U.S. falls to Europe at Solheim Cup

By Associated PressSeptember 25, 2011, 5:42 pm

DUNSANY, Ireland – Europe won the Solheim Cup for the first time since 2003 on Sunday, finishing powerfully to beat the United States 15-13 at Killeen Castle.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen turned the momentum Europe's way when she recovered from 1 down with birdies at the last three holes to beat Michelle Wie, 1 up.

Her win left Europe needing just one point from the last two singles to win the trophy, but the side captained by Alison Nicholas did even better.

Caroline Hedwall of Sweden – 2 down with two holes to play – earned a crucial halved match to give Europe a 14-13 lead when U.S. rookie Ryann O'Toole bogeyed the 17th and 18th.

Spain's Azahara Munoz birdied the 17th in the final singles to go 1 up on Angela Stanford and guarantee Europe's victory before closing out a 1-up win at the last.

'I've been in agony all day,' Nicholas said. 'The players have had such heart and passion and purpose. I hand it all to them. They've been unbelievable.'

[Click to view Solheim Cup report cards]

Nicholas said Europe's win was the greatest achievement of her career.

'They were so up for it and they believed in themselves,' she said. 'They just fought to the end. The rookies have done fantastic. The experienced players have done really well as well. It's just been a real team effort.'

American captain Rosie Jones also praised her players.

'They fought so hard and really came together in the last couple of days to do so well, and it's just really hard,' Jones said.

Jones declined to blame O'Toole for the defeat.

'You know what, she played awesome,' Jones said. 'She's undefeated in her first Solheim Cup. That is just unbelievable ... She feels bad because she was 2 up coming in.

'But I tell you what, she got three points this week, and I don't know if anybody else did that. So that's pretty awesome.'

Play was suspended three times during the day because of adverse weather conditions but the crowd of 28,000 saw an exciting finish.

The sides were tied 8-8 entering Sunday's 12 singles matches but Europe won the session 7-5 with American Cristie Kerr forced to forfeit her match with Karen Stupples.

Kerr, who was set to play in the 12th singles match, was unable to start because of a wrist injury.

'I'm devastated that I couldn't play today to help represent my team,' Kerr said in a statement. 'I tried my best but I couldn't hold the golf club.'

The home side raced to an 11-8 lead when Catriona Matthew soundly defeated Paula Creamer 6 and 5 and Sophie Gustafason beat Stacy Lewis, 2 up.

The Americans rallied when Morgan Pressel beat Anna Nordqvist, 2 and 1, and Brittany Lang defeated Sandra Gal, 6 and 5.

Veteran Juli Inkster gave the U.S. hope when she won the 18th with a par to halve her match with Laura Davies before Christina Kim beat Swede Maria Hjorth, 4 and 2, to level the scores.

Two-up wins for Europe's Christel Boeljon over Brittany Lincicome and American Vicky Hurst over Melissa Reid left the match riding on the last three singles.

With Stanford and Munoz all square in the final singles, the game between Pettersen and Wie became crucial.

Pettersen birdied the par-3 16th from 18 feet to square the match but Wie birdied the 17th from 20 feet to remain all square after the Norwegian had hit her approach to 3 feet to set up an easy birdie.

Pettersen fired a brilliant approach to 8 feet at the last, but while the American came out to 4 feet from a greenside bunker, Europe's top-ranked player holed the birdie putt.

'We knew it was going to come down to the last couple (of matches) if we had a chance and this is just fantastic,' Pettersen said. 'Absolutely brilliant team and what a way to finish on home soil.'

Munoz turned the tide Europe's way with a birdie from 3 feet at the 17th and when O'Toole overshot the 18th against Hedwall and then failed to save par, Europe was guaranteed victory.

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Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.


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“Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

“I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

“I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

“I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”


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On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

“We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

• Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

• Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

• Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1

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Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”