Creamer Pressel start two back at Corning Classic

By Associated PressMay 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share
LPGA Tour _newCORNING, N.Y. ' Hee Young Park knows firsthand that practice isnt always what its cracked up to be.
 
After spraying balls all around the driving range on Thursday prior to the opening round of the LPGA Corning Classic, Park matched her career low with an 8-under 64 for a share of the lead with Karine Icher of France, who also tied her best round as a pro.
 
Tied just one shot back were Minea Blomqvist of Finland, Sandra Gal of Germany, and South Koreans Sarah Lee, Soo-Yun Kang, and Hee-Won Han as nearly half of the extended field of 147 that started broke par on a sun-splashed day.
 
Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Nicole Castrale, Sarah Kemp of Australia, and Jimin Jeong and Na Yeon Choi of South Korea were at 6 under.
 
The leaders also matched the low first round in Corning Classic history shared by Nancy Ramsbottom (1994), Karen Stupples (2003), and Charlotta Sorenstam (2007).
 
Park was in uncharted territory and chose not to look at the leaderboard, maybe because all but two of the top 30 money leaders on tour were playing the 31st and final edition of the event.
 
This is the first time leading finishing the first round, said Park, who tied for sixth at last weeks Sybase Classic. So tomorrow I will do the same, keep working with my caddie, just focus the mind, and just play. I have to stay aggressive.
 
Park excelled with her short game and needed only 22 putts on the 15 greens she reached in regulation. She had eight one-putt birdies, only one from more than 10 feet, and completed her round with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18 on the forgiving Corning Country Club course.
 
The greens were very true, said Park, who battled allergies on the back nine and credited her caddie with her low score.
 
Icher forged the tie by making a short birdie putt on her final hole, No. 18.
 
Im going to try to keep my game where it is, said Icher, who has led at Corning before, only to falter on the weekend. I have more experience, so it helps. Im going to try to not make the same mistakes.
 
Blomqvist moved into contention by stringing five birdies on the final six holes of the front nine, making a 24-foot putt at No. 7 and a 20-footer at No. 9.
 
It was a nice turnaround for Blomqvist, who missed the cut the two other times she played Corning because she tried to rely on her driver off the tee on the narrow, tree-lined course.
 
I just had fun, Blomqvist said. Its such a fun course. It tells you what you have to do and gives you a lot of chances. I know the winning score will be 20 under or better. If I want to win, Ive got to keep going.
 
The forecast for the final three days was superb, with sunny skies and temperatures around 80 or higher. That was welcome news to Lee, who withdrew after one round a week ago at the Sybase Classic because the cold, rainy weather and tough conditions proved too much for her ailing left elbow.
 
I really enjoyed the weather. I didnt make any big mistakes, Lee said. I dont try to work too hard, just try to play my game.
 
Lee, who turned 30 in February, said she might like to get married and start a family, but one thing stands in the way. Shes tired of finishing second, having done so five times since joining the tour in 2002.
 
Thats the only reason I play the LPGA Tour, Lee said. I learned so much how my attitude was different going into the final round (of the tournaments I finished second in). If I have a good chance, Im going to be ready.
 
Those who teed off in the calm morning had a distinct advantage as only Icher and Gal managed to challenge for the lead while contending with a steady wind that gusted to nearly 20 miles per hour. Gal reached 8 under after making three straight birdies to start the back side but faltered with a pair of bogeys and finished with a 65.
 
The wind was a little bit of a factor, said tour money leader Cristie Kerr, who birdied her final hole to reach 4 under. There were certain shots that were holding into the greens and certain ones that werent. Itll be nice to get out on fresh greens tomorrow and early.
 
Kerr was happy with her performance, and long-hitting rookie Michelle Wie wasnt deterred by hers, a 1-over 73. Theres a lot of golf left, said Wie, who made birdie at the two par-5s on the front nine but also had three bogeys on the round.
 
The Corning Classic, the lone event on the LPGA with the same title sponsor and held at the same venue every year since its inception (1979), will end for good on Sunday, another victim of the depressed economy.
 
DIVOTS Laura Diaz, the only New York-born player to win at Corning (2002), entered the tournament with high hopes, but they were quickly dashed. After making a pair of birdies at Nos. 4 and 5, she four-putted the par-3 seventh hole for double bogey and followed that with four straight bogeys. She finished tied for 135th at 4 over. Neither Ramsbottom, Stupples, nor Sorenstam won after starting so well.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' LPGA Corning Classic
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

    The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

    Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

    He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

    Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

    Getty Images

    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

    Getty Images

    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

    Getty Images

    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”