Notes Playing While Pregnant Davies a Character


2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- Nancy Lopez and Catrin Nilsmark each have a pregnant player on their team. Laura Diaz is entering her sixth month, while Iben Tinning is pregnant with twins.
Both are mothers themselves, and have tried to play with child. Both plan to give their mothers-to-be some rest.
Laura Diaz
Laura Diaz is one of two Solheim Cup team members playing while pregnant.
Diaz is playing in the opening foursome session with Michele Redman, but is not expected to play the fourball match in the afternoon. Tinning is sitting out the first session.
``She's playing well,'' Nilsmark said of her Danish player. ``She'll probably play more than one time before Sunday, but it's really hot out there. She's feeling good, but I think with the heat, I definitely wasn't going to play her 36 holes a day.''
Lopez, who has three children, said Diaz looked remarkably fit for being five months into her pregnancy.
``When I was five months, everybody was asking me if I was ready to deliver,'' Lopez said. ``She looks great and is in great shape. It does take a toll on your, the heat, and the mental pressure as much as anything.''
She said she played Diaz in the morning because it might be cooler.
Laura Davies has more experience than anyone in the Solheim Cup, having played every time since it began in 1990. She likes to play first, because she likes to play fast. She loves to dish out her dry humor in the team room, but she hates going to mandatory meetings about the rules.
Still, European captain Catrin Nilsmark has noticed Davies taking more of a leadership role.
``She's more of a team member now than she maybe has been,'' Nilsmark said. ``In the past, she would take her own car, and not go on the bus. I don't think she would do that now. I think she realized the one advantage we might have over the Americans is the fact we are very much a team, and we have lots of fun.''
But there has been some comical moments with Davies this week.
Davies jokingly pitched a fit about the mandatory rules meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and tried to get out of it.
``She asked me -- and she very well knew the answer -- if she had to come to the meeting,'' Nilsmark said. ``She said, 'But it's ridiculous.' She was mocking about, asking the questions that are going to be asked, nothing we haven't talked about before. She was making a big theater. It was pretty funny.''
Then there was the practice times.
Nilsmark put Davies in the last of three Europeans groups during practice earlier in the week, primarily because they started after the Americans and she knew Davies couldn't go anywhere fast.
``The ninth hole, she said, 'Please, captain, please put me out first tomorrow,''' Nilsmark said. ``I looked at my schedule -- I had put her first, of course. I'm trying to be nice to her.''
But that only went so far.
When the first session of foursomes was announced Thursday, Davies was in the second group with Maria Hjorth.
``I really thought she would put Laura Davies first,'' U.S. captain Nancy Lopez said. ``Laura is like that. 'Let me go, I want to go.'''
Nilsmark, sitting next to Lopez, only smiled.
``That's where she wanted to be,'' she said.
Everyone expected huge crowds for the sold-out tournament. But a big gallery for the practice rounds?
As Laura Davies and Annika Sorenstam practiced Thursday, throngs of fans followed them from hole-to-hole, cheering each shot. At one point, a group of fans broke into a chant.
It was enough to impress the world's top woman golfer.
``It's a lot of fun for a player to come out and have a practice round when you have some crowds behind you and cheer you on,'' Sorenstam said after practicing Wednesday. ``I think we're going to have great support this week in many ways, especially from the crowds.''
Anywhere the players went, the fans followed. They roamed the course, chatted quietly among themselves and even with players as they circled the practice tees and putting green.
``They're very energetic,'' said Juli Inkster, who is playing in her sixth Solheim Cup. ``You're loving the feeling out there. Hopefully, by Friday, we'll get the full crowds out there, and we'll hopefully give them something to cheer about.''
What had looked to be a close match turned into a blowout at the Junior Solheim Cup, when the Americans won 10 of 12 points from the singles matches for a 16-8 victory at nearby Bridgewater Club.
Leading the way for the Americans was 17-year-old Morgan Pressel, the runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open and the U.S. Women's Amateur champion. Playing in her final junior event, Pressel went unbeaten and won her singles match, 6 and 4, over Azahara Munoz of Spain.
``This was so important to me to play in this event,'' Pressel said. ``There is no better way to end my time in junior golf. Going out on top with this team is the way I wanted it.''
Perhaps the real Solheim Cup is her next step. Two years ago in Sweden, 17-year-old Paula Creamer was part of the U.S. team for the Junior Solheim Cup.
Louise Solheim, the wife of the late Karsten Solheim, has been made an honorary member of the LPGA. ... Of the four alternate-shot pairings, only the teams of Annika Sorenstam-Suzann Pettersen and Trish Johnson-Sophie Gustafson of Europe have played with each other in previous Solheim Cups. ... Based on the practice rounds, Iben Tinning believes the Europeans in the gallery will be the most vocal when the matches began. ``I think the Americans are going to lose their voices because they're screaming so loud,'' she said.
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