Sorenstam Ties Inkster at ShopRite

By Sports NetworkJune 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Annika Sorenstam fired a 6-under 65 on Saturday to join overnight leader Juli Inkster atop the leaderboard at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Inkster, who shot a second-round 67, and Sorenstam are knotted at 10-under-par 132 at the Seaview Resort Bay Course.
Laura Davies established a new course record on Saturday with a 9-under 62. She is alone in third place at minus-9, while Pat Hurst, who carded a 64 on Saturday, has sole possession of fourth at 7-under-par 135. Catriona Matthew posted a 5-under 66 and is in fifth at minus-5.
Sorenstam parred her first two holes, then came up short of the green with her second at the par-5 third. She chipped to tap-in range, then sank a 4-footer at the next for back-to-back birdies.
She parred the next five holes, but found trouble at the 10th. Sorenstam landed her approach 15 feet from the cup, but three-putted for bogey, including a missed 3-footer for par.
'I don't really know what happened,' admitted Sorenstam. 'I told my caddie I hit three good putts. That's the way I'm going to look at it I'm not going to analyze it too much.'
Sorenstam rebounded in a big way on the second nine. She hit a sand-wedge to 8 feet at both the 12th and 13th holes and walked away with birdies. The Swede parred No. 15, but converted a 6-foot birdie putt at 16 and a 5-footer at the last to grab her share of the lead.
Sorenstam has already had a stellar 2005 campaign. She owns four victories, including the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Next week is the McDonald's LPGA Championship and the top player in the game wants to be ready. The strength at the top of the leaderboard should help.
'I'm looking forward to it,' said Sorenstam. 'Juli is playing great golf. Laura played a superb round. Anything can happen. A lot of important things can be decided in the next few weeks.'
Inkster, who held a two-shot lead at the start of the second round, found trouble early in round two. Her drive at the second found the right rough and she had to pitch out. Inkster knocked a sand-wedge to 15 feet, but two-putted for a bogey.
That would be the last hiccup for the 44-year-old Hall of Famer. She hit a 9-iron to 18 feet to set up birdie at four, then made it back-to-back birdies with a 12-footer at the fifth. Inkster collected her third birdie in a row with another 12-footer at six.
Inkster played steadily around the turn with pars. At the 13th, Inkster played a sand-wedge to 13 feet and rolled in the birdie try. She reached 10 under par when she ran home a 6-foot birdie putt at 17.
'Even though I didn't score as well, I thought I played well and had a lot of opportunities,' admitted Inkster. 'I'm starting to play a little better and my swing is starting to feel a little better.'
Inkster has not won on tour since 2003 and for her to get back into the winner's circle, she will have to go through the No. 1 player in the sport.
'I feel very comfortable playing with Annika,' said Inkster, who overtook her for the win at the 2002 U.S. Women's Open. 'I'm going to have to play really well to win.'
Natalie Gulbis and Carin Koch both shot rounds of 4-under 67 on Saturday and are tied for sixth place at minus-4.
Defending champion Cristie Kerr fired a 5-under 66 and shares eighth with reigning Women's British Open champion Karen Stupples (67), Joanne Morley (67), Jeong Jang (70) and Mi Hyun Kim (71). The group finished 36 holes at 2-under-par 140.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 146 and 77 players advanced to the final round.
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    Stricker shares first-round lead in South Dakota

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:48 am

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Steve Stricker shot a 7-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead at the Sanford International.

    The 51-year-old Stricker was 8 under through 17 holes at chilly, rain-softened Minnehaha Country Club but closed with a bogey to fall into a tie with Jerry Smith, Brandt Jobe and David McKenzie.

    Stricker only got to play seven holes in the pro-am because of rain that prevented the field from getting in much practice.

    ''You've just kind of got to trust your yardage book and hit to the spots and then try to make a good game plan on the way into the green, too, not really knowing where to hit it or where to miss it up there on the green. Sometimes it's good, too,'' Stricker said. ''You go around and you're focused a lot more on hitting it to a specific spot and not knowing what lies ahead in the course. So I guess today was the ultimate 'Take one hole at a time' because we didn't really know anything else, what was coming.''

    Full-field scores from the Sanford International

    Stricker has two wins and has not finished worse than fifth in six starts this season on the over-50 tour as he continues to play a part-time schedule on the PGA Tour. Next week, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants at the matches outside Paris.

    McKenzie, a 51-year-old Australian, had two eagles on the back nine, holing a wedge from 116 yards on the par-5 16th.

    ''We got told ... to play faster on No. 16, and so my caddie just said, 'Hit it in the hole so you don't have to putt it,' so I just did what he told me,'' McKenzie said.

    Smith had eagles on Nos. 4 and 12.

    ''Honestly, I was just trying to hit some good shots and I really wasn't with the irons,'' Smith said. ''I just really didn't like the way I hit them today. You know, just the putter was the big difference for me. I just felt good with it all day, especially say outside of 10, 15 feet, where I felt like I was a lot.''

