Annika Three Back at Corning Classic

By Sports NetworkMay 26, 2005, 4:00 pm
CORNING, N.Y. -- Sophie Gustafson and Sherri Turner each fired rounds of 6-under-par 66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead of the LPGA Corning Classic.
 
Defending champion Annika Sorenstam posted a 3-under-par 69 and is tied for third place with Catherine Cartwright, Jimin Kang, Jamie Hullett, Meena Lee and Laurie Rinker.
 
Sorenstam began on the back nine at Corning Country Club and tallied a pair of bogeys in her first four holes. She reclaimed the lost strokes with a 7-foot eagle putt at the par-5 14th.
 
The Swede recorded three birdies in a row from the 15th, and all three putts were inside 6 feet. Sorenstam collected her second eagle of the round at the second when her 9-iron stopped 8 feet from the hole.
 
Sorenstam picked up a pair of three-putt bogeys at five and seven and the No. 1 player in the game realized Thursday was a tale of two different rounds.
 
'It was a little bit up and down today for sure, but I'm glad I had a good stretch in the middle,' said Sorenstam. 'I'm very happy with the way I played six or seven holes. I was like seven-under. I'll take that. But then I didn't start as well, and then I didn't finish as well as I'd like to. I have a few things to work on.'
 
Gustafson wasted little time in breaking into red figures as she birdied the par-5 second. She ran off back-to-back birdies at five and six, but dropped a shot at the ninth when her 9-iron approach sailed right of the green and she missed her 12-foot par save.
 
At the 11th, Gustafson mishit another 9-iron and left with another bogey. She made up for it with back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 before parring the 14th.
 
Gustafson surged up the leaderboard in the end of her round. She hit a wedge to 5 feet to set up birdie at the 15th, sank a 10-footer for birdie at 16 and closed with a birdie at 17.
 
'I played good. I was excited about this week,' said Gustafson. 'Even though the course is short, I was going to play aggressive. I hit a lot of drivers, so I didn't really have very far for my second shot.'
 
Turner, who missed most of last season after shoulder surgery, drained a 35- foot eagle putt at the second. She sank a 15-foot birdie putt at five, then picked up consecutive birdies from the eighth.
 
Turner, who won the 1988 LPGA Championship, added another birdie at the 11th, but dropped a shot at 15. She came up short of the green and three-putted, but atoned for the mistake with a tap-in birdie at the 16th.
 
'I'm not going to say I'm totally surprised I played this well today,' said Turner. 'It's been a long time. I just felt really peaceful and really at ease out there today.'
 
Joanne Mills, Jen Hanna, Kate Golden, Sung Ah Yim, Ji Yeon Lee, Karine Icher and Moira Dunn are knotted in ninth place at 2-under-par 70.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - LPGA Corning Classic

  • Full Coverage - LPGA Corning Classic
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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: