Report cards: U.S. Solheim Cup team

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

Paula Creamer (3-1-0)

Paula Creamer
Grade B+

Skinny: Under fire as Inkster’s alternate, Creamer more than justified the choice. She lost her opening match, then won the next three in a row, all while fulfilling the mentor role - to Austin Ernst - that Inkster expected.

Austin Ernst (2-2-0)

Austin Ernst
Grade B-

Skinny: She put on a dynamic Saturday performance with Creamer, while winning a pair of matches that allowed the Americans to claim their largest ever lead heading into Sunday singles.

Danielle Kang (3-1-0)

Danielle Kang
Grade A

Skinny: A memorably colorful and flamboyant debut. She backed up the talk with the walk. Her clutch putting helped propel the Americans to their big lead.

Cristie Kerr (3-0-1)

Cristie Kerr
Grade A

Skinny: The oldest and still best-performing American on this team. She’s also the most productive American Solheim Cup player of all-time. Kerr just won’t back down. She drained putts all over the course and was never beaten.

Brittany Lang (2-1-0)

Brittany Lang
Grade B+

Skinny: Alongside Brittany Lincicome, she was one half of the Killer B’s that played in a Saturday fourball match that won’t soon be forgotten. One of the highlights: the wedge shot she holed from a gnarly lie for eagle on the seventh hole.

Stacy Lewis (1-3-0)

Stacy Lewis
Grade D

Skinny: Her putting often left her partner (Piller) in tough spot. Her all-time Solheim Cup record now falls to a disappointing 5-10-1.

Brittany Lincicome (2-1-0)

Brittany Lincicome
Grade B+

Skinny: See Lang. The two were an unstoppable force in both fourballs as a pair of birdie and eagle machines. Once they were separated in singles, they lost.

Gerina Piller (2-2-0)

Gerina Piller
Grade C+

Skinny: More was expected from the star of the American victory in Germany two years ago. Piller and Lewis were a power team that delivered only one point together. Piller added another point on her own Sunday.

Lizette Salas (3-1-0)

Lizette Salas
Grade A-

Skinny: She took two rookies under her wing on Day 1, won both matches, and was especially brilliant alongside Yin. She will be remembered for delivering the winning point, securing the U.S. consecutive cups.

Lexi Thompson (2-0-2)

Lexi Thompson
Grade A

Skinny: A great partner to Kerr, and Thompson put on one of the great comebacks in Solheim Cup singles history, playing a seven-hole stretch in 8 under against Nordqvist.

Michelle Wie (1-2-0)

Michelle Wie
Grade D

Skinny: She arrived in strong form but was able to deliver only one point and surprisingly spent two sessions on the bench. On Sunday, she didn’t put up much of a fight in her singles match vs. Masson.

Angel Yin (1-1-1)

Angel Yin
Grade B

Skinny: A breath of fresh air who will likely be on more Solheim Cup teams in the future. The big-hitter should team with Thompson as red, white and blue stalwarts for a long time.

Juli Inkster, Captain

Juli Inkster
Grade A+

Skinny: This group of Americans was once criticized for caring too much about themselves. But Inkster created a fun atmosphere, showed them what a real team was all about, and got them to buy into the system. Again.

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.