Lopez Nilsmark Finalize Solheim Teams

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupORLANDO, Fla. ' The teams have been finalized for this years Solheim Cup.
U.S. captain Nancy Lopez and European captain Catrin Nilsmark announced their captains selections Sunday.
Beth Daniel
Beth Daniel has a 10-8-5 career record in the Solheim Cup.
And both opted for experience.
Lopez chose Wendy Ward and Beth Daniel to round out her squad. Ward will be making her third consecutive Solheim appearance, while Daniel will be making her eighth overall team. Daniel has competed in each of the Matches with the exception of 1998.
'We've got a great team,'' Lopez said. 'We've practiced together, we've hung out together. We have one of the strongest teams bondingwise as well as playingwise that we will ever have.''
This was the final week for players to earn points. The top 10 on the U.S. standings automatically qualified for the event. They were, in order: Cristie Kerr, Meg Mallon, Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones, Pat Hurst, Natalie Gulbis, Christina Kim, Paula Creamer, Michele Redman and Laura Diaz.
This team has all the experience we need to win the Solheim Cup,' Lopez said. 'There is a total of 37 years of Solheim Cup experience on this team.'
Gulbis, Kim and Creamer will be making their debuts in the biennial event, which pits 12 American-born players against 12 European-born players.
'All I can say is they (the Europeans) had better get ready because they're going to get beat,'' declared Creamer, who is the first tour rookie to play in the Solheim Cup. 'I'm putting it down. I'm very confident.'
The top seven players on the European points list qualified automatically. Nilsmark was awarded five captains pick and used them to select Swedens Carin Koch and Sophie Gustafson, Norways Suzann Petterson, Englands Karen Stupples and Scotlands Catriona Matthew.
Stupples, last years Weetabix Womens British Open champion, is the only pick without Cup experience.
Its been a very, very hard decision. There are quite a few players in the States who have played very well, Nilsmark said. We looked at basically five players; Karen obviously was one of them, Patricia Meunier Lebouc from France another, Liselotte Neumann, Janice Moodie, and Karen Stupples. In the end we chose the 2004 British Open champion.
The five picks will join world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam and Maria Hjorth of Sweden, Englands Laura Davies and Trish Johnson, Frances Ludivine Kreutz and Gwladys Nocera, and Dane Iben Tinning.
The two Frenchwomen are the only European qualifiers who have yet to play in a Solheim Cup. Kreutz has won twice this year on the Ladies European Tour.
The tournament will take place Sept. 9-11 at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Caramel, Ind. Nilsmark captained Europe to a 17 -10 victory in 2003 at Barseback Golf & Country Club in Malmo, Sweden.
The U.S. holds an overall 5-3 lead.
'The U.S. has never lost on home soil,' Lopez said. 'I look forward to winning the Cup back.'
The Golf Channel will cover all three days of the competition, as well as the opening ceremony. The first two days will each consist of four four-ball and four foursomes matches. The final day will consist of 12 singles matches. Each victory is worth one point, a tie worth a point and a loss worth no points.
Europe can retain the Cup by winning 14 of the 28 available points, while the U.S. will need to win 14 points to capture the Cup.
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.