Yin, Ernst picked for Solheim team; Creamer left out

By Randall MellAugust 6, 2017, 8:27 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – The U.S. and European Solheim Cup teams will re-engage their intensifying rivalry with some fresh new faces in the mix.

American captain Juli Inkster announced Austin Ernst and rookie Angel Yin as her two picks Sunday to fill out her 12-player roster. They will join Danielle Kang as first-time Solheim Cup participants.

European captain Annika Sorenstam announced LPGA rookies Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden and Emily Pedersen of Denmark as two of her four picks. They joined Solheim Cup veterans Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and Caroline Masson of Germany as captain’s picks.

One-third of Sorenstam’s team will be playing a Solheim Cup for the first time, and they will do it in challenging conditions on foreign soil.

England’s Georgia Hall and Florentyna Parker made the team as the top two qualifiers on the Ladies European Tour points list. Neither has played a Solheim Cup before.

The Americans will meet Europe Aug. 18-20 at Des Moines Golf & Country Club.

Eight players made the American team off the U.S. Solheim Cup points list: 1. Lexi Thompson; 2. Stacy Lewis; 3. Gerina Piller; 4 Cristie Kerr; 5. Jessica Korda; 6. Danielle Kang; 7. Michelle Wie; 8. Brittany Lang.

U.S. Solheim Cup team records

European Solheim Cup team records

Two players made it off the U.S. Solheim world rankings list: 1. Brittany Lincicome; 2. Lizette Salas.

Notably, for the first time since 2003, the Americans will field a team that won’t include Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel. They didn’t qualify and weren’t captain’s picks.

Inkster was asked how difficult it was to tell Creamer.

“She was upset,” Inkster said. “She’s a competitor. She wanted to be on the team. I would be upset, too. I explained to her why I picked these two here.”

One-third of this American team wasn’t part of the squad in Germany. Alison Lee and Angela Stanford helped the United States two years ago but aren’t part of this team after failing to qualify.

Four players made the European team off the Ladies European Tour points list: 1. Georgia Hall; 2. Florentyna Parker; 3. Mel Reid; 4. Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

Four players made it off the European world rankings list, the four highest ranked players who didn’t make it on points: 1. Carlota Ciganda; 2. Suzann Pettersen; 3. Charley Hull; 4. Karine Icher.

Notably, Inkster and Sorenstam both submitted a protected name Sunday as an alternate that could serve as a third captain’s pick if one of their players is sick, injured or unable to play. It’s relevant with Korda mending a forearm injury and Nordqvist contending with a bout of mononucleosis.

The alternate’s names weren’t revealed.

The captains have until the opening ceremony begins on Aug. 17 to replace a player with the alternate, or until 5 p.m. on that day, whichever comes first.

While there was much drama with players making late runs to make the American team, nobody cracked the top eight in the U.S. Solheim point standings or the top two on the world rankings list.

Thompson will be the only top-10 player in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings in this year’s Solheim Cup, but the nature of the intensifying rivalry between the United States and Europe in the biennial international team event makes that a mere footnote.

The Solheim Cup may be the one and only true rivalry today in the women’s game.

The Solheim Cup’s intensity grew even more with the controversy that ignited a historic American Sunday singles comeback in Germany two years ago.

The Europeans looked as if they were rolling to a rout for their third consecutive victory against the Americans when a furor erupted over whether Pettersen and the Euros should have conceded a putt at the end of fourballs in St. Leon-Rot. The incident angered and rallied the Americans before singles play.

The controversy flared after Lee scooped up her ball thinking an 18-inch putt to halve a hole was conceded near the end of a fourball match, with Pettersen insisting it wasn’t.

The Euros went on to win that match to take a 10-6 lead into singles, only to watch a highly motivated American team mount the biggest comeback in Solheim Cup history.

The controversy set off a debate pitting the Rules of Golf against sportsmanship.

Record Solheim Cup crowds are expected with Pettersen and the Euros coming to Des Moines in less than two weeks and team captains expected to put a focus on sportsmanship.

“Everyone learns from mistakes or incident,” Sorenstam said. “I think we are ready to move on and focus on the good parts, and just let the golf showcase itself.”

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Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Tee times

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

“We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

“The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

"The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

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


Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.