Quick Round With Beth Daniel

By Randall MellAugust 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
American captain Beth Daniel helped put a much-needed jolt in womens golf last weekend leading the U.S. Solheim Cup team to victory against the Europeans.
Daniel, a Hall of Famer, orchestrated a memorable week filled with colorful moments that reminded golf fans whats right about womens golf. That was no easy task with so much focus this season on whats wrong with the LPGA. For a riveting week, the Solheim Cup steered attention away from leadership woes and title sponsorship problems and gave the tour some positive momentum.
Beth Daniel
Beth Daniel poses with the Solheim Cup trophy after winning the 11th edition. (Getty Images)
Its a week that will be remembered for Michelle Wies fiery emergence as a team force, Paula Creamers seizing of the reins as the American teams undisputed team leader, Christina Kims controversial cheerleading role, Juli Inksters poignant farewell and the European teams spirited challenge in making the team event worth watching.
Golf fans responded to the high level of play over three days at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The LPGA reported record attendance, with the crowd estimates of 120,000 for the week surpassing the previous mark of 103,000 at Crooked Stick four years ago. The tour also reported record merchandise sales.
Senior writer Randall Mell caught up with Daniel for a quick round:
So do you get to go to the White House to celebrate the victory with President Obama?
Ive heard a few rumblings that we do have an invite to see President Obama, which would be pretty cool. One of the benefits is that we all get to come back together and reminisce about what happened.
What was best part of the week for you?
Everybody kept saying we were such favorites, that they never heard of several of Europes players. The Europeans came over, and they proved what great players they are. I think it just kind of showed that there is so much more to womens golf than what people care to see. Womens golf is very deep all over the world, including Europe. Just because players are more comfortable at home and dont choose to play in the United States doesnt mean they arent great players. That was the most gratifying thing.
Given the level of play, do you think talk of expanding the Solheim Cup to include more of the world has been squashed?
Even though the score seems lopsided, 16-12, it was much closer than that. It could have gone either way on Sunday. Our players dug deep and made a couple of key putts when they needed to make them. Its a great competition, it really is, and I think if you make it bigger, and include the whole world, you lose a little bit of the intimacy.
What got into Michelle Wie?
Im so proud of her. She gave us everything she had that week. When (assistant captains) Kelly Robbins and Meg Mallon and I picked her, we knew she was a great player, a great match player, that we had to pick her, but there was always the unknown with her. How much will she get into this team competition? Starting with the practice rounds after the British Open, she was 100 percent into it, and 100 percent into what she needed to do to help the team. She was phenomenal. She said that was the best golf shes played in her career, and I think it might be.
Juli Inkster believes Wie will win before the year is out? What do you think?
I told Michelle on Monday morning, before she flew out, just to carry this emotion with her, carry this love for the game into the rest of the year and shell be just fine. I think thats something thats been lacking from her over the last couple years. In 07, I was paired with her at the British Open at St. Andrews and she just did not want to play at that point in time. She had so much fun at the Solheim Cup; she enjoyed the week so much. She was under a lot of pressure and responded every single time. If she can carry that out as an individual, she will be fine, and I do see her winning.
Tell us something about Paula Creamer we may not know?
This is now Paulas team. It is. Paula is the Solheim Cup for the United States. She is the leader, and the players all look to her. She transforms that week. She kind of keeps to herself during the year. Even me, knowing her, when I see her at LPGA events, she sometimes doesnt open up to me. As soon as she steps foot at the Solheim Cup, she transforms into this person who is truly the team leader. She deserves a ton of credit. They all look to her: What are we going to do? What is the team going to be like? Shes the one. I think it became Paulas team after Crooked Stick (in 2005). There were a lot of veterans starting to wind down their careers. We werent going to play Solheim Cup anymore. Crooked Stick was a mix of veteran and younger players. It was Paulas rookie year. In Sweden (in 07), she was such a leader by example, and she did the exact same thing in Chicago. In my mind it is Paula Creamers team from here on out, as long as she wants it to be.
What is it about Paula? The combination of skill and the respect she commands?
Yes. She leads by example. Its why we put her out No. 1 in singles on Sunday. I said to Meg and Kelly, this is Paulas baby. This Solheim Cup is hers, and its her responsibility to go out first, but I know Paula can handle it. She had a very tough match with Suzann Pettersen, and she ended up pulling that out. As the captain, you know you can always count on her. I counted on her, and she came through.
Christina Kims been criticized for questionable sportsmanship with her crowd interaction. What do you think?
That is Christina. If you go back and look at the tapes at Crooked Stick, she did the exact same things. Meg and I sat her down early last week, and we told her to kind of tone it down. She just cant do it. Thats her. People say shes being unsportsmanlike, but if you look closely at the tapes, she celebrates when she does something, and she gets the crowd into it, but as soon as it is the other players turn to hit, she quiets the crowd. She is never standing near their line, shes off to the fringe of the green. She gives them the stage. She doesnt have an unsportsmanlike bone in her body. Thats truly her spirit coming out. Shes very comfortable with who she is and has no problems with that. Thats Christina Kim.
Did the European team complain to you?
The Europeans werent happy, and I wouldnt have been happy, either. But the thing is, if Christina was playing poorly, she wouldnt have been able to get the crowd fired up. She played well. I know they werent happy about it, they werent happy about it at all. Thats the thing about match play, things like that happen, and its unfortunate. People take it personally. Christina doesnt have an unsportsmanlike bone in her body. Thats 100 percent who Christina Kim is. She never changes. The people who see her on a day-to-day basis know shes like that when she is in contention at LPGA tournaments. I tried to emphasize to my players early in the week, its all part of match play. Gamesmanship is part of match play. Dont let it get to you. Dont even look at them. Its one of the things you try to teach in match play. I tell you what, the crowd was loud and very much in our favor, but the crowd was also polite. When the Europeans hit good shots, they applauded as well.
What did Beth Daniel uniquely contribute as captain?
I think every team gets a bit of their captains personality, and I think thats why some players have a better experience with some captains than others. Whether they wanted it or not, they were going to get some of my personality, and they got that. What I wanted is for them to have fun, win or lose, to have great memories of the week, and I think I definitely accomplished that.
For you, what was the weeks biggest surprise?
To me it was how well they played that golf course. It was a really difficult golf course, and I saw great shot after great shot. Not that I didnt have faith in them as great players, but I thought the golf course was going to give them more trouble than it did. It was amazing how well they played under that kind of pressure.
Rich Harvest Farms got some criticism as a venue. What did you think of the course?

