Solheim Heats Things Up at Wendys


With only five tournaments remaining before the U.S. Solheim Cup team is announced, the Wendys Championship for Children has attracted seven of the top 15 American point holders to Tartan Fields Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Leading the way is Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, who has accrued 220.88 points to date and leads the race.
Inkster is the only player, other than Annika Sorenstam, to have crossed the $1 million threshold this season. In the 13 events she has participated in, the 42-year-old has amassed $1,073,545 in prize money.
Inkster trails Sorenstam in two categories. The formidable Swede also comfortably leads the Rolex Player of the Year race with 295 points over Inksters 134.83. Fortunately for Inkster and the rest of the field, Sorenstam is not playing this week.
Defending champion Wendy Ward, currently seventh in Solheim Cup points, is one of four players in this weeks field to receive a boost in the standings. Ward, Beth Daniel, Michele Redman and Cristie Kerr have all moved up one position after Dottie Pepper announced she was giving up her spot on the team due to an injury. Pepper, who was fourth in standings with 122.50 points, will support her team on the sidelines this year.
Nine of the top ten Rookie of the Year contenders are scheduled to play in the 144-woman field. Leading the race for Rookie of the Year is Natalie Gulbis, who has 461 points, ahead of Beth Bauers 395. Fellow rookie Stephanie Keever, with 262 points and in third place, has also committed to play this week.
LPGA Tour Hall of Famers JoAnne Carner and Betsy King, as well as last week's winner Gloria Park, round out a field rich in talent young and old.
Tartan Field Golf Club, a 6,517-yard, par-72 course will play host for the first time in its four-year history. The championship, which was held at New Albany Country Club from 1999-2001, boasts Sorenstam (1999), Lorie Kane (2000) and Ward as past champions.
This years winner of the 54-hole stroke play event will receive $150,000 of the $1 million purse, while the runner-up will take home $91,325