Prammanasudh Tops Ochoa for First Victory

By Sports NetworkMay 1, 2005, 4:00 pm
04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Stacy Prammanasudh shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to earn her first victory on the LPGA Tour at the Franklin American Mortgage Championship. She finished at 14-under-par 274, which was good for a three-shot win over Lorena Ochoa.
'I can't even describe it,' said Prammanasudh, who collected $150,000 for the win. 'I worked so hard for this. There were tough competitors out there. I'm just glad I finished on top.'
Stacy Prammanasudh
Stacy Prammanasudh won her first LPGA Tour title by holding off the defending champ Lorena Ochoa.
Ochoa, who made this her first career title last year, birdied the last hole at the Ironhorse Course at Vanderbilt Legends Club for a 2-under 70. She came in at 11-under-par 277.
Cristie Kerr (68), Christina Kim (68) and Catriona Matthew (71) shared third place at minus-9.
Prammanasudh came into the final round with a two-shot advantage over Ochoa, but the two were knotted in the lead quickly on Sunday. Ochoa tapped in for a short birdie putt at the second, then Prammanasudh three-putted the third green to fall into a tie for the lead at minus-10.
The sixth hole proved to be critical on Sunday. Prammanasudh rolled in a 35- footer for birdie, while Ochoa missed a 15-foot par putt. Prammanasudh's lead was two, but she padded the edge at the par-5 seventh. She chipped her third inside a foot and tapped in for a three-shot lead, which she took to the turn.
Ochoa cut into the lead at the 13th when her 12-foot birdie putt fell into the cup. She had a great chance at birdie at the 15th, but her 5-foot try moved right at the end.
Prammanasudh held a two-shot lead as the pair played the par-3 16th. Ochoa hit her tee ball 30 feet from the hole, while Prammanasudh was half that distance. Ochoa's birdie putt came up short, but Prammanasudh sank her putt for a three-shot advantage.
Ochoa could not use her length to her advantage on the short, par-4 17th. She only made par, but Prammanasudh hit her second close. She had 87 yards to the pin and knocked her approach past the hole. The spin brought the ball back to three feet and she converted the short putt for a four-shot margin with one to play.
After a long wait on the par-5 18th tee, Ochoa finally made a putt on the back nine. She rolled in a 15-footer for birdie at the last and Prammanasudh two-putted for a routine par and her first LPGA Tour victory since joining the circuit in 2003.
'I feel great. I don't know if I really believe it yet,' admitted Prammanasudh. 'To be able to hold off a competitor like Lorena and Catriona and some of those bigger names out there is special.'
Ochoa collected her third runner-up finish this year.
'I wanted to be the champion, but I'm happy for her,' said Ochoa. 'I'm happy with my second place. She didn't let me breathe. It was pretty exciting until the 16th.'
Rachel Hetherington (67), Karrie Webb (71) and Heather Bowie (72) shared sixth place at 4-under-par 284.
Jeong Jang struggled to a 2-over 74 in the final round and finished alone in ninth place at minus-3. Grace Park fared worse than Jang on Sunday. Park posted a 3-over 75 and took a solo 10th at minus-2.
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    Paisley (61) leads Tour Championship

    By Associated PressSeptember 20, 2018, 11:56 pm

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Chris Paisley birdied four of the last five holes for a 10-under 61 and the first-round lead Thursday in the season-ending Tour Championship.

    The South African Open winner in January for his first European Tour title, Paisley played the back nine first at Atlantic Beach Country Club, holing a bunker shot for an eagle on the par-5 18th. On the front nine, he birdied the par-3 fifth and finished with three straight birdies.

    ''I think just all around was really good,'' Paisley said. ''I hit it well off the tee, which gave me a lot of kind of short irons into the greens and opportunities. I hit a lot of really good iron shots close, and then a few other bonus kind of things happened where I holed the bunker shot on 18 and holed a long putt on No. 8.''

    The 32-year-old Englishman missed the cuts in the first three Tour Finals events after getting into the series as a non-member PGA Tour with enough money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup. The final card went for $40,625 last year, with Paisley needs to finish in a two-way tie for fourth or better to mathematically have a chance to secure one of the 25 PGA Tour at stake.

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    ''The nice thing was I won early in the year in Europe,'' said Paisley, a former University of Tennessee player. ''I've got the first two Final series events locked up, I think I'm in those. I'm not guaranteed to be in Dubai yet. But I just thought we have a house over here, my wife's American, my goal is to try to get on the PGA Tour, so it was a perfect opportunity to try and do it.''

