U.S. Solheim Cup team capsules

By Randall MellSeptember 20, 2011, 11:00 am

Captain Rosie Jones will lead the United States team against Europe in the 12th edition of the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle in Dunsany, Ireland. Here is a breakdown of the 12 U.S. team members, in alphabetical order (Click here for European team capsules):

Paula Creamer

Age: 25

Record: 8-2-4 (Singles: 3-0)

World ranking: No8

Victories: 9 LPGA titles (1 major)

The lowdown: In 14 Solheim Cup matches, Creamer has lost just two matches, none in singles. The Americans have won all three Solheim Cups with Creamer on the roster, all in routs. Though Creamer’s still looking for her first LPGA victory since winning the U.S. Women’s Open more than a year ago, she takes good form to Ireland. She’s finished T-5 or better six times this season. Creamer’s a solid all-around performer who is always among LPGA leaders in hitting greens in regulation.

Vicky Hurst

Age: 21

Record: First appearance

World ranking: No. 75

Victories: No LPGA titles

The lowdown: Hurst gained a captain’s pick spot on the roster with her fifth-place finish at the Safeway Classic last month. It was a clutch performance knowing what was on the line that weekend. It was her first top-10 performance this year. Hurst is another big hitter captain Jones wanted on her roster for the big ballpark at Killeen Castle. She’s the second longest hitter among LPGA pros this year, ranking behind only Yani Tseng.

Juli Inkster

Age: 51

Record: 15-10-6 (Singles: 6-1-1)

World Ranking: No. 50

Victories: 31 LPGA titles (7 majors)

The lowdown: At 51, Inkster is playing in her ninth Solheim Cup, more than any American in event history. Only Europe’s Laura Davies has played in more. Davies will be making her 12th appearance in the Solheim Cup this year. Inkster’s 18 points are third most in Solheim Cup history, the most by an American. Inkster’s also doubling as an assistant captain this year. Though she’s among Americans struggling with their forms this summer, she showed promising signs at the Navistar LPGA Classic this past week, where she made just her second cut in her last seven starts.

Cristie Kerr

Age: 33

Record: 9-10-2 (Singles: 1-3-1)

World ranking: No. 3

Victories: 14 LPGA titles (2 majors)

The lowdown: So many of these international team competitions come down to who putts best, and the Americans have one of the best putters in the game in Kerr. She ranks No. 1 in the LPGA in putting per greens in regulation this year. Though Kerr is coming off a missed cut at the Navistar LPGA Classic, she’s having a strong but winless season with nine finishes of T-4 or better. This will mark her sixth Solheim Cup appearance. Only four Americans have competed in more. Surprisingly, Kerr, the highest ranked American on the 2011 team, sports an overall losing record in Solheim Cups with just one victory in five singles matches.

Christina Kim

Age: 27

Record: 5-2-1 (Singles: 2-0)

World ranking: No. 93

Victories: 2 LPGA titles

The lowdown: Kim might bring more energy to the Solheim Cup than any player in this week’s event, though her human fireworks show created some controversy when the Americans won at Rich Harvest Farms in ‘09. Some folks thought she was over the top. Kim heads to Ireland looking for her best form. She didn’t make the cut in any of this year’s majors and heads to Dublin after back-to-back missed cuts. Still, Kim sports a strong Solheim Cup record, though this will mark her first appearance on the road.

Brittany Lang

Age: 26

Record: 1-0-2 (Singles: 0-0-1)

World ranking: No. 29

Victories: No LPGA titles

The lowdown: In her sixth LPGA season, Lang’s still looking for her first LPGA title, a surprise given her pedigree and the fact that she nearly won the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur. Still, Lang’s established herself among the top Americans making her second Solheim Cup team. With her second-place finish at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in July, and her seventh at the Safeway Classic last month, Lang solidified her spot on this year’s squad. She gives American captain Jones another long hitter to put in the mix. Lang is 11th among LPGA pros in driving distance.

Stacy Lewis

Age: 26

Record: First appearance.

World ranking: No. 10

Victories: 1 LPGA title (1 major)

The lowdown: The Kraft Nabisco champion will be making her Solheim Cup debut. She showed her mettle coming from behind to defeat Tseng in a head-to-head Sunday duel in the year’s first major. She’s showing strong form after second-place finishes at Evian and the CN Canadian Women’s Open. Her worst finish in her last six starts going to Navistar was T-11. Lewis is third in scoring (70.75) among LPGA pros this season and fifth in hitting greens in regulation (72.5 percent). Forget her Solheim Cup rookie status, Lewis will be depended upon to be one of the American stalwarts.

