Notes Playing While Pregnant Davies a Character

By Associated PressSeptember 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- Nancy Lopez and Catrin Nilsmark each have a pregnant player on their team. Laura Diaz is entering her sixth month, while Iben Tinning is pregnant with twins.
 
Both are mothers themselves, and have tried to play with child. Both plan to give their mothers-to-be some rest.
 
Laura Diaz
Laura Diaz is one of two Solheim Cup team members playing while pregnant.
Diaz is playing in the opening foursome session with Michele Redman, but is not expected to play the fourball match in the afternoon. Tinning is sitting out the first session.
 
``She's playing well,'' Nilsmark said of her Danish player. ``She'll probably play more than one time before Sunday, but it's really hot out there. She's feeling good, but I think with the heat, I definitely wasn't going to play her 36 holes a day.''
 
Lopez, who has three children, said Diaz looked remarkably fit for being five months into her pregnancy.
 
``When I was five months, everybody was asking me if I was ready to deliver,'' Lopez said. ``She looks great and is in great shape. It does take a toll on your, the heat, and the mental pressure as much as anything.''
 
She said she played Diaz in the morning because it might be cooler.
 
TEAM CHARACTER:
Laura Davies has more experience than anyone in the Solheim Cup, having played every time since it began in 1990. She likes to play first, because she likes to play fast. She loves to dish out her dry humor in the team room, but she hates going to mandatory meetings about the rules.
 
Still, European captain Catrin Nilsmark has noticed Davies taking more of a leadership role.
 
``She's more of a team member now than she maybe has been,'' Nilsmark said. ``In the past, she would take her own car, and not go on the bus. I don't think she would do that now. I think she realized the one advantage we might have over the Americans is the fact we are very much a team, and we have lots of fun.''
 
But there has been some comical moments with Davies this week.
 
Davies jokingly pitched a fit about the mandatory rules meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and tried to get out of it.
 
``She asked me -- and she very well knew the answer -- if she had to come to the meeting,'' Nilsmark said. ``She said, 'But it's ridiculous.' She was mocking about, asking the questions that are going to be asked, nothing we haven't talked about before. She was making a big theater. It was pretty funny.''
 
Then there was the practice times.
 
Nilsmark put Davies in the last of three Europeans groups during practice earlier in the week, primarily because they started after the Americans and she knew Davies couldn't go anywhere fast.
 
``The ninth hole, she said, 'Please, captain, please put me out first tomorrow,''' Nilsmark said. ``I looked at my schedule -- I had put her first, of course. I'm trying to be nice to her.''
 
But that only went so far.
 
When the first session of foursomes was announced Thursday, Davies was in the second group with Maria Hjorth.
 
``I really thought she would put Laura Davies first,'' U.S. captain Nancy Lopez said. ``Laura is like that. 'Let me go, I want to go.'''
 
Nilsmark, sitting next to Lopez, only smiled.
 
``That's where she wanted to be,'' she said.
 
CROWDED CROOKED STICK:
Everyone expected huge crowds for the sold-out tournament. But a big gallery for the practice rounds?
 
As Laura Davies and Annika Sorenstam practiced Thursday, throngs of fans followed them from hole-to-hole, cheering each shot. At one point, a group of fans broke into a chant.
 
It was enough to impress the world's top woman golfer.
 
``It's a lot of fun for a player to come out and have a practice round when you have some crowds behind you and cheer you on,'' Sorenstam said after practicing Wednesday. ``I think we're going to have great support this week in many ways, especially from the crowds.''
 
Anywhere the players went, the fans followed. They roamed the course, chatted quietly among themselves and even with players as they circled the practice tees and putting green.
 
``They're very energetic,'' said Juli Inkster, who is playing in her sixth Solheim Cup. ``You're loving the feeling out there. Hopefully, by Friday, we'll get the full crowds out there, and we'll hopefully give them something to cheer about.''
 
JUNIOR SOLHEIM:
What had looked to be a close match turned into a blowout at the Junior Solheim Cup, when the Americans won 10 of 12 points from the singles matches for a 16-8 victory at nearby Bridgewater Club.
 
Leading the way for the Americans was 17-year-old Morgan Pressel, the runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open and the U.S. Women's Amateur champion. Playing in her final junior event, Pressel went unbeaten and won her singles match, 6 and 4, over Azahara Munoz of Spain.
 
``This was so important to me to play in this event,'' Pressel said. ``There is no better way to end my time in junior golf. Going out on top with this team is the way I wanted it.''
 
Perhaps the real Solheim Cup is her next step. Two years ago in Sweden, 17-year-old Paula Creamer was part of the U.S. team for the Junior Solheim Cup.
 
DIVOTS:
Louise Solheim, the wife of the late Karsten Solheim, has been made an honorary member of the LPGA. ... Of the four alternate-shot pairings, only the teams of Annika Sorenstam-Suzann Pettersen and Trish Johnson-Sophie Gustafson of Europe have played with each other in previous Solheim Cups. ... Based on the practice rounds, Iben Tinning believes the Europeans in the gallery will be the most vocal when the matches began. ``I think the Americans are going to lose their voices because they're screaming so loud,'' she said.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup
     
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

    The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

    The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

    In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

    Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

    Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

    Stock Watch: Lexi, Justin rose or fall this week?

