LPGA's top players battling till the last putt drops

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2011, 10:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Suzann Pettersen had that look in her eye.

The NASCAR boys don’t have anything on Pettersen, who can look as if she wouldn’t mind running somebody into a wall to get a trophy.

If Yani Tseng plays with more joy than anyone in the women’s game today, Pettersen plays with more intensity.

You saw that in the dismissive sideways glance Pettersen gave the CME Group Titleholders Championship leaderboard when asked late Saturday afternoon to assess the stellar nature of the names atop it.

“I don’t really care who’s up there, to be honest,” Pettersen said. “Bring it on.”

Pettersen is part of an intriguing mix in the hunt Sunday at Grand Cypress Resort.

Sandra Gal shot a 1-under-par 71 Saturday, good for a share of the 54-hole lead with Hee Young Park (69).

At 7-under 209, they’re a shot ahead of Pettersen (68) and two ahead of Paula Creamer (71).

With the round of the day, Rolex world No. 1 Yani Tseng (66) moved just three shots off the lead with Na Yeon Choi (75), the tour’s leading money winner and Vare Trophy winner last year.

Gal won the Kia Classic this year, her first LPGA title. Park’s looking for her first title. They’ll be pushed hard with a couple dynamic pairings right in front of them.

Pettersen will be paired with Creamer, who is a match for Pettersen’s intensity.

“We push each other,” Creamer said. “Suzann is a good friend of mine. We give each other a hard time, but it’s very mutual. We have a lot of respect for each other. It’ll be a good day. Hopefully, we can go out and push each other and see what happens.”

Pettersen, 30, is No. 2 in the Rolex World Rankings and bidding for her fourth worldwide victory this year and her third LPGA title. She was a Solheim Cup star in September, leading the Europeans to an upset of the Americans.

After a sluggish first-round 73, Pettersen was tied for 38th. She answered with a 69 Friday and Saturday’s 68.

“At least I have a chance,” Pettersen said. “I’m just very happy to be in the position I am right now, because after Thursday, I was disappointed. I’m happy the way I fought my way back in the tournament.”

Creamer, 25, is looking for her 10th LPGA title, her first since the U.S. Women’s Open last summer.

After making swing changes designed to gain her more power, after a bout with shingles earlier this year and with challenges balancing her game against her personal life, Creamer said a victory Sunday would be special.

“Out of all the seven years I’ve played, I would say this has probably been the hardest year,” Creamer said. “I thought last year was difficult, but this one is much harder. It would mean a lot, just the perseverance, the patience with myself.”

Creamer battled back from stomach problems and thumb surgery last year.

Grand Cypress seems to be drawing the top players onto the leaderboard.

“That means if you win tomorrow, you beat the best players in the world,” Creamer said. “They’re all at the top, so it’s a battle of will.”

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.