Playing with Paula and Life on the Road

By Sarah Lynn SargentApril 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
First off I want to thank everyone for all the wonderful e-mails. They have been fun to read. I have had a few questions throughout the e-mails and thought I might answer a couple of the common questions.
One question I got a lot of last week was, What was it like playing with Paula Creamer?
I am just a rookie who has been out of the spotlight my whole life. I am not someone who people know. It is probably because I was never the best or the stand-out in looks or one of those things that make you a star. I remember one of the producers from the Big Break telling me I was the perfect girl next door. Now I would not go that far, but I do normally stay under the radar. So when I got paired with Paula I knew there would be a few more people watching our group than normal. I would say that I like more rather than less people in a gallery. I am a professional athlete and as I am sure you all have heard before, it sometimes makes us focus more or gets us more excited when there are people watching. So I was looking forward to the prospect of that.
I had met Paula a couple of times before in shuttle cars and just in passing but, of course, when it came down to it she didnt remember me. So I get to the first tee and she introduced herself; I did the same and on we were. Although it would make for a great story if she was not great to play with, she was. She was very gracious and complimentary.
The best part of the day was when we made the turn and our group was right behind Laura Davies' group. She is by far the most impressive woman I have ever seen hit the ball. Herbie (my husband) and Meghan (the girl Herbie caddies for) had played with Laura the first two days when she had shot a total of 12 under. Herbie told me how incredible it was to watch her and it sure was. One of the tees was backed up because it was a somewhat reachable par-4. I got to the tee just as Laura was about to hit. What she did next was awesome. She took a wedge and made a divot with it. She didnt use a tee; she used the back of the divot and put the ball on that. She then took out her driver and bombed the ball just left of the green but pin high. It was great to watch. I only hope one day to get paired with her and get to watch a whole round!
Another question I get often is, What is it actually like traveling for several weeks in a row?
There are many business men and women who travel for days or maybe a week at a time, but most of the time they make it home for a few days. I am in Morelia, Mexico this week and it is the first of seven weeks where I will not go home but for two hours, maybe to get my car. This is where I am very lucky to have Herbie, my husband, on the road with me. Not many husbands will put up with not seeing their wives for seven weeks in a row. But as far as everything else goes it is pretty easy once you get into a routine.
I am not fully sponsored so because of that I stay in host housing. For those of you who dont know what that is; people open their homes and have girls who dont want to stay in a hotel, for whatever reason, stay with them. I will say that it is a lifesaver. For at least a couple of weeks out of the long trek you feel like you are at home. It is nice because not only do you get to meet great people but also you have access to a kitchen and laundry. These are two things I took for granted before I started playing golf. I love to eat out, but everyday for seven weeks is a little much. I hate to do laundry, but I really hate to do laundry in a laundry mat. I dont know if you guys have ever spent a couple of hours in one but I will tell you I have been to some that I would never step foot in again. Just for example, in Syracuse, NY last year it was about 90 degrees and, of course, there was no air conditioning in the wonderful laundry mat. The dryers were blasting away and so were the mosquitoes all over my body. I determined that night that I just must be so sweet that all the bugs wanted my blood! This is something you dont have to worry about when you are staying in host housing.
Another thing that slips through people's minds is the fact that even though you are not home bills still come. Oh, yes, the wonderful bills. Lucky for me I have a mother- and father-in-law who get our mail, take care of our yard and love our dogs while we are gone. So we leave a check book and Linda, my mother-in-law, pays the bills and calls us to let us know the damage! There are just so many things that when you are gone for weeks at a time you forget about.
All the little troubles you have to go through when you are on the road for seven weeks (or even longer sometimes), would not make me love the game of golf any less.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.