Creamer Seeks Third Win Solheim Spot

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Safeway ClassicPORTLAND, Ore. -- Paula Creamer is trying to find something new to occupy her mind away from the course. The LPGA Tour rookie has had enough of that typical teenage pastime: shopping.
 
The night before the Safeway Classic in Portland, Creamer was planning to get her nails done. Then she was going to try to get some rest.
 
Such is the life of a 19-year-old who has already won twice on the LPGA Tour, is all but assured Rookie of the Year honors and has surpassed $1 million in earnings.
 
Im trying to find a hobby that I can really do and just get away, she said. I havent found it quite yet, but shopping is taking a toll on me, so I need to find a new one.
 
The rookie phenom said Thursday shes looking for more than just a new pastime. She wants a place on the U.S. Solheim Cup team. Although shes pretty much a lock for the team, Creamer is acting as if its no done deal.
 
Its been a goal since I hit my first professional ball in Hawaii, she said.
 
With Annika Sorenstam taking some time off, Creamer has the spotlight at the LPGAs Safeway Classic, which starts Friday at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
 
Its one of six full-field events remaining on the LPGA schedule and one of two tournaments before the U.S. Solheim Cup team is named.
 
The official word will come Aug. 28 after the Wendys Championship in Dublin, Ohio. Cristie Kerr is top in Solheim Cup points, followed by veterans Meg Mallon and Juli Inkster. Creamer ranks eighth.
 
The top 10 players qualify for the team, and captain Nancy Lopez gets two additional choices.
 
I need to still play my way in, definitely, Creamer said. I mean, theres two weeks left and anything can happen in those two weeks. Its very important to play well, definitely.
 
Creamer, who turned 19 earlier this month, won last week in the NEC Karuizawa, making her first appearance in a Japanese LPGA event.
 
She became the second-youngest first-time winner in LPGA Tour history'and the youngest winner of a full event'when she took the Sybase Classic by one stroke in May. She also won the Evian Masters in July.
 
Despite graduating from high school only three months ago, Creamer is second on the money list behind Sorenstam. Creamer is the youngest and quickest player in LPGA Tour history to earn $1 million.
 
Because of scheduling conflicts, Sorenstam wont be playing in this event on the 6,327-yard, par-72 course, where she won in 2002 and 2003.
 
Last year, South Koreas Hee-Won Han birdied the 18th hole at Columbia Edgewater to pull even with Canadas Lorie Kane, then birdied the same hole again to win the playoff for her third LPGA title.
 
Han hopes to repeat this week.
 
Ive had a couple of chances of winning, but I didnt, she said of this season. I started to play well this week and next week last year, so maybe Ill find my swing again.
 
The field of 144 includes 23-year-old Birdie Kim, the South Korean who halted Sorenstams Grand Slam bid by winning the U.S. Womens Open with a bunker shot on the final hole that dropped for birdie.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.