Creamer Leads Ochoa Six Back

By Associated PressMay 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 SemGroup ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- Paula Creamer and Lorena Ochoa played together for the first 36 holes at the SemGroup Championship, battling a vicious wind that came from two directions and getting two very different results.
 
Creamer has made enough birdies that another sloppy finish Friday'two bogeys on the final three holes'still left her satisfied. She shot an even-par 71 and was the only player remaining under par at Cedar Ridge, giving her a one-shot lead over Ji Young Oh.
 
Ochoa was six shots behind after a 3-over 74, the first time since the 2006 Womens British Open that she has had two rounds over par in the same tournament. Even more troublesome was that Ochoa, going for her record-tying fifth consecutive LPGA Tour victory, finished the second round without a birdie.
 
It was the first time in more than two years Ochoa played a round without a birdie, and she has gone 26 holes without a birdie or an eagle at Cedar Ridge, surprising for a player who came into this tournament averaging 5.39 birdies a round.
 
I dont know what happened, Ochoa said. I dont feel bad. Its hard to hit the ball close to the hole. I have nobody to blame. I didnt give myself enough birdie chances.
 
Not surprisingly, both players had different reactions to a forecast for less wind on the weekend.
 
Ochoas brown eyes came to life, followed by a smile. Thats good news, she said.
 
Creamer pursed her lips, clearly disappointed. She prefers tough conditions, when there is a premium on par, especially when she has a six-shot cushion over a player who has won six of her last seven tournaments. Told of Ochoas reaction, Creamer laughed.
 
Because she wants to go out and make as many birdies as she can, Creamer said.
 
They both arrived at one conclusion'theres a lot of golf still to be played.
 
Its not over, Ochoa said. Tomorrow is every important.
 
Creamer was at 1-under 141 and will be in the final group with Oh, who shot a 72 in the afternoon as the wind began to subside enough to let standardbearers back on the course.
 
Another big contrast was the duo at 1-over 143'Brittany Lang (71), who hits it a mile, and Leta Lindley (72), who hits it an inch. Lindley lost track of the number of metal clubs she hit in wind so strong she could hear it inside her hotel room.
 
Well, I carry six metals, she said. So theres a good chance Im going to hit one of them.
 
Ai Miyazato (73) was in the group at 144. Na On Min, who challenged at the LPGA Championship last year, had a tournament-best 68 to join the group at 3-over 145 that included Juli Inkster, who finished double bogey-bogey for a 73.
 
If not for her shaky finishes, Creamer might really be in control.
 
The wind came out of the west, with morning temperatures so cool that defending champion Mi Hyun Kim covered her hands with the head covers from her metals. Creamer made three birdies, including a 5-iron from a bunker to 15 feet on the 11th hole, and a 30-foot putt after the wind knocked down her wedge to the par-5 14th.
 
For the second straight day, her most important shot might have been a bogey.
 
Creamer hit a 3-wood for her second shot on the 401-yard fourth hole, which plays uphill and into the wind, over the green and down a slope to a muddy patch of thin grass. She tried a flop shot that came out hot, catching a ridge and going back into the fairway. From just off the green, more than 100 feet away, she putted up to 8 feet and escaped with bogey.
 
Those are bigger putts than birdies out here, Creamer said. Then again, when you get those chances for birdies, you have to be able to capitalize on them, because there arent that many.
 
Ochoa knows that all too well.
 
She had only three birdie putts inside 15 feet, and didnt make any of them. Her best opportunity was on the downwind, par-5 14th, when her 3-wood was just short of a bunker. She pitched too strong, and the ball rolled down a slight ridge to some 20 feet. Ochoa stooped over and clasped the back of her head, and when her birdie putt missed, she gave her thigh a hard, loud slap.
 
The bogeys came from a 7-iron she had to punch low under tree limbs and through the green on No. 3, a hybrid on the tough fourth hole that sailed 20 yards right of the green, and the 18th, when she hooked a tee shot into a bunker, hit a hybrid over the green and followed with a poor chip that didnt even reach the putting surface.
 
Ochoa was asked if she could attack Cedar Ridge in the wind, and she quickly shook her head.
 
Thats why its frustrating, she said. I know I need to make birdies to catch up, but at the same time, its impossible. Im going to be happy, not disappointed. Im not too far from the leaders, and we have two days to go.
 
But with Creamer atop the leaderboard, Ochoa cant afford another poor round if she wants to join Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam in the record books with her fifth straight victory. Of her five victories, Creamer has been a 36-hole leader four times.
 
You can never count on Lorena, Lindley said. Thats not far enough back for me to feel comfortable.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - SemGroup Championship
  • Full Coverage - SemGroup Championship
  • Getty Images

    (Not that) Jutanugarn shares lead with (not that) Ko

    By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 1:58 am

    LOS ANGELES - A player eager for her first win and a rookie top the leaderboard at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open. Lurking two shots back is a Hall of Famer.

