John Q. Hammon Hotel Classic Preview

Annika Sorenstam headlines at the 2005 John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic. The American “triple-threat” will be there to try and stop her from defending her trophy.

Hammons ImageAlthough Annika Sorenstam will be defending her title this week at the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic all eyes will be gravitating to the young Americans who triumphed at this year’s Solheim Cup. Annika may be the tournament favorite but triple-threats Creamer, Gulbis and Kim will probably steal the show.

Nine of the top-ten money earners will compete among the 144 tour professionals slated for the final field. The $1 million purse is smaller than at other championships but the Cystic Fibrosis Jr. Achievement Charity is a good cause. Also whenever Sorenstam is in the field you’ll most likely see the best of the best challenging in an attempt to topple her from her number-one perch.

Team USA Reclaims Solheim Cup

The United States wins the Solheim Cup after beginning the day all square with Team Europe.

paula_creamer_solheim.jpgHaving the delicious distinction of never losing the Solheim Cup on their own soil, Team USA did not disappoint today, claiming victory over the Europeans 15.5 to 12.5. This ninth rendition of the Solheim Cup had all the drama of a major PGA Tour event.

Starting the day even at eight points apiece following a tremendous comeback in the Saturday afternoon fourball matches, the United States team had the confidence necessary to take on their competitors in singles match-play action earlier this morning. Triple-threat rookies Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, and Christina Kim stole the show with American flags painted on their faces and ankles and confidence in their abilities. Walking the course pumping up the crowd, the girls’ themselves chanted “USA, USA” making it virtually impossible for the European team to stay focused on their shots and making the gallery into a cheering squad for the Americans.

Solheim Cup Showdown

The Americans face-off against the rest of the world for the biennial rights to the Solheim Cup.

solheim_cup_logo.jpgFor a grueling three days in September twelve European golfers will doggedly defend their right to retain the venerable Solheim Cup for another two year stretch. Twelve equally determined LPGA golfers will attempt to unseat the Europeans as guardians of the Waterford Crystal trophy.

At the 2003 event held at Barseback Golf & Country Club in Sweden 100,000 cheering fans witnessed the European team (17.5 points) make mincemeat out of the Americans (10.5).

With an all-star American team led by Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam playing on the side of the LET, all I can say is … “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

State Farm Classic a Solheim Cup Tune-Up

The LPGA rolls into Illinois for the State Farm Classic. Both Solheim Cup Team captains will be in attendance for a ceremonial “send-off” event.

LPGAFor the past thirty years the Labor Day weekend has been a special time for the LPGA Tour. In 1976 the first Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Classic was held at the Rail Golf Club, yearly site of the State Farm Classic. This golf course was newly completed and without clubhouse, trees, or even a parking lot. But Patty Berg and the LPGA saw both beauty and challenge in the course and the co-owners were interested in donating to worthwhile charities so the LPGA went ahead and placed it on their tour calendar.

Fast forward to 1993 when Nancy Lopez was the defending champion of the newly renamed State Farm Classic. The addition of television cameras and notable increases of the purse to $500,000 made the Classic one of the hottest venues on the tour.

Cristie Kerr Claims Second Victory of 2005 at Wendy’s

Cristie Kerr beats out a slumping Paula Creamer and a resurgent Annika Sorenstam to win her second title of 2005.

Cristie KerrPaired with third-round leader Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr played catch-up today at the Wendy’s Championship for Children. Annika Sorenstam had already finished her round and was sitting comfortably in the clubhouse watching the action. Today Annika enjoyed the euphoria of a bogey-free round dotted with six birdies, her first one dropping in at the first and concluding with a fist-pumping birdie on eighteen.

Paula Creamer didn’t seem to be as confident as she normally appears, but with only a one-stroke lead separating the top golfers in the world she had work to do. Two bogeys opened the door for veteran Cristie Kerr to step in and take the trophy away from both the number one and two players on the money list. A fist-pump also came from Kerr at the final hole. With only one bogey on the back nine Kerr finished one-stroke ahead of a very strong leaderboard, securing her second win on the LPGA Tour this year with a 3-under-par 69.

Wendy’s Championship for Children Tournament Preview

Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer duke it out with the top golfers on the LPGA Tour at the Wendy’s Championship for Children.

LPGAWith only five events remaining in the offical LPGA season the ladies fly to Dublin, Ohio to compete in the Wendy’s Championship for Children Tournament this weekend.

Nineteen of the top twenty female golfers will be in attendance this year, some eagerly looking forward to a another win in 2005 while others attempt to get their season jump-started.

Annika Sorenstam is in the mix this week after a brief layoff. She won the inaugural event in 1999 and finished second in 2001. I’m sure that another trophy would look great next to the six (including two majors) she’s attained earlier this season.

Safeway Win a First for Soo-Yun Kang

Soo-Yun Kang claims her first victory at the Safeway Classic.

kang_safeway.jpgAfter tying the lead with Sung Ah Yim in first round action with a 64 and then taking a three-stroke lead on Saturday, Soo-Yun Kang certainly must have felt confident entering into the final round of the Safeway Classic. She sure looked at ease, smiling her way through eighteen holes and rarely missing a step. Her nerves only showed a bit halfway through her round and then again on the eighteenth as she missed her par putt and bogeyed in to win four strokes ahead of Jeong Jang.

Soo-Yun Kang is the fifth Korean to win on the LPGA Tour this year. With a wire-to-wire win after three full seasons playing golf among the best females on tour the 29-year old feels even more “Seoul-ful” with a 3-under 69 finish. Drenched in champagne by friends Birdie Kim and Gloria Park, Kang shrieked with delight. “I waited so long, for the past three years. I thought about it I guess like I was in a slump for three years and I worked really hard on it.”

Safeway Classic Rolls Into Portland

The LPGA enters the final stretch of the season after a two-week layoff at the Safeway Classic.

safeway_logo.jpgWith only six events remaining on the official 2005 LPGA tour schedule, the Safeway Classic presented by Pepsi promises to be one of the highlights.

The par-72, 6327 yard Columbia-Edgewater Country Club sets the stage for the 54-hole tournament which includes thirteen of the top money winners this year. This will also be a good scouting opportunity for Nancy Lopez. All fifteen players who are competing for a place on the U.S. Solheim Cup team will be in attendance. Although most of the team has been selected, the two captain’s choice positions will most certainly be filled after this week’s event.

Paula Creamer Sensational in Japan

Japan’s most popular female golfer is held off by teen phenom Paula Creamer at the NEC Karuizawa tournament. Morgan Pressel misses an opportunity to win another amateur tournament.

Paula Creamer added an international trophy to her growing list of wins this weekend after defeating 20-year-old Ai Miyazato at the NEC Karuizawa tournament in Japan. After carding three straight bogey-free rounds Creamer finished the tournament with a 4-under 68 yesterday, three strokes ahead of Miyazato who shot a 69. “I feel great!” said Creamer. “I knew I had to play good golf coming down the stretch. I knew if I just stayed patient and kept giving myself birdie looks everything would be okay.”