Inkster: Pressel, Creamer 'haven't shown me anything'

By Randall MellJuly 20, 2017, 8:49 pm

Rookie Nelly Korda is definitely in the mix as a potential U.S. Solheim Cup captain’s pick, while time has just about run out for two American stalwarts trying to make the team.

U.S. captain Juli Inkster said in a media conference call Thursday that Korda’s consistency has caught her eye.

Inkster also said veterans Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel would have to do something special over the final three weeks to get in the mix.

“Would I like Paula and Morgan on the team?” Inkster said. “Yes. I know they are passionate, and I know their games, but they just haven’t shown me anything. I have to at least see something from them.”

There are just three qualifying events left before the American and European teams are finalized at the conclusion of the Ricoh Women’s British Open (Aug. 3-6).

Creamer is 20th on the U.S. point list, Pressel is 22nd. The top eight at the end of the Women’s British Open will make the team.

Creamer tied for seventh at the ShopRite Classic early in June, but she has missed the cut in four of her last five starts.

Creamer is 14-8-5 in six Solheim Cups. Only Inkster and Cristie Kerr have won more matches for the Americans in the biennial international team competition. Creamer, 30, has played on every U.S. Solheim Cup team she has been eligible for since joining the LPGA as a rookie in 2005.

Pressel, 29, has also made every U.S. Solheim Cup team she has been eligible for since joining the LPGA in ’06. She is 10-7-2 in five Solheim Cups but has missed the cut in her last two starts this year, the U.S. Women’s Open and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Creamer isn’t playing the Marathon Classic this week, and she isn’t yet qualified for the Ricoh Women’s British Open. She is scheduled to play next week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

Pressel is playing this week’s Marathon Classic and the Ladies Scottish Open. She also isn’t yet qualified for the Women’s British Open.

Korda, 18, is just 31st on the U.S. Solheim Cup points list, but Inkster said Korda is among players she is closely considering as a potential captain’s pick. She is the younger sister of Jessica Korda, who is fifth on the points list and looks like a lock to make the team.

“If you look at Nelly’s scores, she shoots good scores all the time,” Inkster said. “She never shoots a high score.

“I like her makeup. I like her fire.”

U.S. Solheim Cup points

1. Lexi Thompson, 657

2. Stacy Lewis, 452.5

3. Gerina Piller, 379

4. Cristie Kerr, 373

5. Jessica Korda, 323

6, Danielle Kang 322.5

7, Brittany Lang, 247

7, Michelle Wie, 247

9. Austin Ernst, 227

10. Lizette Salas, 216.5

11. Brittany Lincicome, 216

12. Angela Stanford, 211

13. Marina Alex, 182.5

14. Mo Martin, 178

15. Jennifer Song, 134

Points are awarded to top-20 finishers in LPGA events, with first place earning 60 points, second place getting 30, third place taking 28.5 and on down to three points for 20th place. Points are doubled in major championships.

U.S. Solheim Cup world rankings

1. Brittany Lincicome (No. 42)

2. Lizette Salas (No. 45)

3. Mo Martin (No. 50)

4. Austin Ernst (No. 53)

5. Angela Stanford (No. 54)

This list features the highest ranked Americans who aren’t among the top eight on the U.S. points list.

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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 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.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

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.


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.