    Scott McCarron, Lee Janzen and Paul Goydos were one shot back. McCarron came in second in the Charles Schwab Cup money standings behind Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is not playing this week.

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    Glover (64) leads Tour Championship

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:12 am

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot his second consecutive 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead at the Tour Championship.

    The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, can still regain his PGA Tour card through a medical extension if he fails to earn enough money in the four-tournament Tour Finals. But a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club would take care of everything.

    ''I've got a lot to fall back on regardless of this week, but any time I tee it up, I want to play well,'' Glover said. ''Tomorrow won't be any different. Sunday won't be any different.''

    Glover had arthroscopic knee surgery in June and will have eight starts to earn 53 FedEx Cup points and keep his card. He earned $17,212 in the first three Tour Finals events. The top 25 money winners in the series earn PGA Tour cards, and the final card went for $40,625 last year.

    Glover was at 14-under 128. Denny McCarthy, who has already earned enough money to secure a return to the PGA Tour, was one shot back. McCarthy, a former Virginia player, has a shot at winning the Finals money list, which would guarantee him fully exempt status and entry into The Players Championship.

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    ''There's no secret about it. I'll come out and tell you I'm here to win this tournament and get that No. 1 spot,'' McCarthy said. ''I've been hungry for a while. I have a pretty hungry attitude and I'm going to stay hungry.''

    Tour veteran Cameron Tringale, who has earned just $2,660 after missing two of the first three cuts, was 12 under after a 67. Last year, Tringale entered the Tour Championship at 63rd on the Finals money list and finished tied for fifth to get back onto the PGA Tour. He struggled again this season, though, missing 19 cuts in 26 starts.

    ''Yeah, I was hoping last year was my last time here, but I do have a comfort at this golf course and I'm excited to keep pressing,'' Tringale said.

    The four-tournament series features the top 75 players from the regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top 25 finishers on the regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals.

    Sepp Straka and Ben Silverman were three shots back. Each would likely need a top-5 finish to earn his card.

    Peter Malnati, who regained his card with a second-place finish in the opening finals event, followed his opening-round 74 with a 9-under 62, shooting an 8-under 27 on his second nine.

    Four-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley was among those who missed the cut. He was 22nd on the finals money list going in and likely will fall short of earning his card.

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    Thomas (69) only three back with 'C' or 'D' game

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:56 pm

    ATLANTA – Justin Thomas was tied for fourth place following his second-round 69 on Friday at the Tour Championship, which considering the state of his game on Day 2 was an accomplishment.

    “I wish I had my 'B' game today. I would say I had my 'C' or 'D' game today,” he laughed.

    Thomas’ struggles were primarily with his driver and he hit just 6 of 14 fairways at East Lake, but he was able to scramble late in his round with birdies at Nos. 15 and 18 to remain three off the lead.

    Projected FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “I drove it so poorly today, this is probably in my top 5 rounds of the year I'm most proud of just because I easily could have shot 4- or 5-over par today and not had a chance to win the tournament,” he said. “I hung in there and birdied two of the last four, and I have a chance.”

    Thomas was slowed the last two weeks by a right wrist injury that limited his preparation for the finale and said the issue with his driver is timing and the byproduct of a lack of practice.

    Thomas made up for his erratic driving with his short game, getting up and down four out of seven times including on the fourth hole when he missed the fairway well left, punched out short of the green and chipped in from 81 feet.

    “[Rory McIlroy] just kind of said it looked like a ‘3’ the whole day and I kind of laughed because I played with him at The Players and I chipped in three times that first round with him, so I guess he's good luck for me,” Thomas said.

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    McIlroy two behind Woods, Rose after 68

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:46 pm

    ATLANTA – Maybe it should be no huge surprise that Rory McIlroy finds himself back in contention at the Tour Championship. It is, after all, a Ryder Cup year.

    In 2016, McIlroy won the finale before heading to Hazeltine and posting a 3-2-0 record. In ’14, he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel and went 2-1-2 at the Ryder Cup; and in ’12 he finished tied for 10th place at East Lake and went 3-2-0 at Medinah.

    “I was on such a high a couple of years ago going into Hazeltine after winning the whole thing, and I felt great about my game that week and played well. I won three matches,” McIlroy said. “I guess it doesn't matter whether it's a match play event or whatever. If you're playing well and you've played well the week before, I think most people can carry it into the next week, whatever that is.”

    Projected FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    McIlroy’s performance this week certainly qualifies as “playing well.” He charged out on Friday with birdies at two of his first three holes and bounced back from a pair of late bogeys to shoot a 68 and was in third place and two strokes off the lead held by Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.

    “I've made 12 birdies in 36 holes, which is really good around here, and that's with not birdieing either of the par 5s today,” he said. “So yeah, just tidy up the mistakes a little bit.”