Ernst not stressing over Solheim Cup bid

By Randall MellMay 19, 2017, 9:59 pm

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – There are two leaderboards at the Kingsmill Championship this week.

There’s the tournament leaderboard.

And there’s the one you can’t see with the naked eye. There’s the Solheim Cup leaderboard.

Austin Ernst is focused on the first, knowing it’s the best way to move up the latter.

“Obviously, the Solheim Cup is in the back of my mind, because I really want to make that team, but stressing over it isn’t going to do anything,” Ernst said. “When I’m on the course, it doesn’t cross my mind. If I go win tournaments, go play well, it will take care of itself. Solid golf will take care of all that.”

Ernst, 25, played some solid golf Friday in a continuing bid to make her first American team. She posted a 3-under-par 68 to move among the top 10 on the leaderboard at the time she signed her scorecard. The top 20 Americans at tournament’s end earn Solheim Cup points.

Ernst is seventh on the American Solheim Cup points list. The top eight at the conclusion of the Ricoh Women’s British Open on Aug. 6 will qualify for the team. So will the two highest-ranked Americans in the world rankings who aren’t already qualified.

Ernst is among players looking to give American captain Juli Inkster some fresh new faces. Ernst made a hard charge to make the team two years ago but finished 13th in points. Inkster went with Brittany Lang and Paula Creamer as her captain’s picks.

“I wasn’t top 12 in points, and I didn’t make the team,” Ernst said. “I don’t fault Juli at all for not picking me. But it definitely gave me a little bit more motivation.”

Ernst, who won the Portland Classic in 2014, has three top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for second at the Kia Classic.

“This year, how my game’s been going, I feel like I’m playing the best I have,” Ernst said. “I’m trying to make it on my own this year.”

If qualifying ended today, Ernst and Mo Martin would make the American team for the first time. Three big-name veteran Americans sit on the outside of qualifying. Michelle Wie is 10th in points, Paula Creamer is 21st and Morgan Pressel is 22nd.

U.S. Solheim Cup points

1. Lexi Thompson, 492

2. Stacy Lewis, 377.5

3. Cristie Kerr, 338.5

4. Gerina Piller, 313

5. Jessica Korda, 282.5

6. Brittany Lang, 241

7. Austin Ernst, 210.5

8. Angela Stanford, 182.5

9. Brittany Lincicome, 177

10. (tie) Michelle Wie, 155.5

10. (tie) Mo Martin, 155.5

12. Danielle Kang, 153

13. Alison Lee, 124

14. Lizette Salas, 117.5

15. Marina Alex, 107.5

Points are awarded to top-20 finishers in LPGA events, with first place earning 60 points, second place getting 30, third place taking 28.5 and on down to three points for 20th place. Points are doubled in major championships.

U.S. Solheim Cup World Ranking

1. Mo Martin (No. 35)

2. Brittany Lincicome (No. 38)

3. Alison Lee (No. 48)

4. Danielle Kang (No. 53)

5. Michelle Wie (No. 55)

The two highest-ranked Americans who aren’t otherwise already qualified make the team.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm