Notes Creamer Hot and Cold Davies Cold

By Associated PressJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Six birdies, four bogeys, one double bogey, an eagle, a trip to the top of the leaderboard and one trip to the bathroom to throw up: To say the least, Paula Creamer packed a lot into her second round at the U.S. Open on Friday.
When it was all over, Creamer had a wild round of 2-under-par 69, good enough to finish at 143, just three strokes out of the lead.
``Anything can happen out there, and I'm a prime example of it,'' she said.
The 18-year-old Californian, who won at Q-school last year to earn her tour card, has more than fit in in this, her first year as a pro. She has one win, one second and a pair of third-place finishes, including one at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago.
Nothing, however, compared to her round Friday. After starting with a bogey and a double, she looked to her caddie and said she was hitting the ball too well to be scoring so poorly.
Then, she proved it -- making six birdies and an eagle over the next nine holes -- the eagle came when she holed an 8-iron from 132 yards on No. 10 -- to get a share of the lead.
She couldn't enjoy it much, though, because of a wrenching stomach ache she got from gulping down some Gatorade.
``I was trying not to get sick on the golf course,'' she said. ``And it was great'' because the longest putt she faced during the stretch was only 10 feet.
A 45-minute rain delay gave her time to head to the bathroom and throw up, but it also stifled her momentum. She made three bogeys after the delay, then, in a fitting finish to the roller-coaster round, closed with a 20-foot putt to save par on No. 18.
``Just knowing that I made a lot of birdies and I am under par for my day was enough for me,'' she said, ``because now I know going into the weekend that I can do it.''
Laura Davies reached into her bag and pulled out the driver, drawing cheers from the gallery.
Though she said early in the week that there was no point in hitting driver on Cherry Hills' opening hole, Davies took a lash at the 313-yard par 4 anyway. With no hope of making the cut and little chance of cracking 80 for the second straight day, Davies figured it was worth a shot.
'Absolutely. I was hitting driver on every hole except 7,' Davies said.
Arnold Palmer made No. 1 famous by driving the green in 1960, using his birdie there to overcome a seven-shot deficit and win the U.S. Open. Davies' shot wasn't nearly as miraculous, landing about 70 yards short and left in the thick rough next to a tree. She punched through a small opening and landed on the green, but three-putted from 30 feet for bogey.
The hole typified Davies' two days at Cherry Hills.
She was 7 over in the first round Thursday when play was suspended due to weather, then closed it out Friday morning with a triple bogey, double bogey and bogey to shoot 13-over 84 -- her worst score in 66 U.S. Open rounds.
Davies opened the second round with a birdie on No. 10, then went back to making bogeys. She closed out the back 9 with a triple bogey on the par-4 18th to make the turn in 8-over 44, then had bogeys on three of her next four holes.
Davies has always been a fast player, but once things got really bad she played as if she needed to catch a flight. She hit her shots just seconds after playing partners Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome, and hit putts in succession as if they were playing by continuous putting rules.
And she kept hitting that driver.
'This afternoon was irrelevant. I needed to shoot 66 and that wasn't going to happen,' Davies said. 'I'd rather miss the cut by 10 than by one.'
As for the rest of the tournament, don't expect Davies to be tuning in.
'I don't care who wins,' she said. 'They run a great tournament, but I'm not part of it. I'll be out of here as fast as I can.'
Jill McGill grew up playing Cherry Hills and the local knowledge seemed to help her in the first round.
It didn't make much difference in the second.
After opening with a 1-over 72 on Thursday, McGill struggled with just about every aspect of her game for a 79 on Friday. She finished at 9-over par and when leader Nicole Perrot made a 4-foot putt to save par and finish at 2 under, McGill had missed the cut -- done for the weekend.
'It had nothing to do with knowing the golf course, it had to do with hitting bad shots,' she said. 'Whether you know a golf course or not, if you can't hit it straight you're going to score poorly.'
McGill's biggest problem was with the greens. After getting around in 27 putts in the first round, she needed 35 in the second, including three three-putts.
'My speed was way better yesterday and today I just didn't have a clue,' McGill said.
Among those joining McGill on the sidelines for the weekend were 2003 champion Hilary Lunke, Carin Koch, Kelli Kuehne, Beth Daniel and Davies.
On a day when scores climbed and big numbers dotted the scoreboard, Rachel Hetherington matched her best score in 24 rounds at the U.S. Open.
She started with a bogey on the par-4 first hole, but had four birdies on the front 9 to turn in even-par 35 and had three more on the back to shoot a 2-under 69. Hetherington, who also had a 69 in the second round of last year's Open, is at 1-over 143 through two rounds.
'Even when I was making bogeys, I actually hit good shots, just a little too long or a little too short,' she said. 'I am very happy with it.'
Cherry Hills' finishing hole was still giving players fits in the second round. The hole played 0.679 strokes above par and 21 players made double bogey or worse. That included Sophie Gustafson, who made a quintuple-bogey 9. Three players did, however, make birdie on the hole after a first round that didn't yield a single one. ... Brittany Lincicome had never played with Laura Davies before this week, but the two had crossed paths before. Lincicome was a standard bearer for Davies' group several years at JC Penney Classic in the Tampa Bay area.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.