US Dominates Singles Wins Cup

By Sports NetworkSeptember 16, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- The American team dominated the Europeans in the Sunday singles, capturing 8 1/2 points in the 12 matches to successfully defend the Solheim Cup.
The U.S. won by a final score of 16-12 at Halmstad Golfclub.
The U.S. traditionally dominated the singles, having won the session 59-41 in the previous nine competitions. This was close to a record rout, but not quite.
Nicole Castrale and Stacy Prammanasudh
Rookies Nicole Castrale and Stacy Prammanasudh pose with the Solheim Cup. (Getty Images)
Since the format was changed to 12 players per team, the biggest Sunday was a 10-1-1 drubbing by the Americans in 1996.
That year marked the last American victory on foreign soil. In Wales 11 years ago, they were two points behind going to Sunday, but ended up winning 17-11.
'It's fun to win in enemy territory,' said American captain Betsy King, who was a member of the last U.S. team to win in Europe. 'I can't say enough about our whole team. We gelled well.'
Nicole Castrale, one of King's captain's picks, drained a 7-foot putt at the 16th hole to defeat Bettina Hauert, 3 and 2. Coupled with Paula Creamer being guaranteed a half point in her match against Maria Hjorth, that gave the Americans the 14 1/2 points needed to win the Cup.
'I knew I needed to win this match,' said Castrale. 'I had no idea that was to clinch it.'
The U.S. only needed 14 to retain, since it won the Solheim Cup in 2005 at Crooked Stick, but its dominance in singles proved too much for Europe.
'When you see a group of girls fight so hard, you want to see them get something out of it,' said an emotional European captain, Helen Alfredsson. 'The Americans obviously played a lot better than we did today. All congratulations to them.'
The U.S. faced a one-point deficit at the start of the singles matches. The Europeans won three points in the fourballs that were completed Sunday morning.
That could not have bothered the U.S. side too much. It had not held the outright lead heading to singles since 1998, but has now won three of those five Cups.
'We talked about it before we came out in the afternoon,' said Castrale. 'We needed to care of ourselves and not look at scoreboards. I didn't.'
Europe looked good early. Catriona Matthew led off with a 3-and-2 victory over Laura Diaz, but that would be the last European flag on the board for quite some time.
Pat Hurst defeated Sophie Gustafson, 2 and 1, then rookie Stacy Prammanasudh won the 16th with a par to go 1-up against the reigning LPGA champion, Suzann Pettersen. Prammanasudh was conceded the 18th for a 2-up win that really put the Europeans in a bad position.
Juli Inkster handled Iben Tinning, 4 and 3, Angela Stanford toppled Trish Johnson, 3 and 2 and Sherri Steinhauer pulled out a halve against Becky Brewerton by winning the 18th.
A pivotal match went to the U.S. when few expected it. Pressel, a major winner this year, won the 15th and 16th holes to knock Annika Sorenstam, 2 and 1.
'I made the putts when I needed to,' said Pressel, who knocked her tee ball to seven feet to set up birdie at the tough par-three 16th. 'I hit plenty of shots close and gave myself plenty of birdie opportunities.'
Castrale won her match, then Creamer finally came out with a 2-and-1 victory over Hjorth. Creamer, in only her second Solheim Cup, led the U.S. team with 3 1/2 points for the week.
Britain's Laura Davies, the only player to compete in all 10 Solheim Cups, had little difficulty in dispatching Brittany Lincicome, 4 and 3. She won her match early, but it was clear to the European team that was not enough.
'The Americans played so well, especially today,' said Sorenstam. 'I wish we could have done a little better. We fought til the end. They mastered the game this week.'
With the matches decided, Natalie Gulbis padded the margin with a 4-and-3 win over Gwladys Nocera in the anchor match.
In a match that was played out for pride, American Cristie Kerr conceded a putt to Linda Wessberg on the 18th green to give the Solheim Cup rookie a 1-up win.
Related Links:
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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.  

    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.”

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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.

    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."

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    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.