Emotional week for Creamer at Locust Hill

By Randall MellJune 6, 2012, 7:57 pm

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – A lot of challenges stack up for Paula Creamer this week.

They’re both competitive and emotional.

She will be paired with world No. 1 Yani Tseng and Stacy Lewis in the first two rounds of the Wegmans LPGA Championship, a special event for Creamer that carries a lot of heartfelt memories.

Locust Hill is a place Creamer has always wanted to win. Her grandfather, Tom Creamer, whom she called “Pops,” used to drive over from his home in Ithaca, N.Y., every year to watch Paula play. He was older, and he couldn’t travel a lot, so it was a convenient trip for him. They were very close. When “Pops” got sick earlier this season, Paula withdrew from the HSBC Champions in Singapore and flew back to the United State to be by his side. He died March 19 at age 94.

“This is my first time playing Wegmans without my grandpa, `Pops,’ being there,” Creamer said. “I think that’s going to be the hardest thing, just mentally. This will be more of a mental feat out on the golf course.”

The challenge is ratcheted up in the first two rounds with Creamer in the marquee pairing with Tseng and Lewis, the hottest player on tour.

Nobody gets paired with Tseng more than Creamer. This will mark the sixth and seventh times Creamer and Tseng will play together this season.

Creamer will be looking to change the momentum in their pairings. Tseng has posted the lower round every time they’ve played this year. In fact, Tseng seems to be at her best against Creamer. Tseng is 17-under in their five pairings together this season. Creamer is 3 over.

It should be noted, though, Creamer’s emotional state wasn’t the best in three of those pairings. Creamer was paired with Tseng in Singapore the day she learned of her grandfather’s worsening illness and withdrew to fly back to be with him. She also played with Tseng in the first two rounds of the Kia Classic the week after her grandfather passed.

“I do play with Yani a lot,” Creamer said. “I have this year, that’s for sure, but she is a good person to be paired with, and with Stacy, too, to be paired with the defending champion and last week’s winner. There are always big crowds here, and with this group, I think we’re going to have a lot of people watching.”

Creamer hasn’t won at Locust Hill, but she has some strong finishes. She finished second in ’05, tied for third last year and tied for 10th in ’08.

“This is by far one of my favorite stops,” Creamer said. “I’ve made a lot of friends here.”

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Thomas: Winning hometown Honda would 'mean a lot'

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:53 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas is trying to join Rickie Fowler as a winner of his hometown event.

Thomas will play in the final group alongside Luke List on Sunday at the Honda Classic after matching the low round of the week with a 5-under 65. He is at 6-under 204, one shot back of List.

The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year is one of several residents of nearby Jupiter. After Fowler won last year, Thomas (who missed the cut) returned to the course to congratulate his neighbor on his fourth Tour title.

“I hope I give him the opportunity or the choice to come back,” Thomas said. “But I’ve got a lot of golf in front of me before I worry about him coming here.”

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

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More important to Thomas, however, is winning this event, which is played at PGA National, one of the most difficult non-major courses on Tour.

“It would mean a lot,” he said. “It means a lot to win any golf tournament, but it would mean more because of how prestigious this golf tournament is and the list of winners that have won this event, how strong of a field it is, how difficult of a golf course.

“A decent number of my wins have been on easier golf courses, so it would be cool to get it done at a place like this.”

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Woods paired with hotshot rookie Burns at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:38 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rookie Sam Burns will be in the biggest spot of his career Sunday – playing alongside Tiger Woods.

Burns, the reigning Nicklaus Award winner who turned pro after two standout years at LSU, will go off with Woods at 12:45 p.m. at the Honda Classic.

Burns, 20, who earned his Web.com Tour card via Q-School, is playing this week on a sponsor exemption, his fourth of the season. He is 13th on the Web.com money list this year, after a tie for second two weeks ago in Colombia.

Burns and Woods are tied for 11th, at even-par 210.

Sunday is an important round for Burns, who can earn a spot into the Valspar Championship with a top-10 finish here.

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List leads Honda; Thomas one back

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 11:25 pm

Luke List, one of a legion of PGA Tour players who live in Jupiter, just two exits up I-95 from PGA National, shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Honda Classic. Here's how things stand going into the final round at PGA National:

Leaderboard: Luke List (-7), Justin Thomas (-6), Webb Simpson (-6), Tommy Fleetwood (-5), Jamie Lovemark (-5), Alex Noren (-4) 

What it means: Leader List has played well this season, with no finish lower than T-26 in six starts. Thomas, of course, is the reigning Player of the Year. The next best pedigree among the leaders belongs to Simpson, winner of the 2012 U.S. Open and three other PGA Tour titles.

Round of the day: Thomas and Noren both shot 5-under 65s. Thomas made two of his six birdies in the Bear Trap (at the par 3s, Nos. holes 15 and17), while Noren played that stretch (15-17) in 1 over. Noren made his hay elsewhere, including an eagle at the last that canceled out his two bogeys.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Best of the rest: List, Simpson and Kelly Kraft all shot 66.

Biggest disappointment: After an opening 76, Jimmy Walker probably thought he was back on track with a 68 that allowed him to make the cut. Alas, the improvement was temporary, as he ballooned back to a 74 on Saturday.

Shot of the day: Tommy Fleetwood hit a fairway wood from 282 yards to within 8 feet of the cup on the 18th hole. He then made the putt for his second eagle of the day.

Quote of the day: "The course played a fair bit easier with not as much wind." - Thomas

Biggest storyline going into Sunday: List may be in the lead, but most eyes will be on Thomas, a five-time winner last year who has yet to lift a trophy in 2018. And of course, more than a few people will be keeping tabs on Tiger Woods. He'll begin the day seven shots back, trying to channel Tiger of 2012 - when he posted a 62 on Sunday at PGA National (which was good only for a runner-up finish to Rory McIlroy).

Jason Dufner in the third round of the 2018 Honda Classic. Getty Images

Dufner wears "BOSS" hat while playing with Tiger

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:20 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Jason Dufner doesn’t have a hat sponsor this year, freeing him up to wear whatever lid he wants.

That’s why he’s already worn caps with camouflage, American flags and The Notorious B.I.G.’s face.

He saved his most audacious look for Saturday at the Honda Classic – a blue cap with “BOSS” and five gold stars on the front.

“Perfect time,” Dufner said with a smile, “playing with Tiger (Woods).”

And where did he find the cap, which generated plenty of buzz on social media?

At Rickie Fowler’s house, of course.

“There’s not much behind it,” Dufner said. “I don’t have a sponsorship this year, so I’m doing whatever I want to do. This one was laying in Rickie’s house last night, so I grabbed it.”