Sorenstam Erratic But Leading

By Sports NetworkApril 4, 2003, 5:00 pm
LOS ANGELES -- Annika Sorenstam fired a 4-under-par 68 Friday to take a two-stroke lead at the Office Depot Championship, with the opening round suspended due to darkness. Sorenstam is two shots clear of Cindy Figg-Currier.
Lorena Ochoa, Yu Ping Lin, Stephanie Louden and Alison Nicholas share third place at 1-under-par 71.
Sorenstam began her round on the back nine of El Caballero Country Club. She struggled out of the gate with a bogey at the par-4 11th. Sorenstam recovered that shot with a birdie at the par-4 13th.
The four-time major winner then got a big boost on the 14th. Sorenstam holed a 9-iron from 129 yards out for an eagle that moved her to minus-2. However, she faltered with a bogey at the next. Sorenstam quickly bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 16th.
Sorenstam moved to minus-4 when she chipped-in for eagle at the par-5 17th that capped an opening-nine 32.
'It was a little bit of an up-and-down round I must say, especially on my first nine,' said Sorenstam. 'I hit some good shots today, I really did. It's a tough golf course, you have to place the shots on the right side of the green, and I think I did that today. And therefore I had a chance to make either eagle or birdie.'
On the front nine, Sorenstam played more consistently. She birdied the par-5 first, but bogeyed the next as she could not get up-and-down from a green-side bunker. From there, she parred the final seven holes to take a two-shot lead to the clubhouse.
'I didn't back up on purpose,' Sorenstam said. 'I actually hit the pin on No. 5 and I thought I made another eagle there, another duce, but I hit the pin and it came back about 30 feet. I had a good birdie opportunity on No. 6. It was probably seven feet for birdie. So I didn't make them on the backside.'
Figg-Currier notched three birdies and one bogey on the front nine to give her second place. She opened with a birdie at the par-5 first when she chipped to within four feet.
Figg-Currier could not hold the momentum however as she left her second shot short at the next and was unable to get up-and-down for par. She notched back-to-back birdies from the fifth.
Around the turn, Figg-Currier parred the first seven holes on the back side. She then two-putted for birdie at the par-5 17th. She dropped back to minus-2 with a bogey at the last after her drive found a bunker.
'I had a little hiccup on the last hole, but finished under-par on this course,' said Figg-Currier. 'The winds were pretty constantly blowing. It puts a lot of value on a lot of different things.'
Heather Bowie, Tina Barrett, Natalie Gulbis, Danielle Ammaccapane and Lorie Kane are tied for seventh at even-par 72.
Defending champion Se Ri Pak is among a large group tied at 1-over-par 73.
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    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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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. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among 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 as he continued 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.

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    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.