Sorenstam Staying in the Hunt

By Sports NetworkMarch 29, 2003, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Patricia Meunier-Lebouc carded a 2-under 70 to extend her lead after the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship Saturday. Meunier-Lebouc's 54-hole total of 8-under-par 208 puts her three shots ahead of two-time defending champion Annika Sorenstam.
 
Meunier-Lebouc, who is looking for her second career victory on the LPGA Tour at the season's first major, brought a two-shot lead into Saturday's round.
 
She tallied two birdies over the first nine holes and drained a nine-foot putt for a birdie at the 11th.
 
At the par-4 12th, Meunier-Lebouc landed her approach within four feet of the cup for another birdie to reach 10-under.
 
She struggled down the stretch with back-to-back bogeys starting at the 16th but managed to build a comfortable margin with one round to play on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
 
'It's going to be the best experience of my life,' said Meunier-Lebouc. 'It's getting better every day, playing with Annika a lot of times, and playing with her the last day of the first major of the year, is unbelievable.'
 
Sorenstam hit a 9-iron to eight feet for a birdie at the first but struggled with a two-putt bogey at the par-3 fifth. She recovered quickly with a birdie at the sixth but found trouble again on the green with a bogey at the eighth.
 
The Swede picked up steam with a birdie at the 12th and knocked her second shot within inches at the 13th. Sorenstam tapped in for birdie but stumbled with a bogey at the 16th for a round of 71.
 
'I've been here before, I've been in this position,' said Sorenstam. 'I have a chance to finish it up tomorrow. I'm excited about that. It's been three long days, but I'm right where I want to be, and playing with Patricia again, so I'm looking forward to a good Sunday.'
 
Sorenstam can become the first player to win this event in three consecutive seasons.
 
'I know what this championship means,' said Sorenstam. 'Patricia hasn't won a major. She might be hungry, but I'm starving, so I'm just going to go out there tomorrow and do the best I can.'
 
Michelle Wie finished alone in third at 4-under-par 212. The 13-year-old fired a flawless 66 to match the low mark for an amateur at this event.
 
'I really shot good today, and I was really proud of myself,' said Wie. 'But I didn't even know what I was shooting, I thought I had to make one more birdie and I kept on going.'
 
Wie torched the front nine with four birdies and dropped her second shot inside three feet for a birdie at the 10th. At the par-5 11th, Wie chipped her third shot to seven feet for her sixth birdie of the day.
 
She had several birdie chances down the stretch but failed to convert on numerous occasions. At the par-5 last, Wie had four feet for a birdie and the chance to set a new amateur record at this event, but she missed the putt.
 
Wie, who is one year away from High School, will now play alongside the top player in the game in the final group of an LPGA major.
 
'I don't really put pressure on myself, but it's just the game,' said Wie. 'You just have to hit the ball good, putt well, chip well, everything. It's just a game.'
 
Laura Davies and Se Ri Pak, who could both complete the career Grand Slam with a victory at this event, finished tied for fourth at 2-under-par 214.
 
Juli Inkster, a two-time winner of this event, matched Wie for low score of the week with a 6-under 66. Inkster was joined by LPGA Tour rookie Lorena Ochoa at 1-under-par 215.
 
Laura Diaz and Jenny Rosales were one shot further back at even-par 216.
 
Beth Daniel shot a four-under 68 to finish in a tie for 10th at 1-over-par 217 along with Maria Hjorth, Catriona Matthew and Woo-Soon Ko.
 
Related Links
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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.