exemption. Miyazato won five times on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour last year to finish second on the season-ending money list.
Other players who received a sponsor's exemption this year include professionals Stephanie Arricau, Yuri Fudoh, Trish Johnson, Leta Lindley, Joo Mi Kim, Catrin Nilsmark and Bo Bae Song; and amateur standouts Julieta Granada, Brittany Laing, Jane Park, Morgan Pressel, Karen Sjodin and Michelle Wie, who finished fourth at last year's event.
And don't count out a player repeating Park's feat of winning her first major title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Since becoming a major championship in 1983, 10 players have won their first major title at Mission Hills, including LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Juli Inkster in 1984 and Betsy King in 1987.
Other players to win their first major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship include Alice Miller, Dottie Pepper, Donna Andrews, Nanci Bowen, Pat Hurst and the two most recent champions, Patricia Meunier-Lebouc and Park.
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    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: 0-1-0 (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: 0-0-1 (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: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
    (26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
    (33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
    (58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
    Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
    (13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
    (29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
    (39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
    (61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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    Watch: Bubba hits 366-yard tee shot ... with an iron

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 6:47 pm

    You know Bubba Watson is plenty long off the tee. And when you put a little wind to his back and let him hit downhill, the ball is bound to travel a great distance.

    But, still, this is a 366-yard tee shot at the par-4 ninth hole at Austin C.C. ... with an iron. Yeah, it runs for a long time. But, again, 366 ... with an iron.

    Watson won the hole with a par and made the turn, 2 up, in his Day 2 match against Marc Leishman at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

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    Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

    By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

    There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

    Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

    The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

    But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

    "I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

    Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

    "I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

    Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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    Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

    PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

    Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

    “This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

    The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

    • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
    • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
    • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

    Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

    A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.