I said all along I thought it would be a great venue for match play. I would hate to tee it up and have to count my ball every shot, but I think for match play it worked out well. I have read a lot of things about the golf course that have not been positive, which is unfortunate. Every golf course has its holes that people dont like, or they debate over, this golf course definitely has that, but, personally, I think its a better golf course than some of the other venues weve played the Solheim Cup or even the U.S. Open. Every course can be debated, and no course is going to be perfect. The bottom line is that you have to figure out how to play it.
So tell us about the dinner and movie date with Justin Timberlake that the team is eager to collect.
I asked the Golf Channel if they could get Justin Timberlake to wish us good luck on camera. Brandel Chamblee got him. The team adores Justin Timberlake. We kept it as a secret the whole time. Ive had this clip since before the McDonalds LPGA Championship. We put it into a video with other well wishes, from some PGA Tour players, Tim Finchem as well. Justin Timberlake told us to Bring home the cup, and if you do, Ill take you out to dinner and a movie. The players all went berserk. I showed it Thursday night right before Opening Ceremonies. Well see how that works out.
Whats next for Beth Daniel?
Im doing TV work at the P&G Beauty Northwest Arkansas Championship in two weeks, and a few of us are going to the Presidents Cup to watch and have fun. Thats about it for now.
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    McIlroy: U.S. Open MC 'blessing in disguise'

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 11:47 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Watching a major championship unfold from the comfort of your living room is never an ideal strategy for any top-ranked pro, but sometimes players are forced to make the best of a bad situation.

    Case in point Rory McIlroy, who ballooned to an opening-round 80 at the U.S. Open and never factored after that. The Ulsterman struggled to find a comfort zone at Shinnecock Hills, missing the U.S. Open cut for the third straight year.

    But given a few extra days to prep, McIlroy appears to have cured what was ailing him after leading the Travelers Championship field in a number of ball-striking categories during an opening-round 64 that left him one shot behind leaders Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson.

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “Obviously you never want to miss a cut in a major, but it might have been a blessing in disguise for the rest of the year,” McIlroy said.

    Even after hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation during his second trip around Shinnecock, McIlroy went back to the drawing board as he looks to emulate the swing he used in 2010 and 2011 when he won twice on the PGA Tour including the U.S. Open. While he notes that changes to his body will limit his ability to conjure an exact replica, he’s more in search of the positive thoughts that helped get his burgeoning pro career off the ground.

    “It’s just trying to go back and, OK, I was swinging it really well then. What was I doing? What was I thinking about? What was the focus on the swing?” McIlroy said. “Just trying to rack your brain to recreate feelings that you had back then. That’s basically what I did over the weekend. I got a feeling that really sort of resonated with me, and brought me back to a time when I was swinging it really well, and just sort of went with that feeling.”

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    Spieth, McIlroy get back on track at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 11:18 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – What a difference a week makes.

    Players speak in unison about a desire to peak four times per year when the major trophies are on the line. But it’s a soft science, easier said than done. Sometimes the key is to play your way onto the biggest stages, while other times the best practice is to build reps far away from the PGA Tour rope line.

    Jordan Spieth got to Shinnecock Hills the weekend before the U.S. Open began, logging two full practice rounds before sitting down for his pre-tournament interview. Rory McIlroy went to an even further extreme, basically establishing residency in the Hamptons while playing every top-100 golf course within a 20-mile radius.

    They were concerted efforts, carefully calculated plans of attack that both men hoped would yield a second U.S. Open title. They also blew up in their faces in record time.

    Spieth was 4 over after just two holes at Shinnecock, while McIlroy played his first 11 in 10 over. Just like that, the best-laid plans got lost in the knee-high fescue as one of a finite number of legitimate shots at major glory went by the wayside before lunch was served.

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Both players snuck off the premises well before the course became the weekend storyline, each bearing the battle scars of a missed cut. But given a chance to quickly reverse their fortunes, they both took full advantage at the Travelers Championship.

    Spieth has spoken openly in recent weeks about the wars he continues to wage with his own game, as his putter has been downgraded from balky to outright uncooperative. Just as things started to turn around on the greens at the Memorial, his reliable ball-striking began to fade. A full-blown game of whack-a-mole has ensued.

    “It’s certainly a testing year for me, and it’s a building year,” Spieth said. “It’s one where I can actually come out stronger. I’ve kind of looked at it that way the last couple months.”

    It’s also been difficult for Spieth simply to get out of the gates in recent weeks. His third-place showing at the Masters remains a high water mark, but it was the product of a scintillating finale that came after starting the day well off the pace. Spieth remains candid about the fact that he has lacked a quality chance to win this year, one that he has previously defined as being within six shots of the lead entering Sunday.

    All of those factors combined to make his opening 63 especially satisfying, as he returned to TPC River Highlands as defending champ and quickly grabbed a share of the lead, once again carving up a lush layout where he has nothing but positive memories.

    “First rounds have been tough for me, trying to do a little bit too much. Trying to get shots back when I drop one and trying to have to birdie easy holes,” Spieth said. “The putter is starting to look better to me, so I can play a little bit more conservatively and still get a lot out of the round.”

    McIlroy was alongside Spieth and Zach Johnson before a bogey on the final hole, but even a 6-under 64 matched his low round of the season on Tour. The Ulsterman downplayed his eye-popping score at Shinnecock entering a fresh week, noting that his tee-to-green performance where he hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation during the second round might be good enough to win this week at a more vulnerable venue.

    It appears his thesis has merit, albeit through one round.

    “I did a lot of similar things to what I did today. It’s just a completely different animal,” McIlroy said. “Like, it’s nice getting off to a good start here. But as I keep saying, I’m not playing that differently now than I did last Thursday, and it’s a 16-shot difference.”

