U.S. falls to Europe at Solheim Cup

By Associated PressSeptember 25, 2011, 5:42 pm

DUNSANY, Ireland – Europe won the Solheim Cup for the first time since 2003 on Sunday, finishing powerfully to beat the United States 15-13 at Killeen Castle.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen turned the momentum Europe's way when she recovered from 1 down with birdies at the last three holes to beat Michelle Wie, 1 up.

Her win left Europe needing just one point from the last two singles to win the trophy, but the side captained by Alison Nicholas did even better.

Caroline Hedwall of Sweden – 2 down with two holes to play – earned a crucial halved match to give Europe a 14-13 lead when U.S. rookie Ryann O'Toole bogeyed the 17th and 18th.

Spain's Azahara Munoz birdied the 17th in the final singles to go 1 up on Angela Stanford and guarantee Europe's victory before closing out a 1-up win at the last.

'I've been in agony all day,' Nicholas said. 'The players have had such heart and passion and purpose. I hand it all to them. They've been unbelievable.'

[Click to view Solheim Cup report cards]

Nicholas said Europe's win was the greatest achievement of her career.

'They were so up for it and they believed in themselves,' she said. 'They just fought to the end. The rookies have done fantastic. The experienced players have done really well as well. It's just been a real team effort.'

American captain Rosie Jones also praised her players.

'They fought so hard and really came together in the last couple of days to do so well, and it's just really hard,' Jones said.

Jones declined to blame O'Toole for the defeat.

'You know what, she played awesome,' Jones said. 'She's undefeated in her first Solheim Cup. That is just unbelievable ... She feels bad because she was 2 up coming in.

'But I tell you what, she got three points this week, and I don't know if anybody else did that. So that's pretty awesome.'

Play was suspended three times during the day because of adverse weather conditions but the crowd of 28,000 saw an exciting finish.

The sides were tied 8-8 entering Sunday's 12 singles matches but Europe won the session 7-5 with American Cristie Kerr forced to forfeit her match with Karen Stupples.

Kerr, who was set to play in the 12th singles match, was unable to start because of a wrist injury.

'I'm devastated that I couldn't play today to help represent my team,' Kerr said in a statement. 'I tried my best but I couldn't hold the golf club.'

The home side raced to an 11-8 lead when Catriona Matthew soundly defeated Paula Creamer 6 and 5 and Sophie Gustafason beat Stacy Lewis, 2 up.

The Americans rallied when Morgan Pressel beat Anna Nordqvist, 2 and 1, and Brittany Lang defeated Sandra Gal, 6 and 5.

Veteran Juli Inkster gave the U.S. hope when she won the 18th with a par to halve her match with Laura Davies before Christina Kim beat Swede Maria Hjorth, 4 and 2, to level the scores.

Two-up wins for Europe's Christel Boeljon over Brittany Lincicome and American Vicky Hurst over Melissa Reid left the match riding on the last three singles.

With Stanford and Munoz all square in the final singles, the game between Pettersen and Wie became crucial.

Pettersen birdied the par-3 16th from 18 feet to square the match but Wie birdied the 17th from 20 feet to remain all square after the Norwegian had hit her approach to 3 feet to set up an easy birdie.

Pettersen fired a brilliant approach to 8 feet at the last, but while the American came out to 4 feet from a greenside bunker, Europe's top-ranked player holed the birdie putt.

'We knew it was going to come down to the last couple (of matches) if we had a chance and this is just fantastic,' Pettersen said. 'Absolutely brilliant team and what a way to finish on home soil.'

Munoz turned the tide Europe's way with a birdie from 3 feet at the 17th and when O'Toole overshot the 18th against Hedwall and then failed to save par, Europe was guaranteed victory.

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Bend it like Garcia? Sergio scores in player-caddie soccer match

By Grill Room TeamOctober 20, 2018, 2:44 am

Sergio Garcia has always been able to work his golf ball from left to right, but he's also - apparently - proficient at playing a draw with a soccer ball.

This year's Adalucia Valderrama Masters is suffering through some weather issues. But the highlight of the week - and, according to the Felipe Aguilar, "the year" - was always going to be the event's player-caddie soccer match, which you can see here:

The standout highlight? This bending, left-footed(!) strike from defending champion Sergio Garcia:

"Just a little bit of fun with the caddies and some of the players," Garcia nonchalantly says in the video. "Yeah, just a little bit of running and it was good fun."

Garcia, a diehard Real Madrid fan who kicked off El Clasico in his green jacket back in 2016, has previously appeared in professional matches for CF Borriol, a Tercera Division club in Spain. 

"It's good fun and whenever I'm around I get to practice with them a little bit and play a little bit here and there. This season, I've played probably five games, so not a lot, but I enjoy it," Garcia told CNN back in 2013.

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Dunlap, in 'excruciating pain,' shares early Dominion lead

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:29 pm

RICHMOND, Va. – Scott Dunlap and Fran Quinn shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Fighting a left wrist injury that will require surgery, Dunlap matched Quinn with a closing birdie on the par-5 18th on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''Maybe excruciating pain is the key to playing good golf because I'm not getting nervous on a shot, you're just trying to get through it,'' Dunlap said. ''The worst parts are gripping it and getting the club started ... that's when that bone hits that bone.''

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


The 55-year-old Dunlap entered the week 29th in the standings. Playing through the wrist injury, he's coming off ties for ninth and seventh in his last two starts.

''I think I finally taped it the right way,'' Dunlap said. ''Or maybe it's the pain meds kicking in. I don't know, one of the two.''

Quinn is 64th in the standings.

''I finished up strong last year, too, kind of secured my privileges for the following year making eagle on 18,'' Quinn said. ''I played solid all day. I had a lot of opportunities. A couple hiccups.''

Jay Haas was a stroke back with Kent Jones, Stephen Ames, Woody Austin and Tim Petrovic. The 64-year-old Haas won the last of his 18 senior titles in 2016.

Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, were at 69 with Joey Sindelar, Tom Gillis, Billy MayfairLee Janzen, Glen Day and Gene Sauers.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 70. The 61-year-old German star won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the points lead. He has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland had a 71. He's 14th in the standings. No. 3 Jerry Kelly shot 72. No. 4 Scott McCarron, the 2016 tournament winner, had a 74.

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Weather continues to plague Valderrama Masters

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 7:55 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Marc Warren helped his chances of retaining his European Tour card by moving into a tie for second place behind Englishman Ashley Chesters at the rain-hit Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Friday.

Bad weather interrupted play for a second straight day at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain before darkness caused the second round to be suspended until Saturday, with overnight Chesters still ahead at 5-under.

Weather delays on Thursday, including a threat of lightning, had kept 60 golfers from finishing their opening round. They included Scottish player Warren, who went out on Friday and finished his first round with a 2-under 69.

He then made three birdies to go with one bogey on the first nine holes of the second round before play was halted. He joined Frenchman Gregory Bourdy one shot behind Chesters.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


''I'm hitting the ball as well as I have in a long time,'' Warren said. ''Hitting fairways and greens is the most important thing around here, so hopefully I wake up tomorrow with the same swing.''

Chesters and Bourdy were among several golfers unable to play a single hole in the second round on Friday.

Warren, a three-time European Tour winner, has struggled this season and needs a strong performance to keep his playing privileges for next year.

Currently ranked 144th, Warren needs to break into the top 116 to keep his card.

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Watch: Is this the up-and-down of the year?

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 3:30 pm

Play away from the pin? Just because there's a tree in your way? Not Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Watch him channel some Arnie (or, more appropriately, some Seve) with this shot in the Valderrama Masters: