Ochoa Annika Renew Rivalry

By Sports NetworkMarch 9, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 MasterCard ClassicHUIXQUILUCAN, Mexico -- Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa are too concerned about their own games to pay much attention to each other in the MasterCard Classic.
'This is my fifth year on the LPGA Tour. I've seen her before. I still feel respect and admiration for her and I feel I can learn a lot,' said Ochoa, the Mexican star who ended Sorenstam's five-year run as the tour's player of the year last season.
'My dream is to reach that first place in the world rankings, but I'm not worried about Annika. I don't think about her that much. There are many great players and I can't worry about them, either. I only think of my golf and how to be better.'
Last year at Bosque Real, Sorenstam successfully defended her title, beating Helen Alfredsson and Seon Hwa Lee by a stroke.
'I'm not sure about the field,' Sorenstam said. 'When I come here, I don't look at the list to be honest. I'm just happy to be here. I know Lorena is here and people will be pulling for her. As player of the year that's somebody, when she's in the field, people pay attention to.'
The Swedish star has 69 LPGA Tour victories, five in her first start of a season.
'I hope my chances are good,' Sorenstam said. 'That's one of the reasons I'm here. I try to come when I'm ready to play. I've had a great opportunity to have lots of time to work on my game and I'm looking forward to the season,' Sorenstam said. 'There are a lot of good players here this week, so I know I have to play my best.'
Ochoa won six times last season, including the Corona Morelia Championship in Mexico, and topped the money list with $2,592,872. She also was honored as the AP Female Athlete of the Year.
'Last week, I dreamed of winning in Bosque Real,' Ochoa said. 'I hope it can be an unforgettable week. This is a very important tournament for me. I see it as a major for all the pressure of playing here, but I hope that with the support from the people I can have a good tournament.'
Paula Creamer and Stacy Prammanasudh, the winners of the season-opening events in Hawaii, also are in the field along with Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis and young Paraguayan star Julieta Granada. Ochoa will open Friday in a group with Prammanasudh and Gulbis, while Sorenstam will be right behind in a group with Kerr and Creamer.
'My confidence is high,' Creamer said. 'I like the golf course a lot. I've won this year. I feel very comfortable on the golf course and it's a very good course.'
The Bosque Real course is the longest on the tour at 6,932 yards, and also the highest at about 8,000 feet above sea level.
'I don't think it is really that long because of the altitude,' Ochoa said. 'I think it will be key to get used to because of the high elevation. I'm from here. I think I can take advantage of that and be more comfortable playing the course.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - MasterCard Classic
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Strong start, rough finish for Koepka

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 4:45 pm

    U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

    Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.

    And here is the capper at the 14th

    Koepka turned in 4-under 31. Here's more action from his opening nine holes.

    After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.

    A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead. That, however, sparked a wild ride to the finish line as he also bogeyed Nos. 5, 7 and 9, and birdied the sixth. It totaled to a second-nine, 2-over 37 and an overall score of 2-under 68.

    Getty Images

    Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

    Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

    ''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on jarrodlylegolf.com. ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

    ''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

    Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

    Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

    He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

    Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

    Getty Images

    Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

    SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

    The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

    The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

    Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.

    Full-field scores from the PGA Professional Championship

    Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

    McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

    David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

    Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

    Getty Images

    Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

    Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

    While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

    Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

    “I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”