Yani Tseng tops Paula Creamer at Corning Classic

By Associated PressMay 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2006 Corning ClassicCORNING, N.Y. ' The LPGA Corning Classic certainly received a memorable farewell.
 
Just when Yani Tseng seemed headed for a playoff Sunday with South Korean Soo-Yun Kang, Tseng watched in amazement as Kang missed a 3-foot par putt on the final hole.
 
Tseng, 2008 LPGA rookie of the year, finished at 21-under 267, one shot better than Kang (69) and Paula Creamer (65).
 
Yani Tseng
Yani Tseng won for the first time since the 2008 McDonald's LPGA. (Getty Images)
Japanese rookie Mika Miyazato (70) finished alone in fourth at 19 under, while Song-Hee Kim (67) of South Korea, Ai Miyazato (68) of Japan, Sandra Gal (69) of Germany and Vicky Hurst (69) were another shot back.
 
It was the second career victory for the 20-year-old Tseng, who won the 2008 McDonalds LPGA Championship in a four-hole playoff with Maria Hjorth.
 
Ive been waiting for a year to win a tournament, Tseng said. I wrote my (winning) speech in January. Every time I get so close and I dont win. This week I just let it go.
 
Saturdays third round was simply amazing as 11 players shot 7 under or better, with Tseng and Mika Miyazato each tying the course record with 10-under 62s and Hurst making 10 birdies en route to a 63.
 
It seemed that Juli Inksters tournament-record score of 24 under in her 2003 victory might be threatened after an early-morning shower gave way to sunshine for the fourth straight day.
 
But despite another day of ideal scoring conditions, the leaders failed to pull away from the closely bunched field. Kang and Miyazato began the day tied at 17 under with eight other players within three shots.
 
Creamer made the biggest run, and could only bemoan a couple of missed short birdie putts on the front nine. She missed an 8-footer that slid just 2 inches left of the hole at the par-3 third hole and for the first time in four rounds failed to take advantage of the easy par-5 fifth hole when her drive landed under a stand of trees along the left side and she parred the hole she had birdied the first three rounds.
 
Still, Creamer rallied to 17 under with birdies at Nos. 10 and 14 and was within two shots of the lead after Kang bogeyed No. 10.
 
Creamer kept up her charge, moving within one shot of Kang with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17. After driving near the left rough at the closing hole, her second shot clipped a tree and landed on the front of the green, 60 feet from the pin. Needing a birdie to tie for the lead, Creamer calmly rolled in a stunning putt as her 91-year-old grandfather watched from a balcony behind the green.
 
Thats probably one of the longest putts Ive ever made. I hope he didnt have a heart attack, said Creamer, who glanced up at her grandfather and smiled broadly when the putt dropped and the big gallery roared. That last little ridge, I was thinking, This has a chance, this has a chance.
 
It was the perfect putt, the perfect everything. It gives me goosebumps still thinking about it, Creamer said. It was a great finish. I fought hard. I could have been a lot lower, but thats just the way it is. It kind of felt the long one was all the putts I missed.
 
Tseng began the round with a bogey, and after eagling the second hole reeled off 12 pars and a birdie. Desperate for a spark with the holes dwindling, she used driver at par-4, 304-yard 16th hole and drove the green, the ball stopping 12 feet from the pin as Tseng high-fived her caddie.
 
Tseng settled for a tap-in birdie when her eagle putt stopped beside the hole, but she was tied for the lead at 20 under.
 
Meanwhile, Kang birdied No. 12 to get back to 20 under and gained a one-shot lead with another birdie at No. 16. Tseng, playing in the group ahead, responded with birdie at No. 17 to tie it at 21 under.
 
Kang drove under the left trees at the 17th and managed to punch onto the green with a deft second shot and save par.
 
The Corning Classic, the lone event on the LPGA with the same title sponsor and held at the same venue since its inception, ends a 31-year run at Corning Country Club, the victim of the depressed economy.
 
Corning Inc. announced a month ago that it would no longer be able to continue as title sponsor, and that was enough to kill the tournament, which began in 1979 and has been staged at Corning Country Club every year.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.