Creamer holds lead at US Womens Open

By Associated PressJuly 11, 2010, 5:05 am

2010 U.S. Women

OAKMONT, Pa.– One more day like this, and Paula Creamer will no longer be the best LPGA golfer who hasn’t won a major.

Creamer kept her game together as a dozen others were losing theirs on a grueling day at the U.S. Women’s Open on Saturday, taking a three-shot lead over Wendy Ward that she hopes will hold up in the final round.

That, and her left thumb.

Creamer, who has eight top-10 finishes in majors at age 23 but has yet to win one, is playing in only her fourth tournament since sitting out four months to surgically repair a hyperextended joint. The injury is so painful she limits her practice shots because she can’t stand the constant pounding of her golf club striking the ground.

Maybe that was the best way to prepare for the demanding Oakmont Country Club, whose stray shot-grabbing bunkers and tricky-to-read greens doomed the hopes of contender after contender on a day when play began at dawn and extended to sundown.

Namely, stay off it as much as possible.

Creamer, who played 29 holes Saturday, is 1 under for the tournament with five holes remaining in a third round that will be completed Sunday morning. Ward has only No. 18 to play. Suzann Pettersen is four back with four holes to go, while 15-year-old Alexis Thompson, Amy Yang and Brittany Lang are five back. Only Thompson completed the third round.

Creamer, sixth in the last two U.S. Women’s Opens, played all but two holes of her 1-under 70 in the morning – the only below-par score among those completing the second round on Saturday. She followed that by getting three birdies and two bogeys during the third round, with the second bogey coming on No. 13 just as the USGA sounded a horn halting play due to dwindling light.

“I played really consistent – I stuck to my game plan,” Creamer said. “If I hit a lot of greens, I know birdies will come. I know every par I won’t lose ground, so I keep going with that mindset. I was trying to stay at patient as I can.”

All this only a weekend after she missed the cut in the Jamie Farr Classic.

The only other 70 of the day was by Thompson, who is playing in her fourth Women’s Open – her fourth – despite not yet being 16 but only her second tournament as a pro. She is at 4-over 217.

Like most teenagers, Thompson is glad she gets to sleep in Sunday.

“I’m really thankful I don’t have to come back at 7:30 to play for likely just a hole,” said Thompson, whose father, Scott, is toting her bag.

Thompson found herself outplaying two former world No. 1-ranked golfers, LPGA Tour money leader Ai Miyazato and Jiyai Shin.

“I never thought of that; I’m just watching their games and how good they are,” she said. “How good they putt is amazing.”

Imagine the quandary the LPGA would find itself in if Thompson would somehow win; she’s not eligible to play full-time on the tour until she’s 18.

Of course, maybe Creamer has this going for her: Of the last 14 majors, 11 have been one by first-timers.

As Creamer was stringing together par after par, playing partner Cristie Kerr – the runaway 12-shot winner of the LPGA Championship only two weeks ago – was faltering.

Kerr went from one shot off the lead at the start of the third round to eight down in 12 holes, aided by back-to-back double bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5. She birdied both holes during the first two rounds.

At the same time, Creamer birdied the fourth and parred the fifth, quickly separating herself from pre-tournament favorite Kerr by six shots.

It was the exact opposite of last year’s Women’s Open third round when, also playing together at Saucon Valley, Kerr had a 1-over 72 and Creamer soared to a 79. Kerr ended up tying for third while Creamer had a final-round 69 to tie for sixth.

So much for rest being a factor. While Creamer played the equivalent of a full round and much of another, Kerr played only 13 because she completed the second round before heavy rain halted play Friday.

Creamer has won eight LPGA tournaments but doesn’t have a victory since 2008. Her best finishes in majors were third-place ties at the 2005 LPGA and 2009 Women’s British.

Creamer tied for 42nd at the LPGA but was at another major this year, too; bored during her layoff following surgery, she attended the Masters.

If the leaderboard holds up, an American will win the nation’s Open championship for only the second time in six years; Creamer and Ward are from the United States. Only two Americans are currently ranked in the world top 10: No. 1 Kerr and No. 10 Michelle Wie, who missed the cut.

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.