Solheim matches all square

Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2005

CARMEL, Ind. — Momentum swung fast and furious in the Solheim Cup, stopping only when Paula Creamer holed a 5-foot par putt to win for the second time Saturday and leave the matches where they started — all square, with 12 singles matches left to decide who wins.

The 19-year-old Creamer and five women old enough to be her mother led an American rally at Crooked Stick, none more spectacular than 45-year-old Rosie Jones. Playing in her final Solheim Cup, Jones made a 30-foot birdie putt up the ridge on the 18th for an unlikely halve.

Annika Sorenstam recovered from a meltdown in the morning by teaming with Laura Davies for the first time and picking up an easy point. Trish Johnson and Sophie Gustafson came up with clutch putts for Europe.

Canadian Open

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Stephen Ames shot a course-record tying 64 and Craig Barlow made a hole-in-one to surge into contention Saturday as Mark Calcavecchia's lead shrunk to one stroke after three rounds of the Canadian Open.

Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, started the day with a five-shot lead, but battled inconsistent drives and missed putts in a round of 2-over 72 for a 6-under 204 total.

Calcavecchia's struggles gave the rest of the field the opening it needed, and 12 players moved within five shots of the lead entering the final round at Shaughnessy Golf Club.

After opening with rounds of 65 and 67, Calcavecchia didn't made a birdie in the third round. He did have back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 9-10, and scrambled to eight pars on the back nine, including getting up-and-down from 60 yards at No. 18 to remain in the lead.

He also saved an improbable par at the par-4 13th after hitting his tee shot so far left into the trees that he had to chip out to the adjoining 14th fairway. He hit his third shot within 20 feet of the cup and made the putt.

''After missing so many, I had a feeling I was going to make it,'' Calcavecchia said. ''That's one of my better pars of the year.''

Calcavecchia is seeking his first win on tour in four years and will have to hold off a host of challengers to pull off the feat, including Barlow, who shot 65, and Jesper Parnevik (67), one shot back at 5 under. Ryan Moore (67), the 2004 U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion, is two shots back.

Ames is in a four-way tie at 3 under in a group that also includes defending champion Vijay Singh (68), Jerry Kelly (69) and Brian Davis (66).

Barlow, who was at even-par through 13 holes, played the last five holes in 5 under. He drove the 289-yard par-4 14th and made a 6-foot eagle putt. He followed with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 15th.

He aced the par-3 17th with an 8-iron, landing his approach about 10 feet short before the ball rolled into the hole for his first hole-in-one on tour.

''When it was in the air, I never thought of it going in,'' Barlow said. ''I just knew I'd hit it good.''

Ames, who started on No. 10 Saturday, reeled off four straight birdies, starting at No. 12, and added birdies at Nos. 17 and 4 in a round of 6 under.

Ames, the only Canadian who made the cut out of 16 who started, tied the course record set by Lanny Wadkins in the 1978 Canadian PGA Championship. Watkins shot 64 when the course played to a par 72.

Suddenly, Canadian fans had a new hero to cheer. Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters champion and runner-up to Vijay Singh at Glen Abbey, missed the cut.

Ames is a native of Trinidad and Tobago who now lives in Calgary and has obtained Canadian citizenship.

As word of his round spread, his gallery steadily grew to five-deep.

''The bigger the better as far as I'm concerned,'' Ames said, anticipating the support he's expected to get in the final round.

In the crowd was Ames' wife, Jodi, who underwent surgery for lung cancer in July. She followed him on the back nine Saturday, and Ames was solid, hitting 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.

''Today was exceptional ball-striking,'' he said. ''I missed one fairway really wide, which was my first attempt and the other two I missed were in the first cut. That is a feat in itself around this golf course.''

Ames hugged his wife as he walked down the fairway at No. 1, and described her presence on the course as ''a big relief.''

''Obviously the fact that she's out walking around and following me again like she did in the past ... has been a big weight off my shoulders,'' Ames said.

Calcavecchia missed four birdies putts from inside 15 feet on the front nine, including a 5-footer at the par-5 seventh hole, where he nearly reached the green in two.

''I made no birdies and I'm in a state of shock over that,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The good thing about making no birdies is it can't possibly happen two days in a row. Maybe I'll bust out with six or seven tomorrow and that will be the story.''

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