Monday, December 11, 2017
Golf

U.S. women rebound to win twice in International Crown

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A switch in pairings led to a change in fortune for the United States in the International Crown.

Coming off a dismal showing in the opening round, the United States shuffled its lineup and got the desired result, beating Spain twice Friday to earn its first points in the eight-country competition.

Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr took control on the back nine against Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari in a 3-and-2 win, and Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis held on to beat Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda 2 up.

One day earlier, top-seeded America lost twice to Taiwan and was the only country without a point. The Americans traded partners Friday, and the new pairings proved to be far more productive.

"Obviously, we made the right decision," Creamer said. "We felt comfortable."

Kerr said: "I thought Lexi and I had a lot of chemistry out there together. We played with a lot of heart for each other."

The Kerr-Thompson pairing won holes 10-12 to go 3 up, and Creamer-Lewis took the lead for good by winning No. 7 before adding to their advantage on Nos. 9 and 11.

Munoz and Ciganda got to 1 down heading to 18 before both landed shots in a bunker. They ended up conceding the hole.

"I would say it was a little bit of a relief when they hit the bunker, but until they hit the bunker shots, I don't think we were relaxed at all," Lewis said.

Although it was an uplifting performance by the U.S. team, that won't be the only memory Creamer will take from the afternoon.

"The highlight of the day was shaking (Olympian) Michael Phelps' hand," Creamer said. "I almost fell over. I haven't washed my hand yet. We talked about that for two holes. I mean, when are we ever going to do that again?"

Senior British Open: Bernhard Langer had a seven-stroke cushion to take into today's third round after shooting 5-under 66 to add to his opening 65 at Bridgend, Wales. The 56-year-old German was 11-under 131 at a sunny Royal Porthcawl, with Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and South African-based Englishman Chris Williams tied for second at 138. Montgomerie shot 66 and Williams added 70 to his opening 68. "I've got a massive mountain to climb to catch Bernhard," Montgomerie said. Spaniard Pedro Linhart (69) was a shot further back, and Americans Bob Tway (73) and Tom Watson shared fifth at 2-under 140. Watson had a faultless round of 66 with three birdies, an eagle at the 18th and no dropped shots. "I played very aggressive and smart today," said Langer. "I missed a couple of opportunities early on, but I'm very pleased overall. Playing good golf on a great course is a lot of fun. But you have to be very careful, very smart and hopefully execute properly."

PGA: Two-time winner Jim Furyk birdied two of his last four holes in the Canadian Open to match the Royal Montreal record at 7-under 63 and tie Tim Petrovic atop the leaderboard. Furyk, 44 and the 2006 winner at Hamilton and 2007 champion at Angus Glen, matched Petrovic at 10-under 130 on the tree-lined Blue Course. "Winning any event is special," Furyk said. "I've had a lot of success (in Canada) and really a lot of support here. But we're only at the halfway point." Petrovic, 47, followed his opening 64 with 66. He missed the cut in his past five events. "I have been hitting the ball really well for about the last three weeks," he said. "I've seen signs of some good rounds coming. Am I surprised? Maybe a little." Petrovic was the last to get in the field, grabbing a spot when Benjamin Alvarado withdrew Tuesday. Petrovic won his lone PGA Tour title in New Orleans in 2005. Canada's Graham DeLaet, playing in a threesome with Furyk and Matt Kuchar, was two back along with Kyle Stanley (67). DeLaet, trying to become the first Canadian winner in the event in 60 years, also shot 63.

Comments
O’Hair-Stricker team wins QBE Shootout in Naples

O’Hair-Stricker team wins QBE Shootout in Naples

NAPLES — Steve Stricker provided the pep talk and Sean O’Hair delivered the shot to secure victory Sunday in the QBE Shootout. Stricker and O’Hair closed with 8-under 64 for a two-shot victory over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, effectively clinchi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rory McIlroy to make Valspar Championship debut at Innisbrook next year

Rory McIlroy to make Valspar Championship debut at Innisbrook next year

The Valspar Championship will get a notable boost in star power next year.Four-time major winner and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy will play the PGA Tour event at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor for the first time, the tournament announced Friday after i...
Published: 12/08/17
Rickie Fowler rallies to win, Tiger Woods finishes strong at Hero World Challenge

Rickie Fowler rallies to win, Tiger Woods finishes strong at Hero World Challenge

NASSAU, Bahamas — Rickie Fowler was the first player to offer a scouting report on Tiger Woods ahead of his return to golf, hinting that Woods was hitting it "way by" him in some of their matches in Florida. Fowler’s own game apparently was in pretty...
Published: 12/03/17
Tiger falls behind as Charley Hoffman leads Hero World Challenge

Tiger falls behind as Charley Hoffman leads Hero World Challenge

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods fell behind early and never recovered. Charley Hoffman pulled away late and made himself hard to beat. Hoffman handled the blustery conditions in the Hero World Challenge on Saturday for 2-under 70, one of only five roun...
Published: 12/02/17

Tiger brings the buzz back by taking lead but falters on back nine

NASSAU, Bahamas — One of the biggest cheers at the Hero World Challenge came from seeing the name Tiger Woods moved to the top of the leaderboard. It just wasn’t there for long. In another impressive showing in his latest comeback from back surgeries...
Published: 12/01/17
Tiger Woods returns from layoff with solid round in Bahamas

Tiger Woods returns from layoff with solid round in Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods looked a lot better in his return to golf than he did when he left. Playing for the first time since his fourth back surgery, Woods returned from a 10-month layoff with 3-under 69 on a breezy Thursday that left him three...
Published: 11/30/17
Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Lexi Thompson never had a putt so short that was potentially worth so much. She had a one-shot lead when she settled over a 2-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday at the Tour Championship. A victory would be worth $500,000 in prize money ...
Updated one month ago

Rookie Sung Hyun Park continues to roll at LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies Friday at the Tour Championship. Park kept right on attacking. Th...
Updated one month ago
Kevin Sutherland wins Charles Schwab Cup Championship, takes Champions season title

Kevin Sutherland wins Charles Schwab Cup Championship, takes Champions season title

PHOENIX — Kevin Sutherland finally broke through on the Champions Tour, taking the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship — and topping the yearlong competition, too. Sutherland closed with 5-under 66 Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Vijay...
Updated one month ago