Notes New Solheim Pecking Order Shark Bites

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Europe is changing how it picks the Solheim Cup team by leaning heavily on the Women's World Rankings.
 
The top five will come from European tour standings, followed by four from the world rankings. That leaves Helen Alfredsson with three captain's picks to fill out the 12-player team.
 
Previously, the top seven came from European tour standings with five captain's picks. Players must compete in six Ladies European Tour events to be eligible.
 
'I think this is the best combination because it keeps it fair for the LET, but it also rewards the Europeans who play elsewhere in the world,' Laura Davies said.
 
The Solheim Cup will be held next year in Sweden.
 
SHARK BITES
The sure sign that Greg Norman isn't playing much golf is that his hands are free of calluses.
 
Norman is recovering from knee surgery in February, and he expects doctors to give him the green light in June to start practicing with a busy summer schedule that starts with the Senior U.S. Open the last week in June and takes him through the Jeld-Wen Tradition the last week in August.
 
'I know that sounds like a lot of golf,' he said. 'Last year coming out of my back surgery, it probably was a lot of golf.'
 
Norman said his knee is fine, but he needs to spend the next six weeks rebuilding muscles in his thigh and calf because he hasn't used his right leg properly since September. He has been coming back from surgery more times that he would like, although this break of nearly eight months is the longest he can remember.
 
'I'm excited about getting back, but I'm also interested to see how excited I will be come middle of June,' he said.
 
SOMETHING TO PROVE
Vaughn Taylor has won each of the last two years on the PGA Tour, although he still feels as though he has something to prove. Both his victories were at the Reno-Tahoe Open, held opposite a World Golf Championship at Firestone that attracts the top players in the world.
 
'No one in particularly says anything about it, but we all know that it's a week opposite a bigger tournament,' Taylor said. 'I really want to win a regular event and prove to everyone that I'm not just capable of winning an opposite event.'
 
Dating to 1999, when the World Golf Championships created an extra layer of opposite-field events, only three players who earned their first PGA Tour victory at an opposite-field event have gone on to win against a regular field -- Geoff Ogilvy (Tucson, Match Play), Bart Bryant (Texas Open, Memorial and Tour Championship) and Luke Donald (Southern Farm, Honda Classic).
 
DIVOTS
The Evian Masters has raised its purse $100,000 to $2.6 million, making it the second-highest purse on the LPGA Tour behind the U.S. Women's Open, which was $3.1 million last year. ... Greg Norman says he was 'courted' by CBS Sports a few years ago about being its analyst in the booth with Jim Nantz. The Shark said he turned it down because he had spent the last 25 years being gone on the weekend. 'For me to pack my bags on a Thursday, go away on the weekends for the next five or six years, I don't think you guys have enough money at CBS,' he said. ... Former U.S. Women's Amateur champion Virada Nirapathpongporn is suffering from internal bleeding in her right eye after an accident March 31 with a resistance tube used for stretching exercises. A full recovery is expected, and she is expected to return to practice as early as next week.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
The Atlanta Charity Classic will be only the third time in seven tournaments this year that the LPGA Tour is scheduled for 72 holes.
 
FINAL WORD
'I don't want to be Tiger or Annika and I don't want to break down barriers like Michelle Wie, but I want to be successful on my own terms. I don't know what that is, but when I get there, I'm sure I'll know.' -- Elizabeth Stuart, a rookie on the Futures Tour. She is believed to be the first player from The First Tee program to join a professional golf tour.
 
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