Brittany Lincicome

Age: 26

Record: 2-4-1 (Singles: 1-1)

World ranking: No. 9

Victories: 5 LPGA titles (1 major)

The lowdown: Lincicome’s the most dominant American this season, winning the Shoprite Classic and the CN Canadian Women’s Open. She finished second at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. With Killeen Castle expected to be set up long, Lincicome’s power is a key for the Americans. She’s among the longest hitters in the women’s game.

Ryann O’Toole

Age: 24

Record: First appearance

World ranking: No. 102

Victories: No LPGA titles

The lowdown: Solheim Cup pressure’s mounting for the rookie before the matches even begin. She missed the cut at the Navistar, her third consecutive missed cut since being named a captain’s pick. Given she was such a surprising choice, named to the team after just seven LPGA starts, there’s intense scrutiny over her selection. O’Toole is a long hitter with a lot of confidence, but that confidence will be tested as she goes to Ireland looking to shore up her form. O’Toole said her ball striking is fine but she’s struggling in the “scoring zone” with too many putts and a sluggish wedge game.

Morgan Pressel

Age: 23

Record: 3-2-2 (Singles: 2-0)

World ranking: No. 14

Victories: 2 LPGA titles (1 major)

The lowdown: In her first Solheim Cup appearance in 2007, Pressel defeated Annika Sorenstam, 2 and 1, in Sorenstam’s Swedish homeland. The American rookie made a large statement about her ability to step up on the road in that upset. Pressel didn’t lose a match at Rich Harvest Farms in ’09. She’s a perfect 2-0 in singles and showed her match-play prowess before turning pro by winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Angela Stanford

Age: 33

Record: 3-4-3 (Singles 2-1)

World ranking: No. 16

Victories: 4 LPGA titles

The lowdown: Stanford showed her match-play skills getting to the finals (2010) and semifinals (’11) of the Sybase Match Play Championship the last two seasons. Stanford’s making her fourth Solheim Cup appearance. The respected veteran is a strong, stable influence in the team room. She’s coming off a strong performance at the CN Canadian Women’s Open (T-4) and also got herself in the early mix at Navistar.

Michelle Wie

Age: 21

Record: 3-0-1 (Singles: 1-0)

World ranking: No. 12

Victories: 2 LPGA titles

The lowdown: Wie looked like the dominant player so many folks expected her to become in a tour-de-force performance as a Solheim Cup rookie in ’09, where she didn’t lose a match. After putting so well in the American Solheim Cup victory at Rich Harvest Farms in ’09, Wie takes a different look to Ireland with a belly putter. While Wie looked like she found something with the new putter finishing second at the CN Canadian Women’s Open, she followed it up missing the cut at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and then struggling on the weekend at Navistar after barely making the cut there. But, look for the Solheim Cup atmosphere to bring out Wie’s best.

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Kang (69) wins Buick LPGA Shanghai by two

By Associated PressOctober 21, 2018, 9:11 am

SHANGHAI - Danielle Kang shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to win the LPGA Shanghai by two strokes for her second career title.

Kang, who started the final round one stroke off the lead, offset a lone bogey on the par-5 fourth hole with four birdies after the turn to finish at 13-under 275 and hold off a late charge by Lydia Ko, who had the day's lowest score of 66.

Ko, who had seven birdies and a lone bogey, tied for second at 11 under with a group of seven players that included Brittany Altomare (71), Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and overnight co-leader Sei Young Kim (72).

Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos

Carlota Ciganda, who also held a share of the lead after the third round, shot a 73 to fall into a tie for ninth with Bronte Law and local favorite Lu Liu.

Paula Creamer carded three birdies against a pair of bogeys for a 71 to finish in sole possession of 12th place.

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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New world No. 1 Koepka already wants more

By Nick MentaOctober 21, 2018, 8:48 am

If there is a knock on Brooks Koepka, it’s that he’s a little too cool.

Gary Woodland, who threw 11 birdies at Koepka on Sunday and still finished four shots back, inadvertently captured that exact sentiment after Saturday's third round.

“You know," he said, "Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much."

In context, Woodland meant that there was little anyone in the field could do to rattle the 54-hole leader. (He proved himself right, by the way.)

And out of context, the comment speaks to the general narrative surrounding Koepka. That he’s just detached enough for fans to have trouble attaching themselves to him. That he’s just a jock here to cash checks and collect trophies, to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

But for a few moments Sunday in South Korea, it became clear that Brooks Koepka does care. Crouched on the 72nd green with some time to stop and think as Ian Poulter lagged a bit behind, Koepka finally let a moment get to him. Cameras caught the three-time major champion appearing unusually emotional.

