Somethings Got to Give in Sweden

By Lpga Tour MediaSeptember 8, 2003, 4:00 pm
MALMO, Sweden -- Somethings got to give this week when the U.S. and European Solheim Cup teams meet in Sweden for the eighth staging of The Solheim Cup.
The U.S. team, captained by LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame member Patty Sheehan, is looking to defend its come-from-behind victory of a year ago, while the Catrin Nilsmark-led European squad is aiming for it 'ssecond-straight Solheim Cup victory in Europe.
The 6,518-yard Barsebck Golf and Country Club is the stage for the battle, which begins Friday with morning foursomes matches and afternoon fourball play. More foursomes and fourball action continues on Saturday, and the quest for the Cup culminates with the 12 singles matches on Sunday.
The U.S. team is led by six-time Solheim Cup veterans Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon, as well as four-time U.S. team member Juli Inkster, who was the top American points earner for 2003. Five-time U.S. team members Rosie Jones and Kelly Robbins are also on the squad, followed by Michele Redman, who is making her third straight appearance.
Four other members of the victorious 2002 team ' Laura Diaz, Cristie Kerr, Kelli Kuehne and Wendy Ward ' are also making the trip to Sweden for the three-day event. Solheim Cup rookies Heather Bowie and Angela Stanford complete the 12-member squad that is looking to run the U.S. teams lead in the all-time Solheim Cup series to 6-2.
For the Europeans, world No. 1 and native Swede Annika Sorenstam leads the way, along with Englands Laura Davies, who has played in all seven previous stagings of the event. Davies is the events all-time points leader with 16, while Sorenstam has earned 13.5 points in her previous five appearances.
Swedens Sophie Gustafson, fresh off back-to-back wins in Europe, is making her fourth appearance on the European squad, along with Carin Koch of Sweden, who owns an undefeated 7-0-1 record in her two previous Solheim Cups. Making their second straight appearance on the European Team are Scotlands Mhairi McKay, Norways Suzanne Pettersen and Denmarks Iben Tinning.
Catriona Matthew is competing as a member of the European squad for the first time since 1998, while Frances Patricia Meunier-Lebouc and Scotlands Janice Moodie return after holding down spots on the 2000 team that was victorious in Scotland. First-timers Elisabeth Esterl of Germany and Ana B. Sanchez of Spain round out Nilsmarks 12-member team.
The U.S. team staged a thrilling come-from-behind victory at Interlachen Country Club near Minneapolis, Minn., in 2002, winning the Cup back from the Europeans, 15 1/2-12 1/2. This years event will be televised live by The Golf Channel, and the competition will be shown live in its entirety for the first time ever.
The Solheim Cup is a biennial, trans- Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the LPGA Tour and the best European- born players from the Evian Ladies European Tour (LET).
The U.S. team leads the competition, 5-2, but Europe has won two of the three events held overseas.
Editor's Note: The Solheim Cup will air exclusively on The Golf Channel beginning Friday, September 12th
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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."

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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.'"

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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."

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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."

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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.