2015 U.S. Solheim Cup team capsules

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 14, 2015, 12:00 pm

Here is a breakdown of United States captain Juli Inkster's 12-player roster for the 14th Solheim Cup, which will be Sept. 18-20 at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Click here for European team capsules. The Europeans are the reigning champion, having won, 18-10, at Colorado Golf Club in 2012.

Paula CreamerPaula Creamer

Age: 29

Record: 12-6-5 (6th appearance)

World ranking: 48th

LPGA victories: 10 (one major)

The lowdown: Inkster made Creamer one of her two captain’s picks because she’s been the heart and soul of the U.S. Solheim Cup squad since 2005. Creamer easily boasts the best overall record on the American roster, though she is winless on the LPGA since March 2014.

Cristie KerrCristie Kerr

Age: 37

Record: 12-14-4 (8th appearance)

World ranking: 15th

LPGA victories: 17 (two majors)

The lowdown: A staple on the U.S. Solheim Cup squad since 2002. She has fared best at this competition in fourballs, sporting a 9-5-0 record. She has a losing record in foursomes (2-5-2) and singles (1-4-2).

Brittany LangBrittany Lang

Age: 30

Record: 5-4-2 (4th appearance)

World ranking: 41st

LPGA victories: 1

The lowdown: Lang is a captain's pick. She was one of the lone bright spots for the U.S. side in 2013, when she went 3-1. She is 2-0-1 in singles.

Alison LeeAlison Lee

Age: 20

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 27th

LPGA victories: 0

The lowdown: The only rookie on the American team is also an LPGA rookie. Lee has made 15 of 19 cuts this year, including five top-10s. Lee has also yet to be part of a losing U.S. squad in six combined amateur team appearances at the Junior Solheim Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and Curtis Cup.

Stacy LewisStacy Lewis

Age: 30

Record: 2-5-1 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 3rd

LPGA victories: 11 (two majors)

The lowdown: Despite a victory drought that dates back to June 2014 and a less than ideal Solheim Cup record, the former world No. 1 brings a veteran presence and scrappiness to Inkster’s no-nonsense U.S. squad.

Brittany LincicomeBrittany Lincicome

Age: 29

Record: 5-7-2 (5th appearance)

World ranking: 14th

LPGA victories: 6 (two majors)

The lowdown: The big hitter broke a near four-year winless drought in April with her second major victory. She has struggled at this compeition in singles (1-3), but she's 4-4-2 as a doubles partner.

Gerina PillerGerina Piller

Age: 30

Record: 0-2-1 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 37th

LPGA victories: 0

The lowdown: Piller is one of only two players on the U.S. team without an LPGA victory, but she qualified for the team with three top-10s in her last nine starts, including a tie for second at the Meijer LPGA. She went 0-2 in fourballs two years ago and halved her singles match.

Morgan PresselMorgan Pressel

Age: 27

Record: 8-5-2 (5th appearance)

World ranking: 23rd

LPGA victories: 2 (one major)

The lowdown: One of two Americans on the squad with a winning Solheim record. Though Pressel doesn’t have an LPGA win since 2008, she has come close this year with a playoff loss and a pair of top-fives in majors.

Lizette SalasLizette Salas

Age: 26

Record: 0-1-2 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 32nd

LPGA victories: 1

The lowdown: Salas secured a spot on the team with a tie for second at the Meijer LPGA. It is her lone top-10 finish on tour this season. In her cup debut two years ago, Salas earned a pair of halves.

Angela StanfordAngela Stanford

Age: 37

Record: 3-11-3 (6th appearance)

World ranking: 35th

LPGA victories: 5

The lowdown: Stanford heads into her sixth Solheim Cup appearance as the second oldest member of the U.S. team (one month younger than Kerr). Stanford has proven she can shine on this stage, going 2-0-1 in 2007, but she’s winless on tour since 2012 and without a Solheim point since '09.

Lexi ThompsonLexi Thompson

Age: 20

Record: 1-2-0 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 4th

LPGA victories: 5 (one major)

The lowdown: Lexi’s length off the tee is her strength, as evidenced by her Kraft Nabisco victory in 2014, in which she overpowered the golf course to win her first major. If she’s hitting it straight, it could be a huge advantage for the Americans.

Michelle WieMichelle Wie

Age: 25

Record: 6-5-1 (4th appearance)

World ranking: 20th

LPGA victories: 4 (one major)

The lowdown: The ultimate wildcard for Inkster’s squad. Wie started to fulfill some of her potential in 2014, culminating in a U.S. Open runaway, but has battled myriad injuries ever since. She has gone 3-0 in foursomes, but is 1-2 in singles.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

“It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

“I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

Let it go.

Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

“I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

“It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

“I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

The only thing left to do?

Let it go.

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Z. Johnson may have to pay for the jet home

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Zach Johnson will have some bragging rights when he gets back to the ultimate golf frat house on Friday after a second-round 67 moved him into the lead at The Open.

Johnson is rooming with Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler this week at Carnoustie. It’s a tradition that began two years ago at Royal Troon.

Kisner joked on Thursday after he took the first-round lead that the perks for the house/tournament front-runner were limited: “I probably get to eat first,” he said.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

There is, however, one running wager.

“Two years ago we, I don't know if you call it bet, but agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it, so we go home,” said Johnson, who added that because of varying travel arrangements, the wager might not be needed this year. “I didn't pay last year. Somebody else did.”

Spieth won last year’s championship at Royal Birkdale.

Despite the expense, Johnson said he didn’t know how much it costs to charter a private flight back to the United States, but it’s a good problem to have.

“I’d be happy to fork it over,” he smiled.