Michelle Wie doesnt have to be star at Solheim Cup

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' When it came time to get the fans rowdy with a couple of rounds of U-S-A! U-S-A! Solheim Cup rookie Michelle Wie wasnt quite sure what to do.
 
I was like, Just watch. Ill get it started. And then we had a great time with it, playing partner and Solheim Cup veteran Morgan Pressel said after Wednesdays practice round.
 
Yes, this week should be quite the education for Wie ' about her, too.
 
Heralded as golfs biggest thing since Tiger Woods after winning the Womens Amateur Public Links at 13, making her the youngest winner of a USGA championship for adults, the last six years have not always been easy for Wie.
 
Despite being in contention at several majors, shes still looking for her first win ' on the LPGA and off. Her attempts to play with the big boys failed. Fellow players resented the attention she got early on, grumbling at what they saw as free passes.
 
Fans are mesmerized by her sweet swing and booming drives. But with her face often hidden behind sunglasses and her interview answers polished to perfection, they dont have that Tiger-like connection to her.
 
Shes an amazing golfer, but what people dont realize is shes still just a teenager, and were getting to know her as a person, Cristie Kerr said. Shes got quite the fashion edge. She makes her own clothing. You know, she designs clothing. She does a lot of interesting things.
 
Shes a talented artist, Pressel chimed in.
 
Shes a very talented artist, Kerr agreed. Shes very funny. Shes quirky. I think people are going to see the real her this week.
 
Beth Daniel used one of her two captains picks on Wie, and it had nothing to do with star power.
 
The top 10 players in Solheim Cup points automatically made the U.S. team, and Wie was 13th after a tie for 11th at the British Open. But consider that she only started collecting points this year; despite playing a handful events on the LPGA each year since she was 13, the 19-year-old player is only in her rookie season.
 
Shes been in the top 10 in five of the 13 tournaments shes played, including finishing second at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay, and is 24th in the world rankings. She has yet to miss a cut, and ranks sixth with 19 of her 51 rounds in the 60s.
 
You always wonder if you should pick a rookie, said Daniel, who played in seven Solheim Cups. I always feel like picking a rookie in the United States is a little easier than picking a rookie overseas, because here shes going to have the fans at her back the whole time. But I looked at the stats. I looked at her performances.
 
Ive said from day one of being captain that my picks were going to be the people who were playing the best coming into the event. And if I looked at 11 through 20, by far she was playing the best of any of them, Daniel said. So yeah. It was a bit of a no-brainer.
 
And Wies length could come in quite handy when the Solheim Cup begins Friday. Rich Harvest Farms is the longest course in Solheim Cup history, playing at 6,670 yards, and the European team is filled with big hitters. Wie currently ranks fourth on the LPGA in driving distance.
 
The Americans have won the last two Solheim Cups, and have yet to lose on home soil.
 
Itll help us if she keeps it in the fairway, Daniel said. Its not only long, its an extremely tight golf course. And thats what makes it so difficult. Most people that hit it long have a tendency to hit it a little crooked. So thatll be a big factor here. But its also a golf course that you have to be able to hit the ball both ways, left to right, right to left, and she has all the shots to do that.
 
Only time will tell how she reacts, but shes been playing very well in the practice rounds. She seems to be loose and ready to go.
 
Wie made no secret of how badly she wanted to be part of this team, admitting to badgering Daniel. When she handed in the questionnaire Daniel had all the players fill out ' detailing things like food allergies, what kind of ball they play ' she added a note, writing thank you so much for picking me in big letters.
 
So far, shes fit in beautifully.
 
Well, everywhere except maybe those team pingpong matches.
 
I didnt even try, Wie said. Me and Morgan played ' yeah, we just didnt try. Its OK, well stick to golf.
 
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. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.