Notes USGA not hiding the hoses for US Womens Open

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2010, 2:04 am

2010 U.S. WomenOAKMONT, Pa. – Normally, the USGA hides the water hoses located near all greens during any U.S. Open to keep them firm, fast and, to some golfers, fiercely unfair.

The 90-degree heat that’s enveloped Oakmont Country Club this week, and is forecast to continue through Thursday during the U.S. Women’s Open, means water is necessary to prevent the delicate greens from going brown.

Mike Davis of the USGA said firmness readings are being taken three times a day on nine quadrants on every green. When water is needed, it’s being applied. Even if American golf’s governing body believes the greens are perfect as they are.

“If we see balls starting to hit those greens (on Thursday), well-struck balls, and literally bouncing in the front third and bouncing the whole way over, we’d say, ‘Wait a minute,’ ” Davis said Wednesday. “We need more water on those greens. We’re happy with the way the course is playing and if the scores are higher or lower than we thought, we’re not going to change things.”

Currently, the greens are running in the high 13s and low 14s on the speed-gauging Stimpmeter, or slightly lower than the high 14s and low 15s of the men’s 2007 U.S. Open. Depending on pin placement, some greens slope away from the golfer, which has caused some practice-round putts to skitter off the greens entirely.

“The greens are very difficult, the undulation as well as the speed,” former world No. 1-ranked Ai Miyazato said. “Those two combinations I’ve never really experienced before. … My imagination and putting here really didn’t match. They broke way more than I imagined.”

MIYAZATO’S MOMENTUM: Until Cristie Kerr’s commanding 12-shot victory in the LPGA Championship, no women’s golfer had been better this year than four-time winner Miyazato. She leads the LPGA money winners and was atop the world golf rankings until being overtaken by Kerr.

Miyazato tied for third in the LPGA Championship, finishing up with a 66. She won the ShopRite Classic the week before the LPGA Championship.

Miyazato’s biggest challenge is focusing on making par on many holes, rather than thinking birdie as she does in most tournaments.

“I think I need to change my mind,” she said. “I’m not going to make birdies like every hole. It’s just trying to make par – or maybe bogey.”

CREAMER’S DISCOMFORT: Paula Creamer, a 10-time LPGA Tour winner at age 23 who finished sixth in the past two U.S. Women’s Opens, is experiencing a challenging year. She recently underwent surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament, an injury that commonly requires months of healing.

To compensate, Creamer is hitting many of her practice range shots off tees to avoid the discomfort that occurs when her clubs strike the ground. It’s a difficult way to prepare for the toughest tournament in women’s golf.

“The hard part is when you play, you can’t practice as much,” she said. “When I practice, I can’t play as much. So I have to give a little, take a little back. It’s been very difficult, very frustrating. When you feel good but you can’t do what you do, it’s tough.”

Creamer has played in four events this year, making the Top 10 in two with one seventh-place finish.

SWINGING FOR CHANGE: Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea overtook Kerr to win last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Saucon Valley, then set out later in the year to configure her swing and her game. The idea was to get more distance and better control of her shots, but the results have been disappointing.

Ji hasn’t finished higher than 17th in her 10 tournaments this year, and she placed 51st or worst three times.

“I changed my swing a lot,” she said. “The first couple of tournaments I play really bad, but I’m getting better right now. This tournament (after) last year, I have more confidence I can play really good.”

Ji was among those affected by the heat, which forced her to shave considerable time off each day’s preparation to make sure she didn’t become too fatigued.

WIE’S BUNKER MENTALITY: Michelle Wie is getting her first look at Oakmont’s famed Church Pew bunkers, the course’s signature and most sinister feature. The 102-yard-long bunker between the No. 3 and 4 fairways is 42 yards across and, depending on the lie, can take multiple shots to exit for the unlucky golfer who finds herself knee-deep in them.

The church pews got their names from the grass strips that run across the bunker.

“Whoever thought of – the designer who thought of putting them in – it’s a pretty smart idea,” Wie said. “It’s pretty intimidating when you’re looking at it and you see the lines and it’s not just a couple of bunkers, it’s all one big bunker. It brings a unique characteristic to the course and, hopefully, I could just look at them and not be in them all week.”

That’s Wie’s advice to any golfer who takes on Oakmont: stay out of the 210 bunkers.

“It definitely has a British Open feel to it where you don’t want to be in the bunkers,” she said.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.