Steinhauer Wins Heart-Stopping State Farm

By Sports NetworkSeptember 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
State Farm Classic Logo 2007SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Sherri Steinhauer holed a 25-foot par putt from off the green on the 72nd hole to ward off Christina Kim and win the State Farm Classic.
'The swing started getting a little iffy at the end, but fortunately my putter was real hot,' said Steinhauer, who collected $195,000 for eighth LPGA Tour victory. 'Got me out of a lot of trouble.'
Steinhauer shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday to finish the victory at 17-under- par 271. Kim birdied the last three holes, including two from off the green at 17 and 18, for a 6-under 66 to lose by a stroke.
Annika Sorenstam, the 2006 champion, also shot a 67 in the final round, but came up three back at minus-14. Rachel Hetherington joined Sorenstam after a 69 tied her with the Swede, who is nearly recovered from her back and neck injuries.
'This week has been the best of the year I would say,' acknowledged Sorenstam. 'I'm feeling better every day. I think overall I have a lot of positive things to take from this week.'
The tournament came down to the final three holes as balls were flying into holes from everywhere.
Kim and Sorenstam both birdied the par-5 16th to get within one of Steinhauer, but both missed the green at the par-3 17th. Sorenstam came up right and short, while Kim landed left of the putting surface.
Sorenstam could only manage par, but Kim chipped in to tie for the lead at minus-15. Steinhauer landed in a bunker at the 16th with her third and only blasted out to 20 feet. She made that putt to move back ahead by a stroke.
Kim split the fairway at the tough closing hole at Panther Creek Country Club and her second stopped in the left fringe, 25 feet from the stick. Kim drained that birdie putt from off the green to tie for the lead again, but Steinhauer rolled in a 28-foot birdie putt of her own at the 17th to get back in front.
With Kim watching from behind the green, Steinhauer drove into the fairway. Her approach barely cleared the water and nestled in a bunker. Much like her sand play at the 16th, Steinhauer hit a bad shot that rolled 25 feet away into the rough.
Steinhauer needed to hole the putt for the win or get up and down to force a playoff. She snaked in the long par save for her first win since last year's Women's British Open.
'I was in between clubs,' said Steinhauer, referring to her awful approach at 18. 'I didn't make a positive swing. I didn't trust it. I ended up in the bunker and it was a poor shot.'
Kim added to the drama with her play late and may have sent a message to American Solheim Cup captain Betsy King. Last week, King passed over Kim with her captains' picks and Kim was aware this week.
'It was incredible. I was just going,' said Kim. 'These are points for the next Solheim Cup. It was so much fun.'
Angela Park shot a 4-under 68 and finished alone in fifth place at minus-12. Jeong Jang fired a 7-under 65 and took sixth at 11-under-par 277.
Joo Mi Kim (69) and Michele Redman (72) tied for seventh at minus-10.
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    Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

    Bernhard Langer did not.

    The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

    "You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

    Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

    "I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

    Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

    As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

    "I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”