Strange Ending to Solheim Cup

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 13, 2003, 4:00 pm
LODDEKOPINGE, Sweden (AP) -- U.S. captain Patty Sheehan knew the Solheim Cup was over. She just didn't think the Europeans would take it so literally.
In a bizarre conclusion Sunday, the five matches still in progress were conceded when Europe clinched the cup by reaching 14 1/2 points, and players walked off the course.
'It went into instant chaos,' Sheehan said. 'I didn't know what was happening.'
She said she saw Meg Mallon standing on the back of the 16th green, 'and she was supposed to be playing some other hole.'
Amid the confusion, players who were trailing conceded their match.
Elisabeth Esterl, 4-down to Laura Diaz, conceded from the 15th fairway. Europe was 1-up in three matches with at least four holes to play, while the United States was 1-up as it played the 16th.
The result was a final score of 17 1/2 - 10 1/2, the biggest rout in Solheim Cup history.
'I had never experienced that before,' Sheehan said. 'Usually, we just sort of play in, and that's it. I can't say, 'Hey, you guys can't quit.' What do you do?'
The Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup often are decided with matches still on the course. Players usually finish, even if their motivation is gone, for no other reason than bookkeeping and entertaining the fans.
This was the first time in either competition that everyone quit.
Patricia Meunier-LeBouc walked in from her match with Kelly Robbins, which was all square on the 12th hole, the final singles game.
Perhaps the most bizarre was Laura Davies, who was 1-up against Mallon when they finished on No. 14.
'We both said to the referee, 'We want to halve.' He said we couldn't do that,' Davies said. 'Meg didn't want to play anymore. I didn't want to play anymore. I just wanted to find the rest of the team.'
When they reached the green, Mallon went to the referee and conceded the match. Davies was in a bunker, and when she realized what was happening, tried to concede the match herself.
'But Meg had already done it, so now we're arguing,' Davies said. 'She had already done it, and that was the end of it.'
Mallon and vice captain Jane Geddes approached Beth Daniel, 1-down to Mhairi McKay on the 15th tee, and told her to concede.
'I had just won two holes in a row,' Daniel said. 'I was upset at the way it was done. It's odd that we're the ones who always have to concede.'
The Americans were in the same position last year, when Rosie Jones clinched the cup with Daniel still on the course with Carin Koch.
'Carin wanted to keep playing because she was undefeated in the Solheim Cup,' Daniel said. 'Individual records mean nothing.'
Europe won the Ryder Cup last year in England with two matches still on the course. Sergio Garcia sprinted down the 18th fairway in glee as Davis Love III and Pierre Fulke were playing, and the disruption caused both players to concede the hole, ending in a halve.
Sheehan said matches should be finished, regardless of the outcome, although European captain Catrin Nilsmark disagreed.
'When you have the cup, it doesn't feel too inspiring to play on,' Nilsmark said. 'It's a little bit meaningless, unless you're starting to play the 18th and it's huge crowds and you're somebody like Annika or a huge idol.'
The decision could have had an impact on individual records.
Suzann Pettersen was 1-down to Cristie Kerr on No. 16 and had a chance to become the first player in the Solheim Cup to win all five of her matches.
With a halve, Mallon could have become the career points leaders among Americans. Instead, she is tied with good friend Dottie Pepper.
The victory for Davies put her in a tie with Annika Sorenstam with 17 1/2 career points, most among Europeans.
As for the final score?
'I don't care what the final score was,' Sheehan said. 'We lost.'
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

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    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.