Blasberg Rd 1 Leader at Corning Classic

By Associated PressMay 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Corning ClassicCORNING, N.Y. -- Nothing slowed Erica Blasberg, not even all the layers she was wearing at the start of the LPGA Corning Classic.
 
Blasberg shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday, a raw day more like early March than late May, to take a two-shot lead over Na On Min of South Korea and Karine Icher of France after the first round.
 
If this is the final Corning Classic for 51-year-old Sherri Turner, whos contemplating retirement, she seems determined to leave her favorite tour stop on a positive note. The 1988 Corning champ shot a 4-under 68, only her second round in the 60s in six events this year, and was tied for fourth with Na Yeon Choi, Sandra Gal, and 2005 Corning champ Jimin Kang.
 
Another shot back among seven players was surprising Australian rookie Anna Rawson in only her fifth LPGA event. Rawson, who also is a model, equaled her best round this year'she also opened last weeks Sybase Classic with a 69 before a second-day 84 sent her packing.
 
Paula Creamer, runner-up here last year and the only player competing with a victory in 2008, never got her game going in tough conditions and finished at 2-under 70, four shots better than defending champ Young Kim.
 
Two-time Corning winner Rosie Jones, the only repeat champion of the event (1996-97), came out of retirement to help celebrate the tournaments 30th anniversary. Playing on a sponsors exemption, Jones shot 2-over 74 in her first appearance on tour since the 2006 U.S. Open.
 
The elements made it a challenging day. No need for the customary Corning swing, that backhand motion players and spectators always have to make to shoo the pesky gnats that swarm the course each spring. The temperature was in the low 40s when play began under gray skies and players had to contend with intermittent rain instead.
 
When Creamer took her practice swings at the first tee, a steady drizzle was falling. And when she teed off moments later, the sun was threatening to break through, though that didnt prompt her to discard the black earmuffs she was wearing.
 
By the time Creamer made the turn at 1 under, the earmuffs had been replaced by sunglasses as the sun broke through now and again. Still, the thermometer hovered around 50, winds began gusting to 20 mph, and Creamer finished her round in the rain, donning those earmuffs again.
 
I had four shirts on pretty much the whole day, said Creamer, who took last week off. Its difficult trying to keep your hands warm. Youre counting down the holes. I really wanted to hit some good shots down the stretch just to get my confidence. I think my mom, who has never played a hole of golf in her life, could have pitched better than I did.
 
Through it all, Blasberg never flinched. The California native started at No. 10 and made three birdies before the turn that included a 30-foot putt at the par-4 13th hole. She went to 4 under with a tap-in birdie at No. 4, recovered from a bad tee shot at the fifth hole and made birdie from 10 feet, then hit 8-iron to 3 feet for another birdie at No. 6.
 
Blasberg completed her best round since turning pro in 2004 by making a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 9, just her 27th putt of the day. That left her atop the leaderboard, an uncustomary position for a player whose best career finish in 66 LPGA events was a tie for eighth at Turtle Bay in February.
 
I dont really put pressure on myself, like I have to get a win, said Blasberg, a two-time All-American at Arizona and Pac-10 player of the year in 2003. I know Im playing good golf, and I know the more I work on my game, eventually itll come. The only thing thats holding me back is those birdies that can save a round. Its definitely in my mind, but Im not going to dwell on it.
 
This wasnt as easy as her scorecard made it look.
 
I was a little worried this morning when it was about 38. I started out with seven layers, and it wasnt happening, Blasberg said. But my hand warmers are still working.
 
Jones, a crowd favorite and the all-time leader in money won at Corning with more than a half-million dollars, retired because her aching body couldnt withstand the rigors of the tour. For a player who relished hitting in the heat of summer, Jones did all right considering the conditions and long layoff.
 
Everything is escalated when you get under the gun, said Jones, who stumbled with bogey at the difficult par-4 first hole and never displayed the deft putting touch that helped her win more than $8 million on tour. I didnt hit the ball that solid, but I felt like I kept it up there. If I can just get the old putter rolling on these greens again. Id love to make it for the weekend. Thats when its fun.
 
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    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


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    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


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    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’”