2015 U.S. Solheim Cup team capsules

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 14, 2015, 12:00 pm

Here is a breakdown of United States captain Juli Inkster's 12-player roster for the 14th Solheim Cup, which will be Sept. 18-20 at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Click here for European team capsules. The Europeans are the reigning champion, having won, 18-10, at Colorado Golf Club in 2012.


Paula CreamerPaula Creamer

Age: 29

Record: 12-6-5 (6th appearance)

World ranking: 48th

LPGA victories: 10 (one major)

The lowdown: Inkster made Creamer one of her two captain’s picks because she’s been the heart and soul of the U.S. Solheim Cup squad since 2005. Creamer easily boasts the best overall record on the American roster, though she is winless on the LPGA since March 2014.


Cristie KerrCristie Kerr

Age: 37

Record: 12-14-4 (8th appearance)

World ranking: 15th

LPGA victories: 17 (two majors)

The lowdown: A staple on the U.S. Solheim Cup squad since 2002. She has fared best at this competition in fourballs, sporting a 9-5-0 record. She has a losing record in foursomes (2-5-2) and singles (1-4-2).


Brittany LangBrittany Lang

Age: 30

Record: 5-4-2 (4th appearance)

World ranking: 41st

LPGA victories: 1

The lowdown: Lang is a captain's pick. She was one of the lone bright spots for the U.S. side in 2013, when she went 3-1. She is 2-0-1 in singles.


Alison LeeAlison Lee

Age: 20

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 27th

LPGA victories: 0

The lowdown: The only rookie on the American team is also an LPGA rookie. Lee has made 15 of 19 cuts this year, including five top-10s. Lee has also yet to be part of a losing U.S. squad in six combined amateur team appearances at the Junior Solheim Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and Curtis Cup.


Stacy LewisStacy Lewis

Age: 30

Record: 2-5-1 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 3rd

LPGA victories: 11 (two majors)

The lowdown: Despite a victory drought that dates back to June 2014 and a less than ideal Solheim Cup record, the former world No. 1 brings a veteran presence and scrappiness to Inkster’s no-nonsense U.S. squad.


Brittany LincicomeBrittany Lincicome

Age: 29

Record: 5-7-2 (5th appearance)

World ranking: 14th

LPGA victories: 6 (two majors)

The lowdown: The big hitter broke a near four-year winless drought in April with her second major victory. She has struggled at this compeition in singles (1-3), but she's 4-4-2 as a doubles partner.


Gerina PillerGerina Piller

Age: 30

Record: 0-2-1 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 37th

LPGA victories: 0

The lowdown: Piller is one of only two players on the U.S. team without an LPGA victory, but she qualified for the team with three top-10s in her last nine starts, including a tie for second at the Meijer LPGA. She went 0-2 in fourballs two years ago and halved her singles match.


Morgan PresselMorgan Pressel

Age: 27

Record: 8-5-2 (5th appearance)

World ranking: 23rd

LPGA victories: 2 (one major)

The lowdown: One of two Americans on the squad with a winning Solheim record. Though Pressel doesn’t have an LPGA win since 2008, she has come close this year with a playoff loss and a pair of top-fives in majors.


Lizette SalasLizette Salas

Age: 26

Record: 0-1-2 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 32nd

LPGA victories: 1

The lowdown: Salas secured a spot on the team with a tie for second at the Meijer LPGA. It is her lone top-10 finish on tour this season. In her cup debut two years ago, Salas earned a pair of halves.


Angela StanfordAngela Stanford

Age: 37

Record: 3-11-3 (6th appearance)

World ranking: 35th

LPGA victories: 5

The lowdown: Stanford heads into her sixth Solheim Cup appearance as the second oldest member of the U.S. team (one month younger than Kerr). Stanford has proven she can shine on this stage, going 2-0-1 in 2007, but she’s winless on tour since 2012 and without a Solheim point since '09.


Lexi ThompsonLexi Thompson

Age: 20

Record: 1-2-0 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 4th

LPGA victories: 5 (one major)

The lowdown: Lexi’s length off the tee is her strength, as evidenced by her Kraft Nabisco victory in 2014, in which she overpowered the golf course to win her first major. If she’s hitting it straight, it could be a huge advantage for the Americans.


Michelle WieMichelle Wie

Age: 25

Record: 6-5-1 (4th appearance)

World ranking: 20th

LPGA victories: 4 (one major)

The lowdown: The ultimate wildcard for Inkster’s squad. Wie started to fulfill some of her potential in 2014, culminating in a U.S. Open runaway, but has battled myriad injuries ever since. She has gone 3-0 in foursomes, but is 1-2 in singles.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon. 

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Stock Watch: Spieth searching for putting form

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:50 pm

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

RISING

Patton Kizzire (+8%): By today’s accelerated standards, he’s a late bloomer, having reached the Tour at age 29. Well, he seems right at home now, with two wins in his last four starts.

Rory (+7%): Coming off the longest break of his career, McIlroy should have no excuses this year. He’s healthy. Focused. Motivated. It’s go time.

Chris Paisley (+5%): The best part about his breakthrough European Tour title that netted him $192,000? With his wife, Keri, on the bag, he doesn’t have to cut 10 percent to his caddie – she gets the whole thing.

Brooke Henderson (+3%): A seventh-place finish at the Diamond Resorts Invitational doesn’t sound like much for a five-time winner, but this came against the men – on a cold, wet, windy, 6,700-yard track. She might be the most fun player to watch on the LPGA. 

New European Ryder Cuppers (+2%): In something of a Ryder Cup dress rehearsal, newcomers Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton each went undefeated in leading Europe to a come-from-behind victory at the EurAsia Cup. The competition come September will be, um, a bit stiffer.



FALLING

Jordan’s putting (-1%): You can sense his frustration in interviews, and why not? In two starts he leads the Tour in greens in regulation … and ranks 201st (!) in putting. Here’s guessing he doesn’t finish the year there.

Brian Harman’s 2018 Sundays (-2%): The diminutive left-hander now has five consecutive top-10s, and he’s rocketing up the Ryder Cup standings, but you can’t help but wonder how much better the start to his year might have been. In the final pairing each of the past two weeks, he’s a combined 1 under in those rounds and wasn’t much of a factor.

Tom Hoge (-3%): Leading by one and on the brink of a life-changing victory – he hadn’t been able to keep his card each of the past three years – Hoge made an absolute mess of the 16th, taking double bogey despite having just 156 yards for his approach. At least now he’s on track to make the playoffs for the first time.

Predicting James Hahn’s form (-4%): OK, we give up: He’d gone 17 events without a top-15 before his win at Riviera; 12 before his win at Quail Hollow; and seven before he lost on the sixth playoff hole at Waialae. The margins between mediocre play and winning apparently are THAT small.

Barnrat (-5%): Coming in hot with four consecutive top-10s, and one of only two team members ranked inside the top 50 in the world, Kiradech Aphibarnrat didn’t show up at the EurAsia Cup, going 0-3 for the week. In hindsight, the Asian team had no chance without his contributions. 

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Langer not playing to pass Irwin, but he just might

By Tim RosaforteJanuary 16, 2018, 1:40 pm

Bernhard Langer goes back out on tour this week to chase down more than Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record of 45 career victories. His chase is against himself.

“I’m not playing to beat Hale Irwin’s record,” Langer told me before heading to Hawaii to defend his title at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. “I play golf to play the best I can, to be a good role model, and to enjoy a few more years that are left.”

Langer turned 60 on Aug. 27 and was presented a massage chair by his family as a birthday gift. Instead of reclining (which he does to watch golf and football), he won three more times to close out a seven-win campaign that included three major championships. A year prior, coming off a four-victory season, Langer told me after winning his fourth Charles Schwab Cup that surpassing Irwin’s record was possible but not probable. With 36 career victories and 11 in his last two years, he has changed his tone to making up the nine-tournament difference as “probable.”

“If I could continue a few more years on that ratio, I could get close or pass him,” Langer told me from his home in Boca Raton, Fla. “It will get harder. I’m 60 now. It’s a big challenge but I don’t shy away from challenges.”


Bernhard Langer, Hale Irwin at the 1991 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)


Langer spent his off-season playing the PNC Father/Son, taking his family on a ski vacation at Big Sky in Yellowstone, Montana, and to New York for New Year’s. He ranks himself as a scratch skier, having skied since he was four years old in Germany. The risk of injury is worth it, considering how much he loves “the scenery, the gravity and the speed.”

Since returning from New York, Langer has immersed himself into preparing for the 2018 season. Swing coach Willy Hoffman, who he has worked with since his boyhood days as an as assistant pro in Germany, flew to Florida for their 43rd year of training.

“He’s a straight shooter,” Hoffman told me. “He says, 'Willy, every hour is an hour off my life and we have 24 hours every day.'"

As for Irwin, they have maintained a respectful relationship that goes back to their deciding singles match in the 1991 Ryder Cup. Last year they were brought back to Kiawah Island for a corporate appearance where they reminisced and shared the thought that nobody should ever have to bear what Langer went through, missing a 6-footer on the 18th green. That was 27 years ago. Both are in the Hall of Fame.

"I enjoy hanging out with Hale," Langer says.

Langer’s chase of Irwin’s record is not going to change their legacies. As Hoffman pointed out, “Yes, (Bernhard) is a rich man compared to his younger days. He had no money, no nothing. But today you don’t feel a difference when you talk to him. He’s always on the ground.”