Come On, Get into Womens Golf:
This year I was disappointed to open one British national newspaper, a few days before the opening tee-shot of the first womens professional tournament at St Andrews Old Course, and find not one word about the event. Ask the average British sports fan when was the last time a British woman won the Wimbledon Singles title and most will recall Virginia Wade in 1977. Ask the same fan about the last British winner of the Ricoh Womens British Open and you can bet your bottom dollar a blank look will present itself across their face. (Karen Stupples 2004). Thats why the Solheim Cup is so important; it fuels peoples interest. The Europeans want to beat the Americans, and the Americans dont like losing. Add to the mix a hostile home crowd, on either side of the Atlantic - and some passionate, good looking golfers - and youve got a great event for fans, players and sponsors alike. Soccer takes such pride of place in Europe that other sports get left behind. But if we keep having Solheims like this one, that might change.
The singles were a bit one sided, but thats team golf. Dont forget it was anyones for the taking heading into that final set of matches and the U.S. played their hearts out for victory. I thought Nicole Castrale was impressive; any critics of her captains pick were quickly silenced. I also liked Linda Wessberg and wished she played more than just two matches. And as always, Juli Inkster was legendary. Morgan Pressel will not forget her match in a hurry, to beat Annika one-on-one is a real achievement.
I cant wait for the next Solheim, bring on 2009.
FedExCup Finishes, But Dont Forget the Race in Europe:
Like it or loathe it, the FedExCup produced the correct winner. Now that it's over why not turn your attention to the other side of the Atlantic and early morning live golf on GOLF CHANNEL in the US. The European Tour Order of Merit is getting interesting with just seven events remaining. Justin Rose trails Padraig Harrington by $416,085, with Ernie Els, Henrik Stenson and Niclas Fasth not too far behind. October is when things will come alive - the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship boasts a first prize of over $832,194, and all five are expected to play with Padraig the defending champion. Then weve got the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth with the largest first prize in golf, followed by events in the Mediterranean region, finishing the year off at Valderrama. Having been to the great Spanish venue and spent many an evening relaxing on the Costa Del Sol, looking out over the Med, it doesnt get much better.
Challenge Tour Heads to Borats Home:
If I gave you three guesses as to which country hosts the richest Challenge Tour event, youd never get it. Kazakhstan. Yes, the land made famous by Borat plays host for the third consecutive year to the Challenge Tour boys this week. With $73,233 to the winner, which Im sure goes a long way in the former Soviet Republic, this is a big week for the tour. Im told by players that its a really good event, although sometimes the caddies are a bit unreliable. Competitors stay on site and are transferred from Almaty airport which is about 30 minutes from the Nurtau Golf Club. A win over the 7,301-yard layout could be the key to a European Tour card. Peter Baker is occupying the bubble spot (20th) and hes made $64,074 this season.
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