Pick 'em: Who will win the 12th Solheim Cup?

By Randall MellSeptember 22, 2011, 1:15 pm

The 12th edition of the Solheim Cup begins Friday morning at Killeen Castle. The Americans hold an overall 8-3 advantage, winning each of the last three. Who will win this year? GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell and editorial director Jay Coffin weigh in with their opinions:

By RANDALL MELL

DUNSANY, Ireland – Europe has the ingredients essential to winning this Solheim Cup.

They’ll win because they’re wounded, desperate souls.

They’ll win because if they get beat up for a fourth consecutive time by the Americans they’ll be compared with sport’s greatest losers, somewhere there with the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters.

They’ll win because a loss stirs up talk about how irrelevant they’re making the Solheim Cup.

They’ll win because they’ve got this unpredictable Irish weather going for them, three seasons blowing through in an hour. It would have helped if they had picked a links home to fully harness their advantage, instead of a parkland course that makes Americans feel more comfortable, but the weather’s inhospitable for the visitors, just the same.

The Americans have more overall talent, with seven of the top 20 in the Rolex world rankings on their roster and the Europeans just one, but the Euros overall depth is improved over recent teams, and they’re hot with winning habits built this season. The Euro roster has won 12 titles this year (14 if you count the Nation’s Cup two-woman team event), the Americans three. Yes, you can argue it’s a lot harder to win an LPGA event but winning breeds winning.

The Americans are stronger, but underdogs can be dangerous in these events. The Euros haven’t trailed going into Sunday in the last three Solheim Cups but lost them all. Mostly, they’ll win this time because they’ve finally got a team that has a chance in Sunday singles.


By JAY COFFIN

DUNSANY, Ireland – Until the Europeans show that they can contend in this event and can stand toe-to-toe in Sunday singles, I'll pick the Americans.

Europe is strong, most of its team plays on the LPGA so names are familiar to American golf fans, but there are five rookies. Solheim Cup pressure is immense and it'll take time to adjust. By the time they do, it could be too late.

U.S. captain's pick Ryann O'Toole is a liability, there's no sugarcoating it. But she won't play much. It'd be a surprise if she played more than once before singles.

On the other end of the spectrum Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lincicome are four U.S. heavyweights who could play all five matches. That is a great advantage – one Europe cannot match – as all four raise their intensity during match play. Lewis is a Solheim Cup rookie, but she's cut from the same cloth as Creamer. She's ready to contribute in a big way.

Europe is playing better right now, but the U.S. has more talent. Seven of the Americans are in the top-20 of the world rankings, compared with only one (Suzann Pettersen) for the Europeans. That much of a talent gap for Europe will be difficult to overcome.

This has all the makings of a close competition, but the U.S. will prevail because of depth and singles strength.

Just like always.

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.


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Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.



“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”