    Just like his last competitive round, McIlroy missed only one green in regulation. But this time the stat line portends even greater potential, as he also led the field Thursday in driving distance, strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: tee-to-green.

    McIlroy’s ceiling remains absurdly high, as demonstrated by the way he surged from the pack to win at Bay Hill and seemingly took early command of the BMW PGA Championship without breaking a sweat. It also doesn’t need lowering after a couple errant days on a grand stage.

    “I played really well today. I feel like the work that I did over the weekend sort of started to pay off already,” McIlroy said. “Being able to work the ball both ways was something I wasn’t quite as comfortable doing last week.”

    Despite flooding their respective scorecards with birdies, neither Spieth nor McIlroy created any distance from the field on a day when low scores were ripe for the picking. A total of 22 players opened with rounds of 66 or better, including four major champions not named Spieth or McIlroy.

    But after pouring time, effort and energy into last week’s major and watching it all go so horribly wrong, this was a day to remember that sometimes the solutions are closer than the recent results make them appear.

    “I’ve been sticking to the process. I’ve been very positive about making progress from how I got pretty off earlier this year. So it’s nice to see a good score,” Spieth said. “Just glad. The first rounds have been kind of detrimental to me, so it’s nice to be in the thick of things.”

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    Spieth shares Hartford lead; Rory 1 back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 10:35 pm

    Just a few miles north but light years removed from the difficulty of Shinnecock Hills, the PGA Tour returned to week-in, week-out normalcy with the Travelers Championship. Here's what happened in the first round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.:

    Leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-7), Jordan Spieth (-7), Rory McIlroy (-6), Peter Malnati (-6), Brian Harman (-6)

    What it means: The two biggest names in the field, Spieth and McIlroy, are looking for a boost of confidence after missing the cut in the U.S. Open. Their scores look good, but McIlroy won't be happy about closing with a bogey.

    Round of the day: Johnson and Spieth both put up 7-under 63s. Johnson, after a relatively pedestrian 2-under front nine, caught fire on the back, making six consecutive birdies on holes 11-16. A three-putt bogey at the 17th ended the run, and he parred the last for his 63. Spieth, the defending champion, put up two birdies and an eagle on the front and four more birdies on the back. Like Johnson, he had only one blemish, a bogey-5 on the drivable par-4 15th when he hooked his drive into the water.

    Best of the rest: McIlroy, Malnati and Harman each shot 64. Malnati eagled the 15th and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17 and a back-nine 29. Harman had a rare birdie on the 444-yard 18th for his 64, but McIlroy threw away a shot at the closing hole to fall out of a share of the lead. His right foot slipped as he was hitting his approach shot, and he missed the green. After taking a drop to get away from a sprinkler head, he was unable to get up and down.

    Biggest disappointment: Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this event, could manage no better than an even-par 70. Two-under through 11 holes, he bogeyed three of the next four.

    Shot of the day: Can we safely say that Spieth likes the bunkers at River Highlands? Last year he got up and down from one at the 18th hole to get into a playoff, then he holed out from the same bunker to win the playoff. On Thursday he worked his magic at the par-5 sixth hole, sinking his sand shot for eagle.

    Biggest storyline going into Friday: Most eyes will be on Spieth and McIlroy, to see if they're over their U.S. Open funks and gearing up for The Open Championship.

    NBC Sports Group to Showcase Top Players in Women's Golf With Comprehensive Coverage of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, June 25-July 1

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 21, 2018, 9:35 pm

    Golf Channel and NBC to Combine for More Than 40 Hours of News, Tournament and Instruction On-Site from Kemper Lakes Golf Club, Most in Tournament History 

    KPMG Ambassador Phil Mickelson to Join Golf Central on Monday, June 25 Live from Soldier Field 

    Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani to Headline KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Wednesday, June 27


    ORLANDO, Fla., June 21, 2018 – Featuring one of the strongest fields of the year, NBC Sports Group will dedicate more than 40 hours of comprehensive on-site news, tournament and instruction coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – most in tournament history – Monday, June 25 - Sunday, July 1. Taking place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club near Chicago, the third LPGA Tour major of the season will be headlined by World No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Lexi Thompson, ANA Inspiration champion Pernilla Lindberg and defending champion Danielle Kang. In 2017, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was the most-watched women’s major championship of the year. 

