Report cards: European Solheim Cup team

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 21, 2017, 1:10 am

Carlota Ciganda (1-3-0)

Carlota Ciganda
Grade D

Skinny: More was expected. She was benched Saturday morning by Sorenstam, who frankly called her out for not performing. She waxed Lincicome in singles but it was too late.

Georgia Hall (2-3-0)

Georgia Hall
Grade B

Skinny: The only player to play in all five sessions, she made a name for herself with American fans. Not only did Annika Sorenstam rave about her, but Juli Inkster did, too.

Charley Hull (1-1-1)

Charley Hull
Grade B

Skinny: She played 36 holes on Friday, then sat all Saturday because of a nagging wrist injury. She delivered a full point on Sunday to salvage a good showing despite not being healthy.

Karine Icher (2-1-1)

Karine Icher
Grade B+

Skinny: She did her part in teaming with Matthew twice to take down strong American duos both times. She's always quiet and unassuming, and she always does the job that’s asked of her.

Caroline Masson (1-3-0)

Caroline Masson
Grade C

Skinny: She couldn’t overcome the sluggish play of her disappointing partners. She was solid, but she wasn’t able to carry her matches by herself. She smoked Wie in singles to earn her only point.

Catriona Matthew (3-1-0)

Cationa Mathew
Grade A

Skinny: She came to Iowa thinking she would be a vice captain. Then, after replacing Pettersen, she won three of four matches to improve her career Solheim Cup points record to 22. She's likely the next Euro captain.

Anna Nordqvist (3-0-1)

Anna Nordqvist
Grade A+

Skinny: Tough and brilliant. She played consecutive matches Saturday despite mononucleosis, then lead Europe in the first singles match, and claimed a half-point in thrilling match with Thompson. Her dart into the 18th green was tremendous under pressure.

Florentyna Parker (0-2-0)

Florentyna Parker
Grade D

Skinny: Inexperienced and overmatched. She sat all day on Saturday. She was put in a difficult spot, as she likely suffered more than anyone from the LET’s woes, because she had such limited preparation.

Emily Pedersen (0-3-0)

Emily Pedersen
Grade D

Skinny: The rookie captain’s pick told Sorenstam that she wanted to prove she had what it takes to compete after her first loss. But then she was beat handily in her last two matches.

Melissa Reid (0-3-1)

Melissa Reid
Grade C-

Skinny: She was strong helping Hull halve Kerr and Thompson, but was then saddled with struggling partners in her next two matches. No shame in losing to Kerr in singles.

Madelene Sagstrom (1-2-0)

Madelene Sagstrom
Grade C

Skinny: The rookie captain’s pick seemed overmatched in both fourball matches but showed promise and grit in a singles victory against her former LSU teammate Ernst.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff (1-3-0)

Jodi Ewart Shadoff
Grade C+

Skinny: Her record is not necessarily indicative of how she played. She was twice steamrolled by hot American duos and was 5 under in her singles match but still lost.

Annika Sorenstam, Captain

Annika Sorenstam
Grade B-

Skinny: She was dealt a tough hand but did the best she could. Difficult to overcome all obstacles, although it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Three of four captain’s picks went a combined 2-8.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''

Bubba (64) fires his lowest round of 2017

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:12 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Bubba Watson’s plan when he left the Dell Technologies Championship in September was to take a few months off and come back fresh in 2018

Those plans changed after a few weeks.

“What we figured out was the mental side, preparing for kindergarten - not for me, for my son - preparing for [wife] Angie's knee surgery. It's been a tough go,” Watson said.

“Being home and being with the family and everything, I realized how much I missed the game of golf, and that's why I wanted to come and play in these tournaments.”

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

The plan has paid off this week at the RSM Classic, where Watson is tied for 12th place after a second-round 64 on the Seaside course moved him to 7 under par.

Watson, who tied for 51st two weeks ago in Las Vegas, got off to a quick start on Day 2, playing the opening nine in 29. Despite a miscue at the 14th hole, when his tee shot wedged into a tree, he was solid coming in for his best individual round this year.

The left-hander was particularly sharp with his ball-striking after what has been a difficult year.

“I want to play golf now and right now I'm swinging at it pretty nicely,” he said.