Pettersen shares lead as Creamer and Wie lurk

By Associated PressMay 16, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LPGA Tour _newCLIFTON, N.J. ' Suzann Pettersen and Ji Young Oh seemingly wont have to worry about three-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa making a run at them in the final round of the Sybase Classic.
 
There are plenty of other challengers though, including recent major winner Brittany Lincicome, eight-time LPGA winner Paul Creamer and probably the most famous non-winner on tour, 19-year-old Michelle Wie.
 
Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer is three shots back entering the final round. (Getty Images)
Pettersen of Norway and Oh of South Korea shot 3-under 69s Saturday, taking a one-stroke lead over Lincicome after three rounds of the $2 million event that seemingly will have a new champion with Ochoa 10 shots back heading into the final round on the Upper Montclair Country Club.
 
The biggest story would be Wie winning her first title since the USGA Womens Amateur Public Links Championship in 2003. She turned pro in 2006 but that first win has eluded her.
 
She had a second in Hawaii earlier this year after blowing a three-stroke lead with eight holes to go.
 
It would mean a lot, Wie said after matching Creamers 69 to move three shots behind the leaders. I always think about it, you know, how ' that old Nationwide Tour commercial with the guy holding the little (coffee) creamer thing, thats basically how I feel. Im just basically going to go out there and try my hardest and have fun like I had the last few it days and see where it takes me.
 
If Wie is going to win, she will have to putt better. She missed seven putts of 10 feet or less in the second round and she missed four of 4 feet or less on Saturday.
 
Im a pretty good putter, just want to send the ball home, Wie said. But it will go home tomorrow; Ill make it.
 
Pettersen, who has not won on tour since capturing five titles in 2007, and Oh, a 20-year-old who won last years State Farm Classic, both jumped ahead of their playing partner, Lincicome.
 
Both had 54-hole totals of 12-under 204.
 
Pettersen played the front side in 3 under to grab a share of the lead, but she played the back nine in par. She briefly took the lead with a 10-foot birdie on No. 16 but gave the stroke back after missing the green with her drive on the par-3, 17th hole.
 
Im going to try to go out there and put myself in position off the tee, Pettersen said. I think thats the most important thing here. The greens are big enough, so keep hitting the fairways and give yourself a chance to be aggressive to certain pins.
 
Oh, who was constantly 40 yards behind Pettersen and Lincicome with her drives, still got the ball close, making four of her five birdies from 11 feet or less.
 
Were still in a pack so I feel good, Oh said. That means I have a great chance to win tomorrow.
 
Creamer, who played in Japan last week, could have been a lot closer had it not been for No. 12, a dogleg 408-yard hole. She mishit a 5-iron on her second shot and put her ball in the pond next to the green.
 
My game plan today was to move up the leaderboard as far up as I possibly could, said Creamer, who is still looking for her first win of the year, a campaign in which she has been bothered by recurring stomach ailment. I feel like I did that, even though I made the double on 12, I still made a lot of birdies and that was my plan. So I feel like Im in the right position right now.
 
The one person who did not make a move was the 23-year-old Lincicome, who captured the Kraft Nabisco Championship last month. She started the third round with a two-shot lead and shot a 72.
 
To shoot even par today and still be on the leaderboard is fantastic, said Lincicome, who has struggled with her putter after an opening-round 64. Hopefully, Ill go out tomorrow and make some putts and play like I did on Thursday.
 
Hee Young Park was four shots off the pace after a 67. The 21-year-old South Korean is looking for her first LPGA victory. Candie Kung was in seventh place at 7 under, a shot ahead of Ai Miyazato, Moira Dunn and first-round leader Helen Alfredsson, who overcame a triple bogey on the fourth hole to shoot a 72.
 
Ochoa, who won this event here the past two years and at Wykagyl in Westchester County in New York in 2006, has failed to get her game going this week. She shot a 72 and was tied for 27th place at 2 under.
 
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  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

    Getty Images

    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

    Getty Images

    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm