The best golf event of the weekend was one that few Americans, I suspect, bothered to watch: the Solheim Cup. A biennial contest between US and European ladies golf professionals, the Solheim Cup was held this year at the Halmstead Golf Club in Halmstead, Sweden. Its format is similar to the much-more ballyhooed Ryder Cup, and consists of four ball, foursomes and singles match play events.
The final score was USA 16, Europe 12, but the tournament was much closer over three days than the scores would indicate. The US led at the end of day one 4 1/2 to 3 1/2, then lost the lead on the second day with the Europeans standing at 8 1/2 to 7 1/2. The singles match play events on the third day made the difference with the US pulling ahead by four points in the totals. (image left: Paula Creamer and Julie Inkster hoist the Solheim Cup)
I was pleasantly surprised by just how competitive the ladies were. From their faces and body language, it’s apparent that they surrender nothing to the men in terms of spirit. They all wanted very much to win.
The US Team may have been fired up by television commentator Dottie Pepper, who called them “freakin’ chokin’ dogs” in a segment that apparently was never intended to be aired. Team Captain Betsy King fired back, saying “You usually retire when you can’t play any more. That is why you become a television commentator.”
There is no truth to the rumor that the two will participate in a pay-per-view jello wrestling contest.
I thought the Golf Channel did a pretty good job covering the event, broadcasting it live in the morning, and then offering a replay during Prime Time. Given the time diffferences, you can’t ask for any more than that. My one complaint is that there were too many shots of putts and not enough from the fairway or tee. Each hole in match play is, of course, won on the final putt, but its the other shots that get them there.
So congratulations to the ladies (on both sides), to Ping for its sponsorship and to the Golf Channel for yeoman’s work.