Creamer Shares Top Spot in Hawaii

By Associated PressFebruary 15, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 SBS OpenKAHUKU, Hawaii -- Coming off a winless season, Paula Creamer wants to add a trophy to her collection as soon as possible.
 
The 20-year-old star put herself in position to do just that Thursday, shooting a 5-under 67 for a share of the first-round lead with rookie Paige Mackenzie and Sherri Steinhauer in the LPGA Tour's season-opening SBS Open.
 
'I worked really hard this offseason. I want to win,' Creamer said.
 
Natalie Gulbis
Natalie Gulbis is one shot back of the leaders. (Wire Images)
She is seeking her first win since 2005 when she won twice, finished second on the money list and earned rookie of the year honors. Last season, Creamer had 14 top-10 finishes, including a second-place tie in the LPGA Tournament of Champions.
 
'It was one of those years where my expectations were incredibly high and I kind of put pressure on myself,' said Creamer, who earned $1,076,163 last season to set an LPGA record for the most earnings in a season without a victory.
 
She was steady all day with a bogey-free round, displaying a strong iron game and making a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to reach 5 under.
 
Creamer said can't believe it's her third year on tour.
 
'Twenty years old and feeling like a veteran,' she said.
 
The surf was up but the wind stayed down, leaving several players jostling for position on the Palmer Course. Waves as high as 15 feet pounded Oahu's stunning North Shore.
 
Julieta Granada, the winner of the season-ending ADT Championship, was a stroke back at 68 along with Natalie Gulbis, Sung Ah Yim and Wendy Ward. The group at 69 included Morgan Pressel, Juli Inkster, Yu Ping Lin, Janice Moodie, Irene Cho, Alena Sharp, Hee-Won Han and Stacy Prammanasudh.
 
In addition to winning the season-ender, Granada teamed with Celeste Troche to give Paraguay its first Women's World Cup title last month in South Africa.
 
The $1 million paycheck from ADT was the biggest in tour history and pushed Granada's rookie season total to a record $1.6 million, breaking Creamer's 2005 mark of $1.5 million.
 
Granada said she saved most of the money, but treated herself to a Range Rover.
 
'We can't spend it all in a day,' said Granada, who posted seven top-10 finishes last year.
 
In her first start as an LPGA Tour member, Mackenzie opened on No. 10 and made the turn at even-par before birdieing five of her last nine holes.
 
The former University of Washington star earned her tour card by tying for 12th at Q-school. She wasn't nervous until seeing her name on top of the leaderboard while walking to the green on the last hole.
 
'My heart started beating faster,' she said. 'Then I birdied so maybe I need to scoreboard watch more often.'
 
On the 376-yard second hole, Mackenzie hit a 7-iron into the wind that left her with a 23-foot birdie putt that broke 3 feet to the right before dropping in the cup.
 
The only thing that took her out of her rhythm was a bee during her drive on No. 16. The shot sailed 30 yards right of the green and Mackenzie punched out of the rough, but failed to get up and down to save par.
 
'It was one of those big, black ones. They are kind of mean. It was scary,' said Mackenzie, who turned 24 on Feb. 8
 
Last year, she tied for 23rd in the Wendy's Championship, helped the U.S. team win the Curtis Cup and became the first player in Washington history to win the Pac-10 Championship individual title.
 
She recently moved from her hometown of Yakima, Wash., dubbed the 'Palm Springs of Washington,' to the real Palm Springs where she lives with her brother, Brock, who plays on the Nationwide Tour.
 
Steinhauer, who won the Women's British Open last year for her second career major, holed a wedge shot from 105 yards for eagle on the par-4 14th and made a 20-foot birdie put on the 18th to reach 5 under.
 
'It was a very steady first round. I'm happy with the start,' said the 44-year-old from Wisconsin.
 
Karrie Webb was at 70 and LPGA player of the year Lorena Ochoa was another stroke back in a group that included Cristie Kerr.
 
Big Island native Kimberly Kim, who last year became the youngest champion of the U.S. Women's Amateur at age 14, opened with a 73. Fellow amateur, 16-year-old Taylore Karle, was at 76.
 
Defending champion Joo Mi Kim struggled to a 5-over 77. Jennifer Rosales, the 2005 champion, was at 79 after a horrendous start that included two bogeys and two double bogeys in the first five holes.
 
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  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: