Its Official Annika in the Hall

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2003, 4:00 pm
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Annika Sorenstam officially became a member of the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame on Friday when the first round of the Samsung World Championship was completed.
Sorenstam finished the first round of her 15th event of 2003, which completed her 10th official season, her final requirement for admittance.
Sorenstam, who turned 33 on Thursday, opened with a 2-under-par 70 at The Players Course at The Woodlands and shares second place with Meg Mallon, Beth Daniel, Rachel Teske and Grace Park.
Se Ri Pak, Sorenstam's playing partner and closest competitor, carded a 3-under-par 69 and is alone in first place.
'Obviously I'm very pleased and now we've got to turn around and play again, so it's a little different feeling,' said Sorenstam.
The first round was completed Friday morning as heavy rain washed out all of Thursday's action. A few golfers played some holes Thursday but when play resumed Friday morning, all scores were wiped away and the tournament started over.
The second round began immediately after the first round. The hope is to play 36 holes on Friday but the more likely plan is for golfers to play as much as possible on Friday with the completion of the second round some time Saturday morning.
Cristie Kerr and Juli Inkster share seventh place at 1-under-par 71, followed by U.S. Women's Open champion Hilary Lunke, Angela Stanford, one of the runners-up to Lunke, Karrie Webb and Sophie Gustafson. That group stands at even-par 72.
Despite the elite field, all eyes were on Sorenstam Friday.
Sorenstam, who won this event last year, birdied the par-5 first and added another at the seventh. She parred out her last 11 holes, including a great save at the last when she drove into the water.
If play had gone on Thursday, the plan was to have a small ceremony for Sorenstam to celebrate her entrance into golf's upper echelon.
The LPGA requires 27 points for the Hall of Fame and a player receives one point for a victory, two for a major championship, one point for being player of the year and one point for winning the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average.
Sorenstam collected 63 points with 47 victories, including six major championships, to rank seventh on the all-time wins list. She has won Player of the Year honors five times and also claimed the scoring title five times.
In this, her Hall of Fame season, Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to tee it up with the men as she missed the cut at the PGA Tour's Colonial. She defeated Park in a playoff to win the LPGA Championship and overcame Pak in the final round to complete her career Slam at the Women's British Open. Only Webb, Inkster, Pat Bradley, Mickey Wright and Louise Suggs have captured the four major championships.
Sorenstam's season became complete last month when she led her European mates to the most lopsided victory in Solheim Cup history, 17 1/2-10 1/2.
Sorenstam became the first player in LPGA Tour history to shoot 59 in the second round of the 2001 Standard Register PING in Phoenix. That year she also became the first woman to surpass the $2 million mark in a single season.
Her 2002 campaign was even stronger with 11 LPGA Tour victories and 13 worldwide.
'It will happen eventually,' Sorenstam said after news of Thursday's rainout. 'I know I'm very exited and very honored to be part of such an elite group of women. I'm certainly excited about the opportunity.'
Related Links:
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    Aiken, Waring tied at Nordea; Olesen three back

    By Associated PressAugust 18, 2018, 5:45 pm

    MOLNDAL, Sweden – Paul Waring of England and Thomas Aiken of South Africa share the lead, three shots clear of their rivals, after the third round of the Nordea Masters on the European Tour on Saturday.

    Waring was tied for first place with Scott Jamieson after the second round and shot a 1-under 69.

    While Jamieson (75) slipped down the leaderboard, Aiken caught up Waring after shooting 67 - despite three straight bogeys from No. 15. He bounced back by making birdie at the last.

    Thorbjorn Olesen (67) and Marc Warren (66) are tied for third.

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    Koepka: 'Surreal' Woods waited to say congrats at PGA

    By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 3:47 pm

    Brooks Koepka was moved by the respect shown when Tiger Woods waited for a half hour at scoring last Sunday to congratulate Koepka for his PGA Championship victory at Bellerive.

    While Koepka stands as an example of the new athletes Woods has attracted to the game, he laughs hearing people compare his body to an NFL player’s.

