Angela Stanford gets visit from her sick mother

By Associated PressAugust 20, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' Angela Stanford has some extra motivation this week.
 
Stanfords mother, Nan, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, decided to make the trip to the Solheim Cup and will join Stanfords brother and grandmother. Nan Stanford had canceled her flight to the Chicago area, but made the 15-hour drive from Texas with another family member and friend.
 
Stanfords father didnt make the trip after having shoulder surgery on July 31.
 
Im pretty pumped my mom is going to be here, Stanford said.
 
Stanford announced in late June that her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Nan Stanford just finished her second round of chemotherapy, and will have four more.
 
Theyre going to do one every three weeks, and then probably surgery before the end of the year, Stanford said. Shes doing good, but I think the second round hit her a little harder. I found out where my impatience comes from. Shell have a good day and then shell have a bad day and just get all upset because she thinks if she has one good day, she should have a lot of good days.
 
Emotionally, I think shes getting better every day, so Im pretty proud of her.
 
Stanford is playing in her third Solheim Cup, but first in the United States.
 

 
CUP MOTIVATION:The missed cuts were piling up and so were the poor finishes. After so much early success, Brittany Lincicome had no idea how to get out of her slump last year.
 
Or if she even could.
 
It was very scary, I couldnt do anything right last year, Lincicome said Thursday. Nothing was going my way, I couldnt get anything going. My father and I had the conversation, why dont we just take the rest of the year off, work on the game a little bit and see what happens, because I was already exempt from winning a tournament in the previous year.
 
She kept at it, but never found her groove. She had just one top-10 finish in 21 events last season, missing 11 cuts. Of her last seven events, she missed the cut five times.
 
Making her struggles all the more difficult was that shed never experienced anything like it.
 
A star on the junior circuit, Lincicome was the first-round leader at the very first U.S. Womens Open she played, in 2004. She wound up tied for 55th, but the big hitter had served notice that Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie werent the only teenagers with game.
 
Sure enough, two years later, Lincicome won the Womens World Match Play Championship for her first victory. She was in the top 10 four other times, including finishing seventh at the U.S. Womens Open. In 2007, she won the Ginn Open.
 
Lincicome switched coaches at the beginning of this season, and working with Craig Shankland has had a huge impact. In her fourth start, Lincicome won her first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She also was fifth at the U.S. Open.
 
I just kind of needed a change, needed to hear something different, Lincicome said. Were kind of working on the same things, but just maybe it hear it a different way, something has clicked, and its really worked out very well.
 
That she wanted a spot on this Solheim Cup team didnt hurt, either.
 
Lincicome freely admits shes not much for practice, and will find herself talking to fellow players if a practice session is dragging on too long. But her poor season last year meant she had work to do if she wanted one of the 10 automatic spots on the U.S. team.
 
It was my No. 1 goal going into the season to make this team, and I had to work pretty hard and put in some good practice ' which, if you know me, you know I dont like to do, she said. It was a lot of work, but the reward was being here and being with these girls and representing your country. Theres nothing better than that.
 

 
NO HELP: European captain Alison Nicholas seems to have been paying attention to Paul Azingers strategy.
 
The U.S. captain used a pod system for last years Ryder Cup, dividing his players into three personality groups and keeping them together for practice rounds and matches. The method worked, with the Americans truly looking like a team in their only Ryder Cup victory this decade.
 
Nicholas did a little shuffling with practice groups, particularly earlier in the week. But the same four players played together Wednesday and Thursday and, sure enough, Nicholas drew her fourball pairings from that.
 
(Azinger) came to see me and said, If you want any help, let me know. I said, Fine, thats good with me, Nicholas said, drawing laughs. Obviously, I did get some information about how Paul structured his pairings. But I just did my own thing, really.
 
Sophie Gustafson and Suzann Pettersen, paired for at least one match at the last three Solheim Cups, will play the first fourball match against Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr. Helen Alfredsson, who qualified as a player after serving as captain in 2007, has played all week with rookie Tania Elosegui, and will do so again Friday against Angela Stanford and Juli Inkster.
 
Laura Davies and Becky Brewerton are paired again, as they were in 2007. Theyll play Brittany Lang and Brittany Lincicome. Catriona Matthew has a new partner in Maria Hjorth (against Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie).
 
They have a desire to play with one another, and all my players there get a lot of birdies, Nicholas said. Thats what fourball is all about.
 
Watch exclusive GolfChannel.com LIVE streaming coverage of Day 1 of the Solheim Cup, Friday from 2 pm- 4 pm ET.
 
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  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

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    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

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    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.