Sorenstam will rest Hull, bench Ciganda

By Randall MellAugust 19, 2017, 2:29 am

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Annika Sorenstam showed the resolve that made her one of the toughest champions who ever played the game at the end of a tough afternoon Friday at the Solheim Cup.

The fight that drove Sorenstam to win more LPGA titles (72) than anyone besides Kathy Whitworth (88) and Mickey Wright (82) was there at day’s end, along with some unexpected but inspiring good humor.

With the Americans sweeping Europe in fourballs, the first American sweep of a session in Solheim Cup history, Sorenstam talked about tearing up her plans and improvising a new plah to bring a hard fight to the Americans on Saturday.

Europe is down 5½ to 2½, the largest deficit they’ve faced after Day 1 in 19 years.

“It’s a marathon,” Sorenstam said. “I would say that the spirit is still there, if not stronger. You get a little fired up when you see an afternoon like this.”

Sorenstam was asked, with all her experience, what she can dig down deep to find to offer her players in this situation.

Solheim Cup: Match-by-match scoring

Solheim Cup: Articles, photos and videos

“I won tournaments after 72 holes, not after 27,” Sorenstam said. “You've got to stay in there the whole time.

“We knew coming in here it was going to be a challenge, and I have fighters on the team. I believe in them. So we're just going to forget about this day. Tomorrow's Saturday. New points. Go out there and grab as many as we can.”

Sorenstam said Friday afternoon’s extreme turn of events has caused her to scrape together a new plan, because there are challenges beyond the score.

Charley Hull aggravated her injured wrist, something she has battled on and off all year. She hurt it hitting a shot at the seventh hole in the morning.

“I saw her in the lunch room [before foursomes],” Sorenstam said. “She was icing her wrist. I said. `You’re going out in 20 minutes, are you OK?’ She goes, `I’m fine.’”

But Sorenstam will make Hull rest Saturday morning. Plus, she’s benching Carlota Ciganda on Saturday morning. She’s one of Sorenstam’s top players, but Ciganda struggled in both foursomes and fourballs on Friday.

“That was not a plan,” Sorenstam said. “But she's not performing. So I told her, we are making some changes. People that are playing well are stepping up.

“So there's a lot of things happening out there. A lot of juggling.”

Sorenstam sounded eager to see what kind of fight her team is still ready to give.

“That's the role of a captain,” Sorenstam said. “You have to give them the confidence. What they see is what they think I am. And I want to give them all the encouragement and the comfort.” 

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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.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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