REBEL YELL: The United States claimed their third consecutive Solheim Cup and remained undefeated on American soil, knocking off the visiting European team, 16 to 12, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
It wasn't quite Florida-Charleston Southern, but the U.S. was heavily favored to win yet again. If there was a points spread, the Americans likely covered, which is a bit of a shame. The matches were all tied after two days, and then came Sunday Bloody Sunday. If I was the LET, I'd be willing to trade two home games each decade in exchange for three days of team play and no singles – and no more Christina Kim.
OH, CAPTAIN, WHY, CAPTAIN?: U.S. captain Beth Daniel decided prior to the Solheim Cup matches that she was not going to play anyone in all five sessions. Ultimately, her plan worked as the U.S. won eight of 12 possible singles points Sunday in clinching the Cup.
Daniel's move was a big gamble. Had her squad lost, she would have taken some serious heat for sitting out the likes of Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie. For years, the European Ryder Cup teams employed a Ride-Your-Horses-Till-They-Drop strategy, and it worked quite well. That was a map to success. Daniel forgoing such a philosophy was like someone telling Christopher Columbus, "Hey, here's directions to the Americas." And Columbus responding, "Nah, I'll find my way there."
CUP UP, CUP DOWN: It's hard to single out just one American and one European who deserve the best- and worst-played awards. Paula Creamer went 3-1 for the U.S., but Michelle Wie has to get Woman of the Matches for her 3-0-1 record in her debut. Meanwhile, Gwladys Nocera of France went 3-0-1 as well for Europe.
On the flipside, several candidates could have won the Razzie for Europe (Laura Davies: 0-1-1, with three sit-outs; Helen Alfredsson: 1-3), but the award goes to Suzann Pettersen. The Norwegian was supposed to anchor this team, but instead helped sink it with a 1-4 record. Nicole Castrale took the dubious prize on the American side, going 0-3 – the only player on either team not to win at least a half-point.
JUST WYN, BABY: Ryan Moore earned his first PGA Tour title, denying Kevin Stadler and Jason Bohn in a playoff at the Wyndham Championship. The victory came in Moore's 112th start on Tour.
Sergio Garcia must feel like it's been 112 starts since he won on Tour. The Spaniard, winless on Tour since last year's Players Championship, held a three-shot lead during the final round, but needed to make a 35-yard bunker shot on 18 to join the playoff. He came up inches short. And so the drought – and frustration – continues.
JUST WEN, BABY: Mike Reid made a 10-footer on the first hole of sudden death Sunday at the Jeld-Wen Tradition, while John Cook missed one of similar length. The result gave Reid his second career Champions Tour major (2005 Senior PGA) and left Cook winless on the senior circuit.
What a brutal loss for Cook. He led by one entering the par-4 18th, but made bogey to force the playoff. He then couldn't match Reid's birdie in the extra session. That's now four majors down on the Champions Tour in 2009. Only seven more to go before the season ends.
JUST WHAT WIE NEEDED: Touching base with Wie again, the 19-year-old was stellar in her maiden Cup appearance. Aside from her near-perfect record, she appeared to be a well-received teammate and even showed she could overcome adversity after blowing a 3-up lead to Helen Alfredsson in the singles, only to rally and win, 1 up.
Wie was supposed to be the female Tiger Woods. But in actuality, they are little alike. Tiger exceeded expections at the start of his career; Wie has underachieved. Tiger immediately won twice upon turning pro and earned his PGA Tour card; Wie went through Q-School and is still winless. Tiger never needed acceptance among his peers; Wie was in desparate need for inclusion and camaraderie and may finally have received it. Tiger's performance in team competitions is less than remarkable; What Wie accomplished this past week in a team competition could jump start a remarkable career.
RED, WHITE AND WHO?: Nick Watney and John Merrick will represent the United States in the World Cup. The event will take place November 26-29 at the Mission Hills’ Olazabal Course in Shenzhen, China.
This once prestigious event hasn't been relevant since "Ally McBeal" was on TV. It all turned when officials decided that the top-ranked player from each country didn't get to select his partner, but instead had to use the next highest-ranked countryman (should he accept the invitation). It was all in an effort to get Tiger Woods to team with Phil Mickelson. And now we have Nick Watney teaming with John Merrick. That's what happens when you try and tell Tiger what to do.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Tiger Woods committed to the first FedEx Cup Playoffs event, The Barclays. ... Australian Michael Sim earned a promotion to the PGA Tour by winning his third event of the year on the Nationwide Tour, the Christmas in October Classic. ... Simon Dyson won his second career KLM Open on the European Tour. ... Michelle Wie is working with former PGA champion Dave Stockton to improve her putting.
That comes as a bit of a surprise, but a good one. It will be more surprising if he actually kisses the trophy this time when he wins it. ... Hopefully Sim can keep his game in peak form as the Fall Series is a good six weeks away. ... Dyson defeated Peter Hedblom and Peter Lawrie in a playoff. ... She still missed a few gimmes at Rich Harvest Farms, but did seem much more confident. Working with the Stocktons can only help.
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