No need for change at Solheim Cup

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' Players from Europe and the United States like the Solheim Cup just the way it is.
Some have suggested the format of the Solheim Cup be changed to reflect the influence players from Asia and other parts of the world have on golf. Lorena Ochoa, the worlds best player is from Mexico, while Asian golfers have won eight of 17 events this season on the LPGA Tour.
The Solheim Cup, played for the first time in 1990, pits a European team against a squad from the United States, similar to the Ryder Cup.
But players from both teams said changing the format would change what makes the Solheim Cup the Solheim Cup.
Tradition and integrity of the sport. And the spirit of what the entire Solheim Cup is about is, you know, USA vs. Europe, Christina Kim said, pointing out that Japan and Korea have a similar tournament, the Pinx Cup. Its how its always been, and I could never see it any other way.
Not to mention the logistical nightmare that adding other countries or continents would bring.
Id just be interested in what flag youd play it under, because theres a European flag but to this point I havent seen the rest-of-the-world flag, Laura Davies said. So all the people running around with flags wouldnt have much to wave, would they?
That doesnt mean there shouldnt be a tournament that includes other areas.
The men have the Presidents Cup, which features the United States against a team of non-European international players. The Presidents Cup is now held in odd-numbered years ' the Ryder Cup now is in even-numbered years ' with the next one in October in San Francisco.
I think the formulation of a new event needs to happen, just like the Presidents Cup. Why not call it the First Ladies Cup? Cristie Kerr said. These are the kinds of new events that the LPGA can own and have market share with and move forward with, so I think thats what we need to do, because the Solheim Cup, just like the Ryder Cup, that needs to stay the way it is, in my opinion.

NO, NO CAPTAIN: Laura Davies has no interest in being a leader.
Of the European team, that is.
The four-time major champion said Wednesday she has already rejected suggestions she be captain of Europes Solheim Cup team someday, and cant see that changing in the future. Its not her style to get up in front of a room and cheer people up, she said, and a captain needs to be able to do that. She also said she cant command an audience ' though shed probably find a few people to disagree with her.
I dont think its a bad thing not to want to do it, said Davies, who has been on every European team since the Solheim Cup started in 1990. I dont think I would be a particularly good captain, and for that reason, if I couldnt give it my total commitment, then I wouldnt want to do it anyway.
Besides, Davies has designs on playing in a few more Solheim Cups. Europe has never won on U.S. soil, and Davies wants to be part of the team that does. The United States has also won seven of the 10 Solheim Cups played, including the last two.
Were 7-3 down, and Id love to play in at least four more and try and make it 7-all. That would be my dream, and obviously that would constitute a couple of wins in America, which is the ultimate as far as Im concerned, Davies said. 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.
If we dont do it in my time playing in the Solheim then it would be a huge hole in my career.

PIPE DOWN: Christina Kim may be the most outgoing of the bunch, but the rest of the Americans can do their share of talking, too.
Which leads to the question: How ever does captain Beth Daniel get their attention?
She says, Everybody shut up, and then she talks, Cristie Kerr said.
No, I say shut up, Kim said. I holler at the top of my lungs and then everyone is quiet.
Turning serious, Kim said the players all have immense respect for Daniel. So much so that one look from Daniel can quiet an entire room.
Even Kim.
Shes a very intense competitor and shes kind of put that message into us that we cant take anything for granted, Kerr said. Weve got to go out there and play phenomenal golf to win, and thats what were going to do.

NO REGRETS: Europe captain Alison Nicholas isnt second-guessing her picks, even with Karen Stupples winning the week after teams were named.
Stupples, who played on the 2005 European team, won the Wales Ladies Championship a week after Nicholas left her off the squad for this weeks Solheim Cup. While Nicholas said she was happy to see Stupples win, it hasnt changed her thinking.
Theres nothing you can do once the decision has been made, and I made the right decision for me at that time, Nicholas said Wednesday.
Besides, this isnt the first time its happened, Nicholas said. Other players, perhaps being motivated by being passed over, have gone on to win shortly after.
I was pleased for Karen because that was a tough decision, Nicholas said.

DIVOTS: Jose Marie Olazabal taped a motivational message that was shown to the European team on Tuesday night. Olazabal and fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros produced the greatest partnership in Ryder Cup history, with an 11-2-2 record. The course was evacuated ahead of severe storms Wednesday afternoon. Jerry Rich, the architect and sole owner of Rich Harvest Farms, was walking the grounds Wednesday. One woman who recognized him thanked him for bringing the Solheim Cup back to the Midwest and asked if she could take her picture with him.
Watch exclusive LIVE streaming coverage of Day 1 of the Solheim Cup, Friday from 2 pm- 4 pm ET.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.