Annika Returns Matthew Set to Defend

By Lpga Tour MediaAugust 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 WendyDUBLIN, Ohio - Catriona Matthew is going to have her work cut out for her this week as she seeks to defend her title at the Wendy's Championship for Children.
 
A year after winning her second-career LPGA title over a field that featured 12 of the top 20 players on the ADT Official Money List, Matthew now has to contend with 19 of the top 20 players this year and a field that is one of the strongest the LPGA has seen this season.
 
One of those players well deserving of a Biggie Size label is top-ranked Annika Sorenstam, who returns to the tournament for the first time since placing second in 2001. Sorenstam won the inaugural event in 1999, her only other appearance at the Wendy's Championship for Children when the tournament was contested at New Albany Country Club.
 
This week marks the Super Swede's first appearance at Tartan Fields Golf Club-tournament site since 2002 - and the first time central Ohio golf fans will have the opportunity to see her in person since becoming a one-name living legend of the game. The last time she played in 2001, Sorenstam had yet to play with the men on the PGA Tour, had yet to complete the LPGA Career Grand Slam, had yet to become an LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member and had only 23 wins and three majors on her resume, compared with the 62 and nine she has now.
 
With six wins including two majors this year, Sorenstam is the queen of the LPGA, but that means that the princess - always adorned in something pink - is 19-year-old rookie Paula Creamer, who desires to assume Sorenstam's throne, either through vacation or eviction.
 
Creamer, the only other multiple tournament winner on Tour this year, is ranked second on the ADT Official Money List and returns to the Wendy's Championship for Children for the second time in her young but prosperous career. She played last year as a sponsor exemption and finished 18th.
 
This year, she has rewritten the LPGA's record book with regard to almost anything that pertains to being the youngest or the quickest to do something, and her have-no-fear persona, albeit draped in a friendly pink color, represents the future of the game.
 
For her, the future is now, as this week she could accomplish one of her main goals set at the beginning of the year, to make the U.S. Solheim Cup Team. The squad will be announced Aug. 28 at the conclusion of this week's event, and Creamer, who is currently eighth in the standings, is a virtual lock to make the team.
 
Creamer can also wrap up the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award this week, a formality at this point as she enters the race with a 570-point lead over Meena Lee. Lee, a winner at the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open, would need to win at least four of the five remaining full-field events this year to have a shot at catching Creamer.
 
Last year, Matthew overcame a three-shot deficit on the final six holes to force a sudden-death playoff with defending champion Hee-Won Han. Matthew then made par on the first playoff hole for her second-career win, ending a 96-event winless streak.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Wendy's Championship for Children
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    Snedeker starts slow in effort to snag Masters invite

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

    Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

    Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

    Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

    "I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

    Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

    Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

    Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

    Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

    By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

    Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Getty Images

    LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

    The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

    LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

    "The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

    It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

    "He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."