Practice day at the Solheim Cup

The practice rounds started at the Solheim Cup in Parker, Colorado. We headed down to the course this afternoon hoping to catch some of the players practicing on the course. The crowds seemed light when we got there about 1:30 p.m. We started at the driving range where Brittney Lincicome, Angela Stamford, and Gerina Piller were hitting balls. We didn’t see any of the European team at the driving range or chipping green.

Driving Range, Colorado Golf Club
Driving Range, Solheim Cup, August 14

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We walked down along hole #15 and #16. The course looks like it’s in excellent shape. As we walked over to putting green, a couple of the European players were practicing their putting.  Working our way around to the 1st tee, we headed up into the deserted grandstand to look at the course from above. Looking over the #9 hole, we noticed a player heading up the fairway and decided to go check it out.

Hole 15 Green
Hole 15 green, Colorado Golf Club, Parker, CO

Standing by the green, we watched as Morgan Pressel worked her way up the fairway. She stopped about 120 yards out and hit a couple shots to the green. The first one landed about 5 feet from the hole. Her other shots hit the green, but the second and third weren’t nearly as close. She came up to the green and hit a few chip shots, then a few pitches. The caddy through out a couple of marks and Morgan hit a few puts. While putting she hit a long put across the green that directly hit the mark. The small crowd applauded and Morgan said, “Ahh, you guys can do that!” You could hear the laughter.

Morgan Pressel
Morgan Pressel, hole #9. Colorado Golf Club, Solheim Cup

As she finished, she thanked the gallery that had followed her and headed in to the clubhouse. It’s fun watching her play.

I’ll be heading back to the course tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll see a few more players and get some autographs. I’d also like to see the opening ceremonies. Until tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Tseng wins Honda LPGA Thailand

Yani Tseng pulled off a come-from-behind win in the LPGA Thailand February 19. She started her final round with a remarkable eagle on number 1, and then went on to birdie the third, sixth and seventh holes on the front nine. Miyazato was one shot up at the start of the final round and was competitive with Tseng throughout the final match, but came up one short by the end of the round.

South Korea’s Jiyai Shin was also in the race, but ended the round two back from Tseng.

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Tseng had an amazing shot on the 18th when her 104-yard approach shot stopped within a foot of the pin. She took the win after her tap-in for birdie and a one shot lead over Miyazato.

In 2011, Tseng won this event for the first of seven 2011 LPGA victories. The LPGA season is shaping up to be an exciting this year. The next event on the schedule is HSBC Women’s Championship in Singapore. Being played at the Tanah Merah Country Club this year, Karrie Webb won this one last year. Tseng and Miyazato will be there, as well as some of our favorite U.S.players such as Morgan Pressel, Cristie Kerr, and Paula Creamer.

I would love to go overseas and attend these tournaments in person. The caliber of play is so high and the venues seem very interesting. Maybe next year!

 

Annika Sorenstam honored by the USGA

Annika Sorenstam is selected to receive the 2012 USGA Bob Jones award. This is the highest honor the USGA can bestow in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Sorenstam is regarded has one of the most dominant players in the history of women’s golf. Since retiring from golf, she has been named Ambassador of the United States Golf Association and in 2009 she was named a Global Ambassador by the International Golf Association.

The award will be presented on February 4, 2012 at the USGA’s annual meeting in Houston. Congratulations, Annika. Although we miss watching you play golf, we appreciate your efforts on behalf of the game.

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Yani Tseng has won her 10th worldwide victory this season at the LPGA Taiwan Championship. She finished the tournament 16 under with a 6-under-66 at Sunrise for her seventh LPGA Tour victory. Amy Yang and Azahara Munoz tied for second. Morgan Pressel tied for 4th with Anna Nordqvist.

The next tournament on the LPGA Tour is the Mizuno Classic in Shima-shi, Mie, Japan. Last year, Jiyai Shin defeated Yani Tseng by 2 strokes in this tournament. Tseng has been playing very well this season and is the LPGA player of the year for the second year. Can she maintain this high level of play through the end of the year? I think Tseng is unstoppable this season. What do you think?

Lexi Thompson is officially a member of the LPGA

On Friday, September 30, Commissioner Mike Wahn granted Lexi Thompson’s petition for membership in the LPGA. The LPGA rules state that members need to be at least 18 years old to join the tour, though obviously exceptions can be made. Thompson, 16, submitted a petition for membership based on her tour win at the Navistar LPGA Classic earlier in September. She’ll be postponing her official start date on the tour until 2012, to start as a rookie. She’ll turn 17 in February.

Thompson is the youngest member ever to join the tour. Michelle Wie played tournaments when she was 15, but didn’t officially join the tour until 3 years later, after finishing Q school. Morgan Pressel, Aree Song, and Jessica Korda were granted waivers when they were 17, though they were close to their 18th birthdays and the high school educations complete or nearly so.

There is no doubt that Lexi Thompson is talented and she can compete on the highest professional level. She’s been home-schooled, and is planning to finish and graduate while also playing golf. I think that the tour should require kids to finish high school prior to starting the tour as a professional. That would insure that these ladies would have a basic education – golf is not forever.

The LPGA has been struggling lately with the loss of sponsors and uneven management. A new star certainly can’t hurt the ratings and attendance at LPGA events. Is joining the tour better for Lexi or better for the LPGA?
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