Creamer Confident in World Cup Partner Gulbis

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 19, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 WomenFriendship is the No. 1 reason that Paula Creamer chose Natalie Gulbis as a partner in the Women's World Cup of Golf played this week at the Sun City Resort in Sun City, South Africa. But it isnt the only reason. Gulbis also happens to be a very capable golfer.
 
I feel that we have similar types of golf games, said Creamer. We get along very well and we are good friends. We always have fun together and we both want to win out here. I'm not saying I don't think anyone else wants to win, but I feel very comfortable with Natalie. I think you have to be very confident in your partner as well.
 
The tournament features 20 two-women teams representing their respective countries. The event is co-sanctioned by the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour with countries qualifying from both tours. The event is a three-day, 54-hole competition with a different format on each day: 18 holes of foursomes; 18 holes of four-ball; and 18 holes of stroke play. The winners will be determined by combining each team's scores from all three days.
 
Japan returns as the defending champion as LPGA Q-School medalist and Japanese superstar Ai Miyazato will team up with new partner Sakura Yokomine. Miyazato teamed with Rui Kitada to win the 2005 Women's World Cup of Golf. The team from Sweden will be world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam with partner Liselotte Neumann.
 
The 19-year-old Creamer finished second on the 2005 ADT Official Money List with eight top-five finishes. Gulbis recorded 12 top-10 finishes, including seven top-fives.
 
The American pair has actually already been partners in a few team events, having been a part of the victorious Solheim Cup squad and also partners at the Lexus Cup. Creamer has already taken the lead in how to play the course.
 
We played our first practice round together on the golf course and we were really starting to mesh, said Gulbis. She helped me out a lot today in terms of the golf course and where to hit it.
 
Creamer sees a big difference in the Sun City layout and courses in the U.S., especially in the rough, she said. The ball either sits up or sits down and you have to hit a 58-degree wedge out. It is just one of those things.
 
Like Natalie said, it is a great golf course and a very good test of golf. You are going to have to hit demanding shots out there. You can't just hit it anywhere and you have to be on your A game.
 
Both the Americans have enjoyed their off-season, though they didnt take much time to simply relax away from the course. I practiced and worked out a lot, said Creamer.
 
I took two weeks off. It was very difficult, but I did it. The five few days of it I was struggling without my golf clubs. It definitely motivated me when I got back out there and I practiced hard and get stronger. It was a good off-season and I'm glad I have this event before Hawaii. Then I will have about three weeks before Hawaii and get back to practicing and find out what I need to do to get better after this week.
 
Gulbis pestered coach Butch Harmon for advice on how to handle the down time. At the end of last year I said Hey coach, what am I going to do in the off-season? And he said, 'Take time off,' she related.
 
I have never taken time off, so I almost got through a week, but then I went out and putted and chipped. I live in a golf community so I drive by the golf course everyday. I don't think it hurt. We love to be out there and we love what we do so it was hard to take time off.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Women's World Cup of Golf
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  • Field - Women's World Cup of Golf
  • Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

    The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

    Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

    What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

    Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

    Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

    Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

    Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

    Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.