Rains soften Oakmont scores drop

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2010, 4:33 am

2010 U.S. Women

OAKMONT, Pa. – Before the U.S. Women’s Open began, this seemed like a safe prediction: No golfer will shoot a 65 at tough-to-crack Oakmont Country Club, one of the world’s most difficult courses.

Somehow, it happened.

Song-Hee Kim, down 14 shots to leader Paula Creamer when the final round began, shot by far the lowest round of the tournament with a 6-under 65 on Sunday. Until then, the best round was Brittany Lang’s 69 in the first round. Kim had seven birdies and a single bogey.

Na Yeon Choi was right behind her with a 66 that tied her for second with Suzann Pettersen.

There were 13 sub-par rounds Sunday as a course softened up by Friday’s rain finally yielded some good scores. By comparison, there were only 10 such scores combined in the first three rounds, with only two in the second round.

Even with all those good scores, Creamer – the winner by four shots – was the only golfer to finish below par for the tournament at 3-under 281.

Blame the overall high scores on the hot, dry weather that preceded the tournament and baked Oakmont’s already fast greens. Credit the good scores for the two inches of rain that fell Friday and pushed back most of the second round to Saturday.

“Everybody’s more comfortable with the greens’ speed,” said Jiyai Shin, whose 3-under 68 tied her for fifth. “A couple of days ago was the huge rain, so after that rain the green’s a little bit soft. So we can hit, (take) aggressive shots at every hole, so that makes for good scores.”

Lang, who tied for fifth, didn’t want to guess what the scores might have been if the dry weather and 90-degree heat had continued all weekend.

“If they don’t get that rain, the scores would have been way higher, no question,” she said. “No question.”

NOT HER TIME: The youngest golfer to win the U.S. Women’s Open was Inbee Park, who was 19 when she won two years ago.

Imagine someone four years younger doing it.

Alexis Thompson did, even if reality didn’t match her vision.

After her 1-under 70 on Saturday left her five shots off the lead, Thompson –  only 15, but playing in her fourth Women’s Open – nonchalantly suggested she thought she could win.

Any realistic chance of doing so vanished with her double bogey Sunday on No. 1, putting her seven shots out of the lead. However, the self-confidence and poise she displayed suggested there will be many more majors awaiting her.

Thompson, known as Lexi, tied for 10th after a final-round 73 left her at 6 over for the tournament.

She’s already getting an early start on her career. Thompson recently turned pro, doing so a year earlier than Michelle Wie did. She plans to petition the LPGA to allow her to play full-time, even though the tour doesn’t permit those younger than 18 from doing so.

“She hits it a long way,” said playing partner Suzann Pettersen, who tied for second. “She’s 15 and she’s the best 15-year-old I’ve ever seen.”

KERR-PLUNK: There was no repeat major win for Cristie Kerr, two weeks after her record-setting rout in which she won the LPGA Championship by 12 shots.

Kerr was close to the lead after starting 72-71, but a third-round 75 put her six shots out. Another 75 made certain she wouldn’t contend.

Kerr tried to make a move Sunday with birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, but she followed that surge with four bogeys during the final six holes of her front nine.

“Umm, I played terrible,” Kerr said. “I chunked the 3-wood, I topped the 3-wood. So something’s going a little haywire in my swing. I’ll work it out with my coach.”

Asked which holes gave her the most problems, she said, “All of them. Even hitting good shots, I just ended up making mistakes.”

Kerr won the 2007 Women’s Open, the last time an American won the most prestigious tournament in women’s golf before Creamer won.

“I think we can all finally stop answering, when are the Americans going to come up to the challenge?” Kerr said. “Because winning the last two majors is pretty impressive.”

MAJOR TITLES: The major winners to date this year are Creamer, Kerr and Yani Tseng, the Taiwan native who won the Kraft Nabisco.

Creamer won the U.S. Open after tying for 42nd in the LPGA Championship. Tseng tied for 10th in the U.S. Open and 19th in the LPGA Championship.

The final major of the year is the Women’s British Open in Southport, England, from July 29-Aug. 1.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

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 GolfChannel.com 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.