Creamer in the hunt in Japan
Americans Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis and South Korea’s Jiyai Shin are among those getting a head start at this week’s Masters GC Ladies event on the Japan LPGA Tour. Notably, with the LPGA schedule shrinking, the JLPGA appears eager to woo more Americans and Europeans (more on that below).
Shin and Lewis opened the 54-hole event Friday with 2-under-par 70s, three shots behind the leader, Shinobu Moromizato. Creamer opened with a 72. Creamer is popular in Japan and looking for her third victory there. She won this event in 2005 and also won the NEC Karuizawa on that tour the same year.
Notably, and credit goes here to The Constructivist at the Mostly Harmless Blog, the JLPGA appears to be heavily recruiting American and European tour players for membership next year. The blog notes that with the LPGA losing so many events, the JLPGA “is almost certain to have more tournaments than the LPGA next season and might even end up with a larger total purse for the year.”
According to the site, more Asian LPGA pros are seeking dual memberships on the LPGA and JLPGA tours. Major championship winners Eun-Hee Ji and Inbee Park, four-time LPGA winner Candie Kung and standouts Seon Hwa Lee and Meena Lee appear to be among them. No prominent Americans are listed seeking dual membership. Exactly how this will impact the LPGA remains to be seen but the JLPGA seems to be a growing option for LPGA pros wanting to fill out their schedules. Creamer skipped the Michelob Ultra Open earlier this year to play a Japanese event.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.