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.
Related Links:
  • TGC to Re-Air Final Round
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open

  • Full Coverage U.S. Women's Open
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

    Getty Images

    Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

    By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

    PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

    Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

    Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

    Getty Images

    Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

    PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

    With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

    After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

    “I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

    It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

    Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

    “It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

    Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

    “Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

    Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

    Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

    “It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

    Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

    “This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

    Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.