Captains Complaints and Concessions

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If anybody had asked me, I'd have told them that:
 
  • Nancy Lopez proved yet again Monday how competitive she still is and what a terrific captain she would make for the 2005 U.S. Solheim Cup squad. Playing in a highly-entertaining made-for-TV event on Kraft/Nabisco Shoot-Out in Boise, Idaho, Lopez rode the hot putter of partner Hank Kuehne to victory over Michelle Wie and John Daly in a better-ball skins game. Lopez, miked for sound, didn't play as well as she would have liked. But she competed on every shot and cared, unmistakably, about the outcome.
     
  • Now complaints are emerging from Europe that the concessions at the end of Sunday's Solheim Cup singles matches skewed the 'lines' laid down by the bookmakers on the other side of the pond. My opinion on that is anybody dumb enough to bet on golf gets what he or she deserves. But at the same time, the
    potential, God forbid, for tinkering with a 'line' is there. Our sport needs to be like Caesar's wife, above suspicion. Look for the PGA of America to come out soon with an announcement that all singles matches at the Ryder Cup next year in Michigan be played to conclusion, regardless of whether the team outcome already has been settled.
     
  • Speaking of Cups, you think Gary Player would like to have one of his captain's picks back? Recall that he chose Korean K.J. Choi and South African Tim Clark for the Presidents Cup matches to be played in South Africa in November. What about Hidemichi Tanaka? All the diminutive Japanese player has done is finish in the top 6 three times in his last four starts on the PGA Tour.
     
  • Speaking of captain's picks, the worst example of a blown opportunity was Dale Reid's decision to leave Scotland's Janice Moodie off the European Solheim Cup team in 2002.
     
  • There is a growing movement for Annika Sorenstam to be named Sports
    Person of the year by Sports Illustrated. This is one of the most prestigious
    awards in all of sport. Consider me to be on the bandwagon.
     
  • Player of the Year on the men's side? Davis Love's stock is slipping. Vijay Singh (now the leading money winner on the PGA Tour) is making a big move off his victory Monday at the John Deere Classic. My choice, if I had to vote today: Mike Weir.
     
  • One woman to make a 10-foot putt to save your life? That's a tough one. Probably have to go with Annika. But not before giving Moodie long consideration.
     
  • By the way, just because she missed a four-foot putt late Saturday, don't conveniently forget how consistently spectacular the play of American Laura Diaz was at the Solheim Cup.
     
  • Bobby Locke, the great South African putter, is the man credited with saying, 'Drive for show, putt for dough.' Actually, Locke had it wrong. It should be: 'Drive for dough AND putt for dough.' If you don't agree, ask Jim Furyk, who did both en route to his first major at the U.S. Open in June. Or Tiger Woods, who's still looking for the right driver.
     
    Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt