Co-hosts Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade changed things up a bit for this year’s CVS Caremark Charity Classic, and Morgan Pressel and Jay Haas took advantage of the new approach. In a second day of scramble golf, a format new to the event this year, the winning duo from the LPGA and Champions Tours ran off nine straight birdies and an eagle on their way to a 21-under, two-shot victory on Tuesday at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington.
The victory was especially sweet for Pressel, who, as one of the first women to appear in the tourney, was the first LPGA member on a winning team. While the 2007 Kraft Nabisco champ conceded it was way better to win than not, the event is all about charity for her and the other talent-laden pairings that included world No. 1 Yani Tseng, teen phenom Lexi Thompson, and retired legends Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam.
“This is just the most amazing tournament…the amount of money that’s raised for charity,” Pressel, whose Morgan Pressel Foundation has raised more than $2 million for breast cancer research, told reporters. “It’s such a great tournament. We love coming here.”
As for the golf, Haas said he and his partner were in sync from the start.
“It was just kind of a magical start for us. Either one of us would hit it close and the other would tap it in,” Haas said. “In this format, you expect to make a lot of birdies but not quite like we did, 12-under through 12. That was pretty crazy out there.”
Try as they might, the teams of Thompson/Corey Pavin and Suzann Pettersen/Fred Funk could only tie for second at 19-under.
“Lexi drove the ball fantastically today and made a lot of great putts,” Pavin said about the 17-year-old LPGA rookie who starred in the 2010 Curtis Cup at another New England course, Massachusetts’ Essex County Club. “But at the last hole I knew we needed to make it to tie for second. Lexi hit a great putt that came up a little bit short, but it really helped me with the line. I hit a really good putt, and it was just what the doctor ordered.”
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminerWHAT'S YOUR REACTION?