Relief effort

By Randall MellJune 23, 2011, 10:06 pm

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Yani Tseng can run away.

She’s got the game to give the Wegmans LPGA Championship another runaway winner.

“With Yani in the lead, you don’t want to get too far behind because it’s tough to catch her when she is hot,” Paula Creamer said.

Tseng was radiating some heat Thursday at Locust Hill Country Club, setting the pace with a 6-under-par 66 to take the early lead. She was firing at flagsticks in an impressive display of shot making, converting eight birdies from 8 feet or less.

“When Yani’s putter gets going, you’ve got to beat her,” Creamer said. “You’ve also got to stay right with her.”

That’s just what Creamer did in the first round, coming out nearly as hot as Tseng with a 67.

The year’s second major is off to an intriguing start with two of the big names in women’s golf at the top of the leaderboard.

Tseng’s the No. 1 player in the world. She’s already won five times around the world this season, claiming two LPGA titles. She’s coming off a victory at the State Farm Classic in her last start, but she’s got some baggage trying to run away this week. She’s got the memory of being run down by Stacy Lewis in the year’s first major.

Tseng, 22, looked like she was going to slam the door on her fourth major championship at the Kraft Nabisco back in March before Lewis came from behind to beat her in the final round.

Tseng was asked Thursday if she’s motivated by that loss.

“Actually, last night, I did think a little bit about Kraft,” Tseng said.

Tseng said she shared that with a confidant before Thursday’s round, but she was reassured. She was reminded that even Jack Nicklaus finished second in more majors (19) than he won (18). She was told even the greatest players fail to convert chances and she needed to learn from that.

“It gives me more confidence trying not to put pressure on myself,” Tseng said. “It’s not a big deal. I have lots of majors to play.”

Tseng gained the No. 1 ranking for the first time in February with her hot start in Asia and Australia, where she won three times to open the season. When she teed it up at the Kia Classic, her caddie was presented a bib with “No. 1” on it, signifying her top ranking. It felt like a bulls-eye.

“Becoming the No. 1 player in the world’s a lifelong dream,” said Gary Gilchrist, Tseng’s swing coach. “When you all of a sudden attain that, what’s it mean to you? All of a sudden, everyone expects you to play well every single week. She had to accept that’s not going to happen because this is the game of golf.”

Gilchrist sees Tseng becoming more comfortable with the expectations. He sees her accepting the fact that she doesn’t have to win the LPGA Championship this week or the U.S. Women’s Open next month to reach her dreams.

“She has her whole golfing life,” Gilchrist said.

Tseng didn’t look like she was feeling any pressure starting on Thursday. She stiffed a pitching wedge to 3 feet at the second hole to set up her first birdie, then carved another wedge to 3 feet at the third hole for another birdie. She stuck a 6-iron to 5 feet at the fifth hole for a third birdie to take the tournament lead.

“This course is so tight, I just hit it on the fairways more,” Tseng said. “More chances for birdies.”

Tseng and Gilchrist huddled after the Kraft Nabisco to talk about the final round there. Tseng had a two-shot lead on Lewis going into Sunday. With the command Tseng showed in the third round, it seemed like a safe lead. Tseng was dominating statistically. She led the field in driving distance, greens in regulation and putting going into that final day, but Lewis beat her anyway.

Gilchrist told Tseng she shouldn’t beat herself up. He told her she didn’t lose so much as Lewis won. It happens.

“I tried my best, and Stacy played good” Tseng said. “I’m happy for her. That’s all I can do.”

Tseng will be looking to see if she can muster her best again this week, and if her best will be good enough.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.