    Winless Moriya Jutanugarn overcame a poor start and birdied the 18th for a hard-earned 1-under 70 to tie rookie Jin Young Ko at 9 under on Saturday at Wilshire Country Club.

    Ko shot a 66 in her bid to become the year's first two-time LPGA winner. She won the Women's Australian Open in February, her first victory as an official tour member after a successful run on the Korean LPGA circuit.

    ''I'm ready for win or top 10, so maybe tomorrow I will really focus on shot by shot,'' said Ko, who added an exclamation point to her golf bag for each of her wins on the KLPGA. ''I won 11 times, so if I win tomorrow, maybe I change to 12. I need more, I need every time motivation.''

    Jutanugarn is trying to match younger sister Ariya as a tour champion. Seven-time winner Ariya was tied for 27th after a 72 in the third round.

    Usually when one of the Thai sisters is in the lead, the other will watch when her round is finished.

    ''If she's not too lazy, she is probably going to come out,'' Moriya said about Ariya.

    Playing in an all-Korean threesome, Hall of Famer Inbee Park was two shots back in third after a 69. Her birdie putt for a share of the lead on 18 slid just by the hole. The group drew a large contingent of Korean fans.


    Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


    ''I kind of started off a little bad. I was able to come back strong, so I'm really happy with that,'' Park said. ''I left a few putts out there. The greens around this golf course are just really tough. You just don't know what's going to happen.''

    Moriya Jutanugarn's round included a double bogey on the par-4 first hole and a bogey on the par-4 sixth. She eagled the par-4 14th after holing out from the fairway 93 feet away. The ball took once bounce and went in, eliciting a stunned look from Jutanugarn before she high-fived her caddie.

    ''Today was kind of a pretty rough day for me with not a very good start and like trying to come back,'' Jutanugarn said. ''I just try to play my game and be patient out there I think is the key.''

    Jutanugarn, the second-round leader, read the break perfectly on a long putt to make birdie on 18 and share the lead with Ko.

    Playing two groups ahead of Jutanugarn, Caroline Inglis also eagled the 14th from 180 yards. She briefly jumped up and down and smiled after three bogeys and a double bogey. She shot a 69 and was four shots back in a tie for sixth with Minjee Lee.

    ''It was like one bounce and then it like trickled in,'' Inglis said.

    Aditi Ashok eagled 14 early in the round.

    Ko did some scrambling of her own. Her ball found a sandy hazard on the 17th with a scoreboard and a winding creek in between her and the green 190 yards away. Her approach landed just off the green and she made par. Her round included six birdies and a bogey on 16.

    Eun-Hee Ji (70) and American Marina Alex (72) were tied for fourth at 6 under.

    Top-ranked Shanshan Feng shot a 70 and was in a six-way tie for 12th at 2 under.

    Getty Images

    Defending champs Singh, Franco take senior lead

    By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 12:15 am

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco took the third-round lead Saturday in the windy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Singh and Franco shot a 7-under 47 in wind gusting to 20 mph on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to get to 19-under 145, a stroke ahead of the teams of David Toms-Steve Flesch and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett.

    ''It was a tough day,'' Singh said. ''The wind was swirling, have to get the club right and we made some putts. Carlos played really well on the back nine and I played really well on the front nine, so we ham-and-egged it a little.''

    Toms and Flesch also shot 47, and Broadhurst and Triplett had a 33 on the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course.

    ''We just paired well together,'' Toms said. ''I don't think either one of us played great. We picked each other up out there.''

    Wind and rain is expected Sunday when the teams finish at Top of the Rock, again playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.

    ''Make as many birdies as possible and see what happens,'' Singh said. ''That's all we can do.''

    Singh and Franco are trying to become the first to successfully defend a title since Jim Colbert and Andy North in 2001. Singh won the Toshiba Classic in March for his first individual senior title.


    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


    Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week in Georgia for his first senior victory.

    Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer had a 34 at Mountain Top to join Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal at 17 under. Jimenez and Olazabal had a 33 at Mountain Top.

    ''It's great for me to be able to play with him as a team member,'' Olazabal said. ''We do have great memories from the Ryder Cup and other events, and it's always a great pleasure to play with a great player and a friend.''

    Langer took the final-round forecast in stride.

    ''We've done it hundreds of times before and we'll probably do it again,'' Langer said. ''We'll make the best of it. We both have a good attitude. We're known to play in all sorts of weather and I just look forward to playing one more day with my partner here.''

    Wisconsin neighbors Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were 16 under after a 48 at Top of the Rock.

    John Daly and Michael Allen, the second-round leaders after a 46 at Top of the Rock, had a 37 at Mountain Top to drop into a tie for seventh at 15 under.

    Getty Images

    Landry shares Valero lead, eyes first career win

    By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 11:15 pm

    After coming up just short of a breakthrough win earlier this season, Andrew Landry has another chance to earn his maiden victory at the Valero Texas Open.

