Creamer Wie Take Spotlight from Sorenstam

By Associated PressJuly 26, 2005, 4:00 pm
04 Weetabix WomenSOUTHPORT, England -- Call it the LPGA Teen Tour.
Two months after going through high school graduation, 18-year-old Paula Creamer won for the second time this year with an eight-shot victory in the Evian Masters. In her last event before she starts the 11th grade, 15-year-old Michelle Wie is looking to build on her third runner-up finish this season.
The Womens British Open could be set to crown its first teenage champion'unless, of course, 34-year-old Annika Sorenstam comes through.
Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer put herself well ahead of Annika Sorenstam and the rest of the pack in France.
The worlds best women have arrived at Royal Birkdale for the 30th edition of the Weetabix Womens British Open, and fifth since it became a major on the LPGA Tour. It starts Thursday on the 6,463-yard, par-72 links course that also is part of the mens British Open rotation.
Sorenstam will try to become only the fourth woman to win three majors in one year. But the spotlight is shared with emerging stars, like Wie and Creamer, who are making their British Open debuts.
Creamer is on the verge of making the U.S. Solheim Cup team and is third on the LPGA money list at $1.1 million. Wie is an amateur who has turned down paychecks totaling $530,000 this year'that would place her 13th on the money list in just six tournaments.
Laura Davies won her only British Open in 1986 -- before Wie and Creamer were born. She believes so many young stars show that womens golf is stronger than ever.
It doesnt get much better, Davies said. At the U.S. Open, there was an 18-year-old, a 17-year-old, 15-year-old and I think another 17-year-old basically in contention, three out of four of them amateurs. Annika wasnt even in contention. And it had triple the (TV) ratings of the mens tournament that week.
Karen Stupples, who won last years British Open for her first major in her sixth season as a pro, said the newcomers have the talent to make a big impact on the Royal Birkdale links.
Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie are undoubtedly phenomenal talents, she said. They are very fortunate that they are able to do it so young, to have the right coaching and right knowledge given to them at an early age.
But it doesnt stop players like Laura, myself, Meg Mallon, Juli Inkster, Beth Daniel playing great golf as well.
Stupples, who stunned her rivals last year by starting her final round with an eagle and double eagle on two par-5s at Sunningdale, said experience could be vital in dealing with the tricky links course. Scores could go into the 80s if the wind blows. The forecast is for showers and thunderstorms.
Sometimes its just about survival, it doesnt have to be pretty golf but functional golf, Stupples said. Maybe being a bit older and a little bit more patient, we might know a few more shots. But I wouldnt put anything past these young girls.
The field of 150 also 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. That gave her a two-shot victory over 17-year-old Morgan Pressel and 19-year-old Brittany Lang, neither of whom are at Birkdale.
Wie is playing her fourth major as a sponsors exemption.
Australias Karrie Webb is chasing her fourth British Open title. She won her first one 10 years ago at age 20, making her the youngest winner in tournament history.
That could change Sunday.
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  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

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    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

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    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

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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.