Ochoa Webb Chasing Pressel Creamer

By Associated PressFebruary 16, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 SBS OpenKAHUKU, Hawaii -- The last time they were this close, they were packed 10 deep in a Ford Taurus and headed to the mall.
 
Morgan Pressel moved a step closer to becoming the youngest player in LPGA Tour history to win a 54-hole event, shooting a 4-under 68 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the season-opening SBS Open.
 
The 18-year-old Pressel was tied with her 2002 Junior Solheim Cup captain, Sherri Steinhauer, and former teammate Paula Creamer at 7-under 137. Steinhauer and Creamer shot 70s.
 
Lorena Ochoa
Things aren't out of her hands just yet, as Lorena Ochoa is just three off the lead. (Getty Images)
Pressel, who tied for fifth last year, she knows exactly what she needs to do to earn her first win in 32 starts.
 
'It's not like I'm protecting a big lead, so I've got to go out there and make some birdies,' she said. 'I can't do anything stupid.'
 
It was mostly overcast and breezy at Turtle Bay Resort's oceanside Palmer Course, keeping players from being too aggressive and making them guess what clubs to hit. Conditions are expected to be even windier Saturday.
 
Pressel, the 2005 U.S. Women's Open runner-up, used a strong short game and made her move in the middle holes. She holed a 7-footer for birdie on No. 9, a 25-footer on 10 and tapped in on 12 to tie Steinhauer at 6 under.
 
Steinhauer, who qualified for the tour in 1985, three years before Pressel was born, birdied Nos. 13 and 14 with short putts to regain the outright lead. But she bogeyed the par-3 15th and Pressel birdied the next hole to get to 7 under.
 
The two shared stories, laughs and 'girl stuff,' as they walked the fairways.
 
'We had a great time out there. We kept it light and fun,' Steinhauer said. 'We definitely fed off each other.'
 
During the round, Pressel told Steinhauer that her grandmother turns 71 on Saturday.
 
'I said, 'Do you realize my parents are older than your grandparents?'' the 44-year-old Steinhauer said. 'Her eyes got this big. She couldn't even fathom that.'
 
Pressel, who opened the tournament with a double bogey, said she almost slipped and called her playing partner, 'Captain.'
 
Steinhauer said she'll never forget driving the youngsters to the mall.
 
'I don't know if that was legal. They will never forget that. I think that was the highlight of the Solheim Cup,' she said.
 
Steinhauer, who last year won her second career major and seventh LPGA title at the Women's British Open, had an up-and-down round with six birdies and four bogeys.
 
Creamer, who was shared the first-round lead with Steinhauer and Paige Mackenzie, is seeking her first win since 2005 when she won twice, finished second on the money list and earned rookie of the year honors. Last season, Creamer had 14 top-10 finishes, including a second-place tie.
 
'I think I've overcome that whole, 'Let's try and win and win and win.' I just need to let it happen,' she said.
 
Dressed in black instead of her usual pink attire, Creamer slapped her putter after missing a par putt on No. 11 and bogeyed the next hole when 3-wood shot found the leftside lake. But she finished strong, birdieing the Nos. 14 and 18 holes to reach 7 under.
 
Hee-Won Han, who won two events last year and finished ninth on the money list, was a stroke back at 6 under after he second 69.
 
Julieta Granada (71), who won the season-ending ADT Championship and helped give Paraguay its first Women's World Cup title last month, was 5 under along with Pat Hurst (68) and Janice Moodie (70.
 
Karrie Webb shot her second 70 and was at 4-under 140 with LPGA player of the year Lorena Ochoa (69) and LPGA rookie of the year Seon Hwa Lee (70).
 
'I actually tried to be more aggressive but the course is playing tough. There's more wind. The greens are getting harder,' said Ochoa, who won six events last year. 'Hopefully tomorrow, I can put the ball a little closer.'
 
Ochoa had 20 top-10 finishes last year and led the money list with $2,592,872.
 
Jimin Kang (70) was at 3 under along with a group that included Natalie Gulbis (73), who is seeking her first win in 136 starts.
 
Ai Miyazato was forced to take the weekend off, along with the entourage of Japanese media following her, after shooting a 76. She was at 7 over, along with 16-year-old amateur Taylore Karle (75) and 2005 SBS champion SBS Jennifer Rosales (75).
 
Big Island native Kimberly Kim, who last year became the youngest champion of the U.S. Women's Amateur at age 14, also missed the cut after three bogeys and a three double bogeys in her round of 79. Defending champion Joo Mi Kim (74) also failed to advance.
 
The winner Saturday will take home $165,000 from the $1.1 million purse. The tournament is ending Saturday to accommodate television audiences in South Korea, where it will be Sunday and aired live by sponsor Seoul Broadcasting System.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry