Wie Creamer Exempt for 2005

By Associated PressJuly 4, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 U.S. WomenSOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- After being criticized the past several months for getting a special exemption into the U.S. Women's Open, Michelle Wie made sure she earned her way to next year's event.
The 14-year-old from Hawaii shot a four-round total of 1-over 285 at Orchards Golf Club, tying her as the low amateur with another talented teen -- 17-year-old Paula Creamer. They finished in the top 20, earning them a free pass to the 2005 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Golf Club in Englewood, Colo.
'There's always critics with everything,' Wie said. 'I think I have an easy way in next year and I'm really glad that I played really good today.'
For Creamer, wrapping up low amateur score was most important.
'There's a lot of pride that goes into it,' she said.
Creamer and Wie have developed a friendship through junior golf and didn't want to speculate about a rivalry as their careers develop.
'I don't know if there will be an ongoing rivalry,' Creamer said. 'But I like to win every tournament.'
Face-Saving Sunday
Hilary Lunke was in the final pairing Sunday last year at Pumpkin Ridge. This time, she was first on the tee as her reign as U.S. Women's Open champ came to an ugly end.
She closed with a 3-over 74 and finished in next-to-last place at 17-over 301.
'I had a terrible round yesterday,' she said of her 81. 'But I fought back and saved face.'
Lunke went 44 holes without a birdie, a streak that started on her fourth hole (No. 13) in the second round and ended Sunday on the par-5 13th. Lunke made only seven birdies all week, and three of those came at the 13th.
But say this much for Lunke: She doesn't quit.
Most people considered her victory last year one of the biggest flukes in golf. Lunke didn't help matters by making the cut in only six of 12 events this year, and her Open title remains her only top-10 finish.
She started this tournament 4 over after four holes, then fought back for a 72 in the first round. And playing only for pride on Sunday, she played the back nine in 34.
Lunke was asked if her responsibilities as defending champion were finally over when she signed her card.
'I don't think your responsibilities are ever over,' she said. 'But I'm free to go.'
An Open Lesson
Brittany Lincicome finished her first U.S. Women's Open in style.
The 18-year-old Floridian, who will turn professional in October, stunned Orchards Golf Club -- and herself -- by holing out for eagle on the 15th hole on her way to a 5-under 66 and the first-round lead, matching the lowest score ever by amateur.
The dream ended quickly with rounds of 77 and 76, and she closed with a 78 to finish at 13-over 297. But she did manage a birdie on the last hole, nearly holing out from the fairway. It stopped a foot behind the hole.
She celebrated by tossing her ball to the gallery.
'I think I learned a lot about my game and myself,' Lincicome said. 'I think I learned that if I'm not smiling and bubbly, my game's going to go south.'
And when it was all over, all she could do was smile.
Can She Hold On?
Jennifer Rosales had just made her first bogey of the day on the par-3 seventh when she went to use the bathroom. The sign said 'Players Only,' but the door was locked. A woman from the gallery rushed over and banged on the door.
'Evan. A player needs to use the bathroom. Come out now!'
At which point a young boy emerged and sheepishly walked back into the gallery, wondering why so many people were staring at him.
Final-Round Notes
Meg Mallon's last six wins have been come-from-behind victories ... Two-time Open champion Juli Inkster played the final 42 holes without a birdie, closing with a 78-79 on the weekend to finish at 15-over 299. It was her highest 72-hole score in the Women's Open since she shot 300 in 1986 at NCR Golf Club in Dayton, Ohio. ... A record crowd turned out at Orchards Golf Course for the U.S. Women's Open. The total attendance of 118,458 broke the previous mark of 116,000 for the Open set in 1998 at Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin, which included a Monday playoff.
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    Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4, then goes OB

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 8:30 pm

    Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

    Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

    A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

    A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

    Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

    Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

    His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

    But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.

    He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

    And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.

    Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

    He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.

    (More coming...)

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    Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

    Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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    McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

    McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    “I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

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    “I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

    This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

    A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

    McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

    “It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

    As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

    “It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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    Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

    By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

    PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

    She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

    Her confidence is high.

    “Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

    Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

    Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

    “One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

    “I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

    Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

    “I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

    That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.