Creamer Makes Brash Solheim Prediction

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 30, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupPaula Creamer insists her promise to win back the Solheim Cup for the U.S. team was no rookie mistake. Her new teammates and American captain, Nancy Lopez, agree.
 
Creamer, the first rookie to make the U.S. team, refused to back down from her brash prediction Monday - one day after warning the Europeans to expect defeat in next week's international competition at the Crooked Stick course in suburban Indianapolis.
 
Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer's bold comments will be tough to back up with the likes of world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam competing for the European squad.
The comments even generated support.
 
'She's 18, 19, she can say anything she wants,' Lopez said. 'It's nothing against the Europeans, she's just excited to play, she's very enthusiastic and I love it. All I want to hear is positive, nothing negative.'
 
Creamer gained her spot on the team by qualifying eighth in the points for 10 automatic berths on the 12-woman team. Lopez selected Wendy Ward and Beth Daniel as her two captain's choices.
 
The European contingent is led by Sweden's Annika Sorenstam and England's Laura Davies, two of the biggest names in women's golf. Sorenstam is the world's top player, and Davies has a reputation for hitting long drives.
 
But it was Creamer who made the biggest splash when the teams were announced Sunday. She promised the Americans would bring back the Cup after an embarrassing 7-point loss in 2003 - the most lopsided in the biennial event's eight-match history.
 
After a practice round on the course that made John Daly famous with his 1991 PGA Championship victory, Creamer said she had no regrets.
 
'I said what I needed to say,' Creamer said. 'We're all excited to be here. I may have gotten a little ahead of myself, but I am ready to win.'
 
Creamer's teammates are already believers.
 
After watching the 19-year-old win twice on the LPGA tour this year - and come close several other times - she wrapped up the tour's rookie of the year honors Sunday despite losing the Wendy's Championship for Children in Dublin, Ohio, by one stroke to Cristie Kerr.
 
Kerr won the points race, beating Meg Mallon 787.5 to 419.5, and acknowledged that Creamer would likely back up her talk.
 
'I'll tell you, it will be hard to play against her,' Kerr said. 'I'm glad I'm her teammate.'
 
The American team wasted little time in preparing for next week's event.
 
They took a three-hour bus ride from Ohio to the Crooked Stick course. Players said they talked, watched a movie and bonded on the trip.
 
It also gave veterans an opportunity to privately temper Creamer's exuberance.
 
'I talk to them if there's something I think they need to ease up on,' Lopez said. 'But they're grown women. If there's something you feel, you might have to bite your tongue a little bit. That's called teamwork.'
 
But Lopez wasn't about to quash the confidence expressed by Creamer.
 
Monday's practice round was the third for the Americans at this course, and they liked what they saw - smooth greens, challenging rough and opportunities to score.
 
'The greens seem to be rolling a little smoother than they were two weeks ago,' said Laura Diaz, the 10th qualifier. 'The fans want good golf and when you see birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, that's fun.'
 
More important, the Americans also seemed to like what they were hearing - especially from Creamer.
 
'She should say that,' Natalie Gulbis said. 'I don't want to look at it any other way.'
 
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    Suwannapura beats Lincicome in playoff for first win

    By Associated PressJuly 15, 2018, 10:49 pm

    SYLVANIA, Ohio - Thidapa Suwannapura won her first LPGA event on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at the Marathon Classic.

    The 25-year-old Thai player is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year. Her previous best finish in 120 starts was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadows to finish at 14-under 270.

    In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

    Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out. Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

    Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under 69, one shot out of the playoff.

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    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

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    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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    Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

    A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

    The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

    There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

    As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

    This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.