Park Wins Womens Open Creamer Crumbles - COPIED

By Associated PressJune 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
U.S. WomenEDINA, Minn. -- Two weeks away from her 20th birthday, Inbee Park became the youngest winner of the U.S. Womens Open on Sunday by closing with a 2-under 71 as everyone around her faded away at Interlachen.
 
Park didnt make a bogey over the final 10 holes, pulling away with three clutch putts early on the back nine and building a four-shot lead going to the final hole. She finished with a tap-in birdie, and a few of her fellow South Koreans doused her with beer.
 
The victory came 10 years after Park took up the game, inspired by watching Se Ri Pak win the Womens Open at Blackwolf Run to become the youngest champion at age 20.
 
Its really an honor and very special for me that I won the event 10 years after I start playing, Park said. Everything happened so fast. Its scary. I really tried to stay calm, but it was so exciting, I couldnt do it. This is my day.
 
Park finished at 9-under 283 and earned $585,000 from the richest purse in womens golf. Her four-shot victory over Helen Alfredsson of Sweden, who shot 75, was the largest in the Womens Open since Karrie Webb won by eight shots at Pine Needles in 2001.
 
No one imagined the only drama on the back nine would come from Annika Sorenstam, who was never in contention competing in her final Womens Open before retirement at the end of the season.
 
Her final shot was a 6-iron from 199 yards that tumbled into the cup for eagle.
 
Leaving with another great memory, thats for sure, Sorenstam said after closing with a 78 to finish 12 shots behind in a tie for 24th. Maybe not the one I had in mind, but Ill take it.
 
Such highlights were rare for everyone else.
 
Stacy Lewis, trying to become the first player to win a major in her professional debut, took double bogey from 80 yards away on the par-5 second hole and struggled all afternoon with her lag putting. She staggered home to a 79 and tied for third at 4-under 288 with Angela Park (73) and In-Kyung Kim (75).
 
I finished third at the U.S. Open, my first pro event, Lewis said. Its kind of hard to be upset.
 
An even greater collapse came from Paula Creamer, 21, who said her experience from six LPGA Tour victories would be a big advantage. She then shot 41 on the front nine, including two double bogeys, and wound up with a 78 to tie for sixth.
 
Creamers final round scoring average in the U.S. Womens Open is 75.2.
 
Its probably the most disappointed Ive been in a very long time, she said.
 
Park was the only player to break par all four days at Interlachen, a course that showed its strength in the final round with 20 mph wind that made it tough to keep on the right side of the hole.
 
The lowest score Sunday belonged to 15-year-old Jessica Korda, the daughter of 98 Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda, who caddied for her. She shot a 69 and tied for 19th.
 
Park became the third player in the last six years to make the U.S. Womens Open her first LPGA Tour victory, and it was reminiscent of Birdie Kims victory three years ago at Cherry Hills, minus the dramatic bunker shot for birdie on the 72nd hole.
 
There were so many possibilities for great story lines going into the final round'Lewis and her remarkable recovery from back surgery that almost ended her career before she got to college; Creamer, looking poised to finally get a major to go with her marketing campaign; Alfredsson, who blew a six-shot lead at the Womens Open in 1994, now with a chance for redemption at 43.
 
Instead, it was Park who stole the show by simply playing the best golf.
 
She was tied for the lead with Lewis after a bogey on the 234-yard eighth hole, falling to 7 under, then escaped with a nifty par on the diabolical ninth hole after her approach rolled off the front of the green.
 
In the group behind her, Lewis three-putted from about 60 feet on the eighth, then went long of the ninth and did well to make bogey. Equipped with a two-shot lead, Park poured it on.
 
She holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole to expand her lead to three shots, holed an 8-foot putt to save par from the bunker on the par-3 12th, then chipped to 6 feet and made birdie on the par-5 13th to reach 9 under, giving her a four-shot lead with five holes left.
 
Even under such pressure, she was steady to the very end.
 
Park continued international dominance of the LPGA majors, as Americans have won only six of the last 31.
 
Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, who had finished no worse than third in the last four majors and won two of them, never got on track at Interlachen and closed with a 74 to tie for 31st.
 
The loudest cheer of the week at Interlachen was saved for Sorenstam, and it was more than ceremonial.
 
Sorenstam is retiring at the end of the season, and no major has defined her career more than the Womens Open, which she has won three times. But she was headed for an 80 in her final round after driving into the rough on the par-5 18th and having to chip out.
 
Then came her grand finale. Her 6-iron bounded onto the green and dropped in for an eagle and a 78.
 
I didnt want to shoot 80 or above, she said. And to hole a shot from 200 yards, thats kind of the last thing you think about. But obviously, Ill take it.
 
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."