    By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

    Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the Web.com, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

    Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

    Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

    Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


    FALLING

    J-Rose (-1%): Another high finish in Dubai, but his back-nine 38, after surging into the lead, was shocking. It cost him not just the tournament title, but also the season-long race.  

    Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

    Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

    DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

    LPGA Player of the Year (-5%): Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu tied for the LPGA’s biggest prize, with 162 points. How is there not a tiebreaker in place, whether it’s scoring average or best major performance? Talk about a buzzkill.

    Titleist's Uihlein fires back at Davis over distance

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

    Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

    In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the outlet which first published Davis' comments on Sunday, Uihlein took aim at the idea that golf ball distance gains are hurting the sport by providing an additional financial burden to courses.

    "Is there any evidence to support this canard … the trickle-down cost argument?” he wrote (via Golf.com). “Where is the evidence to support the argument that golf course operating costs nationwide are being escalated due to advances in equipment technology?"

    Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

    "The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate," he wrote.

    The Titleist CEO even went as far as to suggest that Tiger Woods' recent comments that "we need to do something about the golf ball" were motivated by the business interersts of Woods' ball sponsor, Bridgestone.

    "Given Bridgestone’s very small worldwide market share and paltry presence in professional golf, it would seem logical they would have a commercial motive making the case for a reduced distance golf ball," he added.

    Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.

    Class of 2011: The groups before The Group

    By Mercer BaggsNovember 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

    We’ve been grouping things since the beginning, as in The Beginning, when God said this is heaven and this is earth, and you’re fish and you’re fowl.

    God probably wasn’t concerned with marketing strategies at the time and how #beastsoftheearth would look with a hashtag, but humans have evolved into such thinking (or not evolved, depending on your thinking).

    We now have all manner of items lumped into the cute, the catchy and the kitschy. Anything that will capture our attention before the next thing quickly wrests said attention away.

    Modern focus, in a group sense in the golf world, is on the Class of 2011. This isn’t an arbitrary assembly of players based on world ranking or current form. It’s not a Big Pick A Number.

    There’s an actual tie that binds as it takes a specific distinction to be part of the club. It’s a group of 20-somethings who graduated from high school in the aforementioned year, many who have a PGA Tour card, a handful of who have PGA Tour wins, and a couple of who have major titles.

    It’s a deep and talented collective, one for which our knowledge should continue to expand as resumes grow.

    Do any “classes” in golf history compare? Well, it’s not like we’ve long been lumping successful players together based on when they completed their primary education. But there are other notable groups of players, based primarily on birthdate, relative competition and accomplishment.

    Here’s a few on both the men’s and women’s side:

    BORN IN 1912

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Feb. 4, 1912 Byron Nelson 52 5
    May 27, 1912 Sam Snead 82 7
    Aug. 13, 1912 Ben Hogan 64 9

    Born six months within one another. Only a threesome, but a Hall of Fame trio that combined for 198 PGA Tour wins and 21 majors.


    BORN IN 1949

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 4, 1949 Tom Watson 39 8
    Dec. 5, 1949 Lanny Wadkins 21 1
    Dec. 9, 1949 Tom Kite 19 1

    Only 96 days separate these three Hall of Fame players. Extend the reach into March of 1950 and you'll get two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North.


    BORN IN 1955

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 30, 1955 Curtis Strange 17 2
    Jan. 30, 1955 Payne Stewart 11 3
    Feb. 10, 1955 Greg Norman 20 2

    Another trio of Hall of Fame players. Strange and Stewart were born on the same day with Norman 11 days later. Fellow PGA Tour winners born in 1955: Scott Simpson, Scott Hoch and Loren Roberts.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1956-57

    Birthdate Player LPGA wins Major wins
    Feb. 22, 1956 Amy Alcott 29 5
    Oct. 14, 1956 Beth Daniel 33 1
    Oct. 27, 1956 Patty Sheehan 35 6
    Jan. 6, 1957 Nancy Lopez 48 3

    A little arbitrary here, but go with it. Four Hall of Famers on the women's side, all born within one year of each other. That's an average (!) career of 36 tour wins and nearly four majors.


    EUROPE'S BIG 5

    Birthdate Player Euro (PGA Tour) wins Major wins
    April 9, 1957 Seve Ballesteros 50 (9) 5
    July 18, 1957 Nick Faldo 30 (9) 6
    Aug. 27, 1957 Bernhard Langer 42 (3) 2
    Feb. 9, 1958 Sandy Lyle 18 (6) 2
    March 2, 1958 Ian Woosnam 29 (2) 1

    The best 'class' of players Europe has to offer. Five born within a year of one another. Five Hall of Fame members. Five who transformed and globalized European golf.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1969-70

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 12, 1969 Angel Cabrera 3 2
    Oct. 17, 1969 Ernie Els 19 4
    May 12, 1970 Jim Furyk 17 1
    May 12, 1970 Mike Weir 8 1
    June 16, 1970 Phil Mickelson 42 5

    Not a tight-knit group, but a little more global bonding in accordance to the PGA Tour's increased international reach. Add in worldwide wins – in excess of 200 combined – and this group is even more impressive.


    BORN IN 1980

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 9, 1980 Sergio Garcia 10 1
    July 16, 1980 Adam Scott 13 1
    July 30, 1980 Justin Rose 8 1

    Could be three future Hall of Fame members here.

    Editor's note: Golf Channel's editorial research unit contributed.