Goodbye Solheim Cup Hello FedEx Cup

By Randall MellAugust 25, 2009, 4:00 pm
With the Solheim Cup behind us, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs at hand, were guided by poets as we try to make rhyme and reason in setting the storylines for the week ahead:
 
Riding a Solheim Cup wave in Oregon
 
From Maya Angelous Phenomenal Woman. Its the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. Im a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, Thats me.
 
The Solheim Cup is made of crystal, but the LPGA is hoping it will bounce.
 
The tour would love to see the excitement built up last week bounce into a season thats been too much about whats wrong with womens golf.
 
Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer and the rest of the Solheim Cups stars will be looking to build on momentum gained in a highly entertaining American victory against a spirited European team at Rich Harvest Farms.
 
You want to know how this will help the LPGA? Hall of Famer Juli Inkster said in the Solheim Cup aftermath. If more people would just come out and watch us play . . . Ive been out here, as you guys know, a long time, and Ive never seen the golf that these women play now. Thats not only our team, but the European team. You have Lorena [Ochoa] and all the other ethnic groups out there. We have the best golf right now ever.
 
Inkster believes Wies experience will catapult her to a new level of play.
 
I would bet a large amount of money she is going to win before this year is out, Inkster said.
 
Wie will be trying to do just that this week at the Safeway Classic in North Plains, Ore, but shell have to go through Creamer and the other charged-up Americans. Eleven of the 12 U.S. Solheim Cup players are in the field. Inkster withdrew. Eight of Europe's 12 players also are in the field this week.
 
There are, however, lots of players at Safeway who didnt compete in the Solheim Cup and will be looking to take advantage of the increased interest the team event created for this weeks tournament. Ochoa, the worlds top-ranked woman, will be playing for the first time since the Womens British Open three weeks ago.
 
With the Solheim Cup played at such a spirited level, theres a danger of a Solheim Cup hangover at the Safeway Classic, but, then again, this marks the first regular LPGA event on American soil since the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic seven weeks ago. The women shouldnt have any trouble getting energized again.
 
Inksters looking forward to seeing greater focus on players instead of the tours struggles with title sponsorship renewals.
 
Were going to be great, Inkster said. You guys just got to be patient with us.
 

 
Kim says to heck with her critics
 
From William Shakespeares All the Worlds a Stage.
 
All the worlds a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.
 
Count Christina Kim among the 19 players from the Solheim Cup at this weeks Safeway Classic.
 
Kims profile leaped with her performance helping the Americans win, but not for all the reasons she would like.
 
Though Kim was 3-1 in the matches, shes getting more attention for her role as exuberant American cheerleader, though that isnt what theyre calling her in Europe. Shes a new Solheim Cup villain over there.
 
This Sunday headline in the United Kingdoms The Telegraph sums up what shes up against overseas: The Solheim Cup is turning ugly . . . Christina Kim took her American team way over the edge of acceptable sporting behavior.
 
Kims tweets on Twitter show shes hurt by the idea she was being disrespectful. She doesnt see it that way. She points out her exhortations came after her opponents played their shots. She called her critics sensational seeking media and tweeted to heck with them.
 

 
Tiger, Tiger, Tiger
 
From Theodosia Garrisons The Torch.
 
Lord, let me be the torch that springs to light And lives its life in one exultant flame.
 
Tiger Woods got shut out in the majors this year, but he appears determined to come away with a lucrative consolation prize: The FedEx Cup Playoffs trophy and the $10 million winners check.
 
With Woods entry in The Barclays this week, we may get a full dose of Woods in all four playoff events this year, a first since the Tour created its postseason.
 
While the idea that 'playoffs' will never really matter in golf can be debated, theres no debating that golf fans like to see the best players compete against each other as often as possible. In that respect, the FedEx Cup Playoffs is a hit. Theyve assured us a large dose of Woods this summer. This week will mark the fifth event Woods has played in the last seven weeks. If he plays all four FedEx Cup events, hell have played eight times in an 11-week span. Even if Woods loses in the playoffs, golf wins.
 

 
Good till the final putt drops?
 
From Louise Driscolls Hold Fast Your Dreams.
 
Hold fast your dreams! Within your heart Keep one still, secret spot Where dreams may go, And, sheltered so, May thrive and grow Where doubt and fear are not.
 
The third rendition of the FedEx Cup Playoffs begins in search of a first rendition thats actually filled with the tension and theatrics we associate with postseason play.
 
With Woods winning the first year in anticlimactic fashion, and Vijay Singh the second in equally drama-less fashion, the FedEx Cup is still searching for a defining moment.
 
The PGA Tour needs a playoff memory fans can associate with the FedEx Cup, a moment that will make them say, `Oh, yeah, I dont want to miss that.
 
The Playoffs dont have to be as meaningful as major championships and still have meaning.
 
With the re-setting of FedEx Cup points shifted this year from the beginning of the playoffs to just before the Tour Championship finale, theres a better chance well see a meaningful finish. Of course, with Woods highly motivated, theres always a chance he wins it all in a rout.
 
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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”