Pak Prevails at Safeway PING

By Sports NetworkMarch 23, 2003, 5:00 pm
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Se Ri Pak fired an 8-under 64 Sunday to come from behind and win the Safeway PING. Pak finished at 23-under-par 265 for her 19th career victory on the LPGA Tour.
 
Grace Park finished alone in second place at 22-under-par 266 while overnight leader Annika Sorenstam was three shots further back at 19-under-par 269. Sorenstam was joined by Hee-Won Han and Patricia Meunier-Lebouc in a tie for third.
 
Pak was on fire early on the Championship Course at Moon Valley Country Club and grabbed a three-shot edge around the turn thanks to a remarkable front nine that featured two eagles. However, the defining moment came on the penultimate hole when her competitors had battled back and Pak seemed to be in trouble.
 
She hit her tee shot in the water at the par-4 17th and eventually found herself on the green with a 30-foot putt to save par. Pak calmly drained the putt to maintain a one-shot advantage.
 
'I think that's the longest putt I got today,' said Pak. 'I had a perfect break and a perfect speed, but I wasn't expecting to make the putt there. It just made my day from that putt. That was the best putt of the week.'
 
At the closing hole, Pak's approach shot landed within a foot of the cup and she tapped in for birdie to secure her first title of 2003.
 
'Hole by hole, just go out there, just do my best every shot, every single shot,' said Pak, who pocketed $150,000 for the win. 'But at the same time, I played really aggressive. That helped a lot today.'
 
Pak was three shots behind Sorenstam to start the final round and stormed out of the gate with birdies on the first two holes. At the par-5 fourth, Pak blasted a 4-iron to tap-in range for an eagle. She bogeyed the sixth but responded at the par-5 eighth with her second eagle of the day.
 
The 25-year-old birdied the ninth and picked up three birdies and a bogey on the back side for the win.
 
Park had two birdies over her first nine holes but caught fire on the back half. She two-putted for birdie at the 10th and hit a 7-iron to five feet for a birdie at the 11th.
 
She birdied the 13th and 15th and hit her second shot to three feet at the par-4 last. Park converted the putt for a round of 65.
 
'I'm very happy, but I'm bummed at the same time,' said Park. 'Obviously I played four solid rounds, especially on the back side today.'
 
Sorenstam brought a two-shot lead over Meunier-Lebouc into the final round but the top player in the world could not hold her advantage. She parred her first nine holes before a birdie at the 10th, her only birdie of the day.
 
'I think I played well,' said Sorenstam, who carded a final-round 71. 'It was one of those days I just had a lot of lip-outs. That's golf. If you play golf long enough you know these things happen.'
 
LPGA Tour rookie Lorena Ochoa shot a 6-under 66 to finish alone in sixth at 17-under-par 271. Beth Daniel was one shot further back at 16-under-par 272.
 
Dorothy Delasin finished alone in eighth at 15-under-par 273. She was followed by Michele Redman and Cristie Kerr at 14-under-par 274.
 
Laura Davies, a four-time winner of this event, was joined by Mi Hyun Kim, Kelly Robbins and Stacy Prammanasudh at 13-under-par 275.
 

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 9:20 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

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    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

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    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

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    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

    Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

    What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

    What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

    How old is it?

    It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

    Where is it played?

    There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

    Where will it be played this year?

    At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

    Who has won The Open on that course?

    Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

    Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

    Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

    Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

    This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

    Who has won this event the most?

    Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

    What about the Morrises?

    Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

    Have players from any particular country dominated?

    In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

    Who is this year's defending champion?

    That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

    What is the trophy called?

    The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

    Which Opens have been the most memorable?

    Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

    When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

    Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.