Neumann named 2013 European Solheim Cup captain

By Randall MellMarch 28, 2012, 6:48 pm

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Liselotte Neumann inspired a nation of young Swedish women to take up the game.

Now, she’ll try to inspire a continent.

Neumann, 45, was named Wednesday as the European Solheim Cup captain for next year’s matches at Colorado Golf Club. She faces a daunting challenge. The Euros have never won on American soil. They’re 0-6.

Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson believes that challenge makes Neumann the right choice at the right time.

“I think she’s the perfect captain to lead us to our first win on American soil,” said Gustafson, an eight-time European Solheim Cup member. “She broke through in the United States to become the first Swedish player to win a major. This is her time.”

Back in 1988, Neumann won the U.S. Women’s Open at Baltimore Country Club. It was the first of her 13 LPGA titles and helped her win LPGA Rookie of the Year that season. She also won the 1994 Women’s British Open for her second major and has claimed 25 worldwide titles.

“Liselotte winning the U.S. Women’s Open had the same effect in Sweden as Se Ri Pak’s winning the U.S. Women’s Open had in South Korea,” said Sweden’s Pia Nilsson, the ’98 European captain. “People had doubts whether you could grow up in Sweden and become a world champion in golf. Liselotte broke the barrier. She was a huge influence in what happened to women’s golf in Sweden.”

Neumann inspired Annika Sorenstam, who broke ground becoming the first Swede to reach No. 1 in the world rankings, but Neumann was in need of some inspiration when the search for a new captain seemed pointed to Sorenstam last winter.

Originally on the Ladies European Tour short list of prospective candidates to succeed Alison Nicholas, Neumann withdrew her name. With Neumann’s mother, Ingerd, enduring health issues, with speculation Sorenstam was a lock as the next captain, Neumann questioned the timing.

Neumann said an outpouring of encouragement from family, friends and players changed her thinking.

American Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon called last winter to urge Neumann to reconsider. So did Gustafson, who wrote an email Neumann said had a powerful impact in changing her mind after Sorenstam turned down the captain’s offer. Gustafson wrote the email on behalf of European players supporting Neumann.

“I thought, `What am I doing? This is crazy. I might never get this opportunity again,’” Neumann said.

Gustafson pushed the right buttons in her email.

“I think Liselotte just needed a little push,” Gustafson said. “She needed to know the players wanted her.”

Neumann played on six European Solheim Cup teams, compiling a 6-10-5 record with a 2-2-2 singles mark. She has some unique insight on trying to beat the Americans. She's one of them. She gained American citizenship two years ago and makes her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She has lived in the United States since her rookie year on tour.

“Liselotte is a quiet leader, but she commands a lot of respect,” Mallon said. “This is the right time for her.”

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.