Kim Leads Creamer Others at Sybase

By Sports NetworkMay 21, 2005, 4:00 pm
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Christina Kim posted a 1-under 71 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Sybase Classic. Kim stands at 6-under-par 207.
Paula Creamer, Joo Mi Kim and Gloria Park each carded rounds of even-par 71. They share second place at minus-5. Heather Bowie posted a two-under 69 to move into a tie for fifth at 4-under-par 209 alongside Siew-Ai Lim, who shot a 70 on Saturday.
Christina Kim tripped to a bogey at the par-3 fourth to slide back to minus-4, but she came right back with a birdie on the par-4 fifth.
The 2004 Longs Drugs Challenge winner picked up another birdie on the par-4 eighth. Kim maintained her score as she parred her final 10 holes at Wykagyl Country Club.
'The conditions are tough out there, as they haven't been cutting the rough,' said Kim. 'Like I keep stressing, the greens are very tricky. With this course there's almost a sense that you always want to hold back because if I really rip, I could hit it five feet over the hole and have 10 feet coming back for par. I think people aren't attacking as much as they could be. That's my opinion. That's how it is with me anyway.'
Creamer, who shared the second-round lead with Gloria Park, Christina Kim and Joo Mi Kim, got off to a quick start with a birdie on the first to move two strokes clear of the field. The 18-year-old stumbled back to minus-5 with a bogey on the par-3 seventh.
The rookie bounced right back with birdies on eight and nine to get back to 7 under and the lead.
Creamer tripped to a bogey on the 12th, but atoned for that mistake with a birdie on 13. She struggled on her way in as she bogeyed the 15th and 17th to fall one shot back.
'Today was probably the worst day for my ball striking. I hit the ball terrible,' Creamer said. 'I never got any momentum going and whenever I did it was caused by negative energy. A bogey, it's energy. That pumped me up. It wasn't there today, but I think I got all the bad shots out for tomorrow.'
Park had an unusual front nine. She managed seven pars, but stumbled to a double bogey on the par-3 fourth. The 2002 champion here bounced back with an eagle on the par-4 sixth as she holed her second shot to get back to 5 under.
Around the turn, Park converted back-to-back birdies from the 10th to join the leaders at 7 under. She fell back with bogeys on 14 and 15 to share second place.
'It was a very tough day,' said Park. 'There's not many birdies out there today. That's why I was a little disappointed about today. I had an eagle and then two great birdies, and then I had a mistake on 14 and 15. I made bogey on those holes, so that was my mistake for the day. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with the way I played the other holes.'
Joo Mi Kim faltered to a bogey on the second. She made up for that mistake with a birdie on three and another on six to get to 6 under.
The 20-year-old dropped shots at seven and 12. Kim got one stroke back with a birdie on 13, but dropped another shot at 15. The Korean birdied the 18th for the third straight day to share second place.
Mi Hyun Kim and Michele Redman share seventh place at 3-under-par 210. Jeong Jang and Grace Park are one stroke further back at minus-1. Hee-Won Han stands alone in 11th place at even-par 213.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Sybase Classic
  • Full Coverage - Sybase Classic
  • Getty Images

    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

    Getty Images

    Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

    By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

    PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

    Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

    Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

    Getty Images

    Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

    PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

    With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

    After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

    “I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

    It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

    Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

    “It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

    Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

    “Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

    Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

    Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

    “It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

    Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

    “This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

    Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.