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News » Choi has first-day lead at Skins Game

Choi has first-day lead at Skins Game

Choi has first-day lead at Skins Game
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- K.J. Choi overcame the nerves of playing in his first LG Skins Game by using a precise short game and key putts to take the first-day lead in the 26th annual event on Saturday. Choi rolled in a three-foot birdie putt worth $75,000 on the third hole, and earned $75,000. That gave him the lead over Phil Mickelson, who earned $25,000 with a spectacular eagle-3 on the fourth hole. Two-time defending champion Stephen Ames and Rocco Mediate, playing in his first Skins Game, were shut out on the first nine holes. With the foursome halving the final five holes of the front nine, $900,000 of the event's $1 million purse is still alive for today's final nine holes at the Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort. "Everybody here is a good player, good games and good short-game players," Choi said. "I was just really focused on 100 yards and inside."

* SINGAPORE -- Annika Sorenstam isn't quite finished. Playing her second-to-last event before retiring, the Swedish star holed a 45-foot pitch for eagle on the par-5 18th hole to give herself and Suzann Pettersen a 1-up victory over Inbee Park and Eun Hee Ji on Saturday in the Lexus Cup. "The timing was perfect," Sorenstam said. "Suzann played extraordinarily well. I was happy to have a chance to help on the last hole." With the comeback victory in the opening best-ball match at Singapore Island Country Club, Sorenstam and Pettersen helped the International team match two-time defending champion Asia at six points entering the closing 12 singles matches. Sorenstam, set to end her Hall of Fame career next week in the Ladies European Tour's Dubai Ladies Masters, is the International team's playing captain. "It's amazing how close it really is," Sorenstam said. "A lot of matches went to the 18th hole. The golf has been spectacular. You have to make birdies to win out here. It's been a great day and hopefully we can continue the momentum tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised to see it come to the 18th hole." Today, Sorenstam will play Asian captain Se Ri Pak in the opening match, the first between the longtime stars.


* ARLINGTON, Texas-- The Texas Rangers have traded pitcher Wes Littleton to the Boston Red Sox for a player or players to be named and cash. The Rangers, who announced the trade Friday, designated the right-hander for assignment on Nov. 20. He pitched out of the bullpen in 12 games last season after making a combined 68 appearances the two previous seasons. He was 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA in 2008. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Oklahoma, where he was 7-1 with six saves and a 4.01 ERA.

* TOKYO -- Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa moved a step closer to signing with the Boston Red Sox after rejecting offers from three other major league teams. The 22-year-old right-hander contacted the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves on Friday to reject their offers, Kyodo News agency reported Friday. Tazawa is expected to hold a news conference early this week to announce his decision. He reportedly received offers from the Rangers, Braves, Mariners and Red Sox. The hard-throwing Tazawa is a standout in Japan's corporate leagues. He asked Japan's professional teams not to select him in November's amateur draft so that he can pursue a career in the U. S. major leagues. Tazawa helped Nippon Oil win the intercity tournament in September and reach the semifinals of the corporate championship that ended today. No rule prevents American teams from pursuing Japanese amateurs, although current stars such as Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Red Sox first made names for themselves playing in Japan's pro leagues. Several major league teams have been reluctant to pursue Tazawa for fear of upsetting relations between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball. After Tazawa made clear his intention to bypass Japan's draft, Japan's professional Baseball teams agreed to introduce a ban on players who return to the country after opting out of the amateur draft in order to play for overseas pro teams.

Wire Reports

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 30, 2008

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