Shin leads Wie Creamer at Ochoa Invitational

By Associated PressNovember 14, 2009, 5:12 am

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Jiyai Shin took a big step toward adding the LPGA Player of the Year award to her top rookie trophy, shooting a 6-under 66 on Friday for a three-stroke lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

The 21-year-old South Korean star, a three-time winner this year who has a four-point lead over Ochoa in the Player of the Year race, had an 11-under 133 total on the Guadalajara Country Club course.

“I don’t know much (about) this course, so I try to just play safe,” Shin said. “Like just the middle of the fairway, just the middle of the green and make it a very simple game. … I have found my tempo – great tempo. So I have a really good feeling.”

Michelle Wie (66) and Paula Creamer (69) were tied for second, and first-round leader Song-Hee Kim (72) was four strokes back at 7 under. Suzann Pettersen (67), Brittany Lincicome (70), Cristie Kerr (70), Brittany Lang (70) and Mariajo Uribe (72) were 5 under.

Ochoa was 4 under after a 69 on her home course.

“I’m OK,” Ochoa said. “It was a better round today, but I’m still a little behind. I hope the weekend will be better.”

If Shin wins this week she’ll wrap up the Player of the Year award if Ochoa fails to finish at least seventh. If not, the title will be decided next week in Houston in the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship. Nancy Lopez is the only player to win both the rookie and player awards in the same season, accomplishing the feat in 1978.

“I’m just focusing on the game this week and not thinking about that at the moment,” said Shin, who took the outright lead with a birdie at 13 and added birdies on 14 and 15 to get to 11 under.

Shin also leads the money list with $1,709,168. Ai Miyazato, 10 strokes back after a 72, is second with $1,468,679.

Wie, winless on the LPGA, eagled the 10th to reach 6 under. She hit two 3-woods and made a 5-foot putt. She added three birdies after that, though she dropped a shot on 17 when she missed a 4-foot putt.

“I do feel really close,” said Wie, who has two second-place finishes this year. “I feel like I need to shoot a lot lower and play a lot better over the weekend. But if everything works out, hopefully it will be the week.”

Her only nagging problem is a sprained left ankle that forced her to wear a large, black brace that extends 6 inches above her shoe top.

Asked if it was hurting her game, she replied: “I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it.”

Creamer has eight career wins, but she’s been shut out this season and also is nursing injuries and illness.

She’s been fighting off-and-on stomach problems since playing in the event a year ago. She’s lost up to 15 pounds in a few stretches, she said. The illness has popped up after tournaments around the world – and in the United States, too. Hoping to beat it, she’s carrying her own food with her.

She reached 8 under with a birdie on No. 6, and stayed there for much of the round. She dropped a shot on 14, but recovered with a birdie on 17 – chipping in from the fringe – and finished saving par with 5-footer on 18.

“I’ve been hitting the ball really well,” Creamer said. “I haven’t quite gained all my distance back off the tee, but it’s starting to come back with my irons, and it shows.”

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”