Ochoa Back in Winners Circle

By Sports NetworkMay 21, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Sybase ClassicNEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Lorena Ochoa fired a 5-under 66 Sunday to come from behind and win the rain-shortened Sybase Classic. Ochoa completed her second win of the season at five-under-par 208.
 
Ochoa claimed her first win this year at the LPGA Takefuji Classic. This was her fifth title on the LPGA.
 
'I'm very excited. It's been a fun tournament and a really good day today,' said Ochoa, who earned $195,000 for the win. 'I played really good, didn't make any bogeys and made five birdies. It was a fine round. When you don't make bogeys all day on a course like this, it's always good.'
 
Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa has now finished first or second in six straight events.
Bad weather on Thursday forced the suspension of play with 15 players needing to complete their first rounds. That didn't happen until Saturday morning as Friday was completely washed out by rain.
 
With more rain in Sunday's forecast, players teed off early Sunday to beat the bad weather and the event was cut to 54 holes. The last time a tournament was shortened by rain was the 2003 State Farm Classic, which was won by Candie Kung.
 
Kyeong Eun Bae matched Ochoa's 66 to climb into a tie for second place at 3-under-par 210. She was joined there by Hee-Won Han (69).
 
Allison Hanna led during the final round, but was done in by three back-nine bogeys. She took fourth place at 2-under-par 211. LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster was one stroke further back at minus-1 after a closing 71.
 
Second-round leader Hee Jung Park (75), 2005 champion Paula Creamer (70) and women's world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam (74) shared sixth place at even-par 213.
 
Creamer tried to make a run as she birdied the first and third, but struggled to three consecutive bogeys from the fifth. The 19-year-old was able to recover two of those strokes with birdies on 10 and 14.
 
Sorenstam had three birdies and three bogeys on her card, but was done in by a triple-bogey seven on the par-4 ninth.
 
Ochoa began her round four strokes behind Park. However, the Korean tumbled down the leaderboard with bogeys on four and six, and a double-bogey at the seventh. She ended at even-par with two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine.
 
Meanwhile, Ochoa was steady as she opened with four straight pars. The 24- year-old moved to 1 under as she dropped in an 18-foot birdie putt on the fifth. Ochoa then made par on the next five holes.
 
The Mexican drained her second birdie putt of the round at the 11th. Ochoa made it two in a row with a 5-foot birdie putt on 12. She joined Hanna in the lead at 4 under with an up-and-down birdie at the 15th.
 
Ochoa claimed the lead by herself as Hanna stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the 15th. Ochoa closed out her round with a 5-foot birdie putt at the last.
 
'It's about finishing strong and having a good back nine and having a chance to win the tournament,' Ochoa commented. 'That's what I did. I made one birdie and saved a couple of good pars out there. I was really positive and trying to stay one hole at a time and give myself an opportunity to make birdie.
 
'On the back nine, I hit close to the hole. And coming from nowhere, I was one shot behind and then I was tied for first place. I was hanging in there.'
 
Han was even-par on her opening nine with three birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey. After a bogey on 10, Han climbed the leaderboard with three birdies in a four-hole span from the 12th.
 
Hanna opened with three birdies over her first four holes to take the lead at 4 under. She faltered to a bogey at the 12th, before her troubles on 15 and 16 took her out of it.
 
Bae ran off three straight birdies from the third to get to minus-1. She traded a bogey for a birdie from the seventh. Around the turn, Bae birdied 11 and 18 to share second.
 
Jill McGill and Julieta Granada each carded rounds of 2-under 69 to share ninth place at 1-over-par 214. Seon-Hwa Lee, Beth Bauer and Laura Diaz were one stroke further back at plus-2.
 
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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 at Carnoustie. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was one of 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 continuing 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.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    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.

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    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”