Recari holds off Creamer for third LPGA victory

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2013, 8:35 pm

SYLVANIA, Ohio – The head-to-head duel between Beatriz Recari and Paula Creamer in the final round of the Marathon Classic on Sunday was great theater.

Don't be surprised if there's a sequel.

Recari rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole to take the lead for good and hung on to hold off Creamer for her third LPGA Tour title.

They started the day tied and spent most of the day trading the lead - as if it were match play. The duel in the heat in suburban Toledo might have been foreshadowing for when both players participate in next month's Solheim Cup at the Colorado Golf Club, Recari for the European side and Paula Creamer for the United States.

''Back and forth, back and forth,'' Recari said of their Sunday showdown. ''It totally felt like the Solheim Cup.''

Recari and Creamer, who won the tournament then known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic five years ago, started the day tied for first, three shots ahead of their nearest pursuers. They traded the lead - never separated by more than one stroke - and were still even until Recari birdied the par-3 14th.

The 26-year-old Recari closed with a 5-under 66 to finish at 17-under 267. She missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 17th, but made a clutch 5-footer for par at the 18th.

Creamer, who was seeking her 10th career win and first since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open, finished with a 67. She said she gave it everything she had.

''My goodness, there were so many great shots played today,'' Creamer said. ''Do I wish I could go back and maybe change a couple of things here and there? Yes. But I played great. Beatriz just played one shot better.''

Jodi Ewart Shadoff (66) shared third place at 13 under with Lexi Thompson, who shot a 67 and had a hole-in-one that won the 18-year-old a car.

Next came Angela Stanford (67) and Jacqui Cocolino (70) at 19 under. Meena Lee had the day's low round, a 62, and was with amateur sensation Lydia Ko (68), Toledo-born Stacy Lewis (64), Jennifer Johnson (66) and Chie Arimura (71) at 9 under.

Playing in the same threesome, Creamer took the lead twice with birdies - on the third and fifth holes - and each time Recari came right back with a birdie on the next hole to knot things. At the seventh hole, Creamer hit her approach to 6 feet and appeared to have a certain birdie, but Recari rolled in a 15-footer before she could.

Still in lockstep through 13 holes, there was a lot of fireworks on the 181-yard, par-3 14th. Recari hit her hybrid to 12 feet and Creamer's shot ended up 25 feet away. The third member of their group, Thompson, the budding 18-year-old American star-in-the-making, then holed her 6-iron to win a new car. She slapped high fives with her caddie, then happily accepted congratulations from everyone along the rope line all the way to the green.

After Creamer almost rolled in her lengthy birdie putt, Recari took the lead for good by making hers.

The two then traded birdies at the par-4 16th. Creamer's wedge to the green left her just 3 feet away, but Recari rammed in a 25-foot uphill birdie putt to negate Creamer's eventual 3 on the hole.

''I had a really good read,'' Recari said. ''I stroked it and the hole got in the way.''

The drama continued at the 17th, the first of back-to-back par-5 closing holes.

Creamer laid up with a wedge. Recari then pulled out a hybrid and uncharacteristically went for the green, pulling it slightly to the left where it ended up in the rough. Creamer then hit a wedge to 12 feet and Recari skied a flop shot that ended up 6 feet away. But after Creamer barely missed on the low side, Recari missed a chance to stretch the lead to two shots when she pushed her birdie try.

''In all that golf out there, it's kind of funny how it all comes down to the wire,'' Creamer said.

At the par-5 closing hole, Creamer found trouble in the trees to the left off the tee, but recovered to hit her second into light rough on the right side. Both then misfired on their approach shots, Creamer's running through the green to the first cut and Recari flying the green to light rough.

Recari chipped to 5 feet past the hole before Creamer missed her 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe.

With the tournament on the line, Recari then stroked in her par putt for her second victory of the season. In March, she won the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., beating I.K. Kim with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

''I was definitely shaky on the last putt,'' she said. ''I knew I had to make it to win and avoid a playoff. A playoff is always nerve-racking.''

When the Marathon Classic trophy didn't show up immediately after the awards ceremony, Recari joked she had hidden it.

''I kept it!'' she said, laughing.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.