CloseUp of European Solheim Cup Team

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 6, 2003, 4:00 pm
The European team for the Solheim Cup, Sept. 12-14 at Barseback Golf and Country Club in Loddekopinge, Sweden(AP)
 
LAURA DAVIES
 
Age: 39.
 
Country: England.
 
Victories: 64.
 
Majors: U.S. Women's Open ('97), LPGA Championship ('94, '96), du Maurier Classic ('96).
 
Solheim Cups: 7.
 
Record: 15-11-2.
 
Notable: The only woman to have played in every Solheim Cup, Davies has amassed more points than anyone. Hasn't won on the LPGA Tour since 2001, but was in position two weeks ago until the tournament was cut short by rain. Tough opponent in match play because of her power.
 

 

ELISABETH ESTERL
 
Age: 27.
 
Country: Germany.
 
Victories: 1.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: Rookie.
 
Record: 0-0-0.
 
Notable: Grew up in a town called Dingolfing, she came to Interlachen last year as a traveling reserve and was able to experience the emotion -- and the defeat. Won for the first time in May at the Tenerife Open. Accurate off the tee and an excellent putter.
 

 

SOPHIE GUSTAFSON
 
Age: 29.
 
Country: Sweden.
 
Victories: 15.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: 3.
 
Record: 4-3-2.
 
Notable: Won the European Order of Merit last year, despite a full schedule on the LPGA Tour. Graceful, powerful swing and perhaps the best ball-striker on the European team. Most of her attention this year is on her relationship with LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw.
 

 

CARIN KOCH
 
Age: 32.
 
Country: Sweden.
 
Victories: 3.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: 2.
 
Record: 7-0-1.
 
Notable: Has never lost a Solheim Cup match, the halve coming last year against Beth Daniel. Holed the winning put for Europe in the 2000 matches at Loch Lomond. Annika Sorenstam's best friend on tour, they went 3-0 during team matches last year at Interlachen.
 

 

CATRIONA MATTHEW
 
Age: 34.
 
Country: Scotland.
 
Victories: 3.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: 1.
 
Record: 1-2-0.
 
Notable: The Solheim Cup bridesmaid, passed over as captain's picks each of the last two matches. Has won on three continents and played for Britain & Ireland three times in the Curtis Cup. A quiet but effective player who tends to make a lot of birdies.
 

 

MHAIRI McKAY
 
Age: 28.
 
Country: Scotland.
 
Victories: 1.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: 1.
 
Record: 1-2-0.
 
Notable: Broke through with her first victory by beating Laura Davies in the Australian Open. The 36-hole leader at the U.S. Women's Open before faltering. Played in two Curtis Cups, and went to Stanford the same time as Tiger Woods, although the closest she got to him was on the practice range.
 

 

PATRICIA MEUNIER-LEBOUC
 
Age: 30.
 
Country: France.
 
Victories: 6.
 
Majors: Nabisco Championship ('03).
 
Solheim Cups: 1.
 
Record: 0-1-1.
 
Notable: Has panache and flair as most French, but also has a great game. Won her first major by staring down Sorenstam in the final round of the Nabisco Championship. Tied for fifth at the Women's British Open. Will be four months pregnant when the Solheim Cup begins.
 

 

JANICE MOODIE
 
Age: 30.
 
Country: Scotland.
 
Victories: 2.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: 1.
 
Record: 3-1-0.
 
Notable: Solid debut in the Solheim Cup three years ago in her native Scotland. Captain Nilsmark chose her over Becky Morgan of Wales. Consistent player who can be tough to beat when everything clicks. Played in two Curtis Cups.
 

 

SUZANN PETTERSON
 
Age: 22.
 
Country: Norway.
 
Victories: 1.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: 1.
 
Record: 1-1-1.
 
Notable: Emotionally charged player, best known for uttering an expletive live on the NBC telecast last year after coming back from 5-down with five holes to play to earn a halve against Michele Redman. Youngest player on the squad, and possibly the brashest.
 

 

ANA B. SANCHEZ
 
Age: 27.
 
Country: Spain.
 
Victories: None.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: Rookie.
 
Record: 0-0-0.
 
Notable: Consistent player, just joins Heather Bowie as the only players at Barseback to have never won as a professional. Third Spaniard to make the European team, she is close friends with Miguel Angel Jimenez. Known for big drives and an easygoing personality.
 

 

ANNIKA SORENSTAM
 
Age: 32.
 
Country: Sweden.
 
Victories: 56.
 
Majors: Nabisco Championship ('01, '02), LPGA Championship ('03), US Women's Open ('95, '96), Women's British Open ('03).
 
Solheim Cups: 5.
 
Record: 12-7-3.
 
Notable: More feared in the Solheim Cup than Tiger Woods is in the Ryder Cup. A victory would be the perfect way to cap her historic season, when she competed on the PGA Tour and completed the career Grand Slam with victories at the LPGA Championship and Women's British Open.
 

 

IBEN TINNING
 
Age: 29.
 
Country: Denmark.
 
Victories: 2.
 
Majors: None.
 
Solheim Cups: 1.
 
Record: 2-2-0.
 
Notable: Lives only 40 minutes from Barseback and was desperate to make this team. A good ball-striker who can move the ball both directions, she also hits it long off the tee. Had eight consecutive top 10s this year in Europe, and whipped Kelli Kuehne last year in singles at Interlachen.
 


Getty Images

Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

Getty Images

Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

Getty Images

DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

Getty Images

LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.