Creamer in Three-Way Tie at the Top

By Associated PressMay 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Corning ClassicCORNING, N.Y. -- Paula Creamer is back in the spot she covets -- atop the leaderboard.
 
The 20-year-old LPGA Tour star birdied her two final holes Saturday for a 6-under 66 to tie Beth Bader and Young Kim for the third-round lead at the Corning Classic.
 
Creamer, who began the day three shots behind Bader, completed a bogey-free round with a nice par save at No. 16, then chipped to about a foot at No. 17 and finished with a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole.
 
'This was a really good three-hole finish. I finished strong,' said Creamer, who won at Turtle Bay in her first start of the season. 'I gave myself plenty of opportunities to go low and I made some good putts.'
 
Bader (69), who began the day with a one-shot lead over Kim (68), fell behind by two shots at the turn. She tied Kim at 16 under with a birdie at No. 13, and the two parred the final five holes to finish at 16-under 200 -- one shot ahead of Mi Hyun Kim (66).
 
Two South Korean rookies were in the hunt for their first tour victories. In-Kyung Kim (68) was at 12 under, one shot ahead of Na On Min (68). Becky Morgan (70) also was at 11 under.
 
Among the top seven players on the leaderboard, only Creamer and Mi Hyun Kim have won on the LPGA Tour. And Creamer already was anticipating the final round. Although the third round was played under mostly sunny conditions with a light breeze, rain was in the forecast, and tournament officials will use threesomes going off both the first and 10th tees to speed play Sunday.
 
That means Creamer will be the only one in her group to have won on tour, and she relishes the challenge inclement weather presents. Her first career victory came in the rain at the 2005 Sybase Classic, just four days after she graduated from high school.
 
'It's going to be a good day tomorrow,' said Creamer, who also won the Evian Masters as a rookie. 'Hopefully, it'll be windy and tough conditions. But if not, we'll take it. It's going to be a good finish.'
 
Mi Hyun Kim wasn't so sure. A knee injury she suffered as a youngster was bothering her again.
 
'I feel a little bit hurt, so that means maybe rain tonight or tomorrow,' said Kim, who made a 35-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to move within a shot of the lead, then threw her ball to the gallery in a moment of jubilation. 'I just worry about the softer (ground). It was more slow yesterday after the rain.'
 
Bader, who has never finished higher than fifth in an LPGA event, battled her nerves all day as a large gallery gathered around every hole. Still, she eagled the second hole, a 446-yard par 5, to calm the jitters and get to 15 under, two shots ahead of Young Kim.
 
'Today was a little different story,' Bader said. 'I knew it was going to be a little more difficult with the crowd. I had a couple of shaky holes, but I made some good recoveries out of trees. I was happy with the way I held strong. I was able to get through that.'
 
Young Kim rallied with birdies at Nos. 2 and 4 and gained a two-shot lead over Bader with birdies at Nos. 8 and 9, the second on a 21-foot putt.
 
Bader kept the margin from growing with a brilliant par save at 9. After her drive landed in the first cut of rough along the left side of the fairway, her second shot settled in a greenside bunker. She then nearly holed her sand shot, the ball stopping less than 3 inches from the hole as the gallery groaned.
 
Young Kim did not make a single bogey on the first two rounds and her string continued Saturday until she reached the 412-yard, par-4 13th, which has a twin-tiered green and is one of the two most difficult holes on the course.
 
While Bader made a downhill 10-foot birdie putt that stopped briefly on the lip before dropping, Kim missed a 5-foot putt for par, and that two-shot swing knotted the two at 16 under.
 
'That was a good momentum boost for me,' Bader said.
 
'After (the) bogey, I (was) really disappointed (in) my game,' Young Kim said. 'But it's OK.'
 
Natalie Gulbis (70), Meg Mallon (68), Grace Park (67), Ai Miyazato (69) and Seon Hwa Lee (67) were 10 under. First-round leader Charlotta Sorenstam, who faltered Friday with a 73, continued the slide with a 75 and was at 4 under.
 
Divots:
Catriona Matthew holds the record for lowest three-round score at Corning, a 199 four years ago. ... Young Kim went 48 holes without a bogey. ... The leaders' total of 16-under 200 ties the low 54-hole score on tour this year.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - LPGA Corning Classic
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

    Getty Images

    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

    Getty Images

    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.