Monday, July 2, 2007

Kerr wins U.S. Women's Open

For Cristie Kerr, it's been a long and winding road to her first major victory... Twelve years of perseverance finally paid off in the desired result as she stayed amazingly focused over the weekend. Kerr only three-putted once all week, with only two bogeys in her final 2 1/2 rounds for a two stroke victory over Lorena Ochoa and Angela Park ... Kerr went into the tournament with the stigma of being the world's second best player to never win a major... ironically, the player that she had to fight off the most for the victory happened to be the best player in the world, the aforementioned Ochoa... after yesterday, Lorena is still searching for that first major win.

The final grouping of the day was a very intriguing one... you had Kerr, Ochoa and Nabisco Dinah Shore winner Morgan Pressel all sharing the spotlight... it doesn't really get much better than that as far as high profile names go - with apologies to Annika Soranstam and Natalie Gulbis, both of whom finished well back in the pack... Gulbis, by the way, is one of Kerr's closest friends on the tour... Kerr and Ochoa spent much of the final round tied for the lead. It wasn't until the fourteenth hole, where Kerr made a long twenty foot or so birdie putt that she took the lead for good at five-under-par. Ochoa and Pressel would both struggle down the stretch, the latter double bogeying the final hole to shoot a six over par 77. Ochoa scrambled out of trouble and managed to only lose a stroke to par over the course of the final five holes. Kerr, in the meantime, was steady as a rock... she just kept her focus - hitting fairways and greens, parring the final four holes... When she finally captured that first win, she just lost it, breaking down and crying... her husband soon came over and picked her up and embraced her... it was quite a special moment! Given all that she's been through it was nice to see her finally get that first major, and I'd be willing to bet that there are many more in her future!


Time for a little baseball now, and the big event yesterday of course was that the players announced for the All-Star Game! My local teams got lots of representation as three Angels (Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey & Francisco Rodriguez) along with three Dodgers (Russell Martin, Brad Penny & Takeshi Saito) were selected... here's a complete list of the rosters with appearance number as the last figure:


C Russell Martin Los Angeles Dodgers 1st
1B Prince Fielder Milwaukee Brewers 1st
2B Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies 2nd
3B David Wright New York Mets 2nd
SS Jose Reyes New York Mets 2nd
OF Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants 14th
OF Carlos Beltran New York Mets 4th
OF Ken Griffey Jr. Cincinnati Reds 13th

RHP Brad Penny Los Angeles Dodgers 2nd
RHP Jake Peavy San Diego Padres 2nd
LHP Cole Hamels Philadelphia Phillies 1st
RHP Ben Sheets Milwaukee Brewers 3rd
RHP John Smoltz Atlanta Braves 8th
RHP Trevor Hoffman San Diego Padres 6th
LHP Billy Wagner New York Mets 5th
RHP Francisco Cordero Milwaukee Brewers 2nd
LHP Brian Fuentes Colorado Rockies 3rd
RHP Jose Valverde Arizona Diamondbacks 1st
RHP Takashi Saito Los Angeles Dodgers 1st

C Brian McCann Atlanta Braves 2nd
1B Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals 6th
1B Derrek Lee Chicago Cubs 2nd
1B Dmitri Young Washington Nationals 2nd
2B Orlando Hudson Arizona Diamondbacks 1st
2B Freddy Sanchez Pittsburgh Pirates 2nd
3B Miguel Cabrera Florida Marlins 4th
SS J.J. Hardy Milwaukee Brewers 1st
OF Alfonso Soriano Chicago Cubs 6th
OF Carlos Lee Houston Astros 3rd
OF Aaron Rowand Philadelphia Phillies 1st
OF Matt Holliday Colorado Rockies 2nd


C Ivan Rodriguez Detroit Tigers 14th
1B David Ortiz Boston Red Sox 4th
2B Placido Polanco Detroit Tigers 1st
3B Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees 11th
SS Derek Jeter New York Yankees 8th
OF Vladimir Guerrero Los Angeles Angels 8th
OF Magglio Ordonez Detroit Tigers 6th
OF Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners 7th

RHP Josh Beckett Boston Red Sox 1st
RHP John Lackey Los Angeles Angels 1st
LHP Johan Santana Minnesota Twins 3rd
RHP Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers 1st
LHP C.C. Sabathia Cleveland Indians 3rd
RHP Dan Haren Oakland Athletics 1st
RHP Gil Meche Kansas City Royals 1st
RHP Jonathan Papelbon Boston Red Sox 2nd
RHP Francisco Rodriguez Los Angeles Angels 2nd
RHP J.J. Putz Seattle Mariners 1st
RHP Bobby Jenks Chicago White Sox 2nd

C Victor Martinez Cleveland Indians 2nd
C Jorge Posada New York Yankees 5th
1B Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins 1st
2B Brian Roberts Baltimore Orioles 2nd
3B Mike Lowell Boston Red Sox 4th
SS Carlos Guillen Detroit Tigers 2nd
SS Michael Young Texas Rangers 4th
OF Carl Crawford Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2nd
OF Torii Hunter Minnesota Twins 2nd
OF Manny Ramirez Boston Red Sox 11th
OF Alex Rios Toronto Blue Jays 2nd
OF Grady Sizemore Cleveland Indians 2nd

As always, there were some stories amongst the selections and the snubs... Barry Bonds overcame a 125,000 vote deficit to pass Alfonso Soriano and get a start in front of his home crowd (the game is being played in San Francisco)... Jimmy Rollins, Edgar Renteria and Aramis Ramirez were probably the biggest snubs amongst the NL hitters, and without a doubt, Chris Young of the Padres (he has a 2.08 ERA) was the biggest snub amongst senior circuit pitchers. In looking at the NL roster, I couldn't really find an undeserving person... On the AL side though, a couple of curious picks to me were Manny Ramirez and Michael Young - both of whom are having off years. Gary Sheffield and Orlando Cabrera are probably the most notable guys missing from the AL hitting squad... I think that Kelvim Escobar and Joe Nathan would have made good choices to be amongst the pitching staff... You can catch all of the action on July 10th on your local Fox affiliate from the city by the Bay...


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