A Glimpse at the US Solheim Cup Team

By Martha BrendleSeptember 16, 2002, 4:00 pm
Captain Patty Sheehan and her United States Solheim Cup team are geared up for an intense week of match play at Interlachen Country Club, Edina, Minn., Sept. Much weight will be placed on the team since the Americans have never lost on home soil. Below is a brief look at the players that make up years team.

Reno, Nev.

A total of 35 wins, including six majors, gives this Solheim Cup Captain a reputation as a fierce competitor. Shes played on four U.S. Solheim Cup teams and has an overall record of five wins, seven losses, and one halved point (5-7-1).
Sheehans got a mixed bag of experience and youthful exuberance to work with this year, which she seems much more excited about than worried over. In fact, the first-time Captain is extremely confident that the U.S. team will regain the Cup this week. So much so that she has not and will not be preparing anything to say should the European Team win. For Sheehan, losing this year is not part of the thought process.

Boca Raton, Fla.

As Assistant Captain and an 11 time LPGA Tour winner, Geddes has been charged with helping Sheehans team regain the cup, which was lost in the 2000 matches Europe 14 - U.S. 11 at Loch Lomond in Scotland.

Santa Cruz, Calif.

Age is not an issue for this Hall of Famer. At 42, she is the second oldest member of the team and has participated in three prior matches. Inkster hit 40 and never batted an eye. This is one player that doesnt seem to know what 'past your prime' means and will give the Europeans a good fight.
Her win at this year's U.S. Womens Open re-established her as a tough competitor and marked her place as a pillar of strength on this team.
Her overall Cup record is 5-4-2.

Scotia, N.Y.

One of many young talents on this years team, Diaz is a Cup rookie but brings a strong sense of competition to the table.
Since her rookie year on the LPGA Tour in 1999, Diaz has been much talked about as a major force in the future of womens golf. Her first win on Tour was at the 2002 Welchs/Circle K Championship and after that it seemed that the floodgates had opened. Diaz went on to record seven more top-10 finishes this season, including another win at the Corning Classic. But she is young and still misses a cut now and then.
Diaz is one of five Cup rookies.

Santa Ana, Calif.

Jones has been described as a spitfire and in Dottie Peppers absence will have the role of motivating the team. Jones played in the very first Solheim Cup, was a captains pick in 1998, and made the team again in 2000. With 12 career wins and ten top-10 finishes this season, she will be a tough competitor.
Her record is 7-5 in prior Solheim Cup appearances.

Zanesville, Ohio

Redman has been a resident of Minneapolis and will help Sheehan with local knowledge. She has two wins, her last in 2000 at the First Union Betsy King Classic.
Its been a really good year for Redman who has amassed eight top-10 finishes including a tie for second at the Weetabix Womens British Open.
She played on the 2000 team fairing 0-2-0 but Sheehan has high hopes for her this time around.

Miami, Fla.

Kerr has proven herself by transforming into a well-rounded and successful player. In the past three weeks she has recorded two top-10 finishes and one top-15. Like Diaz, Kerr recorded her first win at the Longs Drugs Challenge this season. A lot of things have come together for Kerr in 2002, including a better relationship within the LPGA Tour community.
This is Kerrs first appearance in the Solheim Cup.

Natick, Mass.

Mallon is one of the more experienced team members having played on five teams. She added a win at the Bank of Montreal Canadian Womens Open this year bringing her career victories up to 14.
She has played on all but the first Solheim Cup team. Her record of 8-5-5 denotes her as a solid match play participant.

Charleston, S.C.

Daniel is making her sixth appearance at the Solheim Cup. With 32 victories under her belt and four top-10 finishes this season, the 45-year-old Hall of Famer has shown that she still has fight in her game.
She brings with her a wealth of experience to share with the five Cup rookies on the team and a record of 7-6-3.

San Antonio, Texas

Ward, a Cup rookie, missed the cut at the State Farm Classic but had recorded enough points during the two-year battle to make the team. She has three wins, the last of which was in 2001 at the Wendys Championship for Children at New Albany where she recorded her career-low of 62.
Ward is one of five Solheim Cup rookies.

Santa Monica, Calif.

This cup rookie owes her spot to match play maven Dottie Pepper - the only U.S. player to have participated in all six Cups - who withdrew from competition due to a lingering shoulder injury.

Klein, who was 11th in the points standing before assuming Pepper's place, has been slightly inconsistent on the course this year, although she has recorded three top-15 finishes in as many weeks and has three career victories to her credit. Her play has been sketchy at times this year and she's missed seven cuts, making her a wildcard in competition.
The 28-year-old is participating in the Cup for the first time.

Dallas, TX.

Kuehne is one of five rookies and a former member of Interlachen C.C. As such, she brings with her youthful exhuberance and the ability to help Sheehan navigate the old Donald Ross design.
Her sole LPGA Tour victory was at the 1999 Corning Classic which she aggressively defended in 2000 and eventually came in second after losing a three-way, sudden-death playoff to Tour veteran Betsy King.
Sheehan will be looking to Kuehne and Kerr to lead the other rookies into battle.

Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Robbins was Sheehans first pick and serves the roll of the laid back member of the team. She has three top-10 finishes this season, and nine career victories. Robbins was named NCAA Co-Player of the Year in 1991 along with Annika Sorenstam.
Robbins played in the last four Solheim Cups, recording 3-1 records in 1998 and 2000, which made her an easy choice as a Captains pick. Her overall performance is 8-6-2.

San Leandro, Calif.

Hurst, Sheehans second wildcard pick, made the team even after bogeying the last hole of the State Farm Classic. It was an emotional moment for the three-time LPGA Tour winner and she vowed not to let Sheehan down after hearing the good news.
This is Hursts third time on the team. She has fared well, going 3-1-0 in 1998 and 2-1-1 in 2000. This will be an opportunity for her to up her winning percentage, which already hovers near 70%.

Lubbock, Texas

As the team's traveling alternate, Delasin offers comforting back up for the week. Since joining the LPGA Tour in 2000, she has recorded three career victories and demonstrates incredible nerve on the golf course.
Delasin is a fighter and just what the team needs if a safety net is required.
Check out the European Team members
Full coverage of the Solheim Cup Matches
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Rose tries to ignore scenarios, focus on winning

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:59 am

ATLANTA – No one has more to play for than Justin Rose on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

The Englishman will begin the day three strokes behind front-runner Tiger Woods after a third-round 68 that could have been much worse after he began his day with back-to-back bogeys.

Winning the tournament will be Rose’s top priority, but there’s also the lingering question of the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus, which he is currently projected to claim.

Projected FedExCup standings

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“The way I look at tomorrow is that I have many scenarios in play. I have the FedExCup in play. I have all of that to distract me,” Rose said. “But yet, I'm three back. I think that's my objective tomorrow is to come out and play good, positive golf and try and chase down the leader and win this golf tournament. I think in some ways that'll help my other task of trying to win the FedExCup. It'll keep me on the front foot and playing positive golf.”

Although there are many scenarios for Rose to win the season-long title, if Woods wins the Tour Championship, Rose would need to finish fifth or better to claim the cup.

There’s also the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to consider. Rose overtook Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. He will retain the top spot unless Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka or Johnson win the finale and he falls down the leaderboard on Sunday.

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McIlroy needs putter to heat up to catch Woods

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:29 am

ATLANTA – Although Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship and tied for second place he had the look of a man with a secret when he left East Lake on Saturday.

Trying to play catch up against Woods is never ideal, but McIlroy’s confidence stemmed from a tee-to-green game that has been unrivaled for three days.

“I definitely think today and the first day were similar,” said McIlroy, whose 66 included birdies at two of his final three holes. “I gave myself plenty of chances, and I think the biggest thing today was only just that one bogey. Got to put your ball in the fairway, put yourself in position, and for the most part, I did that today.”

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

For the week McIlroy ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, third in strokes gained: approach to the green and second in greens in regulation. But to catch Woods, who he will be paired with, he’ll need a much better day on the greens.

The Northern Irishman needed 30 putts on Day 2 and ranks 23rd, out of 30 players, in strokes gained: putting.

McIlroy skipped the first playoff event, opting instead for an extra week at home to work on his swing and the move has paid off.

“I hit the ball well. My wedge play has been really good,” he said. “I've done a lot of work on it the last few weeks, and it seems to have paid off.”

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Glover trails Straka at Web.com Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 12:19 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Sepp Straka moved into position Saturday to earn a PGA Tour card in the Web.com Tour Championship, shooting a 7-under 64 to take the third-round lead.

With the top 25 earners in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals getting PGA Tour cards Sunday, Straka birdied the final three holes to reach 18-under 195 - a stroke ahead of Curtis Luck, Lucas Glover and Denny McCarthy at Atlantic Beach Country Club.

''It's always good to get an extra birdie in late. I got three of them to finish, which was nice,'' Straka said. ''It's very bunched up there, so you can't really take off, you've got to keep the pedal down and see where you end up at the end.''

Straka entered the week tied for 80th in the card race with $2,744. The 25-year-old former Georgia player from Austria won the KC Golf Classic in August for his first Web.com Tour title. He finished 31st on the money list to advance to the four-tournament series.

''My ball-striking is really good,'' Straka said. ''It's been good all week. It's been really solid. I really haven't gotten in a whole lot of trouble and have been able to capitalize on a good number of chances with the putter. Hit a couple of bad putts today, but some really good ones to make up for it.''

Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship

Luck also shot 64. The 22-year-old Australian went into the week 16th with $41,587.

''Obviously, it just comes down to keeping that momentum going and trying not to change anything,'' Luck said. ''That's the really important thing and I felt like I did that really well. I played really aggressive on the back nine, still went after a lot of shots and I hit it close a lot out there.''

