Gulbis on Solheim Hot Seat

By Randall MellJuly 31, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupNatalie Gulbis is vulnerable.
Brittany Lincicome is secure.
Michelle Wie can still make the U.S. Solheim Cup team on points, while Hall of Famer Juli Inkster can only make the team as a captains pick.
That was part of the Solheim Cup shakeup Friday at the Ricoh Womens British Open, and yet the final makeup of the United States team wont affect how massively favored the Americans will be based on how poorly key Europeans fared this week.
The top three players on the Ladies European Tour Solheim Cup points list all missed the cut with dreadfully high scores.
Frances Gwladys Nocera, who is guaranteed a roster spot based on her leading the Europeans in points, shot 91 in the first round and wont be around on the weekend.
Spains Tania Elosegui and Italys Diana Luna, also in position to make the European team based on their point standing, both failed to break 80 on Friday. They also both missed the cut.
The European trio finished a cumulative 55 over par at the year's final major.
On the American side, nine of the 12 roster spots are set.
By missing the cut Friday at the Womens British Open, Gulbis gave hope to a half dozen players who mathematically still have a chance to earn automatic spots for the Aug. 21-23 matches at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The top 10 in points when the event ends Sunday will make the team with American captain Beth Daniel filling out the 12-woman roster with two at-large picks.
Gulbis is holding the 10th and final spot.
By missing the cut, Gulbis assured No. 9 Lincicome will make the team.
No. 11 Laura Diaz, No. 12 Stacy Prammanasudh, No. 15. Jane Park, No. 16 Michelle Wie, No. 19 Irene Cho and No. 21 Michelle Redman all have varying degrees of chances to make the team on points.
No. 13 Pat Hurst, No. 14 Juli Inkster, No. 17 Wendy Ward and No. 18 Meaghan Francella missed the cut and can only make the team as captains picks.
Hurst, Inkster and Wie appear to have the best chances of being tabbed captains picks.
Heres the lowdown for players on the American points list:
No. 11 Diaz ' Having not earned a Solheim Cup point all year, Diaz needs to make the team on points. Finishing 14th or better would give her enough points to equal Gulbis for the last spot, given nobody else passes her. Diaz is 11 shots off the lead at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and is tied for 47th.
No. 12 Prammanasudh ' Having not earned a Solheim Cup point in four months, Prammanasudh also cant count on being a captains pick. She can overtake Gulbis on points by finishing 11th or better.
No. 13 Hurst ' Missed the cut and cant make the team on points, but the Solheim Cup veteran is the only player in contention as a captains pick who has a victory this season.
No. 14 Inkster ' Missed the cut and cant make the team on points, but the Hall of Famer is more than a sentimental favorite in her bid to make a last Solheim Cup team.
No. 15 Park ' By winning, Park makes the team. With a second-place finish, she equals Gulbis in points at No. 10. Park is in good position, just five shots off the lead and tied for 10th.
No. 16 Wie ' Must win to make the team on points, but shes eight shots off the lead and tied for 25th. Wie, however, is playing the most consistent golf through the summer among captains pick possibilities.
No. 17 Ward ' Missed the cut, no chance to make the team on points.
No. 18 Francella ' Missed the cut, no chance to make the team on points.
No. 19 Cho ' Must win to make the team on points. Nine shots off the lead, shes tied for 32nd.
No. 20 Allison Fouch ' Not in the field, no chance to make the team on points.
No. 21 Redman ' Must win to make the team on points. Like Cho, shes nine shots off the lead, tied for 32nd.
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    Snedeker starts slow in effort to snag Masters invite

    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.

    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.

    Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

    Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

    Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

    "I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

    Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

    Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

    Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

    Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

    By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

    Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

    Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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    LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

    The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

    LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

    "The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

    It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

    "He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."