Wie in Contention Annika Six Back

By Sports NetworkJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Nicole Perrot, a little-known player from Chile, took the lead at the U.S. Women's Open, but the bigger story is one woman's fading chances for history and a girl's chance at making it.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie has made six birdies and six bogeys through two rounds.
Annika Sorenstam's quest for the single-season Grand Slam took a blow on Friday as she bogeyed her last three holes. She shot a second-round, 4-over 75 and is tied for 22nd place at plus-4.
 
'I thought I played pretty good until the last three holes,' said Sorenstam, a two-time winner of this event. 'Obviously I am disappointed with the finish, but I tried the best I could, and the only thing you can do is keep on trying.'
 
The other story of women's golf is in excellent position heading to the weekend. Fifteen-year-old amateur Michelle Wie carded a 2-over 73 in the second round and is tied for second place with Lorena Ochoa (68) at even-par 142.
 
'It was a little tough out there, the second round today,' said Wie, who finished second to Sorenstam two weeks ago at the LPGA Championship. 'I had very close birdie putts and I didn't make any. If I had made those it would have been a different story, but I am still happy with the way I finished.'
 
What did Sorenstam in on Friday was the putter. Several times she grazed the hole, but in the end, the tour's top player amassed 35 putts in her second round.
 
She was even through her round after eight holes, but dropped a shot at the ninth when her 15-footer failed to fall into the cup. Sorenstam parred her next six holes on the back nine, but ran into trouble late.
 
Sorenstam played consistently on the back nine, but could not make anything. She bogeyed her final three holes to fall six back, but the winner of this year's Nabisco Championship and LPGA Championship does not think her Grand Slam hopes are squashed.
 
'Anything can happen,' said Sorenstam. 'There are birdies out there because I haven't made them so I am going to go out there and find them tomorrow.'
 
Meanwhile, Wie woke up early to complete her weather-delayed opening round. She got off to a rocky start with a bogey at her first hole, No. 10. Wie drove into the right rough and fell short of the putting surface with her second. The 15-year-old chipped to 9 feet and missed the putt.
 
Wie gave herself great looks at birdie from the 11th through 13th, she did not make any of them, but parred those and the remaining holes on her opening nine.
 
She still had not broken into red figures and the round continued to go backward. At the second, Wie missed a 12-footer for par. The wind got her at eight and her 6-iron came up short of the green. Wie chipped 20 feet short and two-putted for another bogey.
 
But Wie recovered at the ninth. She hit a 7-iron inside 2 feet and tapped in for the lone birdie of her round.
 
Wie will play with Perrot in the final round Saturday. Can this 15-year-old amateur, with only one USGA victory to her name, break through in the biggest event in women's golf?
 
'I think so,' replied Wie. 'I feel like I am ready. I feel like I am playing well enough and as long as I make a couple more putts, play a little bit more consistently, if I play under par, I think I have a good chance.'
 
But these superstars will be chasing Perrot, a two-time winner last year on the Futures Tour.
 
She bogeyed the par-5 fifth hole for the second time in as many rounds, but Perrot climbed atop the leaderboard with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11.
 
Then severe weather hit the area and delayed play for 43 minutes.
 
That hurt Perrot as she landed in a right bunker and made bogey at the 12th. She appeared to be in trouble at the 14th, but holed a clutch 12-footer to save par and stay atop the leaderboard.
 
She parred her remaining holes, now the runner-up at the 2001 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship finds herself atop the leaderboard through two rounds of the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Will it change her strategy?
 
'The golf course is playing really tough,' said Perrot. 'There are two more very tough days. I'm focused on playing shot-by-shot and my routine. I'm not focused about score.'
 
Ochoa moved up thanks to some long putts on the back nine. She holed birdie putts from 10 feet at the 11th, 35 feet at the 15th and 40 feet one hole later.
 
Unfortunately last week's Wegmans Rochester LPGA winner also mixed three bogeys into her back nine, including a dropped shot at the last.
 
'I am extremely happy with my round today. It was tough out there,' said Ochoa.
 
Paula Creamer rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt at the 13th and was 8 under through nine holes. The weather delay really cost her because she went 3 over the rest of the way.
 
Creamer shot a 1-under 69 and shares fourth place with Rachel Hetherington (69) and Angela Stanford (74) at 1-over-par 143.
 
Amateur Morgan Pressel (73) and Karine Icher (75) are knotted in seventh at plus-2.
 
There is a huge group tied for ninth at 3 over par. Among them are: defending champion Meg Mallon, Natalie Gulbis, Cristie Kerr, Se Ri Pak, Liselotte Neumann and Rosie Jones.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 8-over-par 150 and Carin Koch, Stacy Prammanasudh, Pat Hurst, Beth Daniel and Laura Davies all missed out on the weekend.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1

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    Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 7:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.

    “Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”

    It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”

    Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.

    For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.

    “It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”