Of course, less than a minute later, those same cameras caught him yawning. The contrast was almost too perfect. It was as if he knew he had just been found out and needed to snap back into character – which he did.

He promptly poured in an eagle putt to cap off a final-round 64, to win the CJ Cup by four, and to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

“To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid,” Koepka said on the 18th green, moments after closing out his fifth PGA Tour victory and third this year. “I don't think this one's going to sink in.”

What is beginning to sink in is that Koepka now unequivocally belongs in the conversation, the one golf fans and analysts have been having over and over since Tiger Woods fell from golf's greatest heights.

Who’s the best at their best?

In the two years between his first PGA Tour win and his first U.S. Open victory, Koepka was touted as having the kind of talent to compete with the game's elites. It took him a little while for him to get here, but Koepka has taken over as the latest player to look like he’ll never lose again. Just as it was for Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas before him, this is Koepka's moment. This is his run of dominance.

It’s a run that will have to end at some point. Every one of the guys just mentioned did cool off eventually. Koepka will, too. Maybe it will be fatigue, maybe it will be injury, and maybe it’ll just be golf. This talent pool is simply too deep for anyone to remain on top for too long.

But what Koepka has done this year – in defending his U.S. Open title, in staring down Tiger at the PGA, in claiming the Player of the Year Award, in ascending to the top of the world rankings – is put his name at the forefront of the conversation. If he was unappreciated at times before, those days are behind him. He's already accomplished too much, proven himself too good, to be overlooked any longer.

And he’s far from done.

“For me, I just need to keep winning,” the new world No. 1 said Sunday. “I feel like to win a few more regular Tour events and then keep adding majors. I feel like my game's set up for that. I've gotten so much confidence off winning those majors where, it's incredible, every time I tee it up, I feel like I really have a good chance to win whether I have my A-game or not. It's something I'm so excited [about] right now, you have no idea. I just can't wait to go play again.”

Watch: Koepka holes out from off the green at 16

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 5:36 am

Brooks Koepka faced a stiff challenge from Gary Woodland on Sunday in South Korea, but eventually it came time to end the suspense.

Having clung to a slim lead for much of the back nine, Koepka looked as though he was going to have to scramble just to save par when he missed the green at 16. 

Instead, caddie Ricky Elliott was able to leave Koepka's putter in the bag.

That holeout combined with a bogey from Woodland at 17 put Koepka ahead by three, allowing him to walk to victory and to the top of the world rankings.

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Koepka wins CJ Cup, ascends to world No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 21, 2018, 5:07 am

Brooks Koepka eagled the 72nd hole Sunday to cap off a final-round 64, win the CJ Cup and supplant Dustin Johnson as the new No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here's how Koepka took over the golf world Sunday in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-21), Gary Woodland (-17), Ryan Palmer (-15), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-15), Jason Day (-12), Scott Piercy (-12)

What it means: This is Koepka's fifth career PGA Tour victory but only his second in a non-major, following his maiden win back at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Up four to start the day, Koepka saw his lead evaporate as Woodland rocketed up the leaderboard and kept pace with him for much of the back nine. But every time Sunday's result appeared in doubt, Koepka reclaimed his lead in dramatic fashion. He nearly aced the par-3 13th to go ahead by two and later holed out for birdie at the par-4 16th to go up three with two to play. He finished par-eagle at 17 and 18 to shoot a back-nine 29 and close out his third victory in the last five months. With the win, Koepka ascends to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

Round of the day: Ryan Palmer set a Nine Bridges course record when he birdied his final seven holes in a row en route to a bogey-free round of 10-under 62 and a solo third-place finish.

Best of the rest: Woodland played his first 16 holes in 9 under par to storm from five back and catch Koepka atop the leaderboard. But his furious Sunday charge finally came to an end when he failed to get up and down for par from the back bunker at 17. He carded his 11th birdie of the round at the 18th hole to sign for 63 and finish solo second.

Biggest disappointment: In retrospect, Woodland called it correctly on Saturday when he said: "You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can. You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number." Woodland put as much pressure on Koepka as he could. He went out and posted that number. Koepka never blinked.

Shot of the day: Koepka's holeout at the par-3 16th, which put him ahead by three, unofficially ending the proceedings:

Quote of the day: "To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid. I don't think this one is going to sink in." - Koepka