Creamer leaves swing coach Whelan for Gilchrist

By Randall MellJanuary 29, 2016, 8:07 pm

Paula Creamer is off to a fast start after making a major change coming into this week’s LPGA season opener at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

Creamer left her long-time swing coach, David Whelan, in December and brought on Gary Gilchrist as her new coach. Creamer, playing this week in her first event since the switch, shot a 1-under-par 72 Friday in heavy winds, which left her two shots off the lead when she left the course.

Creamer said the coaching change wasn’t an easy move. She was close to Whelan, working with him since she was 14. She won all 10 of her LPGA titles under his tutelage, but her game began swooning two seasons ago, a year of major transition in her life. She also got married at the end of 2014. She began overhauling her swing earlier that year, asking Whelan to help her find more distance. Creamer told early last season that she was getting caught between two swings.

“David and I were fine,” Creamer told the media after her round Friday. “It was definitely just something that we couldn't work out. Still talk to him all the time, but after 15 years together, it's kind of, it's crazy.”

Gilchrist’s students include Shanshan Feng, No. 6 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. He coached Yani Tseng through her run as No. 1 in the world and worked with Michelle Wie early in Wie’s rise as a phenom. Creamer knew Gilchrist from her days as a student at the Leadbetter Academy, where Gilchrist was the director of golf.

“I've known Gary forever,” Creamer said. “He's worked with me even before I worked with David.

“I just think it's a great fit. I love the way he teaches the game, love the way how he gets in and can show me, and he's definitely made it very fun for me right now. Made a lot of changes, but they're worth it, and I believe in it.”

Gilchrist told he’s pleased seeing Creamer adapt so quickly to changes they’re making.

“I was pretty excited when she reached out to me because of her personality, the desire she has and how motivated she is and how hard she wants to work to reach her full potential again,” Gilchrist said.

Creamer, who turns 30 in August, is trying to turn around a frustrating slide.

Back when the Rolex Women’s World Rankings made its debut in 2006, Creamer was No. 2. She has been fixture among the top 10 most of her career. With her swing changes, however, and how they created equipment issues, Creamer slid to No. 63 in the world, where she ranks this week.

Creamer said she has made significant changes in the short time she has worked with Gilchrist, changing her pre-shot routine, her setup and address, and even her warm up.

“It's been a month and a half and we've changed a lot of things, but I've seen great results,” Creamer said. “It was very hard. It wasn't like it just came naturally, and I'm still working on it, but I know I need to do this to become the best player I can be. So, I feel good with that.”

Gilchrist said he isn’t worried about trying to find more distance in Creamer’s swing.

“Paula’s not a short hitter,” Gilchrist said. “I don’t think distance is a problem. If you can hit more fairways, you can hit more greens, and if you hit more greens, you can make more putts. It’s that simple.”

Gilchrist said their early work has been focused on setup and alignment.

“Through her entire game, she has a tendency to aim way right and then try to pull everything on line ... It’s all basically setup, and through setup helping her keep the club more in front of her. With her full swing, her right hip was high, so she couldn’t get her left shoulder across. The setup helps her turn better.”

Gilchrist said setup and ball position changes should also help Creamer’s short game.

“By having the ball too far back with a closed stance, her chipping was one dimensional,” Gilchrist said. “She couldn’t really get the ball in the air.

“It’s about trying to build more confidence in her game by simplifying everything, and by working more 30 yards and in around green. If she chips and putts better, she will be a top-five player in world again.”

What does Creamer see as the most significant changes? 

“My setup is massive.” Creamer said. “A lot of it came from just the way I was at address. The way I walk into the ball is very different. Putting is very different as well. ... My tendency putting is to shut the clubface, and now it's definitely more on a little bit of an arc. But everything is really setup. My pivot is different. I'm able to keep my height a lot more. It obviously comes and goes, just because this is the first week out here with it, but it's definitely all setup and visualizing things.”

Creamer says she even walks into the ball differently now, and she aligns herself differently.

