US Defeats Europe for Solheim Cup

By Sports NetworkSeptember 11, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- When Meg Mallon's 6-foot par save at the 16th hole fell into the cup Sunday, she halved the hole with Karen Stupples and went 2-up with two to play.
 
That assured the American side a half point, and that was enough to give them the 14 1/2 points needed to win the Solheim Cup.
 
'It's like a dream,' said American captain Nancy Lopez. 'They were ready. It's been a great team effort this whole week. The players played their hearts out.'
 
Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer backed up her brash statements by going 3-1-1 in her Solheim Cup rookie debut.
Rosie Jones and Suzann Pettersen halved the last match on the course when the U.S. already clinched the Solheim Cup. That made the final score 15 1/2 - 12 1/2 and preserved the Americans 5-0 record on home soil.
 
'It's unbelievable to play for your country,' said Mallon, who became the all- time leading point earner in American Solheim Cup history this week with 2 1/2 points. 'These fans have been amazing this week.'
 
The U.S. side got out early and convincingly with a strong start. They took the first five matches, but had to wait anxiously as the bottom of the board filled up with some European flags.
 
After Natalie Gulbis finished off Maria Hjorth, 2 and 1 in the seventh match, the U.S. had 14 points. They needed a half point, but Europe was ahead in most of the final matches.
 
The only comfortable lead the Americans had belonged to Mallon in the penultimate match. She was 3-up with five to play and Stupples certainly made it interesting with an amazing par at the 14th that halved the hole.
 
At the 15th, Stupples landed in a front bunker with her second and blasted out to tap-in range. Mallon conceded the birdie and missed her try from 15 feet so Mallon fell to 2-up with three to go.
 
Neither player had a great look at birdie at the 16th, but Mallon went first from 30 feet and missed 6 feet left. Stupples came closer than Mallon and was conceded par.
 
Mallon stroked in the 6-footer to save par and halve the hole. That won the Solheim Cup back for the Americans after losing the trophy two years ago in Sweden.
 
'What a great feeling,' said Mallon, who was in the opposite spot in 1992 when Europe clinched the Solheim Cup in her singles match. 'I'm so proud of these guys today. We had to play exceptional to beat them. What a match.'
 
Mallon went on to post a 3 and 1 victory.
 
Juli Inkster collected three wins in a row from the 13th to dispatch Sophie Gustafson, 2 and 1 in the opening match, but the youngest Solheim Cupper ever put the first point on the board for the Americans in the second match.
 
Paula Creamer, 19, completed a 3-1-1 debut at the Solheim Cup with a 7 and 5 thumping of Laura Davies, the only player to participate in every competition since its inception in 1990.
 
Pat Hurst won three in a row from 14 and bested Trish Johnson, 2 and 1, Laura Diaz trounced Iben Tinning, 6 and 5, and rookie Christina Kim dismantled Ludivine Kreutz, 5 and 4.
 
The rookies stepped up big for the American side. In total, the three first- timers (Creamer, Gulbis and Kim) went 8-3-2.
 
'They're not rookies to me, they played like veterans,' said Lopez. 'I knew I had to use them, they were my best players coming in here. I had to trust them and I knew they could do it.'
 
Annika Sorenstam, the No. 1 player in the world, put the first point on the board for the European side in match six. She beat Beth Daniel, 4 and 3, but Gulbis countered the point in the next match.
 
Europe rallied because the next half-point would give the Americans the Cup.
 
Catriona Matthew won four out of five holes on the second nine to defeat Wendy Ward, 3 and 2. Carin Koch won three in a row on the back side to handle Michele Redman, 2 and 1.
 
In one of the biggest upsets Sunday, European rookie Gwladys Nocera, who was 0-1 heading into Sunday, knocked off Cristie Kerr, who earned the most points in qualifying for the American team, 2 and 1.
 
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


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    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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