Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 1, 2002

Kane back on top at Takefuji Classic

By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer

WAIKOLOA, Hawai'i — With Lorie Kane, Annika Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew finding success again in Hawai'i, the LPGA Takefuji Classic officially moved down the Kona coast yesterday to suddenly simple Waikoloa Beach.

Defending champion Lorie Kane sank a birdie on the 13th hole during the Takefuji Classic yesterday.

Associated Press

Monday, the pros left the course to the qualifiers because the wind was so wicked practicing would have been harmful. Most tried to play Tuesday. Some even finished. Wednesday afternoon, the wind finally wore itself out.

Waikoloa welcomed yesterday's opening round with benign breeze and a fascinating canvas of blue (ocean), green (grass), black (lava) and white (snow-capped Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa). It was defenseless and the LPGA, in its first tournament of the season, went on the offensive with 42 players in the 60s.

Kane, the defending champion from Canada, seized the first day with a birdie on her last hole for 7-under-par 63. She is a shot ahead of Sorenstam, Matthew, Liselotte Neumann and Mi Hyun Kim — a rainbow coalition that covers Sweden, Scotland and South Korea. Michelle Redman is the first American, at 65. Hall of Famer Betsy King is among seven tied for seventh and and former University of Hawai'i golfer Cindy Flom is in the midst of many at 67.

Sorenstam, who finished second in this tournament both previous years, is coming off one of the greatest LPGA seasons ever. Neumann, the only golfer in the top five who was not among the Top 10 money winners in 2001, is coming off the "worst" season of an extremely successful career. Matthew made the last Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open her first LPGA victory a year ago and Kim was the 1999 Rookie of the Year.

But from the moment Kane birdied her first four holes yesterday, it was obvious she hadn't missed a beat since throwing a course-record 66 at Kona Country Club in the final round last year. After going 2 under with putts within five feet, she chipped in on her third hole (No. 12), then drained another five-footer.

"Annika looked at me and said, 'Are you just going to have 3s on your card?' " Kane said with a grin. "I said, 'You can too. Jump on board.' "

A three-putt bogey on the next hole was Kane's only hiccup. She had four more birdies on the front nine, hitting within a foot her final hole.

Sorenstam won eight tournaments and all three major performance awards last year. But even she couldn't keep up with Kane yesterday. The pair fired a best-ball 60 — one worse than Sorenstam's record round last year. That magical round popped into Kane's head after her fourth birdie.

"I was thinking, can I birdie every one today?" Kane recalled. "Playing with Annika I was reminded about the day she shot 59 and how she talked about the Swedish junior program, how they always teach you to go for 18 birdies because that's the perfect round.

"But honestly, I was just trying to get into a rhythm. We had a long layoff and I have worked hard on my game."

Matthew's 64 included a double bogey at No. 12 where she "blocked my tee shot into the lava, never to be seen again." She was still able to smile because she birdied five of her first eight holes and rallied with birdies on three of her last six. She hit three approach shots to a foot and her longest birdie putt was 15 feet. Even with the double bogey and a few missed eight-footers, Matthew's start was a shot better than last year at Cup Noodles, where she led wire-to-wire.

After the brutal winds of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Matthew was somewhat stunned.

"If it had been like it was yesterday, you could have shot 75 and been quite pleased," she said. "It was nearly unplayable."

Yesterday, it was nearly perfect.

SHORT PUTTS: It took less than three hours for Waikoloa Beach to get its first Takefuji hole-in-one. Charlotta Sorenstam aced the 156-yard fourth hole using a 7-iron. ... Karrie Webb, who won the inaugural LPGA Takefuji Classic in 2000, is home in Australia this week where she leads the Women's Australian Open after the first round. ... Former University of Hawai'i-Hilo golfer Clint Begay is caddying for Dorothy Delasin. Clint's brother, Notah, plays on the PGA Tour. ... Anne Marie Palli withdrew after nine holes yesterday with an illness. ... The third hole (488-yard par-5) played easiest yesterday, at 4.687. The ninth (383-yard par-4) was most difficult, at 4.344.


FIrst tee

7:20 a.m.—Stephanie Keever, Angie Rizzo, Lora Fairclough. 7:30—Jung Lee, Jenny Park-Choi, Karen Davies.

7:40—Maggie Will, Laurie Rinker-Graham, Caroline Hall. 7:50—Pearl Sinn, Fiona Pike, Mayumi Nakajima.

8—Mitzi Edge, Natalie Gulbis, Namika Omata. 8:10—Shiho Katano, *Michelle Wie, Jamie Hullett.

8:20—Gloria Park, Donna Andrews, Yu Ping Lin. 8:30—Helen Alfredsson, Cristie Kerr , Kasumi Fujii.

8:40—Nancy Scranton, Michele Redman, Chieko Amanuma. 8:50—Mi Hyun Kim, Hiromi Kobayashi, Laura Diaz.

9—Lorie Kane, Annika Sorenstam, Akiko Fukushima.

11:50—Jackie Gallagher-Smith, Grace Park, Emilee Klein. Noon—Kellee Booth, Chris Johnson, Denise Killeen.

12:10—Kristal Parker-Manzo, Michelle Estill, Sherri Turner. 12:20—Dina Ammaccapane, Dorothy Delasin, A.J. Eathorne. 12:30—Marisa Baena, Mhairi McKay, Amy Fruhwirth. 12:40—Jane Egan, Hilary Homeyer, Angela Stanford.

12:50—Joanne Morley, Catherine Cartwright, Joan Pitcock. 1—Caroline Blaylock, Beth Bauer, Suzy Green.

1:10—Nicole Jeray, Amy Read, Jennifer Rosales. 1:20—Stefania Croce, Nancy Harvey, Patricia Baxter-Johnson.

1:30—Sun Lee, Diane Irvin, Dale Eggeling.

10TH tee

7:20 a.m.—Nicole Dalkas, Beth Bader, Giulia Sergas. 7:30—Michelle Bell, Alison Nicholas,Anna Acker-Macosko.

7:40—Laurie Brower, Suzanne Strudwick, Sally Dee. 7:50—Jen Hanna, Anne Marie Palli, Susie Parry.

8—Candie Kung, Annette DeLuca, Diana D'Alessio. 8:10—Lisa Kiggens, *Sally Soranaka, Vicki Fergon.

8:20—Jenny Lidback, Tina Fischer, Silvia Cavalleri. 8:30—Tina Barrett, Jean Bartholomew, Moira Dunn.

8:40—Tracy Hanson, Kris Tschetter, Carin Koch. 8:50—Michelle McGann, Kathryn Marshall, Sherri Steinhauer.

9—Heather Bowie, Kate Golden, Leslie Spalding.

11:50—Becky Iverson, Marnie McGuire, Karen Weiss. Noon—Janice Moodie, Hee-Won Han, Heather Daly-Donofrio.

12:10—Jeong Jang, Catriona Matthew, Charlotta Sorenstam. 12:20—Jill McGill, Betsy King, Juli Inkster.

12:30—Audra Burks, Liselotte Neumann, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman. 12:40—Cindy Schreyer, Ashli Bunch, Tonya Gill.

12:50—Kim Saiki, Sara Sanders, Kris Lindstrom. 1—Miriam Nagl, Allison Finney, Dodie Mazzuca.

1:10—Karen Stupples, Jeanne-Marie Busuttil, Cindy Flom. 1:20—Ara Koh, Elizabeth Bowman, Vickie Odegard.

1:30—Siew-Ai Lim, Luciana Bemvenuti, Tina Tombs.