Solheim Cup recaps: Europe wins 18-10

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 17, 2013, 6:39 pm

OVERALL: EUROPE 18, U.S. 10

SUNDAY SINGLES: EUROPE 7 1/2, U.S. 4 1/2

MATCH 17: Stacy Lewis (US) halved with Anna Nordqvist

Nordqvist built a 2-up lead and Lewis fought back to take a 1-up lead into the last two holes but lost the 17th. A half-point is probably how this match deserved to end.

MATCH 18: Charley Hull (E) def. Paula Creamer, 5 and 4

The 17-year-old was too much to handle and made five birdies in 14 holes. Creamer did not play well in a spot that was a must-win for the U.S.

MATCH 19: Brittany Lang (US) def. Azahara Munoz, 2 and 1

Lang was the highest point-earneR for the U.S. and capped off a great week for her, but a terrible week for her team. Struggled early in this match, but found form late.

MATCH 20: Carlota Ciganda (E) def. Morgan Pressel, 4 and 2

Ciganda’s rookie Solheim Cup started terribly, but she birdied the last five holes in the match and pulled away from Pressel, who was an overwhelming favorite.

MATCH 21: Caroline Hedwall (E) def. Michelle Wie, 1 up

Fitting that it was Hedwall who clinched the point that retained the cup for Europe. It was an epic performance and the win gave Hedwall a perfect 5-0 record.

MATCH 22: Gerina Piller (US) halved with Catriona Matthew

Half-point won the cup outright for Europe when Matthew drained a key par putt on the last hole. Matthew didn’t play well all week, but was clutch when it mattered.

MATCH 23: Lizette Salas (US) halved with Suzann Pettersen

Pettersen missed a short putt on 18 that would’ve won the match outright but it didn’t matter. This was a well-played match. It’s a shame it didn’t matter.

MATCH 24: Jessica Korda (US) halved with Giulia Sergas

Korda won the 16th hole to take a 1-up lead but lost the 18th hole for a halve. Another match that didn’t matter. Neither player played particularly well.

MATCH 25: Lexi Thompson (US) def. Caroline Masson, 4 and 3

The cup was already clinched so this match didn’t matter. Still, Masson played poorly and handed rookie Thompson the easy victory.

MATCH 26: Jodi Ewart-Shadoff (E) def. Brittany Lincicome, 3 and 2

Ewart Shadoff made four birdies in a six-hole stretch to easily win this match. A great rookie showing for Ewart Shadoff ended with a 2-1 record.

MATCH 27: Beatriz Recari (E) def. Angela Stanford, 2 and 1

Stanford did birdie four of five holes on the back nine but Recari was too steady throughout. Stanford had the dubious distinction of going 0-4 for the week.

MATCH 28: Cristie Kerr (US) halved with Karine Icher

This match was halved on the 18th hole after both players hit their approach shots. Kerr was put in the anchor spot in case the match mattered. It didn’t.


SATURDAY FOURBALLS: EUROPE 4, U.S. 0

MATCH 13: Ewart Shadoff-Hull def. Creamer-Thompson, 2 up

Neither team had more than a 1-up advantage until the last hole. The difference here was a Thompson miss from 5 feet and a Hull make from 4 feet on the 17th hole for birdie.

MATCH 14: Ciganda-Munoz def. Stanford-Piller, 1 up

Ciganda, after a horrid performance the day before, closed with a clutch 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the match. Stanford dropped to 0-3 this week.

MATCH 15: Masson-Hedwall def. Wie-Korda, 2 and 1

A better-than-average match but the story here remains Hedwall, who moved to a perfect 4-0 record after two days. She’s an unstoppable force who is made for this event.

MATCH 16: Recari-Icher def. Kerr-Pressel, 1 up

The Americans were 3 down after 10 holes and took the match to the 18th hole. But Icher drained a 45-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to put an exclamation point on an afternoon sweep.


SATURDAY FOURSOMES: U.S. 2 1/2, EUROPE 1 1/2

MATCH 9: Nordqvist-Hedwall (E) def. Pressel-Korda, 2 and 1

Nordqvist closed out the match with an ace on the 17th hole. The shot of the tournament. This was a well-played match down the stretch. Hedwall is now 3-0 for the week.

MATCH 10: Lewis-Creamer (US) def. Munoz-Icher, 1 up

Epic match that produced 12 birdies. Europe went a six-hole stretch where it birdied five holes, but it butchered the last hole to hand the Americans the point.

MATCH 11: Matthew-Masson (E) halved Lincicome-Salas

Feels like more of a loss for the Americans, who were 2 up at several points during the match, including on the 16th hole. Europe won the last two holes for the halve.

MATCH 12: Wie-Lang (US) def. Pettersen-Recari, 2 and 1

Wie made the winning putt on the 17th hole and is 2-0 so far this week. She and Lang handed Pettersen her first loss of the week, moving to 2-1.


FRIDAY FOURBALLS: EUROPE 2, U.S. 2

MATCH 5: Pettersen-Ciganda (E) def. Lewis-Thompson, 1 up

Europe won but the story here is that Lewis lost both her matches on the first day. Some things just defy explanation. Lewis and Thompson failed to make a birdie in the last nine holes.

MATCH 6: Masson-Hedwall (E) def. Stanford-Piller, 2 and 1

This was a good match with good golf but Masson and Hedwall were unflappable down the stretch to hold on. Stanford and Piller put up a valiant effort in defeat.

MATCH 7: Lincicome-Lang (US) def. Nordqvist-Sergas, 4 and 3

Nordqvist and Sergas only birdied one hole and never were in the match from there. The long-hitting Brittanys cruised and closed the match with consecutive birdies.

MATCH 8: Kerr-Wie (US) def. Matthew-Hull, 2 and 1

Michelle Wie looked like the Michelle Wie of old and made five birdies. She and Kerr paired well together and even though the score looked close, they seemed in control.


FRIDAY FOURSOMES: EUROPE 3, U.S. 1

MATCH 1: Nordqvist-Hedwall (E) def. Lewis-Salas, 4 and 2

Nordqvist-Hedwall was a terrific alternate-shot pairing, hitting numerous fairways and greens while Lewis was surprisingly shaky and Salas was surprisingly steady. 

MATCH 2: Pettersen-Recari (E) def. Lang-Stanford, 2 and 1

Early momentum continued for Europe. The match was fairly good golf, the difference was a late bogey from the U.S. and a late birdie from Europe. 

MATCH 3: Pressel-Korda (US) def. Matthew-Ewart-Shadoff, 3 and 2

Unlike the previous match, this was shaggy golf. Europe made four bogeys and a lone birdie, and the U.S. made two birdies and two bogeys to cruise. 

MATCH 4: Munoz-Icher (E) def. Kerr-Creamer, 2 and 1

Surprise, surprise. Munoz-Icher easily took down America’s strongest duo. The difference was a three-hole stretch (8-10) where Europe made three birdies, all with putts of 20 feet or longer.

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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.