US Defeats Europe for Solheim Cup

By Sports NetworkSeptember 11, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- When Meg Mallon's 6-foot par save at the 16th hole fell into the cup Sunday, she halved the hole with Karen Stupples and went 2-up with two to play.
That assured the American side a half point, and that was enough to give them the 14 1/2 points needed to win the Solheim Cup.
'It's like a dream,' said American captain Nancy Lopez. 'They were ready. It's been a great team effort this whole week. The players played their hearts out.'
Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer backed up her brash statements by going 3-1-1 in her Solheim Cup rookie debut.
Rosie Jones and Suzann Pettersen halved the last match on the course when the U.S. already clinched the Solheim Cup. That made the final score 15 1/2 - 12 1/2 and preserved the Americans 5-0 record on home soil.
'It's unbelievable to play for your country,' said Mallon, who became the all- time leading point earner in American Solheim Cup history this week with 2 1/2 points. 'These fans have been amazing this week.'
The U.S. side got out early and convincingly with a strong start. They took the first five matches, but had to wait anxiously as the bottom of the board filled up with some European flags.
After Natalie Gulbis finished off Maria Hjorth, 2 and 1 in the seventh match, the U.S. had 14 points. They needed a half point, but Europe was ahead in most of the final matches.
The only comfortable lead the Americans had belonged to Mallon in the penultimate match. She was 3-up with five to play and Stupples certainly made it interesting with an amazing par at the 14th that halved the hole.
At the 15th, Stupples landed in a front bunker with her second and blasted out to tap-in range. Mallon conceded the birdie and missed her try from 15 feet so Mallon fell to 2-up with three to go.
Neither player had a great look at birdie at the 16th, but Mallon went first from 30 feet and missed 6 feet left. Stupples came closer than Mallon and was conceded par.
Mallon stroked in the 6-footer to save par and halve the hole. That won the Solheim Cup back for the Americans after losing the trophy two years ago in Sweden.
'What a great feeling,' said Mallon, who was in the opposite spot in 1992 when Europe clinched the Solheim Cup in her singles match. 'I'm so proud of these guys today. We had to play exceptional to beat them. What a match.'
Mallon went on to post a 3 and 1 victory.
Juli Inkster collected three wins in a row from the 13th to dispatch Sophie Gustafson, 2 and 1 in the opening match, but the youngest Solheim Cupper ever put the first point on the board for the Americans in the second match.
Paula Creamer, 19, completed a 3-1-1 debut at the Solheim Cup with a 7 and 5 thumping of Laura Davies, the only player to participate in every competition since its inception in 1990.
Pat Hurst won three in a row from 14 and bested Trish Johnson, 2 and 1, Laura Diaz trounced Iben Tinning, 6 and 5, and rookie Christina Kim dismantled Ludivine Kreutz, 5 and 4.
The rookies stepped up big for the American side. In total, the three first- timers (Creamer, Gulbis and Kim) went 8-3-2.
'They're not rookies to me, they played like veterans,' said Lopez. 'I knew I had to use them, they were my best players coming in here. I had to trust them and I knew they could do it.'
Annika Sorenstam, the No. 1 player in the world, put the first point on the board for the European side in match six. She beat Beth Daniel, 4 and 3, but Gulbis countered the point in the next match.
Europe rallied because the next half-point would give the Americans the Cup.
Catriona Matthew won four out of five holes on the second nine to defeat Wendy Ward, 3 and 2. Carin Koch won three in a row on the back side to handle Michele Redman, 2 and 1.
In one of the biggest upsets Sunday, European rookie Gwladys Nocera, who was 0-1 heading into Sunday, knocked off Cristie Kerr, who earned the most points in qualifying for the American team, 2 and 1.
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    U.S. Amateur playoff: 24 players for 1 spot in match play

    By Associated PressAugust 15, 2018, 1:21 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer and Daniel Hillier were tied at the top after two rounds of the U.S. Amateur, but the more compelling action on Tuesday was further down the leaderboard.

    Two dozen players were tied for 64th place after two rounds of stroke play at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. With the top 64 advancing to match play, that means all 24 will compete in a sudden-death playoff Wednesday morning for the last spot in the knockout rounds.

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    They'll be divided into six foursomes and start the playoff at 7:30 a.m. on the par-3 17th at Pebble Beach, where Tom Watson chipped in during the 1982 U.S. Open and went on to win.

    The survivor of the playoff will face the 19-year-old Hillier in match play. The New Zealander shot a 2-under 70 at Spyglass Hill to share medalist honors with the 18-year-old Hammer at 6 under. Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas who played in the 2015 U.S. Open at age 15, shot 68 at Spyglass Hill.

    Stewart Hagestad had the low round of the day, a 5-under 66 at Pebble Beach, to move into a tie for 10th after opening with a 76 at Spyglass Hill. The 27-year-old Hagestad won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur and earned low amateur honors at the 2017 Masters.

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    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.  

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    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.”

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    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:

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; 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)

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    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.

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    "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."