The Golf Channels comprehensive, week-long coverage of the 2005 Solheim Cup tees off Monday, Sept. 5, with a special Solheim Cup-version of Golf Central. The cable networks signature wraparound news coverage continues in the days leading up to the biennial match, carrying the pre-match press conferences live, as well as the competitions Opening Ceremony. The Golf Channels team of experts also will be on hand to provide instant analysis, breakdowns and predictions on Golf Central and Sprint Post Game.
The three days of match play will be covered live from the moment the first pair tees off until the last putt drops ' eight consecutive hours of live coverage on Friday and Saturday and seven hours on Sunday.
In addition to the networks dedicated match-play coverage, more than 40 programming hours in the week leading to the competition will be Solheim Cup-themed.
Leading The Golf Channels team of experts during tournament week will be Indiana native Brian Hammons and LPGA legend Dottie Pepper ' herself a veteran of six U.S. Solheim Cup teams. Supporting Hammons and Pepper in the booth, will be Donna Caponi, Kay Cockerill and Val Skinner on the golf course, and Rich Lerner providing essays and special reports.
The biennial contest pits the top European-born players from the Robe Di Kappa Ladies European Tour (LET) against the top U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) in a three-day, match-play-style competition. Just three LPGA Tour events remain before the final roster spots are determined, and 22 players are still within striking distance of capturing one of 10 coveted spots on the U.S. roster, with Cristie Kerr holding a comfortable lead, followed by Meg Mallon and LPGA legend Juli Inkster. Several roster spots are still up for grabs, and The Golf Channel will provide expert analysis of each event and its impact on the 2005 Solheim Cup.
Live match-play coverage of the 2005 Solheim Cup tees off Friday, Sept. 9, at 9 a.m. ET.
Quotes from the Broadcast Team:
Tournament Host Brian Hammons on returning home to Indiana to announce the 2005 Solheim Cup for The Golf Channel:
Even though I've been living in Orlando for 10 years, I still consider Indiana 'home'. So to return to my favorite town in the world and anchor our coverage of one of the biggest events in golf is truly a thrill and an honor. I'm looking forward to this event more than any other in my career at The Golf Channel.
The golf fans of Indiana are in for a real treat. Three days of unbelievable competition between some of the biggest names in women's golf. This will be the biggest event in women's athletics in 2005.
Hammons about the upcoming Solheim Cup:
The great thing about the United States team is that all of the players fighting for a position on the team are playing well. That has to make Nancy Lopez happy. One of the things a captain looks for are players who are 'hot' going into the Solheim Cup. She has a lot of 'hot' players.
The European team has a great mix of veterans and talented young players. Anytime you have Annika Sorenstam leading your team you have a shot.
I think Crooked Stick will provide some terrific theater. I can not believe the intensity of the Solheim Cup. I thought players were into the Ryder Cup, but the LPGA players have been talking about this event since the middle of last year.
Six-time U.S. Solheim Cup team member and The Golf Channel Analyst Dottie Pepper on her Solheim Cup playing experience:
The Solheim Cup was definitely one of the highlights of my career, especially since I was involved in the first playing back in 1990. It was always a huge goal; the opportunity to play as a team as well as represent your country was a determining factor in the schedule I set for two years in an effort to accumulate the necessary points.
Pepper on her first Solheim Cup broadcast experience for The Golf Channel:
The biggest challenge in this new capacity will be that of 'just calling golf' and not rooting outwardly for the U.S. team, many of those players being former teammates of mine. I am also looking forward to managing a 10 hour telecast with no breaks!
Pepper about the upcoming Solheim Cup:
I think the greatest thing about the potential team members is that nearly all of them are playing great golf now where as that was not the case two years ago going to the event staged in Sweden. Crooked Stick is a fabulous test, especially for match play, with water coming into play on several of the closing holes and huge swings in momentum being a huge possibility.
1996 Solheim Cup U.S. team member and The Golf Channel On-course Reporter Val Skinner on her Solheim Cup memories:
I consider my experience in the Solheim Cup one of the competitive highlights of my career.
The intensity of every match, hole and shot matches only the feelings experienced in a major
championship. To play along side the peers you respect and admire while representing your country creates total pride. I will always relish these moments in my golf career.
For more information contact, The Golf Channel Public Relations, 407/355-4653