The European team needs to step it up on US soil

By Randall MellAugust 20, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' The Solheim Cup is going to get feisty.
The Americans might be as dominant as they appear on paper and win in a blowout, or Europe might follow form in this year of the spoilers and win in an upset.
But no matter what happens at Rich Harvest Farms, the matches will be intense.
The United States Paula Creamer and Europes Janice Moodie will make sure of it.
They immediately seized their roles as team bulldogs when the Solheim Cup teams were announced at the conclusion of the Womens British Open.
After being introduced in a news conference, Moodies confident nature came at the Americans like a right cross.
Ive been on two Solheim Cups, and Ive won two, Moodie boldly told those assembled.
Creamer couldnt wait to get the microphone to answer.
Ive been on two and won two also, Creamer shot back as a counter punch.
Neither has been on a losing Solheim Cup team, and theyre proud of it, but somebodys perfect record will be blemished this week.
No matter what the team scores are entering Sunday, if Moodie, 36, and Creamer, 23, are somehow matched in singles, it promises to be good theater.
Moodie, from Scotland , is 6-1-1 in Solheim Cup matches. She helped the Europeans win in 2000 and 03, but she wasnt selected in 05, when her level of play slipped. She played only a partial schedule with the birth of her first child in 06 and didnt make the 07 Solheim Cup.
Creamer is 5-1-4 in Solheim Cup matches. In 05, she became the first rookie to make a U.S. Solheim Cup team and the youngest player ever to compete in the matches. Shes an eight-time LPGA winner.
This is always the highlight of my career, Creamer said.
Creamer clinched the American victory in 07 in Sweden with a 2-and-1 singles victory against Maria Hjorth. It was a tough matchup with Hjorth from Sweden and the crowds strongly behind her.
It didnt surprise U.S. Solheim Cup assistant captain Meg Mallon when Creamer trumped Moodies statement at the Solheim Cup team introductions three weeks ago.
We knew Paula would be all over that, Mallon said. Shes Janices counterpart in intensity.
American captain Beth Daniel is acutely aware of Moodies special match-play qualities. Moodie teamed with Annika Sorenstam to defeat Daniel and Mallon 1 up in foursomes at Loch Lomond in Scotland in 2000.
Meg and I were 5 under, and we lost, Daniel said.
Daniel said Moodie can get under your skin and thats part of what makes her so formidable.
She gets really, really fired up, Daniel said. Shes kind of an in-your-face, pump-it-in-your-face kind of player. Thats what I mean by getting under your skin. She just loves match play.
Moodie is 2-0 in Solheim Cup singles.
Janice is super intense, and shes not intimidated by anybody, Mallon said. She loves playing for Europe, loves this event and thrives in it.
Moodies a two-time LPGA winner but shes struggled to find her best form the last few seasons. Her last victory was in 2002, but theres something about match play that brings out her best. European captain Alison Nicholas used one of three discretionary picks on Moodie.
My coach and I have been talking about why I havent performed as well as I think I should be, Moodie said. I think its because Im more of a match player. I love match play. Its just a different game.
If Moodie isnt teeing it up in the morning fourballs start on Friday, she isnt likely to remain on the bench for long. Shes especially good paired with fellow Scot Catriona Matthew, who won the Womens British Open this summer. Theyre 1-0-1 as a team in Solheim Cup matches and finished second together at the World Cup in 06.
Im sure one of the reasons Alison picked Janice is the confidence she brings to the team, Daniel said.
Watch exclusive LIVE streaming coverage of Day 1 of the Solheim Cup, Friday from 2 pm- 4 pm ET.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup
  • Meet the European Solheim Cup team
  • Meet the U.S. Solheim Cup team
  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.