Sorenstam Even Two Back as Play Called

By Sports NetworkJune 23, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Annika Sorenstam is certainly in the mix as she tries to secure the third leg of the single season Grand Slam.
 
She opened with an even-par 71 Thursday at the U.S. Women's Open, trailing Angela Stanford, amateur Brittany Lang and Karine Icher by two at Cherry Hills Country Club.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam reacts to one of her three birdies in the first round.
Stanford, a runner-up in 2003, and Lang completed their first rounds, while Icher is through 14 holes.
 
Inclement weather played havoc with the opening round. There was a 90-minute weather delay in the first round, then another stoppage late on Thursday. A few minutes after that delay, officials suspended the round.
 
Sixty players did not complete their opening rounds and will return to Cherry Hills at 9:30 a.m. (ET) Friday morning to finish. The second round will begin as scheduled at 9:00 a.m.
 
Nicole Perrot, Young-A Yang, Natalie Gulbis and 1988 winner Liselotte Neumann share fourth place at 1-under-par 70.
 
Michelle Wie, the amateur star who finished second to Sorenstam at the LPGA Championship, is also 1 under par through 15 holes.
 
Wie's accomplishment not withstanding, the story this week is Sorenstam. She won the Nabisco Championship and LPGA Championship to grab the first two legs of the Grand Slam.
 
Sorenstam began on the 10th hole Thursday and missed the fairway with her drive. She made bogey, then hit another errant tee shot at No. 11. The Swede saved par on her second hole, but admitted that nerves were the biggest factor.
 
'U.S. Open, a lot of people, tough golf course, a lot on my mind. There's a lot of things,' said Sorenstam, referring to what caused her nervousness on Thursday.
 
The top player in the game calmed down throughout her front nine. She hit a 7-iron to 5 feet to set up birdie at the 16th. Sorenstam came up short of the green with her second at the par-4 18th and wedged her third to 12 feet. She two-putted for another bogey, making the turn at 1-over 37.
 
Sorenstam recovered with a birdie at the first. She added another birdie at the seventh when she rolled in a 7-footer, but hit a 5-iron over the green at nine and made bogey.
 
Despite the inconsistency of her round, Sorenstam is still within striking distance. The two-time former champion of this event also knows par is a good score for a U.S. Women's Open.
 
'I think if somebody would have told me on the first tee, we'll give you level par, I think I would have taken it,' said Sorenstam. 'Having said that, it's a good start. It's a marathon.'
 
Sorenstam was joined in a tie for ninth place with defending champion Meg Mallon, Sophie Gustafson and amateur Morgan Pressel, who had the lead by herself, but dropped three strokes in her last two holes.
 
Maria Hjorth is even with two holes to play.
 
Stanford, who lost in a playoff to Hilary Lunke two years ago, hit a sandwedge to 12 feet to set up a birdie at the first. She made an unlikely birdie at four when her drive came to rest in the first cut. Stanford ran a 4-iron 30 feet from the hole and converted the putt.
 
She used a 5-iron off the tee at the par-5 fifth, but played a wedge to 5 feet with her third. Stanford drained that birdie putt, but bogeyed Nos. 6, 8 and 9 to fall back to even for the championship.
 
At the par-3 15th, Stanford hit a 5-iron to 10 feet. She ran in the birdie putt, sank a 20-footer for birdie at 17 and holed a clutch 7-foot par save at 18 to share the first-round lead of the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Stanford used some clutch putting two years ago at Pumpkin Ridge when she and Kelly Robbins lost an 18-hole playoff to Hilary Lunke. The 27-year-old did notice some similarities.
 
'Similar in that I feel like I am really in the moment,' said Stanford. 'I think in 2003, each shot I hit I was really in the moment. I felt like that today. So that was a good feeling.'
 
Lang, who will turn professional at the end of the summer, collected three birdies in her first seven holes. She drove into the rough at nine and never recovered, leaving with a bogey.
 
The back nine featured more of the inconsistent play. She drained a 5-foot birdie putt at the 10th, but gave the shot back at 12 when she three-putted from 20 feet.
 
Lang hit an 8-iron to 12 feet to set up birdie at the 14th and go ahead by one. She then fell back into a tie at 18 when she hit a poor drive and an even poorer second shot.
 
Still, the Duke University star, shares the lead.
 
'I am just going to play golf like I have been playing,' said Lang. 'I am sure I will be nervous, but it will be a lot of fun just getting the crowds on my side.'
 
Icher began on the back nine and tallied three birdies and one bogey over her first nine holes. She traded a birdie and a bogey at one and two, and parred her last three holes before the horn sounded.
 
'It's my best beginning on the major, so I hope to keep my play and my game for tomorrow morning,' said Icher, a Frenchwoman who lives in Switzerland. 'I have tried to hit the middle of the fairway, hit the green, try to keep a good rhythm on the greens and that's it.'
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
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    McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

    By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

    They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

    McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

    Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

    On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

    Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

    10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

    12/1: Tony Finau

    14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

    20/1: Francesco Molinari

    25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

    30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

    40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

    50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

    60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

    80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

    100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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    Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

    By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

    Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

    It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

    Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

    “I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

    “I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

    Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

    At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

    Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

    “I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.

    “Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

    “Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

    After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

    “I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

    Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

    “It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

    “Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

    On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

    Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

    “She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

    Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

    At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

    At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

    Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

    “I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

    Her overall assessment of her day?

    “It was a great experience,” she said.

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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

    Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

    The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

    “Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

    Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

    But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

    Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

    “It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

    There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

    It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

    “It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”