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.'
 
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    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


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    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”