    Through the partnership with KPMG, the PGA of America and the LPGA Tour, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been elevated to become one of the most impactful weeks of the year in women’s golf,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content, Golf Channel. “As the broadcast partner for the championship, we strive to elevate our coverage each year to celebrate not only the best players in women’s golf but also female leaders in the workplace through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.” 

    BROADCAST TEAM: Live tournament coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks, joined by Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch in the broadcast booth. Tom Abbott will report from an on-course tower, with Kay Cockerill, Jerry Foltz and Mark Rolfing walking the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews. 

    NBC SPORTS GROUP TO IMPLEMENT POPULAR “PLAYING THROUGH” ENCHANCED COMMERCIAL BREAKS: Making its debut on NBC at the Ryder Cup in 2016, Golf Channel and NBC will implement the popular “Playing Through” enhancement in an effort to elevate the viewing experience for fans tuning in to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. NBC Sports Group is partnering with several national advertisers to present select commercial breaks in utilizing “Playing Through,” which will employ a split-screen model for a select number of national commercial breaks. This enhanced break will display both the commercial with audio as well as a continuous feed of the tournament action. 

    COMPREHENSIVE ON-SITE NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Golf Central and Morning Drive, will provide comprehensive, wraparound news coverage throughout the week, produced on-location at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. In addition to daily shows, Golf Central will present special player news conference shows Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, at 5 p.m. ET. 

    Rich Lerner will anchor Golf Central’s live coverage alongside LPGA major champion Karen Stupples and Arron Oberholser beginning Wednesday, June 27, with Lisa Cornwell reporting and conducting player interviews. Chantel McCabe will set the stage each day on Morning Drive with on-site interviews and analysis, with Paige Mackenzie joining her Monday-Wednesday. 

    PHIL MICKELSON TO JOIN GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM SOLDIER FIELD MONDAY, JUNE 25: Kicking off KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week will be the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge, taking place at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday, June 25. KPMG Ambassadors Phil Mickelson and Mariah Stackhouse along with athletes from the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Fire, Red Stars and Skywill be conducting a special clinic and skills challenge event with local youth organizations. Mickelson will join Golf Central live from Soldier Field on Monday following the conclusion of the skills challenge. 

    SCHOOL OF GOLF ON-SITE AT KEMPER LAKES: School of Golf will air Tuesday at 7 p.m. from on-site at Kemper Lakes Golf Club, with Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal hosting a special short-game episode. Scheduled guests include 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn and her coaches, Golf Channel Academy coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, as well as LPGA major champion Morgan Pressel.  

    KPMG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Golf Central will offer news coverage of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site Wednesday, June 27, featuring an assembly of accomplished leaders in sports, business, politics and media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. 66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani will headline the gathering. NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya will serve as master of ceremonies. The summit will be streamed live on Wednesday on Golf Channel Digital. In addition, portions of the summit also will be streamed via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live. 

    DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded editorial content during KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week. GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell will report from Kemper Lakes Golf Club with columns and daily blogs, and Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will contribute to Golf Channel’s social media platforms with exclusive behind-the-scenes content throughout the week. Golf Channel and NBC also will integrate social media throughout the telecasts, incorporating social media posts from players and fans using the hashtag #KPMGWomensPGA. 

    News and tournament action surrounding the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online via Golf Channel Digital. Fans also can stream NBC Sports’ coverage of live golf via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.


    Thursday, June 28

    Round 1

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Friday, June 29

    Round 2

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Saturday, July 30

    Round 3

    3-6 p.m.


    Sunday, July 1

    Final Round

    3-6 p.m.



    The PGA of America and KPMG joined forces with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to create a world-class major championship that not only sustains the 60-year legacy of the former LPGA Championship, but also aims to elevate women on and off the golf course. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship provides a platform to inspire the next generation of women leaders through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and the KPMG Future Leaders Program.

     -NBC Sports Group-