Creamer Wins Playoff Over Inkster

By Associated PressMay 4, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 SemGroup ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- Paula Creamer squandered another late lead and fell into a playoff she didnt want. She got the result she desperately needed, beating Juli Inkster on the second extra hole Sunday in the SemGroup Championship.
 
One week after losing to Annika Sorenstam in a playoff, Creamer bogeyed the 18th hole at Cedar Ridge for the third straight day and wound up in overtime when the 47-year-old Inkster, trying to become the oldest LPGA Tour winner, poured in an 18-foot birdie putt.
 
Instead of getting nervous, Creamer was determined as ever.
 
I was not going to lose this week, she said. I was going to win the tournament.
 
She twice gave herself birdie putts in the playoff, making an 8-footer on No. 10 for the victory.
 
Lost in a terrific duel was the end of Lorena Ochoas winning streak. Going for a record-tying fifth straight victory, Ochoa never got on track, even in a final round absent of much wind. She closed with a 2-under 69 to tie for fifth, five shots behind.
 
Its done, Ochoa said. I tried really hard and it didnt work. Hopefully, Ill start a new streak next week.
 
Creamer was headed for the worst kind of streak.
 
She said she gave away the Stanford International Pro-Am last week in south Florida, losing the lead with a careless bogey on the 16th hole and losing to Sorenstam with a bogey on the first playoff hole when she left a 6-foot par putt short.
 
Creamer was a combined 6 over on her final three holes at Cedar Ridge this week, and looked as if she finally figured out how to finish it off until a 5-iron from the 18th fairway sailed over the green and she missed a 10-foot par putt to shoot 1-over 72.
 
Inkster, who hasnt won in two years, made her longest putt of the day for a 70, and both finished at 2-under 282.
 
But the seven-time major champion never gave herself a good look in the two playoff holes, and watching Creamer make birdie on the 10th hole was bittersweet. Earlier in the round, Inkster missed from about the same spot, one of five putts she missed inside 10 feet.
 
I never felt comfortable with the putter, Inkster said. Its funny how you can wake up and feel like you have a two-by-four in your hands instead of a putter. Its disappointing. I played good enough to win.
 
Creamer earned $270,000 for her sixth career victory, and second this year.
 
She almost let this one get away, twice three-putting for bogey, slamming the end of her putter into her bag after one on the 13th, then going over to a cart path and using a crease in the cement to check her alignment.
 
Eventually, it paid off. Theres no telling how Creamer would have responded to blowing tournaments in consecutive weeks, but she showed plenty of grit to make sure it didnt happen.
 
She definitely made me win it, Creamer said. Im done. Im mentally done right now.
 
Ochoas bid to join Nancy Lopez and Sorenstam with her fifth straight LPGA Tour victory never got off the ground. She broke par at Cedar Ridge for the first time all week, but starting eight shots behind, it wasnt even close. She had to settle for her eighth consecutive top 10.
 
I dont know why, but this was a tough course for me, especially on the greens, Ochoa said. Its the way it is. Its golf. But Im happy. I look forward to the next week.
 
Despite a welcome respite from the whipping wind that made Cedar Ridge a little more forgiving, no one challenged the final pairing. Creamer and Inkster put on quite a show, right to the very end.
 
Creamer and Inkster both played the front nine in even par, but there were momentum shifts at every turn, including two-shot swings on consecutive holes that created a brief tie for the lead.
 
Inkster had a chance to tie for the lead on the fifth until missing a 4-foot birdie putt. One hole later, she fell two shots behind when she chipped weakly and missed a 6-foot par putt. Creamer gave it right back, however, when she three-putted the seventh after Inkster hit her approach into 3 feet.
 
But on the next hole, Inkster hooked her tee shot into the hazard and had to get up-and-down from 40 yards for bogey, while Creamers 7-iron grazed the cup and settled 18 inches away.
 
They settled down with pars after that until Creamer showed some resiliency. After a three-putt bogey on the 13th, she hit a sand wedge to 3 feet for birdie on the 14th, restoring her lead to two shots until the 18th.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.