Sorenstam Hangs On for First Win

By Sports NetworkApril 6, 2003, 4:00 pm
LOS ANGELES -- Annika Sorenstam struggled early in the final round of the Office Depot Championship on Sunday, but she closed with back-to-back birdies to win by four strokes. Sorenstam shot a final-round 1-under 71 to finish the tournament at 5-under-par 211.
'Right now I'm just totally relieved,' said Sorenstam. 'I fought so hard today and over the last three days. You know my game hasn't been on top, but unconsciously I fought through everything.'
Heather Bowie, Pat Hurst and defending champion Se Ri Pak shared second place at 1-under-par 215.
Sorenstam led by two shots entering the round, but bogeyed each of the first two holes to drop into a share of the lead. Bowie, who birdied the first, bogeyed the second to share first with Sorenstam at minus-2.
'I started with two bogeys, obviously not the start I would like, but I hung in there,' said Sorenstam, who earns $225,000 with the victory.
The big swing came at the par-4 fifth. Sorenstam birdied, while Bowie faltered with a bogey to fall two shots back. Sorenstam went on to birdie the sixth and seventh to open a three-stroke lead.
Sorenstam's lead dropped to two shots when Pak birdied the 13th. The lead was briefly one shot when Sorenstam bogeyed No. 13, but Pak dropped a shot moments later at the 15th to fall two back.
The Swede rolled in a lengthy bogey putt on 15, to remain two ahead of Hurst and Pak. The putt may have been the turning point as Sorenstam cruised from there.
'I was struggling with myself more than anything to stay positive,' the Swede said. 'No. 15 is a typical example. It's just horrendous golf, but then I fought and made a long putt for bogey and I saved myself. I am glad I turned it around.'
Hurst and Sorenstam both parred the par-3 16th. Then on the par-5 17th, Sorenstam two-putted for birdie at the par-5 to take a three-shot lead. She capped her 43rd career victory with another birdie at the last.
'This is only April and I'm very, very tired and this is kind of a conclusion,' Sorenstam said. 'I am mentally worn out, and to be able to finish birdie-birdie giving everything I had, that's very satisfying.'
Sorenstam puts another notch in her stellar career. She moves into seventh place on the all-time wins (43) list, five behind Nancy Lopez. This victory was also her 134th top-10 finish in 200 career LPGA starts.
Pak climbed into contention with three birdies and one bogey on the front nine. She moved to minus-3 with a birdie at the par-4 13th. However, the defending champion could not sustain her momentum as she bogeyed the 15th and 16th to complete her round of 1-under 71.
Hurst had several opportunities to make a charge but she could not get going. She posted one birdie and one bogey on the front and back nines for an even-par round of 72. Hurst missed several good birdies opportunities on the back nine.
Bowie tied Sorenstam atop the leaderboard at the first when she rolled in a birdie putt and remained tied with the eventual winner when they both bogeyed the par-4 second. Bowie notched one birdie and one bogey the rest of the nine to make the turn at even-par for her round and three shots off the pace.
Around the turn, Bowie's chances of winning were squashed when she double bogeyed the par-4 14th. Bowie did come back with a birdie at the par-5 17th that helped cap a round of 1-over 73 and her best-ever finish on the LPGA Tour.
Michele Redman finished alone in fifth place at even-par 216. Sophie Gustafson and Jeong Jang were one stroke further back at 1-over-par 217.
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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.