Notes Victory May Signal Change Pregnant Pair

By Associated PressSeptember 11, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- Juli Inkster, Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon and Michele Redman walked up the 18th fairway Sunday savoring the precious moments they had left with teammate Rosie Jones.
Jones, 45, has been a staple of women's golf for nearly two decades and has already acknowledged this would be her last Solheim Cup. Some of Jones' 40-something teammates may join her on the sideline when the 2007 event returns to Sweden.
Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon
This could possibly be the last Solheim Cup for LPGA legends Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon.
``I would say this is probably my last Solheim Cup, being that I'm almost 49,'' said Daniel, an eight-time U.S. team member. ``I think it's going to be pretty hard for me to make it at 50.''

The futures of the others are uncertain.
Redman, 40, has been on the last four cup teams and scored a major victory Saturday in the final alternate-shot match that gave the U.S. a 6-6 tie at the midway point. But she hasn't won a tour title since 2000.
Inkster, 45, is a Hall of Famer with little left to prove and has four wins since 2000 but none in the past two years.
Mallon, too, has been a regular in the international competition, playing on eight teams. She has sunk two championship-clinching putts, including Sunday's, and lost one match that clinched a European victory.
But how much longer can the old-timers stay competitive with America's young stars, who blossomed this weekend?
``They are the future of the LPGA Tour,'' captain Nancy Lopez said shortly after clinching Sunday's victory.
One 40-something who didn't mince words about her future was England's Laura Davies.
``I think I'm playing well, and I think I can score enough points,'' said the big hitting 41-year-old. ``If I don't, I'll have to beg the captain for a pick. I'm not above begging, you know.''
The Americans credited the large galleries and boisterous fans for helping them bring back the cup Sunday.
Over the three-day event, fans chanted and roared when players urged them to get louder. On Sunday, they didn't need much help. Around the course, the songs and chants that started at the first tee followed the players to the holes they played.
It was the kind of home-course advantage the Europeans expected and the Americans wanted. Europe has never won on American soil.
``I think we all knew that was going to be the case coming in,'' Annika Sorenstam said. ``That's what makes this so great.''
But what got the fans really involved was the cheerleading. When Christina Kim finished her match she led the fans in chants of ``U-S-A!'' and ``Red, white, blue!'' and even got the crowd to start chanting players' names as they walked the fairway.
Kim also carried an American flag on the final few holes.
``I told the girls I've won the majors, I have been inducted in the Hall of Fame, but this was the most fun week I have ever had,'' American assistant captain Donna Caponi said.

The day's fourth pairing, Laura Diaz against Denmark's Iben Tinning, was believed to be the first Solheim Cup match between two expectant mothers.
Diaz, 30, is five months pregnant and Nancy Lopez took some precautions to prevent health problems. She limited Diaz to just one match a day, in the morning when the weather was cooler.
European captain Catrin Nilsmark also was worried about Tinning, who played in the afternoon Friday and Saturday so she could rest.
But the maternity match proved one-sided. Diaz won 6-and-5.
``I never had any problems with the heat,'' Diaz said. ``My baby was giving me the thumbs up all day.''

Sweden's Annika Sorenstam may not have played her typical game this weekend. She drove a tee shot into the water Saturday, had to hit from behind a tree Sunday and occasionally found herself in sand and rough.
But she still delivered the usual results.
Sorenstam went 4-1 over the three days and even gave the Europeans hope when things looked bleak Sunday after a poor start. By scoring four points, the world's best woman golfer was also the week's biggest individual winner, and her 20th victory in this event broke the tie she shared with Laura Davies.
It wasn't enough to satisfy Sorenstam's competitive spirit.
``I'm just looking forward to two years,'' she said. ``We're going to get the cup back, that's all I can say.''

Wendy Ward was the only American player who failed to win a point this weekend, the second straight time she's gone winless.
Ward lost all three of her matches at Crooked Stick, leaving her with seven straight Solheim Cup losses dating to 2003. She was 0-4 in Sweden and is now 2-9-1 all-time in three cup appearances. But she has been on two winning teams.

When Norway's Suzann Pettersen conceded on the 18th for a halve, it was the start of a new direction for American women's golf.
LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Voltaw had already announced he would retire after the Solheim Cup ended. Carolyn Bivens now becomes the seventh commissioner in tour history -- and the first woman to hold the post -- after Voltaw's 6 1/2 -year reign.
The American team celebrated three times, the last by the crowd in a rendition of ``God Bless America.'' ... America's three-point victory tied the Solheim Cup record for smallest victory margin. The Europeans won 14 1/2 to 11 1/2 in 2000 and the U.S. won 15 1/2 to 12 1/2 in 2002. ... Only once in cup history has the visiting team won. The Americans won 17-11 in Wales in 1996.
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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

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

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

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

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    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

    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.