Sorenstam on Path to Repeat

By Sports NetworkApril 3, 2004, 5:00 pm
TARZANA, Calif. -- Annika Sorenstam carded a 2-under 70 on Saturday to claim a two-stroke lead through two rounds of the Office Depot Championship. Sorenstam stands at 6-under-par 138 as she looks to defend her 2003 title.
 
Rosie Jones notched a 2-under 70 to move into a share of second place at 4-under-par 140. She is joined there by Meg Mallon. Michelle Redman is one stroke further back at minus-3.
 
Sorenstam got off to a hot start as she dropped a sand-wedge within four feet to setup birdie at the first. The Swede was unable to get up-and-down on the fourth at El Caballero Country Club for her first bogey of the round.
 
The top player in the women's game dropped in a 6-foot birdie putt at the ninth to get to minus-5. However, Sorenstam three-putted to a bogey at the very next hole.
 
Things turned around quickly from there. Sorenstam knocked an 8-iron within 8 feet for birdie at the 11th and came right back with a birdie at the next. On 12, she nearly holed her third shot but settled for a kick in birdie.
 
Sorenstam lost her drive left off the par-5 17th tee. After a punch out, she dropped her third shot within 1-foot for birdie. That got her to 7 under, but she bogeyed the last after losing her drive right.
 
'You cannot take anything for granted,' said Sorenstam. 'This course really keeps you on your toes. You have got to stay focused, hit one shot at a time. You are looking at some holes as a birdie hole, and you walk away with a par, and that's what makes it hard here.'
 
Sorenstam, who was inducted into the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame last year, is looking for her 50th win on the LPGA Tour. That would tie her with Louise Suggs for fifth on the all-time wins list.
 
'I do think about those things,' said Sorenstam of the records. 'However, once I get to the golf course that particular day, I just let things happen. (On Sunday), I hope to straighten out my swing, try to hit the fairway, try to hit the green and make the putts. The outcome will be whatever it's supposed to be.'
 
Jones opened her round two strokes behind Sorenstam. She began her round by draining a 20-footer for birdie at the second. However, she stumbled to a double bogey at the very next hole to drop off the pace.
 
The six-time Solheim Cup performer bounced back to birdie the sixth from 12 feet out. However, Jones tripped to another bogey at the next.
 
Around the turn, Jones climbed back into contention. She sank a 3-footer for birdie at the 12th. She capped her scoring by holing a 9-iron from 126 yards out for eagle at the 15th. She parred out to finish at minus-4.
 
'It is easier to lose shots here than to pick them up,' said Jones. 'You get on the wrong side of the hole or get a bad read or bad bounce and all of a sudden you are looking at something coming back.'
 
Mallon started her round on the back nine with back-to-back birdies from the 10th to quickly climb to minus-5. She stumbled to a bogey at the 14th before cruising to four straight pars.
 
On the front side, Mallon tripped to a bogey at No. 1. She responded in fine fashion with consecutive birdies from the second. Mallon ended the streak with a bogey at the fourth. She ended with five pars in a row to cap a round of 71.
 
Michelle Ellis fired a 4-under 68, one of just four rounds in the 60s, to move into a tie for fifth at 2-under-par 142. Catriona Matthew (70) and Jill McGill (73) join Ellis at minus-2.
 
Jenny Rosales, Mi Hyun Kim, Betsy King and Carin Koch are one stroke further back at 1-under-par 143.
 
The cut line fell at 7-over-par 151 with 72 players advancing to Sunday's action.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Office Depot Championship
  • American Junior Golf Association

    Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

    While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

    There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

    According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

    Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

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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.