Michelle Wie says hello while Juli Inkster says goodbye

By Randall MellAugust 23, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' Beth Daniels captains picks left their fingerprints all over this Solheim Cup.
 
Michelle Wie did so in a spectacular hello; Juli Inkster in a poignant goodbye.
 
The rookie and the Hall of Famer will be remembered for what they started and what they ended Sunday in helping the Americans defeat Europe, 16-12, at Rich Harvest Farms.
 
Wie won a hard-fought match with Helen Alfredsson to finish off a nearly perfect start to her Solheim Cup career. She defeated Alfredsson, 1 up, improving her record to 3-0-1, making her the top American point earner (3 ) in these matches.
 
Juli Inkster
Juli Inkster ended her Solheim Cup playing career on a winning note as a team. (Getty Images)
Its the most fun Ive ever had playing, Wie said. Every hole seemed like we were walking down the 18th hole of a major championship, times 100.
 
Inkster, 49, said Sunday that she knows this will be her last Solheim Cup as a player. In fact, she said shes hitting the brakes on her LPGA career. Shes withdrawing from the Safeway Classic this coming week. Shell play just three more times before seasons end and plans to cut back to a limited schedule next year.
 
Im ready to enjoy, whatever they call it, the fruits of life, Inkster said. Im not going to be playing for the money list anymore. Im going to be playing for the camaraderie. I still love being out there, I love being with the girls.
 
Struggling at 2 down with five holes to go against Gwladys Nocera, Inkster birdied three of the next four holes to take a 1-up lead.
 
Though she got herself in trouble losing the final hole, she still won an important half point.
 
Inkster may be done with the Solheim Cup as a player, but shes a lock as a future captain. With the 1 points she won this week, she separated herself from Meg Mallon as the top point earner in U.S. Solheim Cup history with 18.
 
With Wie off to such a fast start to her Solheim Cup career, Inkster was asked if she was worried Wie would eventually overtake her as the all-time American point winner.
 
Shes going to have to go through Paula, Inkster said. Those two are going to fight it out.
 
There will be a lot of girls who will pass me like Im a red-headed stepchild.
 
Inkster would relish seeing them try as their Solheim Cup captain. Shes a strong possibility for one of the next two Solheim Cups. Mallon and Rosie Jones also appear locks.
 
Wie laid the foundation this week for a long and promising Solheim Cup career. In fact, this Solheim Cup may be remembered as the launching pad that elevated Wie to another level.
 
Wie, 19, played with a fire and passion that shes never exhibited before. Inkster believes it will carry over into the rest of Wies career.
 
I would bet a large amount of money she is going to win before this year is out, Inkster said.
 
Wie played fabulously all week, and she started hot Sunday. At the second hole, she watched Alfredsson laser a long iron to 4 feet, setting up an eagle. It looked like an early momentum changer, but Wie trumped her. With a 5-iron from 197 yards, she carved her second shot inside Alfredssons, to 3 feet. After Alfredsson missed her eagle putt, Wie electrified the gallery, dropping her putt dead center.
 
Racing 3 up through six holes, Wie looked as if she were going to rout Alfredsson, but the veteran Swede fought back to square the match.
 
Wie has been scrutinized for the inability to close on Sundays, but she showed something fighting back to win.
 
At the 15th hole, she reached the par 5 with a driver and an 8-iron, hammering her drive 305 yards, leaving her just 153 yards to the pin. She took back the lead with a birdie there.
 
Nothing was given, Wie said of the Solheim Cup experience. We had to fight hard. The intensity, Ive never felt anything like it before. It was definitely the highlight of my career.
 
Wie has been accused of being given too much in life, of not having to fight hard enough in golf, but she showed the fight that's inside her all week.
 
She showed Mallon, an assistant captain, something special when she made it through LPGA Q-School last winter. Mallon, who has known Wie since she was 12, sent a congratulatory text message.
 
I wanted Michelle to know I was genuinely happy she made it through qualifying school, and she shot me back a text message, Mallon said. Her message was, 'Thank you, and I really want to make the Solheim Cup team. I thought that was neat. I thought, 'She gets it already.
 
As captains picks go, Wie and Inkster will go down as two of the most memorable in Solheim Cup history.
 
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    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.

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

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    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.