Park Wins Womens Open Creamer Crumbles

By Associated PressJune 29, 2008, 4:00 pm
U.S. WomenEDINA, Minn. -- Two weeks away from her 20th birthday, Inbee Park became the youngest winner of the U.S. Womens Open on Sunday by closing with a 2-under 71 as everyone around her faded away at Interlachen.
 
Park didnt make a bogey over the final 10 holes, pulling away with three clutch putts early on the back nine and building a four-shot lead going to the final hole. She finished with a tap-in birdie, and a few of her fellow South Koreans doused her with beer.
 
The victory came 10 years after Park took up the game, inspired by watching Se Ri Pak win the Womens Open at Blackwolf Run to become the youngest champion at age 20.
 
Its really an honor and very special for me that I won the event 10 years after I start playing, Park said. Everything happened so fast. Its scary. I really tried to stay calm, but it was so exciting, I couldnt do it. This is my day.
 
Park finished at 9-under 283 and earned $585,000 from the richest purse in womens golf. Her four-shot victory over Helen Alfredsson of Sweden, who shot 75, was the largest in the Womens Open since Karrie Webb won by eight shots at Pine Needles in 2001.
 
No one imagined the only drama on the back nine would come from Annika Sorenstam, who was never in contention competing in her final Womens Open before retirement at the end of the season.
 
Her final shot was a 6-iron from 199 yards that tumbled into the cup for eagle.
 
Leaving with another great memory, thats for sure, Sorenstam said after closing with a 78 to finish 12 shots behind in a tie for 24th. Maybe not the one I had in mind, but Ill take it.
 
Such highlights were rare for everyone else.
 
Stacy Lewis, trying to become the first player to win a major in her professional debut, took double bogey from 80 yards away on the par-5 second hole and struggled all afternoon with her lag putting. She staggered home to a 79 and tied for third at 4-under 288 with Angela Park (73) and In-Kyung Kim (75).
 
I finished third at the U.S. Open, my first pro event, Lewis said. Its kind of hard to be upset.
 
An even greater collapse came from Paula Creamer, 21, who said her experience from six LPGA Tour victories would be a big advantage. She then shot 41 on the front nine, including two double bogeys, and wound up with a 78 to tie for sixth.
 
Creamers final round scoring average in the U.S. Womens Open is 75.2.
 
Its probably the most disappointed Ive been in a very long time, she said.
 
Park was the only player to break par all four days at Interlachen, a course that showed its strength in the final round with 20 mph wind that made it tough to keep on the right side of the hole.
 
The lowest score Sunday belonged to 15-year-old Jessica Korda, the daughter of 98 Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda, who caddied for her. She shot a 69 and tied for 19th.
 
Park became the third player in the last six years to make the U.S. Womens Open her first LPGA Tour victory, and it was reminiscent of Birdie Kims victory three years ago at Cherry Hills, minus the dramatic bunker shot for birdie on the 72nd hole.
 
There were so many possibilities for great story lines going into the final round'Lewis and her remarkable recovery from back surgery that almost ended her career before she got to college; Creamer, looking poised to finally get a major to go with her marketing campaign; Alfredsson, who blew a six-shot lead at the Womens Open in 1994, now with a chance for redemption at 43.
 
Instead, it was Park who stole the show by simply playing the best golf.
 
She was tied for the lead with Lewis after a bogey on the 234-yard eighth hole, falling to 7 under, then escaped with a nifty par on the diabolical ninth hole after her approach rolled off the front of the green.
 
In the group behind her, Lewis three-putted from about 60 feet on the eighth, then went long of the ninth and did well to make bogey. Equipped with a two-shot lead, Park poured it on.
 
She holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole to expand her lead to three shots, holed an 8-foot putt to save par from the bunker on the par-3 12th, then chipped to 6 feet and made birdie on the par-5 13th to reach 9 under, giving her a four-shot lead with five holes left.
 
Even under such pressure, she was steady to the very end.
 
Park continued international dominance of the LPGA majors, as Americans have won only six of the last 31.
 
Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, who had finished no worse than third in the last four majors and won two of them, never got on track at Interlachen and closed with a 74 to tie for 31st.
 
The loudest cheer of the week at Interlachen was saved for Sorenstam, and it was more than ceremonial.
 
Sorenstam is retiring at the end of the season, and no major has defined her career more than the Womens Open, which she has won three times. But she was headed for an 80 in her final round after driving into the rough on the par-5 18th and having to chip out.
 
Then came her grand finale. Her 6-iron bounded onto the green and dropped in for an eagle and a 78.
 
I didnt want to shoot 80 or above, she said. And to hole a shot from 200 yards, thats kind of the last thing you think about. But obviously, Ill take it.
 
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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


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


    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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    Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

    By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

    Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

    Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

    As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

    • “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

    • "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

    • "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

    • “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

    So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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    Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

    RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

    Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

    The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.


    Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


    Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

    Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.