Notes: No comeback plans for Sorenstam; Creamer's plane truth

By Associated PressJuly 6, 2011, 10:46 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Annika Sorenstam’s return to the scene of her first win in a major hasn’t sparked any thoughts of a comeback.

The Hall of Famer is simply far more interested in picking up her kids than a club.

Sorenstam didn’t even pack her golf bag for her trip to the U.S. Women’s Open this week at the Broadmoor, the course where in 1995 she won the first of her 10 career majors.

Serving as an honorary chairman for the tournament, Sorenstam was her usual personable self, even hosting a clinic for kids with 13-year-old Mariel Galdiano, a qualifier from Pearl City, Hawaii, on the driving range Wednesday.

The 40-year-old Sorenstam did more socializing than swinging as she entertained the gallery.

“Once I made the decision to step away, I stepped away,” said Sorenstam, who wrapped up her career after the 2008 season. “I practice very little; I play very little.”

In March, Sorenstam gave birth to her second child, Will, who was born premature at just 27 weeks. He’s now been home for nearly two months and is up to almost 10 pounds.

Soon, he’s even going to start traveling with the family, which also includes Sorenstam’s 22-month-old daughter, Ava.

“My little buddy Will is doing great,” Sorenstam said. “It’s been a tough start for our little man, but he’s a fighter.

“Life is good. I love being a mom, and I love just the things I’m doing.”

Sorenstam still remains active in the sport even if she hardly plays. She’s set up a golf academy and foundation, along with serving on the advisory board for the LPGA.

“I’ve taken my competitive drive in a different area. I’m very competitive in the business world,” said Sorenstam, who also designs courses, has a clothing line and even is a partner in a vineyard, complete with her own signature wine. “I get my competitive fix there.”

Still, Sorenstam keeps close tabs on the tour. She’s impressed with the play of Yani Tseng, who at 22 is the youngest to win four LPGA majors.

“She has just embraced the golf world. She’s doing so many great things. She’s really taken the No. 1 spot to another level,” Sorenstam said. “She wants to be the best. She wants to be the face of the LPGA. I mean, she’s got the game.”

Not that long ago, it looked as though Michelle Wie could be the next big thing in the sport. Now 21 years old, Wie is still searching for her first victory at a major.

“When she came out there was a lot of buzz, a lot of potential from this young lady,” Sorenstam said. “I would say she has not performed to her expectations or her potential. Hopefully that will come in the next – maybe this year or the next few years to follow.”

In Sorenstam’s estimation, Wie definitely has the game to be a contender in a major. But it may boil down to commitment. Wie is also working on her degree at Stanford.

“She’s very distracted with school, doesn’t really play as much full time as I thought she would. I think she needs to come out here and compete more regularly,” Sorenstam said. “But she certainly has a lot of potential.

“The physical part is there. Sometimes, you wonder if she’s mentally strong enough to finish at the top. She has a few victories, but has not really been able to really break through, in my opinion.”

PLANE TRUTH: For Paula Creamer, one of the spoils of winning the U.S. Open last summer was her ride in an F-16 jet.

And no, she didn’t get sick, despite the jarring flight with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

“It was a great opportunity,” Creamer said.

The 24-year-old will be paired with Yani Tseng for the first two days of the tournament, a matchup Creamer likes.

“She’s the player to beat,” Creamer said. “However, it is Thursday and Friday, so you can’t dwell too much about what’s going on out there.

“That is going to be the big key: just taking care of my own business. I can’t control what she does.”

TEE PARTY: At 7,047 yards, the Broadmoor course is the longest in the history of the U.S. Women’s Open. The committee plans to adjust the tees based on the level of play over the next few days.

“We do have plans to look at some alternate teeing grounds and really make sure that it remains a stern but fair test for these players,” said Ben Kimball, the director of the U.S. Women’s Open. “I think we’ll kind of monitor what Mother Nature is giving to us, and you may see a few more things happen on the golf course.”

GRAND PRESSURE: Juli Inkster understands the pressure Yani Tseng is under this week as she attempts to complete a career grand slam.

The 51-year-old Inkster finished off the feat more than a decade ago. She said the most difficult portion may be winning the U.S. Open.

“I don’t think it’s probably the strongest field, but I think it’s the toughest one to win,” Inkster said. “You’ve got to have a golf course to your liking and you’ve got to get some breaks.

“(Tseng) is playing extremely well. She’s fearless. She’s putting good. I think that’s what’s putting her over the edge right now.”

CHIP SHOTS: Practice was suspended Wednesday afternoon because of weather. … Juli Inkster won the U.S. Women’s Open Amateur at the Broadmoor in 1982. It was her third straight crown.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 21, 2018, 7:02 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

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Tiger gets rapper Big Boi's support during opening 65

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 21, 2018, 6:00 pm

Tiger Woods fans everywhere were buzzing during his opening 65 at the Tour Championship, and that includes Atlanta hip-hop legend Big Boi, who was supporting the 14-time major champ from the East Lake gallery.

Perhaps best known as one half of the rap duo "Outkast" along with André 3000, Big Boi played the part of Woods superfan on Thursday, following Tiger around the course and posting videos on Twitter, before eventually stopping for a chat and a few pictures after the round.

Big Boi, who kicked off the Tour Championship with a performance at the event’s opening ceremonies, is hardly the first hip-hop superstar to buddy up to Woods - who could forget these incredible pictures with Snoop Dogg?

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After Tour Finals, Peterson retires ... again

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 21, 2018, 5:50 pm

OK, now it’s official: John Peterson is done with professional golf.  

With one last chance to secure his PGA Tour card for next season, Peterson missed the cut in the season-ending Tour Championship. After failing to keep conditional status on Tour – in the most excruciating of circumstances – Peterson is now out of options to play the big tour in 2019, so he’s stepping away from professional golf, at age 29.

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

It’s been one of the most unusual storylines of the year. The former NCAA individual champion from LSU announced at the beginning of the year that he was done if he didn’t keep his card on his major medical extension. He’d grown tired of the nomadic existence on Tour, and as a new father and husband, he’d already lined up his next career, in real estate and business development in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.

In July, Peterson said that the Tour Finals would be his final opportunity. If he earned a full PGA Tour card through the four-event series, then he’d continue to play in 2018-19 because he’d be able to pick and choose his schedule. But he never threatened full status, missing three cuts and tying for 56th in the other start.

And so on Friday afternoon, Peterson tapped out this tweet, saying goodbye to the Tour:

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Army vets get sneak peek at Callaway's new wedges

By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 5:23 pm

ATLANTA – Callaway Golf unveiled a new set of wedges to consumers on Friday, but U.S. Army veterans Kyle Butcher and Billy Paul were treated to an early peak on Wednesday at the Tour Championship.

Butcher and Paul were chosen to participate in a club fitting at East Lake that included three of Callaway’s new Mack Daddy 4 Tactical Wedges. The new wedges feature the company’s tactical package with a PVD finish, tour issued shafts and Groove-in-Groove technology. It was the company’s 13th “warrior fitting” this year.

Billy Paul (L) and Kyle Butcher checking out Callaway’s new Mack Daddy 4 Tactical Wedges.

Billy Paul (L) and Kyle Butcher (M) checking out Callaway's new Mack Daddy 4 wedges

The limited edition wedges became available at retail on Friday ($179.99) and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Birdies for the Brave. The company also made a $50,000 donation to Birdies for the Brave’s Special Operations Warriors Foundation.

Part of the company’s push to honor American military members also includes 15 percent discounts on purchases by all veterans.