    Landry came within inches of winning the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, ultimately losing to Jon Rahm in a four-hole playoff. He struggled to find form in the wake of his close call, missing the cut in each of his four starts following his runner-up finish in Palm Springs.

    But Landry took some time off to welcome his first child, Brooks, last month and he made it to the weekend in his first start back last week at the RBC Heritage, where he finished T-42. He made a move up the standings Saturday at TPC San Antonio with a bogey-free 67, and at 13 under shares the lead with Zach Johnson heading into the final round.

    "I just did everything really good," Landry told reporters. "I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat, and I had a couple bad putts that I didn't really make. I'm happy with it, it's a good 5-under round. Gets me in the final group tomorrow and we'll see what happens."


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Landry started the day one shot off the pace and in the final group with Johnson and Ryan Moore, and at one point he took sole possession of the lead after birdies on three of his first six holes. Now he'll have another chance in the day's final tee time where he's grouped with Johnson and Trey Mullinax, who sits one shot back after firing a course-record 62 in the third round.

    For Landry, it's another opportunity to break into the winner's circle, and it's one for which he feels prepared after coming so close three months ago.

    "I mean, I don't want to go too deep into it because I don't want to sound cocky or anything, but I just believe in myself. There's no other explanation for it," Landry said. "You can totally get out here and play with Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, two top players in the world, and you can go out there and fold under pressure or you can learn a lot.

    "Zach's always been a role model to me the way he plays golf, I feel like we have very similar games, and it's just going to be fun tomorrow getting to play with him again."

    Getty Images

    Z. Johnson, Landry share 54-hole Texas Open lead

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 10:56 pm

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson birdied the par-5 18th Saturday at the Valero Texas Open for a share of the third-round lead with Andrew Landry, a stroke ahead of record-setting Trey Mullinax.

    Johnson shot a 4-under 68, holing a 10-footer on 18 to match Landry at 13-under 203 at TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks. Landry birdied the 16th and 17th in a 67.

    Johnson won the event in 2008 and 2009, the last two times it was played at LaCantera. The 42-year-old Iowan is trying to win for the first time since the 2015 British Open.

    ''I've got 18 holes to get to that point,'' Johnson said. ''I've got to do exactly what I did on the back side and that was give myself opportunities on every hole. I'm putting great, I'm seeing the lines well, my caddie's reading the greens well, so it's just a matter of committing and executing down the stretch.''

    The 30-year-old Landry is winless on the tour.

    ''I'm a good putter and I just need to give myself a lot of opportunities tomorrow like I did today,'' Landry said. ''I'll be looking forward to tomorrow.''

    Mullinax had a course-record 62. He played the back nine in 7-under 29, going 6 under on the last five with eagles on the par-5 14th and 18th and birdies on 16 and 17. He also birdied Nos. 10 and 12 and bogeyed 11.

    ''It's probably one of the best rounds I've ever had,'' Mullinax said. ''To go out there and shoot 62 on a hard golf course is really good.''

    Johnson played the front nine in even par with two birdies and two bogeys. He birdied Nos. 11, 14, 15 and 18 on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    ''Different wind today early on, misjudged some numbers, misjudged some wind, made some bad swings, all of the above,'' Johnson said. ''But truthfully, my short game was actually pretty good, my putting was great. I missed some putts, but I hit some really good ones, hit some lines and I gave myself opportunities especially on the back side.''

    Landry had a bogey-free round.

    ''I just did everything really good,'' Landry said. ''I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat.''

    Ryan Moore was two strokes back at 11 under after a 70. Sean O'Hair had a 65 to join 2015 champion Jimmy Walker (67), Chris Kirk (68) and 2013 winner Martin Laird (69) at 9 under.

    ''I just feel like I'm getting closer and closer to playing better and better golf, more solid golf, putting rounds together,'' Walker said. ''I'm excited for the opportunity tomorrow.''

    Mullinax has made 42 of 44 putts from inside 10 feet this week.

    ''They just kind of remind me of greens from home,'' Mullinax said. ''My caddie, David (Flynn), has been reading them really well. We trusted each other on our reads and I've been hitting good putts. Been working hard on putting on the weeks off that I've had so it's good to see some results.''

    The 25-year-old former Alabama player chipped in for the eagle on 14 and the birdie on the par-3 16th.

    ''It was just a little bit down the hill,'' he said about the 16th. ''All you had to do was just land it just past that little light grass spot. My caddie told me just read it like a putt, so I tried to just read it like a putt and it went in.''

    On 18, he hit a 3-iron from 255 yards to 15 feet to set up his eagle putt. He broke the course record of 63 set by Matt Every in 201 and matched by Laird in 2013. The tournament record is 60 at LaCantera, by Bart Bryant in 2004 and Johnson in 2009.