Creamer Cruising in Alabama

By Associated PressNovember 9, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Mitchell Co. Tournament of ChampionsMOBILE, Ala. -- After making birdies on her final seven holes Thursday, Paula Creamer remained hot on Friday as she posted a bogey-free, 7-under 65 to move five strokes clear of the field after two rounds of the LPGA Tournament of Champions.
 
Creamer completed 36 holes at 12-under-par 132. She holds the 36-hole lead for the seventh time in her tour career and all three of her wins came when she led after two rounds.
 
'I am hitting the ball really good and I'm putting good,' said Creamer. 'There is a lot of golf left. But at the same time, I like where I am at. I know people are going to try to go as low as they can the next two days.'
 
Jin Joo Hong carded a 5-under 67 Friday and is alone in second place at 7-under-par 137. Annika Sorenstam (67) and Pat Hurst (69) share third place at minus-6. Karen Stupples in one stroke further back at 5-under- par 138 after shooting 67 in round two.
 
Suzann Pettersen, who has won three of her last four starts, incurred a two-stroke penalty on the 13th hole. That cost her a share of third place. Instead of shooting 69, Pettersen posted a 1-under 71 and is alone in sixth at minus-4.
 
Defending champion and world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa carded a 3-under 69 and is tied for 10th at 1-under-par 143.
 
Creamer got off to a fast start as she birdied the first to move one ahead of first-round, co-leader Meg Mallon, who struggled to a 10-over 82 Friday.
 
The 21-year-old Creamer parred the next four on the Magnolia Grove Crossings Course. Her third shot stopped 2 feet from the cup at the par-5 sixth. She kicked that in for birdie and a three-stroke lead.
 
Creamer birdied the eighth to make the turn at minus-8. Around the turn, she rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt from off the green at the 10th.
 
She parred four in a row again, before catching fire down the stretch. Creamer stuck her approach within 2 feet at the 15th to set up her fifth birdie of the round.
 
Creamer made it two in a row as she two-putted for birdie on the par-5 16th. Creamer closed in style as she poured in a birdie effort from 35 feet out at the last to finish five clear of the field.
 
'I've been playing good, giving myself lots of chances,' Creamer admitted. 'I'm rolling the ball really well with my putter. I'm hitting it pretty close too. The biggest thing on these greens is trying to hit it as close as you can to take the pressure off all of the breaks.
 
'I've been doing that. When I get into trouble, I've been saving myself, either getting up and down or making good putts.'
 
Hong flew out of the gate with three straight birdies to jump to minus-5. Her birdie run ended with a bogey on the fourth. Hong recovered that lost stroke with a birdie at the sixth.
 
The 2006 KOLON-Hana Bank Championship winner birdied the 10th, but gave that stroke back as she bogeyed No. 13. Hong birdied three of four holes from the 14th to move to minus-seven.
 
'I made a lot of birdies,' Hong said. 'My irons were really good today and my putter was also.'
 
Sorenstam birdied two of the first three holes. After five consecutive pars, she bogeyed the ninth to make the turn at minus-two. The Swede converted back- to-back birdie putts from the 10th, both from inside five feet. Sorenstam nearly chipped in for eagle at 13, but settled for a tap-in birdie.
 
She came right back with a birdie on 14. Sorenstam two-putted for birdie on 16 to get to seven-under, but she faltered to a bogey at the next to end six back.
 
'I hit some good chips today. Thursday I left a few out there and I think this Bermuda grass is so tough, you have to be so precise, so a little practice yesterday helped me out,' stated Sorenstam. 'You need to be quite precise and I had a few good bounces and few good shots and it was a good back nine.'
 
Birdie Kim, Carin Koch and Wendy Ward share seventh place at 2-under-par 142. Ochoa was joined in 10th by Seon-Hwa Lee, Se Ri Pak and Natalie Gulbis.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.