Annika on Top by Two

By Sports NetworkMarch 20, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Safeway InternationalSUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- Annika Sorenstam posted a 4-under 68 Saturday to take a two-shot lead through three rounds of the Safeway International at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. Sorenstam completed 54 holes at 16-under-par 200.
 
Shi Hyun Ahn, an LPGA Tour rookie, carded a 6-under 66 to climb into second place at 14-under-par 202. Cristie Kerr is one stroke further back at minus-13.
 
Laura Davies and Grace Park posted rounds of 68 to move into a share of fourth place at 11-under-par 205. They were joined there by defending champion Se Ri (70) and Lorena Ochoa (69).
 
Sorenstam opened with a one-stroke lead and quickly extended that as she chipped in for eagle at the second. She cruised around the turn with nine straight pars.
 
'I was happy with the start,' Sorenstam said. 'I made eagle on the second hole to kind of get me going a little bit. Then in the middle of the round I was struggling a little bit with my shots, but I hung in there.'
 
The Swede faltered to a bogey at the 12th after missing the green at the par-3. It was then that she was briefly tied atop the leaderboard by Kerr at 13 under.
 
However, Sorenstam, who won this event in 2001, reclaimed the lead with an up- and-down birdie at the 14th. At No. 17, she drained a 13-foot birdie try and closed her round in style as she rolled in a five-footer for birdie at the last.
 
'I thought I made good par putts when I needed to and obviously to finish birdie-birdie helps,' said Sorenstam, who tied for third here last year. 'I feel better about my game now.'
 
Ahn, who won the CJ Nine Bridges Classic last year to gain status on the tour, was four shots back to start her round. She fell further back when she bogeyed the first but came right back with a birdie at the next.
 
The Korean birdied the sixth, then converted back-to-back birdies from the ninth to get to 11 under. Ahn birdied Nos. 14, 16 and 18 down the stretch to claim second place.
 
'I want to take it step-by-step,' said Ahn through a translator. 'I'm looking for a lucky first year.'
 
Kerr opened one shot behind Sorenstam and picked up a birdie at the third. She dropped a shot at the ninth, but fought back to grab a share of the lead with back-to-back birdies from the 10th.
 
Kerr kept pace with Sorenstam, who had moved ahead of her, with a birdie at the 16th. However, Kerr dropped a shot at the last to finish three back heading to the final round.
 
'I didn't play as well as I would have wanted today, but I made some birdies,' Kerr said. 'I made some putts, and really the only bad thing about my round was my drive on 18.'
 
Heather Bowie posted a 3-under 69 to move to 10-under-par 206.
 
Teenage amateur sensation Michelle Wie continued her solid play as she shot a 2-under 70. She stands alone in ninth place at 7-under-par 209.
 
'I think today was the hardest of the three rounds I've played,' Wie said. 'I went into the rough a lot. I didn't really hit my driver as good today and got some bad lies in the rough.'
 
Wendy Ward posted a 4-under 68 to climb to 6-under-par 210. She is joined there by Rosie Jones, Lorie Kane, Michele Redman and Donna Andrews.
 
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    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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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.


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    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.