Creamer Set for First Title Defense

By Lpga Tour MediaMay 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Sybase ClassicReturning to the Sybase Classic presented by Lincoln Mercury will be a memorable trip for 19-year-old Paula Creamer.
A successful 17-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole was all Creamer needed last year to become a Rolex First-Time Winner on the LPGA Tour, just four days before graduating from high school.
Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer is set to defend her title at the Sybase Classic, her first-ever win on the LPGA Tour.
Creamer went into the final round down by one-shot to leader Christina Kim. Kim could not hold on in the final round, as she opened with four bogeys on the front nine and finished fourth. Jeong Jang and 2002 winner Gloria Hee Jung Park also challenged Creamer, as they were all tied for the lead, but Creamer's birdie putt on 18 sealed the win.
Not only did Creamer notch her first victory on the LPGA Tour, at 18 years, 9 months and 17 days, she also made history, becoming the youngest winner of a multi-round event in the history of the LPGA. The win also propelled the 'Pink Panther' into an instant star on Tour and a role model to aspiring junior golfers, which is now apparent by the number of young girls dressed in pink attire 'like Paula' who can be seen each week at LPGA Tour events.
Creamer went on to have a remarkable 2005 season with 11 top-10 finishes, including another victory and four runner-ups. Her second win came at the Evian Masters, where she became the youngest and fastest player to reach $1 million in career earnings. Creamer ran away with the 2005 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race and finished second on the ADT Official Money List money list with $1,531,780, an LPGA record for the most money earned by a rookie. She also won two events on the Japan LPGA (JLPGA).
In her second year on Tour, Creamer has recorded four top-10 finishes in nine starts, which includes a tie for fourth at last week's Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill. She currently ranks 10th on the ADT Official Money List with $282,785 in earnings this season.
World No. 1 Annika Sorenstam also headlines the event and looks to challenge the 144-player field. Sorenstam makes her first appearance at the Sybase Classic presented by Lincoln Mercury since the 2002 season, when she finished third. A two-time winner at Wykagyl Country Club, Sorenstam recorded victories in 1998 and 2000 and also finished second in 1997.
Sorenstam, who currently ranks sixth on the money list with $475,311, has recorded one victory in 2006, at the MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta, and three other top-six finishes in six starts.
Sorenstam has had a couple of extra days to prepare for the Sybase Classic presented by Lincoln Mercury after missing the cut at last week's Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill. It was Sorenstam's first missed cut since the 2002 Weetabix Women's British Open, a span of 68 events. It was also her first missed cut at a non-LPGA major since she failed to play the weekend at the 1994 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. It was only her ninth missed cut on the LPGA Tour.
The Swede joins 65 other international players who represent 22 countries outside of the United States at this week's event. One of those players is Lorena Ochoa, who has competed in nine events this year and has one win and five runner-up finishes. The star from Mexico ranks second on the ADT Official Money List to Karrie Webb with $919,888 in earnings. Webb is not playing this week, so Ochoa could become the first player this year to eclipse the $1 million mark.
Seven past winners of the tournament will compete for the $1.3 million purse, including two-time winners Sorenstam and Sherri Steinhauer, along with Beth Daniel, Hee-Won Han, Juli Inkster, Park and Michele Redman.
LPGA Tour rookies Ashley Hoagland and Sarah Jane Kenyon are the sponsor exemptions for this week's Sybase Classic presented by Lincoln Mercury. Kenyon will make her first LPGA Tour start while Hoagland will make her second appearance after playing two weeks ago at the Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefiting the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Sybase Classic
  • TV Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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.