    Cameron Tringale and Canadian Ben Silverman were two strokes back at 63. Tringale is tied for 83rd in the PGA Tour card race with $2,660, and Silverman is tied for 85th at $2,600.

    ''I hit a lot of good shots and made some good putts,'' Silverman said. ''Actually, it could have been lower, but I'm not complaining. Missed a couple putts inside 6x feet, but I'm not complaining at all, it was a great round.''

    Lucas Glover was at 64 with Ben Crane, Nicholas Lindheim, Matt Every, Trevor Cone, Denny McCarthy, Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez. Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez earned PGA Tour cards as top-25 finishers on the Tour regular-season money list, and McCarthy has made $75,793 in the first three Finals events to also wrap up a card. In the race for the 25 cards, Lindholm is 19th with $35,836, Every 30th with $25,733, Glover 40th with $17,212, and Cone 59th with $8,162

    The series features the top 75 players from the regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and Paisley and other non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top-25 finishers on the regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.

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    McIlroy likely to join PGA Tour PAC next year

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:28 pm

    ATLANTA – The upside of the PGA Tour’s sweeping changes to next year’s playoff finale, along with a host of other significant changes to the schedule, seems to be more engagement in circuit policy by top players.

    Jordan Spieth served on the player advisory council this season and will begin his three-year term as one of four player directors on the policy board next year, and Justin Thomas also was on this year’s PAC.

    Those meetings might become even more high profile next year.

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    “I'm not on the PAC. I'm probably going to join the PAC next year. Nice to sort of know what's going on and give your input and whatever,” Rory McIlroy said following his round on Thursday at the Tour Championship.

    McIlroy said he spoke with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan about the transition to a strokes-based format for the Tour Championship starting next year. Given his take on Thursday to the media it must have been an interesting conversation.

    “I like it for the FedExCup. I don't necessarily think it should be an official Tour win. I don't know how the World Ranking points are going to work,” said McIlroy, who is tied for fifth after a first-round 67 at East Lake. “There's a lot of stuff that still needs to be figured out. But in terms of deciding the FedExCup, I think it's good.”

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    Thomas (67) happy to feel no pain in wrist

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:03 pm

    ATLANTA – When Justin Thomas arrived at East Lake he didn’t have very high expectations.

    After injuring his right wrist during the final round of the BMW Championship he spent last week in south Florida getting therapy after being diagnosed with a case of tendinitis and little else.

    He said he didn’t hit a full shot last week and didn’t expect much out of his game at the finale, but was pleasantly surprised with his play following an opening 67 that left him tied for fifth place and two strokes off the lead. But most of all he was pleased that he didn’t feel any pain in his wrist.

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    “I thought that I may not be playing very well because of my preparation being able to hit as few balls as I have, but no, in terms of pain, it's not an issue,” he said.

    Thomas explained that he tested the wrist earlier this week to be sure he was pain-free and conceded he considered not playing the Tour Championship in order to be as healthy as possible for next week’s Ryder Cup.

    “If it would have hurt at all, I wouldn't have played,” said Thomas, who will be a rookie on this year’s U.S. team. “No. 1 most important part is my future and my career. I don't want to do anything that's going to put me out for a while. But to me, second most important is Ryder Cup. I would rather not play this week and play the Ryder Cup and be fresh and make sure I'm going to get as many points for the team as possible.”

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    Fowler 'pain free' and tied for Tour Championship lead

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:01 pm

    ATLANTA – The most important member of Team USA at next week’s Ryder Cup may be the team trainer.

    Justin Thomas began the season finale nursing a case of tendonitis in his right wrist and Rickie Fowler skipped the first two playoff events after being slowed by a right oblique injury.

    Neither player seemed impacted by the injuries on Thursday at the Tour Championship, with Thomas tied for fifth at 3 under and Fowler tied for the lead with Tiger Woods at 5 under par.

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    “I needed the 2 1/2 weeks or so of just sitting around really not doing a whole lot,” said Fowler, who tied for eighth last week at the BMW Championship. “It was definitely the right call. If I would have played through the first or second playoff events, there was really no benefit, especially looking at the ultimate goal being ready for the Ryder Cup and to have a chance to be here at East Lake.”

    Being rested and pain-free is a vast improvement over how he felt at the PGA Championship last month, when he underwent therapy before and after each round and had to wear tape just to play.

    “It's nice to be back swinging pain-free because I wouldn't have wanted to deal with how it felt during PGA week for a continued amount of time,” said Fowler, who finished his day with a bogey-free closing nine to secure a spot in Friday’s final group with Woods.