Annika Creamer Among Leaders

By Sports NetworkOctober 13, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Samsung World ChampionshipPALM DESERT, Calif. -- Paula Creamer posted a 4-under 68 Friday to move into a share of the lead after two rounds of the Samsung World Championship.
 
Creamer was joined at 6-under-par 138 by Sophie Gustafson (70) and first-round co-leader Annika Sorenstam (71).
 
Women's British Open winner Sherri Steinhauer fired the low round of the day to move into fourth place. She posted a 5-under 67 to end at minus-5.
 
Lorena Ochoa, who shared the lead with Sorenstam after the first round, struggled to a 1-over 73. She shares fifth with Kraft Nabisco champion Karrie Webb (69).
 
Michelle Wie had another adventurous day en route to an even-par 72. She double-bogeyed the third, but got those strokes back with birdies on five and eight.
 
The 17-year-old birdied 12 and 14, but bogeys on 13 and 15 left her at plus-2. She finished there as she parred the final three holes. Wie is tied for 15th with Natalie Gulbis.
 
Early on during round two, it looked like the Swedes -- Sorenstam and Gustafson -- were going to run away from the field at Bighorn.
 
Sorenstam, the defending champion and five-time winner here, birdied the second, then got up and down for birdie from a bunker on the third to move to 7 under. She nearly holed her second shot at the par-4 fifth, but settled for a kick-in birdie that got her to minus-8.
 
Gustafson opened with a birdie on the third. She birdied the fifth and sixth, then made a 3-footer for birdie on seven to join Sorenstam at minus-8.
 
The 32-year-old Gustafson stumbled to a bogey at the par-3 eighth to fall out of the lead. Sorenstam also bogeyed the eighth, then faltered to a double-bogey on nine to slide to minus-5, two behind Gustafson.
 
Sorenstam inched back within a stroke when she sank a 6-footer for birdie on 12. Gustafson came up short of the 13th and was unable to get up and down for par. Sorenstam pitched to 12 feet on 13, but missed the par-saving putt to again fall one back.
 
Gustafson could not get up and down from a bunker on 14 and that bogey dropped her to minus-5. She shared the lead with Steinhauer and Sorenstam at that point.
 
Steinhauer birdied the third and fifth and sank a birdie effort on the par-3 eighth. Around the turn, Steinhauer birdied 12 and 15 to move to minus-5. She parred the final three holes to finish there and close a bogey-free round.
 
Creamer, meanwhile, carded three birdies on the front nine to climb to minus-5. She parred six in a row from the eighth, before struggling to a bogey at 14.
 
The reigning LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year birdied the 15th to get to 5 under and into a share of the lead with Gustafson, Steinhauer and Sorenstam.
 
Both Gustafson and Sorenstam birdied the par-5 15th to move to minus-6. Gustafson stumbled to a bogey on 16 as her 14-foot par putt lipped out.
 
Creamer, playing one group ahead of Gustafson, closed with a 12-foot birdie putt to get into the clubhouse at minus-6.
 
Gustafson rebounded from her bogey on 16 by making a 4-foot birdie putt on 17 to join Sorenstam and Creamer at minus-6.
 
Sorenstam missed a short par putt on 17 to slip one back. She atoned for that mistake by knocking her approach within inches of the hole at the last. Sorenstam tapped in the birdie putt for her share of the lead.
 
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days engaging pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGCC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.