Designing Women

By Randall MellJune 3, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share
Solheim CupThe largest gathering of perfect American women isnt backstage during New York Fashion Week.
 
Even Americas most striking models sport imperfections as they strut runways among the most famous models in the world.
 
You want perfect female form adorned in red, white and blue?
 
Check out the fairways during a Solheim Cup on American soil.
 
The United States is spectacularly unblemished, never beaten at home since the matches began in 1990.
 
The Americans are 5-0 at home against the Europeans.
U.S. Solheim Cup Standings (as of Jun 1, 2009)

1. Paula Creamer 654.0

 
2. Cristie Kerr 554.0

 
3. Angela Stanford 493.5

 
4. Brittany Lang 277.5

 
5. Christina Kim 255.0

 
6. Nicole Castrale 227.0

 
7. Morgan Pressel 209.5

 
8. Natalie Gulbis 201.0

 
9. Krsity McPherson 189.0

 
10. Brittany Lincicome 181.0

Moreover, its never really been close with the Americans throttling Europe by a cumulative score of 71 to 48 .
 
Its a daunting record to live up to for U.S. captain Beth Daniel and the Americans trying to make the team.
 
The race to make the U.S. squad is reaching the backstretch of nearly two years of qualifying with the matches scheduled Aug. 21-23 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
 
Just seven LPGA events remain before the teams are finalized Aug. 2 after the Womens British Open.
 
Although so few events remain, a lot of points are still for grabs with the top 10 Americans in the final point standings automatically qualifying. Daniel will complete the squad with two captains picks.
 
Next weeks McDonalds LPGA Championship is one of three major championships to be played before the teams are finalized. The majors offer double points ' actually triple points from last year.
 
Mathematically, only the top three Americans (Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford) have clinched spots on the team, though No. 4 Brittany Lang and No. 5 Christina Kim are comfortably positioned. Theres more work to do for No. 6 Nicole Castrale, No. 7 Morgan Pressel, No. 8 Natalie Gulbis, No. 9 Kristy McPherson and No. 10 Brittany Lincicome.
 
Lang and McPherson would be the only U.S. Solheim Cup rookies to make it on points should those standings hold.
 
Castrale, Kim, Lincicome and Pressel have just one Solheim Cup under their belts.
 
No. 11 Laura Diaz, No. 12 Stacy Prammanasudh, No. 13 Pat Hurst and No. 14 Juli Inkster are well positioned to make moves. Rookie Michelle Wie also is within reach at No. 17.
 
While Daniel is highly motivated to protect the home turf, shes wary of the motivating effect that record could have on the Europeans.
 
I dont like to mention it publicly, Daniel said. We certainly want to keep that record intact, but its not a record we want to rub in to the Europeans.
 
Daniel has invited the top 10 Americans in the point standings to a practice round at Rich Harvest Farms on June 15, the day after the McDonalds LPGA Championship.
 
I havent been having any player meetings or anything like that yet, its too early, Daniel said. Ive been in the situation these players are in, where youre on the cusp and youre almost trying too hard. It seems like every interview you see with American players, the Solheim Cup comes up. I do check in with players, but I tell them not to put too much pressure on themselves.
 
Castrale, Gulbis, Kim, Kerr, Lang, Lincicome, McPherson and Stanford have confirmed theyll make the practice.
 
On the European side, Englands Laura Davies logged her first practice round at Rich Harvest Farms last week.
 
Davies and her comrades are painfully aware of their road-team failure.
 
Absolutely, and it bothers me, said Davies, who is poised to play in her 11th Solheim Cup, making her the only player to compete in every Solheim Cup.
 
Davies, however, is embracing the underdog role.
 
This time will be as difficult as weve ever had it with the American team being as tough as its ever been, Davies said.
 
The Europeans will be playing without Annika Sorenstam for the first time since 1992.
 
Davies, 45, said Sorenstams absence intensifies the underdog feeling. So does the difficulty of the Rich Harvest Farms course she expects to favor the Americans.
 
Its an incredibly tough, tough golf course, Davies said. The rough is lethal. If you miss a green, its very, very difficult to get up and down. The fairways are generous, but theres a lot of movement to them. Theyre hard to find.
 
Its a long course, thats a good thing. I think my games suited to it, but the course is suited to a short hitter, too, because of the need to hit fairways.
 
Davies is 21-16-4 in Solheim Cup matches. She needs to earn one point to equal the Solheim Cup record for points (24) held by Sorenstam (22-11-4).
 
