Major Accomplishment

By Randall MellFebruary 25, 2010, 3:33 am

Rosie Jones broke through to claim her first major more than three years after retiring from the LPGA.

That’s what it felt like, Jones said Wednesday, when LPGA commissioner Michael Whan called to inform her she had been named the U.S. Solheim Cup captain and will lead the Americans against Europe in Ireland next year.

“I haven’t won a major, so this is a major accomplishment for me,” said Jones, 50. “It’s a huge honor for me.”

Jones, a 13-time LPGA winner, said the appointment also came as a surprise.

“I was pretty shocked and excited,” Jones said of Whan’s call. “I had to ask him to repeat himself because I wasn’t sure I understood him correctly.”

Jones wasn’t alone in her surprise.

Speculation was strong within LPGA circles that Meg Mallon would be the captain when the Solheim Cup is staged Sept. 23-25 of 2011 at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland. That thinking was fueled by Mallon’s Irish heritage and the fact that she served as assistant captain to Beth Daniel when the Americans won at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago last summer. There was also speculation that Juli Inkster would follow as captain when the matches returned to the United States in 2013.

Jones’ choice will heighten intrigue over the naming of the 2013 U.S. captain.

The only players who have won more U.S. Solheim Cup points than Jones who have yet to be captain are Inkster (18), Mallon (16½) and Dottie Pepper (14). Jones won 12 points in her seven Solheim Cup appearances. She was 11-9-2 with a 3-3-1 singles record.

The 2013 Solheim Cup is scheduled to be played at the Colorado Golf Club. Mike McGetrick is the managing partner there. He’s also the long-time swing coach for both Inkster and Mallon.

Pepper’s place in the mix is uncertain. At 44, she’s the youngest of the trio who have the strongest credentials to serve as future captains. Inkster is 49, Mallon 46.

Pepper drew the ire of LPGA officials and U.S. Solheim Cup players while working as a Golf Channel analyst when the Americans won in Sweden three years ago. After Sherri Steinhauer missed a short putt at the 18th hole on Saturday, allowing Europe to halve a match with Steinhauer and Laura Diaz, Pepper let loose with her famous “Choking freaking dogs” comment. Though Pepper thought she was off the air and never meant the line for an open microphone, it created a furor in the American team room that still looms as a potential roadblock to her appointment.

Pepper, a 17-time LPGA winner with two major championship victories, suspects the gaffe still hurts her.

“I could in no way fit [Solheim Cup captain] into my schedule, but because of the issue in Sweden I don’t believe I will ever be in the conversation,” Pepper said via text message.

Jones will be only the second U.S. Solheim Cup captain who isn’t a major championship winner. (Judy Rankin captained the U.S. in 1996, 1998 and had 26 LPGA victories but no majors.) That fact speaks to the respect Jones commanded in her 23 years as a full-time player. She was four times a runner-up in majors.

“I called Rosie and told her, `This is your time,’” Daniel said. “She is definitely deserving. She’s one of those competitors who seems to shine when the pressure’s on. She played on seven Solheim Cup teams and always got really fired up. She fired up everyone else.”

As one of the last three U.S. Solheim Cup captains, Daniel was on the selection committee that chose Jones. Whan, LPGA president Michelle Ellis and LPGA board chairman Dawn Hudson were also on the six-person committee.

Mallon, who, like Jones, is an Ohio State University graduate, said she strongly supported Jones’ appointment. After struggling with injuries and serious family health issues the last few seasons, Mallon said she’s not ready to retire. She is using a top-20 career money exemption to play this season with her focus on finishing her career on a strong note.

Inkster also remains an active player.

“The fact that people are saying I’m on a short list of captains is pretty cool to me,” Mallon said.

Jones was never a long hitter, but she impressed fellow pros with her short game, putting and her feisty determination.

“I will never forget my recruiting trip to Ohio State,” Mallon said. “I remember how hard Rosie was working at school and on her game. She was determined to graduate in four years. She had 19 credits, but I remember her out running on the track. She was a grinder who worked hard and was very passionate about golf.”

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking 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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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.