Notes Pressel Slays Sorenstam

By Associated PressSeptember 16, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- Nothing was sweeter for Morgan Pressel than beating Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam in singles and helping the United States retain the Solheim Cup.
 
After going 0-2-1 in her first three Solheim Cup matches, the 19-year-old rookie from Florida capitalized on two late, poor putts by Sorenstam to beat her 2 and 1 on Sunday.
 
The match was decided when Sorenstam missed from 4 feet for a bogey on the 15th, which Pressel parred. Then, Sorenstam misread her putt on the 16th, where the American made birdie. Both parred the 17th, ending the match.
 
'I'm sure she didn't putt as well as she would like to,' said Pressel, who became the youngest major winner in women's golf when she took the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April.
 
When Pressel saw the pairings for the singles Saturday night, she got a big surprise.
 
'I was like, 'I feel like I'm going to be playing Annika.' I looked at the list. It said 'Annika.' I was like, 'Wow,'' Pressel said.
 
The Europeans went into the final round with an 8 1/2-7 1/2 lead, but the Americans won 8 of the last 12 singles to win 16-12.
 
Sorenstam, the top points scorer in Solheim Cup history, has 84 career wins including 10 majors. But she is in danger of completing her first full season without a win since 1994, when she was a rookie.
 
Earlier this season, she missed two months because of back and neck injuries. She lost the top spot in the rankings to Lorena Ochoa and is now ranked No. 3.
 
'I thought (Pressel) played really well,' said Sorenstam, who teamed with Suzann Pettersen to beat Cristie Kerr and Pressel 3 and 2 in a best-ball match completed early Sunday. 'I thought I played well. I didn't miss really a fairway, not many greens.'
 
STEADY INKSTER
Juli Inkster improved her singles record to 6-1-0 after beating Iben Tinning 4 and 3 that tied the biggest winning margin of the day.
 
The 47-year-old Californian also went undefeated in two foursome and one best-ball matches during the three-day event.
 
A seven-time major winner, Inkster has played in seven Solheim Cups.
 
LAURA CHASING ANNIKA
Laura Davis moved to within one point of Annika Sorenstam on the all-time Solheim Cup points list after winning the best-ball match with Becky Brewerton and then beating American rookie Brittany Lincicome 4 and 3 in singles.
 
Davies, the only golfer to have played in every Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990, has 23 points. Sorenstam leads with 24 points from eight events since her 1994 debut.
 
STREAK SNAPPED
After going unbeaten in four foursome and best-ball matches, Maria Hjorth's streak was snapped when she lost 2 and 1 to Paula Creamer, whose tap-in on the 15th hole assured the Americans of the 14 points needed to retain the cup.
 
UNDEFEATED SCANDINAVIANS
Annika Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen stayed undefeated as a pair in Solheim Cup competition by beating Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel 3 and 2 in the last best-ball match that was suspended because of darkness Saturday and completed early Sunday.
 
The Swedish-Norwegian duo won one foursome and one best-ball match at Barseback, Sweden, in 2003, when Europe beat the United States. They won another foursome in 2005 at Crooked Stick Golf Course in Carmel, Ind., when the United States prevailed.
 
So why do they play so well together?
 
'We have a good time together, the chemistry is fine,' Sorenstam said. 'We help each other. If I'm out of the hole Suzann comes in and plays well. If she's not there, I'll try to be there.'
 
Pettersen, who became Norway's first major winner this year when she won the McDonalds LPGA Championship, says they have a great friendship.
 
'I think we like each other and we probably think the same way, and it makes us strong,' Pettersen said. 'We both hate to lose, so we'll do whatever it takes.'
 
BAD WEATHER
Cold, wet and miserable. The bad weather continued for the third straight day and for some players it was hard to get charged up.
 
'It is, especially when you go to bed really late and wake up and it's still dark and still raining,' said Annika Sorenstam, who got used to that kind of autumn weather near Stockholm where she grew up.
 
'It's tough to get going. It's the Solheim Cup, and you have a lot of things at stake. It makes it a lot easier.'
 
BACK TO THE USA
The Solheim Cup will return to the United States in 2009, when the biennial trans-Atlantic match play competition will be held at Rich Harvest Farm outside Chicago. The Americans are undefeated at home in five Solheim Cups since the inaugural event in 1990 at Lake Noona, Fla.
 
RECORD ATTENDANCE
Despite a wet start, Sunday's final matches drew 36,100 fans, bringing total attendance to 100,400 -- a record for women's golf in Sweden.
 
The 2003 Solheim Cup at Barseback, another south Swedish course, had 90,000 spectators.
 
The only other country to twice host is Scotland, the home of golf.
 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Player Report Cards
  • European Player Report Cards
  • U.S. Player Records
  • European Player Records
  • Scoring - Solheim Cup
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup
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    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

    Getty Images

    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.