    Those were among the observations Koepka shared Friday on "The Dan Patrick Show."

    “That was surreal,” Koepka said of Woods waiting to congratulate him. “To hang around on 18, I wasn’t expecting it. It was probably the coolest gesture he could have done.”

    Koepka credits Woods for drawing him to the game.

    “He’s the reason I am playing,” Koepka said.

    Koepka said playing with Woods in contention was a noisy experience that went beyond the roars Woods created making birdies in front of him.

    “Even when he makes contact, you know what shot he’s hitting,” Koepka said. “That’s how loud people are.

    “When they are putting [his score] up on the leaderboard, you hear it three holes away.”

    About those NFL player comparisons, Koepka said his parents wouldn’t let him play football when he was growing up.

    “I wasn’t big enough,” he said.

    Koepka said he marveled meeting former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

    “To be compared to them, it makes me laugh,” Koepka said. “I’m about the size of a cornerback, maybe a free safety.”

    Koepka said he’s just over 6 feet tall and weighs 208 pounds.

    “I saw Brian Urlacher give an interview,” Koepka said. “It was kind of funny. He said he was impressed at how big I wasn’t ... If I stand next to Justin Thomas, I’m going to look big. Golf doesn’t really have many big guys.”

    Koepka told Patrick he is impressed at the athletes just now coming into golf.

    “I see the young guys coming out of college,” Koepka said. “They are bombing it past me. They hit it so far, they are leaving me in the dust. It’s hard to think of, because I’ve been one of the longest hitters on tour.”

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    McIlroy skipping first FedExCup playoff event

    By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 3:19 pm

    Rory McIlroy committed to playing the FedExCup Playoffs opener at The Northern Trust, the PGA Tour announced after The Open Championship last month.

    But McIlroy left the PGA Championship last week saying he might need to skip the opener to regroup, and that’s just what he is doing.

    McIlroy wasn’t on The Northern Trust field list published Friday on the PGA Tour’s website.

    “I need to assess where I'm at,” McIlroy said leaving Bellerive last week. “I think the best thing for me to do right now is just sort of take a couple days off, reflect on what I need to do going forward.

    “The best thing might be to take that first FedExCup week off and work on my game and come back, hopefully, in a better place for Boston.”

    McIlroy also skipped the FedExCup opener in 2015, choosing to make his start in the playoffs at Boston that year. It appears he will do the same this year.

    “Historically, the first FedEx playoff event hasn't been my best event of the four,” McIlroy said. “I've played well in Boston. I've played pretty well in the other two.”

    McIlroy left Bellerive saying he would do some work on his game and see if he felt ready for the playoffs opener as part of a run of big events leading into the Ryder Cup.

    “There's a lot of room for improvement,” McIlroy said. “My swing really hasn't been where I want it to be. It was pretty good at the start of the year. I had a couple of months to work on it, but it's just sort of regressed as the season went on and you start to play tournaments, you start to fall back into some of the habits that you don't want to fall back into."

    McIlroy has won once over the last two seasons – at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last March – but he has given himself other chances this year with some frustrating finishes. Overall, he has five finishes of third or better in 2018. He got himself in the final pairing with Patrick Reed at the Masters but stumbled to a T-5 finish. He tied for second at The Open last month.

    “Inconsistency with the swing has been the big area,” McIlroy said. “If you look at my statistics, especially with approach play on my irons, and even my driving, even though it's been OK, there's been a two-way miss, with sort of everything throughout the bag, and that obviously isn't a good thing. So that's something I need to work on.”

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    Watch: Wagner saves season with walk-off eagle dunk

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 18, 2018, 2:45 am

    Johnson Wagner kept his FedExCup Playoff hopes alive on Friday at the Wyndham Championship ... and he did it in dramatic fashion.

    Needing a birdie on his final hole of the day to make the cut on the number, Johnson used a 9-iron from 153 yards out to dunk his approach for eagle to get inside the cut line.

    Johnson's eagle at the last gave him a 66 for the day and earned him two more rounds to try and get inside the FedExCup top 125 for next week's start of the postseason, The Northern Trust.