“I line myself up so much better now,” Creamer said. “The reasons why [caddie] Colin [Cann] would always check me was because I would get so closed, and now we have just totally taken that out. It feels like I'm walking around the world, but it's getting more comfortable.”

For Creamer, ultimately, the objective is getting comfortable on leaderboards again. 

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Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

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Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.

Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

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What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Travelers purse payout: Bubba, Cink close low, earn big

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

Bubba Watson shot 63 on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship. He took home the trophy, but he wasn't the only player to earn a big payday. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC River Highlands:

1 Bubba Watson -17 $1,260,000
T2 Stewart Cink -14 $462,000
T2 Beau Hossler -14 $462,000
T2 J.B. Holmes -14 $462,000
T2 Paul Casey -14 $462,000
T6 Kevin Tway -13 $234,500
T6 Brian Harman -13 $234,500
T6 Russell Henley -13 $234,500
T9 Chase Seiffert -12 $189,000
T9 Bryson DeChambeau -12 $189,000
T9 Anirban Lahiri -12 $189,000
T12 Rory McIlroy -11 $147,000
T12 Ryan Blaum -11 $147,000
T12 Jason Day -11 $147,000
T15 Charley Hoffman -10 $115,500
T15 Patrick Cantlay -10 $115,500
T15 Danny Lee -10 $115,500
T15 Kyle Stanley -10 $115,500
T19 Brooks Koepka -9 $79,000
T19 Fabian Gomez -9 $79,000
T19 David Lingmerth -9 $79,000
T19 Zach Johnson -9 $79,000
T19 Emiliano Grillo -9 $79,000
T19 Matt Jones -9 $79,000
T19 Jamie Lovemark -9 $79,000
T26 Sam Ryder -8 $49,700
T26 Si Woo Kim -8 $49,700
T26 Richy Werenski -8 $49,700
T26 Blayne Barber -8 $49,700
T26 Steve Marino -8 $49,700
T26 Peter Malnati -8 $49,700
T26 Patrick Rodgers -8 $49,700
T33 Alex Cejka -7 $39,550
T33 Tyler Duncan -7 $39,550
T33 Kevin Streelman -7 $39,550
T36 Seamus Power -6 $35,175
T36 James Hahn -6 $35,175
T38 Scott Stallings -5 $30,800
T38 Russell Knox -5 $30,800
T38 Brandon Harkins -5 $30,800
T38 Lanto Griffin -5 $30,800
T42 Adam Hadwin -4 $24,500
T42 J.J. Henry -4 $24,500
T42 Jordan Spieth -4 $24,500
T42 Mackenzie Hughes -4 $24,500
T42 Brett Stegmaier -4 $24,500
T47 Billy Hurley III -3 $17,578
T47 Vaughn Taylor -3 $17,578
T47 Sam Saunders -3 $17,578
T47 Kelly Kraft -3 $17,578
T47 Keegan Bradley -3 $17,578
T47 J.J. Spaun -3 $17,578
T47 Wesley Bryan -3 $17,578
T47 Denny McCarthy -3 $17,578
T47 Scott Brown -3 $17,578
T56 Ryan Armour -2 $15,680
T56 Keith Mitchell -2 $15,680
T56 Ken Duke -2 $15,680
T56 Justin Thomas -2 $15,680
T56 Hunter Mahan -2 $15,680
T61 John Huh -1 $14,910
T61 Martin Laird -1 $14,910
T61 Steve Wheatcroft -1 $14,910
T61 James Driscoll -1 $14,910
T61 Tom Lovelady -1 $14,910
T61 Nick Hardy -1 $14,910
T67 Daniel Berger E $14,350
T67 Trey Mullinax E $14,350
T69 Cameron Tringale 1 $14,000
T69 Kyle Thompson 1 $14,000
T69 Ethan Tracy 1 $14,000
T72 Dominic Bozzelli 2 $13,650
T72 Martin Flores 2 $13,650
74 Padraig Harrington 4 $13,440