US Leads Early on Cold Windy Day 1

By Associated PressSeptember 14, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- Sherri Steinhauer knew the putt was going in well before it reached the hole. She started walking away, and when the ball dropped as expected, she jumped for joy, knowing she was on her way toward knocking off Annika Sorenstam in the Solheim Cup.
 
Steinhauer and Laura Diaz combined for a 4-and-2 upset over Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew to help the Americans to a 2 1/2 -1 1/2 lead after the alternate-shot matches Friday morning.
 
Paula Creamer and Juli Inkster
Paula Creamer and Juli Inkster helped spark the U.S. to an early lead. (Getty Images)
Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer defeated Laura Davies and Becky Brewerton 2 and 1 for America's other victory.
 
Gwladys Nocera and Maria Hjorth defeated Natalie Gulbis and Morgan Pressel 3 and 2 for Europe's lone victory.
 
Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson salvaged a tie for Europe against Cristie Kerr and Pat Hurst -- something of a victory, really, considering the Europeans played most of their match from behind trees and in the rough.
 
The Americans are seeking to win the cup in Europe for the first time since 1996 and they were off to a promising start. This marked the first time the United States had won the opening fourball matches since 1998.
 
'It's hard to put into words because we've struggled so much in this format,' said Diaz, who earned her first career point in foursomes.
 
Players took a short break, then went back out for best-ball matches in the afternoon at Halmstad Golf Club, where the weather was miserable -- with wind, heavy rain and temperatures in the 50s that had the players reaching for both their umbrellas and their stocking caps.
 
None of that seemed to bother Steinhauer, who missed a 3-foot putt on No. 10 to bring a match the Americans had led by two back to all-square.
 
From there, she was simply terrific. After the Americans regained the lead on No. 11, Steinhauer saved par from 8 feet to halve No. 12, then hit her tee shot on the par-3 13th to near tap-in range to go 2 up.
 
On No. 14, Matthew hit her approach shot to 6 inches, putting herself and Sorenstam in line to trim the lead. That's when Steinhauer, who works with a long putter, knocked in a 20 footer to halve the hole and suck away whatever momentum the Europeans may have felt moments earlier.
 
'I have a long time in my career, and it's been rejuvenated, and to be back, it's unbelievable,' said Steinhauer, the 44-year-old who is back at the Solheim Cup for the first time since 2000.
 
In the match behind them, Inkster and Creamer were leaking oil, having blown a 2-up lead and looking like their match might be settled on the 18th. But Davies hit her tee shot on the par-3 16th into the water, then hit a bad approach on 17 that forced Brewerton to simply punch out from behind a walking path. The Euros conceded the match on the 17th green.
 
Europe's half-point from Pettersen and Gustafson was something of a bonus considering they found basically every patch of trouble on this long, but not overly narrow, Swedish golf course.
 
Trouble began on the first tee box when Pettersen, the reigning McDonalds LPGA champion, yanked her shot behind a tree on the left side.
 
The scrambling began and didn't end until the very end, when Gustafson, playing from a thin lie in some trampled-down rough, got the ball to about 15 feet on No. 18. Kerr played her approach from the fairway, but yanked it left.
 
Pettersen had a chance to win, but left her putt a tad short. Hurst, meanwhile, chipped to about 8 feet, and Kerr actually had to make a tester to salvage the tie -- the first time the Americans weren't in control of the match all day.
 
In the final match, Nocera and Hjorth were in command pretty much from the beginning as the two young Americans had trouble harnessing their game. Pressel lipped out a short putt on No. 4 that would've won the hole. Gulbis missed a 6-footer on No. 6, then another on No. 12, as the Americans finished 16 holes in 4-over par.
 
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  • 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.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.