Creamer, Pettersen, Wie ousted on Day 1

By Associated PressMay 17, 2012, 9:45 pm

GLADSTONE, N.J. – Defending champion Suzann Pettersen didn't last long at the Sybase Match Play Championship, and neither did three well-known Americans.

The third-ranked Pettersen was eliminated, 3 and 1, by relative unknown Jodi Ewart of England on Thursday in the first round of the LPGA event, while Paula CreamerBrittany Lincicome and Michelle Wie lost to some equally obscure fellow Americans.

Creamer, the No. 8 seed, was beaten, 2 and 1, by Jennifer Johnson, the No. 57 seed. No. 9 seed Lincicome was ousted, 2 and 1, by No. 56 Ryann O'Toole. The 20th-seeded Wie was knocked out by No. 45 Mina Harigae, 3 and 2.

Yani TsengNa Yeon Choi and Cristie Kerr, the world's Nos. 1, 2 and 5 players, barely advanced to the second round, while the day ended with No. 4 ranked Ai Miyazato of Japan being surprised 2 up by Mariajo Uribe of Colombia in the final match at Hamilton Farm Golf Club.

''It's not an easy course to play,'' said Tseng, who escaped with a 1-up win after Jeong Jang missed a 6-foot birdie attempt to force a playoff. ''This is the top 64, that's why we play here. So I mean, you cannot expect the first one is going to be easy to win.''

However, it was still surprising to see the field lose a ton of its star attractions, with the biggest surprise being the loss of Petterson toEwart, who is ranked No. 202 in the world and 62nd in the event.

What made the exit even more surprising was Pettersen, still looking for her first win of the season, won the first two holes to go 2 up.

Ewart even had doubts after her shaky start.

''After No. 2 I was like, I am going to get absolutely thrashed,'' Ewart said.

Ewart calmed down after making a par at the third hole and then made a long birdie putt at the next hole after getting a read off Pettersen's birdie attempt. A 7-foot putt for birdie tied the match at the fifth hole and it was game on.

Ewart took the lead for good at No. 12 when Pettersen conceded the hole and followed that with a tap-in birdie at No. 13. Pettersen won the 14th when Ewart three-putted, but the 24-year-old made a 10-footer at No. 15 to halve the hole and restored her 2-up lead with a short birdie at No. 16. She closed out the match at No. 17 when Pettersen conceded after missing a birdie putt.

''On paper, I'm not supposed to win at all, so there's no pressure on me,'' said Ewart, a former University of New Mexico player whose best finish this year was a tie for seventh in the Kia Classic. ''I just went out there and played fearless golf because I was attacking the pins.''

Pettersen, from Norway, refused to comment after her match.

Creamer never led in her match against the 20-year-old Johnson, who is in her second year on tour. Creamer was 3 down after five holes, but twice managed the get back all square. She fell behind for good with a bogey at No. 14 and another one at No. 17 ended the match.

Lincicome, who will defend her title in the ShopRite Classic near Atlantic City in two weeks, also never led against O'Toole, a former UCLA player who also is in her second year on tour. This marked the second straight year Lincicome has been eliminated in the first round.

Wie also played from behind against the 22-year-old Harigae. The former Duke player took the lead for good with a birdie at No. 8.

Choi was all square with fellow South Korean Grace Park after 16 holes, but she birdied the final two for a 2-up win.

''It was a tough game,'' said Choi, who lost in the semifinals last year.

Uribe won four of the last five holes to eliminate Miyazato.

Natalie Gulbis staged the best comeback of the day, rallying from 4 down with eight holes to play to stun Mika Miyazato – no relation to Ai. Gulbis made a 5-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to advance.

Kerr, who lost in the final to Pettersen last year, broke a tie with birdies at the 13th and 14th holes en route to a 2-and-1 win over Belen Mozo of Spain.

''You've got to win or you go home,'' Kerr said. ''She gave me a really good match. She made a lot of clutch par putts, and I let her off the hook a little bit three-putting 10,'' Kerr said. ''It was a hard-fought battle on both parts.''

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."

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Watch: McIlroy hits spectator on hand

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 2:58 pm

We never cease to wonder at how close fans crowd in to the intended line of some shots, and just how skilled Tour players are in not hitting someone.

But every once in a while, golf ball and spectator intersect, with painful results. It happened to Rory McIlroy during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, after he had hit a wayward drive on the sixth hole. Attempting to hack out his second shot from under a bush, McIlroy struck a female spectator on her right hand. There was no official word on her condition, but she was clearly - and understandably - in pain.

McIlroy went on to make double bogey but was able to put the incident behind him, as he promptly birdied the next hole.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.