The European squad, led by captain Alison Nicholas, will be made up of the top five in points from the Ladies European Tour Solheim Cup standings, the top four Europeans from the Rolex Womens World Golf Ranking and three captains picks. Davies, Suzann Pettersen and Helen Alfredsson are the most recognizable names in the mix. Sorenstams actually third in the LET standings but not active in golf anymore.
 
Hopefully, we can pull an upset, Davies said.
 

 

 

 

 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Solheim Cup
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

    Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

    Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

    “It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

    No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  


    Match scoring from U.S. Amateur

    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


    On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

    “Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

    “Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

    A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

    “But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

    Getty Images

    Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

    It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


    Purse: $6 million

    Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

    Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.


    Notables in the field

    Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Henrik Stenson

    • Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

    • Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open


    Sergio Garcia

    • Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

    • Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)


    Webb Simpson

    • Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

    • 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)

    Getty Images

    Faldo: Woods told fellow Masters champ 'I'm done' in '17

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

    Fresh off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, it's easy to get caught up in the recent success and ebullient optimism surrounding Tiger Woods. But it was not that long ago that Woods even hitting another competitive shot was very much in doubt.

    Six-time major champ Sir Nick Faldo shed light on those darker times during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show when he relayed a story from the 2017 Masters champions' dinner. The annual meal is one of golf's most exclusive fraternities, as only the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club is allowed to dine with the men who have each donned a green jacket.

    Last spring Woods had not yet undergone spinal fusion surgery, and Faldo explained that Woods at one point turned to an unnamed Masters champ and grimly assessed his future playing chances.


    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    "I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again,'" Faldo said. "He said, 'I'm done. I'm done, my back is done.' He was in agony. He was in pain. His leg, the pain down his legs, there was nothing enjoyable. He couldn't move. If you watched footage of him, he couldn't even get in and out of the golf cart at the (2016) Ryder Cup when he was a vice captain."

    But Woods opted for fusion surgery a few weeks later, and after a lengthy rehab process he returned to competition in December. His 2018 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable, with a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with a T-6 result at The Open when he held the outright lead on the back nine on Sunday.

    After apparently even counting himself out, Woods is back up to 26th in the latest world rankings and appears in line to be added as a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next month.

    "What he's been able to do is unbelievable," Faldo said. "To turn this aruond, to get this spine fusion, it's completely taken away the pain. To have this mobility is absolutely amazing. Great on him, and great for golf."

    Getty Images

    McDowell needs Wyndham result to maintain status

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 5:56 pm

    For the first time in nearly three years, Graeme McDowell heads into an event with his PGA Tour status hanging in the balance.

    The Ulsterman joined the Tour in 2006, and he has had nearly uninterrupted status since winning the 2010 U.S. Open. But McDowell's two-season exemption for winning the 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba only extends through this week, where he will start the Wyndham Championship at No. 143 in the season-long points race.

    McDowell tied for fifth at Sedgefield Country Club in 2016, and he will likely need a similar result to crack the top 125 in the standings and retain his fully exempt status for the 2019 season. While he finished T-10 in Las Vegas in November, that remains his lone top-10 finish of the Tour season. The veteran's best results this year have come in Europe, where he tied for fifth at the Italian Open and finished T-12 at the BMW PGA Championship.


    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    "I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I feel like it's not a do-or-die scenario for me," McDowell told reporters earlier this month at the Barracuda Championship. "I feel if I was 25 years old without a European Tour card to fall back on, it would be a do-or-die scenario. Certainly trying to put the pressure off, if I don't get myself into the top 125 it's not the end of the world for me. I still feel like I can play a great schedule next season."

    By finishing Nos. 126-150 in points after this week, McDowell would retain conditional status that would likely ensure him at least 12-15 starts next season. He would also still have privileges as a past tournament champion.

    But he's not the only winner from the 2015-16 season whose two-year exemption is on the verge of running out. Fabian Gomez (160th), Peter Malnati (164th) and Billy Hurley III (202nd) all need big results in Greensboro to keep their cards, while Shane Lowry, David Lingmerth and Matt Every all earned three-year exemptions for victories in 2015 but currently sit Nos. 139, 140 and 184 in points, respectively.

    Last year four players moved into the top 125 thanks to strong play at Wyndham, with the biggest jump coming from Rory Sabbatini, who went from No. 148 to No. 122 after tying for fourth place.