Glover had a 68. The 2009 U.S. Open champion entered the week 40th with $17,212.

McCarthy shot 67. He already has wrapped up a card, earning $75,793 in the first three events to get to 11th in the standings.

The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.

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Woods' dominance evokes an old, familiar feeling

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:14 am

ATLANTA – It felt so familiar – the roars, the fist pumps, the frenzied scramble to keep up with a leaderboard that was quickly tilting in Tiger Woods’ direction.

For the handful of players who were around when Woods made a mysterious and maddening game seem simple, it was like old times, times that weren’t necessarily good for anyone not named Tiger.

“I’m kind of nostalgic,” admitted Paul Casey, who turned pro in 2000, when Woods won the U.S. Open by 15 strokes, one of his nine PGA Tour victories that year.

Casey’s 66 on Day 3 at the Tour Championship vaulted him into a tie for sixth place, but as the Englishman quickly vetted the math he knew those numbers were nothing more than window dressing.

“Sixty-four is my best on a Sunday which puts me at 11 [under], so if he’s 12 I need to shoot my career best in the final round and he needs to do something very un-Tiger-like,” Casey laughed. “I think I’m just posturing for position.”

Casey wasn’t giving up. In fact, given that he outdueled Woods earlier this year to win the Valspar Championship he could have hedged his comments and left the door cracked however slightly. But he’s seen, and heard, this too many times to allow competitive necessity to cloud reality.

On Saturday at East Lake, Tiger Woods was his best version. Throughout this most recent comeback he’s offered glimpses of the old guy, the guy whose name atop a leaderboard echoed through locker rooms for the better part of two decades. After starting the day tied for the lead with Justin Rose, Tiger quickly separated himself from the pack with a birdie at the first.

He added another at the third and by the time he birdied the seventh hole, his sixth birdie of the day, he’d extended that lead to five shots and was sending an unmistakable message that reached well beyond the steamy confines of East Lake.

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

This was what so many had waited for. This was the Tiger that Casey and others grew up dreading, a machine that never misses iron shots and makes clutch putts look like tap-ins.

“The crowds were electric,” said Rose, who was paired with Woods. “He was running the tables there. He was hitting good shots and making the conversion putts.”

Woods did come back to earth after his blistering start, playing his final 10 holes in 1 over par, but that did little to change the mood as the season moved to within 18 holes of the finish line.

He would finish with a round-of-the-day 65 for a three-stroke lead over Rose and Rory McIlroy. The next closest players were a dozen strokes back, including Casey at 5 under par who didn’t need to be reminded of Woods’ 54-hole conversion rate.

There are no guarantees in sports but Tiger with a 54-hole lead has been about as close to a lock as one will find this side of Las Vegas. He’s 42-for-44 when going into the final round with the outright lead and the last time he blew a 54-hole lead was at the 2009 PGA Championship.

Of course, he hasn’t had a 54-hole lead since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Truth is, he hasn’t had much of anything since ’13 when his dominance was sidetracked by an ailing back. As intimidating as Woods’ play has been this week there was an unmistakable sense of, let’s call it curiosity.

Asked if Woods’ lead felt different than it may have a decade ago, Rose’s response was telling. “Maybe,” he allowed after a pause. “It's a little more unknown now. Obviously his history, his statistics from this point are impeccable. They're incredible. But he's human, and there's a lot on it for him tomorrow, as well as the rest of us.”

Rose wasn’t trying to trick himself into thinking the impossible was possible, although many have when they’ve found themselves in similar positions, it was simply the truth. Woods has had multiple chances this season to complete the comeback and he’s come up short each time.

It was a poor iron shot off the 72nd tee at the Valspar Championship and an even worse drive a week later at Bay Hill’s 16th hole. It was a misplayed chip late on the back nine at The Open and a collection of missed putts at the PGA Championship, although in his defense it’s unlikely anyone could have caught Brooks Koepka at Bellerive.

Nor was Rose being disrespectful. It’s simple math, really, and Woods’ body of work to this point, although wildly impressive considering how far he’s come in 12 months both physically and competitively, paints a clear picture. Given multiple chances to break through the victory ceiling he’s failed to deliver the way he did before injury and multiple back procedures.

“I've felt very comfortable when I got into the mix there at Tampa even though it was very early in my start to this year. And because of that, I felt comfortable when I got to Bay Hill, (and) when I grabbed the lead at The Open Championship,” Woods said. “Things that didn't really feel abnormal, even though it's been years, literally years, since I've been in those spots, but I think I've been in those spots enough times that muscle memory, I guess I remembered it, and I felt comfortable in those spots.”

In many ways the script couldn’t have been written any better for Woods. It’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs and the bases are loaded for the 14-time major champion. Hero time, his time.

He’s been here so many times in his career and succeeded more times than not, and this new, reimagined version has the ultimate chance to complete what would arguably be the greatest comeback in sports history.

The ultimate test still remains, but for 18 holes on Saturday it felt so familiar.