Annika Stalking the Top Spot in NY

By Sports NetworkMay 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
CORNING, N.Y. -- Karine Icher of France posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take the lead through three rounds of the LPGA Corning Classic. She stands at 12-under-par 204 and leads by one over Hee-Won Han at Corning Country Club.
There was a nearly two-hour weather delay on Saturday, but the entire field completed their third round. Friday featured a four-hour delay that required several players finish the second round Saturday morning.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam sits just two shots back as they head into Sunday's final round at the Corning Classic in N.Y.
Han matched Juli Inkster's 2003 course record on Saturday with a 10-under-par 62.
'It was perfect. Everything was perfect,' said Han, whose 62 marked the lowest round in her LPGA Tour career. 'That was why I shot 10 under.'
In the rearview mirror for both Icher and Han is Annika Sorenstam. The No. 1 player in the game battled through illness to shoot a 3-under 69 on Saturday. She is alone in third place at 10-under-par 206.
'Right now I'm more concerned for how I feel tomorrow than how I'm going to play,' admitted the defending champion. 'Today I was a struggling out there. I haven't felt good all day. I haven't felt good the last three days, but today was the worst.'
Sorenstam broke into red figures early at the par-5 second. Her 5-iron approach nearly ran into the hole, but instead she two-putted for birdie from 15 feet.
She missed a 4-foot birdie putt at the fifth, and kept her par streak going until the par-5 12th. Sorenstam reached the green in two with a 4-wood, then two-putted again for birdie from 15 feet.
Sorenstam wedged her tee ball to 3 feet at the par-3 17th for her final birdie. She is two behind and could add her fifth victory of the 2005 season. It would be her second comeback win of the year.
'I'm two shots behind. I know what I have to do,' said Sorenstam. 'I'll be chasing tomorrow and keeping a close eye on everyone. I'm going to follow them and try to beat them by one or two.'
Sorenstam will chasing her former Solheim Cup teammate, Icher, a four-time winner on the Ladies European Tour.
Icher flew out of the gate in the third round with a 10-foot birdie putt at the first and a two-putt birdie from 21 feet at the second.
Play was halted after that, but Icher picked up another quick birdie at the fifth. She holed several crucial par putts around the turn, but Han caught her in the lead.
Icher made a 4-foot par putt at 16, then hit a spectacular iron shot to 3 feet at the 17th. She converted the birdie try to move one clear, but Icher had one addition hurdle to overcome if she wanted the 54-hole lead.
At the closing hole, Icher drove in the fairway, but her second hit a branch, bounced right and came up short of the green. She pitched to 9 feet and rolled in the downhill par save.
Now, she has to hold off one player who shot 62 to get back into the tournament and more importantly, the best player in the game.
'I know it's difficult, but to be focusing on my game is the secret,' said Icher. 'If I play against her, I'm done. I think she plays like this - focusing on her game and every shot and she doesn't care about the other player.'
Jimin Kang carded a 4-under 68 and is alone in fourth place at 9-under-par 207. Meena Lee also shot a 68 on Saturday and has sole possession of fifth at minus-8.
Dorothy Delasin (67), Sung Ah Yim (70) and Moira Dunn (71) are tied for sixth place at 7-under-par 209. Michelle Ellis (67) and Liselotte Neumann (69) share ninth at minus-6.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - LPGA Corning Classic

  • Full Coverage - LPGA Corning Classic
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    Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

    Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

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    Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

    Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

    However, he never saw it go in.

    Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

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    Trio lead Kia Classic; Davies shoots 82

    By Associated PressMarch 23, 2018, 3:01 am

    CARLSBAD, Calif. - Laura Davies had a nightmare round days after contending for a title at age 54, and Caroline Hedwall, Jackie Stoelting and Hee Young Park topped the Kia Classic leaderboard.

    Davies shot a 10-over 82 on Thursday at rainy Aviara Golf Club - four days after tying for second behind Inbee Park in the Founders Cup, and five days after shooting a 9-under 63 in the Phoenix event.

    Fighting Achilles tendon and calf problems in her left leg, Davies opened double bogey-bogey-par-bogey. She bogeyed Nos. 9, 10 and 12, had another double on 15 and bogeyed 16. The 82 was the World Golf Hall of Famer's highest score on tour since also shooting 82 in the 2013 Marathon Classic. On Monday, she jumped 208 spots to No. 155 in the world.

    Hedwall, Stoelting and Park shot 66 in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills. Ariya Jutanugarn, also coming off a second-place tie in Phoenix, was a stroke back with 2015 champion Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim and Nicole Broch Larsen.

    Hedwall closed her bogey-free round with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth. The Swede played her final 10 holes in 6 under. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions.

    ''I hit it really well and started making a couple putts in my back nine,'' Hedwall said. ''I'm really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the rest of the days.''

    Stoelting finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th. She had seven birdies and a bogey.

    ''I hit a lot of fairways,'' Stoelting said. ''I don't necessarily hit if far, but keeping it in the fairway is super key this week. The rough is much thicker this year than last year.''

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Hee Young Park birdied the final three holes, finishing on No. 9.

    ''The greens are really soft,'' Park said. ''So, easier on the second shot.''

    The 40-year-old Kerr had a bogey-free round.

    ''I like this golf course,'' Kerr said. ''I think it's a tough golf course and you can't fall asleep on any shot. I mean, it's just a really great course. The layout. The rough is high. You got to pay attention. I think that's maybe why I play a little better here than some other places.''

    Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 31 on the front nine.

    ''It's rain today and a little bit windy, but my irons help me a lot,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just start to make some putts. ... It's pretty tough for me. I always feel like the course here is really hard because the greens really bumpy, and you're not going to hit far here.''

    Lydia Ko and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu topped the group at 68.

    Ko also played her final nine in 31. She missed the cut last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.

    ''I holed some really good putts on my back nine,'' Ko said. ''I didn't hit the ball fantastic, but just being able to hole some good birdie putts was key.''

    She won the 2016 event at Aviara.

    ''This is a pretty tough golf course,'' Ko said. ''Putting is a huge key around this course where if you do miss a green, making those clutch par putts and then making those birdie opportunities that you get.''

    Jennifer Song and Jeong Eun Lee also shot 68. Brooke Henderson had a 69, and Lexi Thompson a 70.

    Inbee Park was at 71 with Singapore champion Michelle Wie and 2014 Kia winner Anna Nordqvist. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng had a 72, playing alongside Park. Defending champion Mirim Lee shot 74.

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    With old clubs returned, Kim (and new clubs) starts strong at Kia

    By Randall MellMarch 23, 2018, 1:53 am

    Almost two months after her golf clubs went missing, the same clubs she used to win last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, In-Kyung Kim was happily reunited with them this week.

    She fetched them and her golf bag two days ago at the Carlsbad, Calif., police department.

    A man bought them as a used set from a sporting goods store in the area, with Kim’s LPGA I.D. still in the golf bag.

    Notably, Kim celebrated with a return to the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Kia Classic.

    Kim opened with a 5-under-par 67, though she didn’t use her newly rediscovered clubs. She stayed with the replacement set that she put together after her clubs went missing. Her Women’s British Open clubs never showed up after she got off a plane in Southern California upon her return home from the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

    “It was really difficult at first,” Kim said of getting used to her new set of clubs. “I really worked hard, like worked a lot, went to the factory like a dozen times.”

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Kim said she made several visits to the factory folks, trying to get the loft and lies of her new clubs just the way she wanted, close to the configuration that helped her win the Women’s British Open.

    “They were like, `I.K., are you ever happy?’” Kim said.

    Actually, only five of Kim’s “lost” clubs turned up with her golf bag at that sporting goods store. Still, Kim was happy to get three wedges, two hybrids and her golf bag back.

    “It’s kind of good to have a conclusion,” Kim said.

    Kim can thank a “What’s in the bag?” segment with Ladies European Tour TV analyst Alison Whitaker for leading to the retrieval of her clubs. Kim explained to Whitaker how her clubs went missing during the telecast of the HSBC Women’s World Championship three weeks ago.

    A golf fan in the San Diego area saw Golf Channel’s telecast of that segment.

    “One of his friends bought the tour bag,” Kim said. “The other friend knew about my story, and he was like, `No, dude, that's not for selling. It's stolen.’”

    Kim was delighted to meet the men who returned her clubs when she picked them up at the Carlsbad Police Department.

    “Just good for me,” Kim said.