Annikas Grand Slam Hopes Renewed

By Lpga Tour MediaJune 6, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 McDonaldHAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- Annika Sorenstam has one goal that she is shooting for in 2005 - winning the Grand Slam.
 
With phase one complete, Operation Soren-slam moves into phase two as Sorenstam defends her two straight titles at the McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola.
 
Sorenstam began her quest for the Grand Slam in dominating the field at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, walking away with an eight-shot win.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam needs a victory at the McDonald's LPGA Championship to keep her Grand Slam hopes alive.
But this year, Sorenstam's title defense at the McDonald's LPGA Championship comes at a new venue as Bulle Rock Country Club hosts this year's event for the first time.
 
'I'm looking forward to the challenge,' said Sorenstam. 'I hope to get a few practice rounds in at the new course, try and figure it out. It's a very prestigious event and I want to do well.'
 
The week is a double shot at history for Sorenstam.
 
First, she has a chance at becoming the first player ever to win a major three straight times. Three players have tried to win the McDonald's LPGA Championship three straight times, the last being Juli Inkster in 2001.
 
But it is not uncharted territory for Sorenstam. She claimed the U.S.
Women's Open in 1995 and 1996 before falling in 1997.
 
Second, Sorenstam could become the first player since Pat Bradley in 1986 to win the first two major titles of the season. Bradley's year in 1986 is the closest any player has ever come to winning the modern Grand Slam. She claimed the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship and du Maurier Ltd. Classic but finished in fifth-place at the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Only two players have ever claimed all the majors available in one season, Babe Zaharias won all three majors in 1950 and Sandra Haynie won the two majors offered in 1974.
 
Sorenstam understands her place in the record books and wants more. With a win at the McDonald's LPGA Championship, Sorenstam would take over fifth place by herself with her ninth career major title. She's currently tied with Betsy Rawls with eight.
 
'I think I've said this the last how many years, but I'd like to win more majors,' said Sorenstam. 'I believe I can do that. Obviously I want to shoot 54. I shot 59, so that's one record. I keep track of the history books. I know what's out there, but there are certain things I just think it's going to be impossible to do.'
 
All that stands between Sorenstam and her second major title of 2005 and a winner's check of $270,000 is a field of 150 players. The field includes the number-two ranked player on the ADT Official Money List Cristie Kerr, as well as the current leader for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year title, Paula Creamer. Also joining the field are past champions such as Pat Bradley, Juli Inkster, Se Ri Pak and Laura Davies.
 
There are also six players that represent the LPGA's Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) membership, having to win their section or national tournament to get into the tournament. Cindy Miller won the national T&CP Championship a year ago to earn her spot in the field. Joining her in the tournament are sectional champions Suzy Whaley (Northeast), Kim Freeman (Midwest), Sherry Smith (Central), Jennifer Cully (Southeast) and Piper Wagner (West).
 
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    Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

    The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

    Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

    According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

    "My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"

    Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

    Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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    Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas

    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

    Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

    Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.


    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

    It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

    While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

    One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

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    Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

    By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

    Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

    But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

    Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

    A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

    After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

    He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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    Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

    Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

    A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

    Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

    Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: