Annika Seeks Fourth ShopRite Title

By Lpga Tour MediaMay 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
GALLOWAY TWP., N.J. ' The ShopRite LPGA Classic returns to Galloway Township, N.J., this week for the 21st time. Residents and fans of the Atlantic City-area are accustomed to top-notch entertainment, and the star players of the LPGA Tour will not disappoint.
Annika Sorenstam will most certainly be in the hunt this week for her second successful title defense of the year. Her three-day 67-65-64=196 (-17) in 2005 was enough for a four-stroke victory over Juli Inkster. Sorenstam and Inkster are two of many ADT Official Money List leaders in the field, along with Mexico's Lorena Ochoa and Karrie Webb'who have been solid leaders in the ADT Points race as well as on the ADT Official Money List.
At this time last year, Sorenstam had won four of the six events she started. With one win and four additional top-six finishes this season, a victory could not be better timed as the McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola'the LPGA's second major, which Sorenstam will also be defending'follows the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Back-to-back wins for Sorenstam would be her first since she won the 2005 Mizuno Classic and ADT Championship last November; also back-to-back title defenses.
To date, Sorenstam has earned three wins at the ShopRite LPGA Classic (1998, 2002 and 2005), which is matched only by Betsy King (1987, 1995 and 2001). Inkster owns two titles as the tournament's first winner in 1986 and, again, in 1988 when she defeated Beth Daniel in a sudden-death playoff.
Hee-Won Han, who won last week's LPGA Corning Classic by defeating Meena Lee in a four-hole playoff, will also join the field in Atlantic City. Han, who has played well as of late with top-five finishes in her last five events, moved into third place on the money list this week.
If you keep playing the numbers game, you can't ignore the players that have statistically led the tour all season. Cristie Kerr already has one win this season and six other top-10s and continues to show a strong presence in the total birdies category. Natalie Gulbis has been a machine this year by consistently posting high marks for greens in regulation and her rounds-under-par percentage. As always, a quiet, but undeniable contender any week is rookie Seon Hwa Lee, who leads the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year race by nearly 200 points. After 11 starts in 12 Tour events, she hovers around the $500,000 mark in career-earnings.
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    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.

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    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”