Europe looking for historic Solheim Cup victory

By Associated PressAugust 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' Just once, Laura Davies wants to experience how it feels to win the Solheim Cup on someone elses turf.
 
The Americans have done it. Twice, in fact.
 
To overcome the crowds and the American team, which is always first-class and they always come in playing really well, which theyve done again, and just to beat them over here, I think the sense of satisfaction Sunday night would be beyond anything Ive achieved, Davies said.
 
Look at the statistics and all the chatter ahead of Fridays start at Rich Harvest Farms, though, and it would appear another year will go by without Davies getting her wish.
 
The U.S. team includes two of the worlds four best players, while four of Europes players are ranked 125th or lower. In addition to that home-field advantage ' chants of U-S-A! U-S-A! echoed around the course Thursday afternoon, no small feat in a place that plays 6,670 yards ' the Americans have won the last two Solheim Cups.
 
And then theres that gaping hole left by Annika Sorenstams retirement. Sorenstam was a staple of the European team the last decade, and her 22 match victories and 24 points are the most by any player, European or American.
 
I think, obviously, everybodys writing us off as the underdogs, Europes Janice Moodie said.
 
Just dont tell the Americans that.
 
Angela Stanford waited all of about 30 seconds Thursday before saying shes sick of hearing about the Americans being favorites. The Solheim Cup, after all, is match play, where quirky things happen more often than not. Entire events can turn on one putt, and the best team on paper isnt always the one celebrating on Sunday.
 
We need to go out and play like were the underdogs because I think that theyre going to be ready to play and theyre going to be ready to fight, Stanford said. Its one thing to think, yeah, we have a lot of talent and were stacked. But you cant go in thinking that the ball is just going to go in the hole. I mean, its still golf.
 
Just look at last weekends shocking finish at the PGA Championship.
 
Tiger Woods had won the two weeks leading up to the PGA, was atop the leaderboard at Hazeltine National all week and was 14-for-14 when he began the final round of a major with a lead. Yet it was little-known Y.E. Yang who walked off with the Wanamaker Trophy, not Woods.
 
Everyone knows we have not won on American soil, Europe captain Alison Nicholas said. There has to be a first time on some stage in some place. My word is, `possible.
 
The first two days of the Solheim Cup consist of 16 team matches and the tournament closes with 12 singles matches. As defending champions, the Americans need 14 of the 28 points to retain the cup. Europe needs 14 1/2.
 
Play begins with the fourball matches ' each player plays their own ball, and low score counts as the team score ' and things could get interesting early.
 
Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer face Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson in the opening match. Kerr and Creamer are the Nos. 3 and 4 players in the world, respectively, but Pettersen might be Europes most consistent player, and she and Gustafson have a long history together at the Solheim Cup.
 
The final match pits Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie against Catriona Matthew and Maria Hjorth. Pressel and Wie, of course, are the face of golfs youth movement, players who were holding their own against the grown-ups as teenagers. Wie is a Solheim Cup rookie while Pressel beat Sorenstam in a key singles match in 2007.
 
Matthew is one of Europes veterans, but she won the Womens British Open two weeks ago.
 
The perception in our team room is that we have to play our best golf to beat this team. And we do, U.S. captain Beth Daniel said. Match play, anything can happen.
 
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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  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


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    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

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    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

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    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.