Monday, September 16

Europe Wins Solheim Cup With Dramatic Birdie by Suzann Pettersen, Who Promptly Retires

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SUZANN PETTERSEN SANK A CLUTCH 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole to clinch the Solheim Cup for Europe. And then Pettersen retired, on the spot.

That's how you do it.

Here's part of the CNN report:
Norway's Pettersen embraced opponent Marina Alex before falling into the arms of her European teammates on the 18th green at Gleneagles, Scotland, after her winning putt gave Europe a 14.5-13.5 win in the biennial team competition. 
It was Europe's first win since 2013 and sixth in the 16 matches that have been held since the competition -- similar to the men's Ryder Cup between Europe and USA -- began in 1990. 
The 38-year-old Pettersen, a two-time major champion, later announced her retirement from professional golf. 
"This is it, I'm completely done," Pettersen -- a controversial wildcard pick -- told reporters at a jovial a news conference with her victorious teammates. 
"I think this is the perfect end for my professional career, it doesn't get any better and to do it with these girls is amazing."

Wednesday, September 11

Rory McIlroy Voted 2019 PGA Tour Player of the Year, Receives Jack Nicklaus Award

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AND THE WINNER IS ... RORY MCILROY.

Here's the announcement from tour headquarters:
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA TOUR announced today that Rory McIlroy has been named the 2019 PGA TOUR Player of the Year as voted by the TOUR’s membership for the 2018-19 season. McIlroy will receive the Jack Nicklaus Award for winning PGA TOUR Player of the Year for the third time in his career (2012, 2014, 2019). 
PGA TOUR members who played at least 15 official FedExCup events during the 2018-19 season were eligible to vote. The balloting process ended on Sept. 6. 
McIlroy, 30, of Holywood, Northern Ireland, won the FedExCup for the second time (2016, 2019), becoming just the second player to win the season-long race multiple times (Tiger Woods), and the first player to win THE PLAYERS Championship and the FedExCup in the same season. With three wins on the season (THE PLAYERS, RBC Canadian Open, TOUR Championship), McIlroy matched Brooks Koepka for the most on TOUR, and marked the third time he collected three or more victories in a single season. McIlroy also won the Byron Nelson Award for Adjusted Scoring Average (69.057) for the third time in his career and led the PGA TOUR in Top-10s (14) and Strokes Gained: Total (2.551).

Monday, September 9

European Ryder Cup Hero Sam Torrance Quit Playing Golf Two Years Ago: 'I've Kind of Lost the Love for It'

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SAM TORRANCE IS A RYDER CUP HERO who has played eight times for the European side and captained his team to victory in 2002. The Scot has also won 21 times on the European Tour (10th all time) and another 11 on the European senior circuit.

Despite this enviable record -- or perhaps because of it -- the 66-year-old golf legend has put down his sticks.

"I've kind of lost the love for it," Torrance told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I'm not very good. The hardest thing … is I'm mediocre compared to what I was."

Torrance decided to quit two years ago after reviewing his tournament results with his manager. His best finish was 35th. And he was an aggregate 200 over par.

"So it was time," he said.

Torrance added: "Even with my mates I'm struggling to find the impetus to get up there and do it."

Torrance made the putt that clinched the 1985 Ryder Cup, which was the first victory for Europe in 28 years. Since then Europe has pretty much owned the Americans, winning 12 of the last 17 contests.

VIDEO: Another Bad Look for Matt Kuchar



MOVING "LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS" IN A WASTE BUNKER. This was the most recent questionable act of Matt Kuchar. I wonder if he even cares.

Apparently, it's within the rules (which I don't get). But as Geoff Shackelford commented at his site, that's a whole different topic.

Nonetheless, how does it look when Kuchar pulls this stuff? Not good to me. In fact, it looks bad, silly, both.

Just step up and hit the ball, Matt. Play it as it lies. Because you did hit your golf ball in that waste bunker. Kuchar went on to miss the cut at the Porsche European Open.

I might need to start a new category at this blog called, "Really, Kooch?"

Friday, September 6

Golf Swing Friday: Curving the Golf Ball


HERE ARE BUBBA WATSON, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed and others, all working the golf ball.

Which way does your ball curve? Is it intentional?

Thursday, September 5

Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm Highlighted in Report on Age in Six Sports

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A NEW REPORT CALLED FINISHING ON A HIGH looks at six sports since 2000 to determine the perfect age to prosper as a sports star and whether age is just a number.

In the section called "Title Winners Beyond Average Age of Retirement," the report mentioned Tiger Woods:
Tiger Woods, golf - An improbable comeback at the Masters was a true sporting fairytale considering everything that had happened in Woods' life. At the age of 43, he proved he can still mix it with the best and since the turn of the century only Phil Mickelson has won a major at the same age. Only five players have won titles in their 40s in the last 20 years so it may be unlikely that we see Tiger win a big one again.
"Already, the age for being at peak is getting older," commented Jacky Forsyth, Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology at Staffordshire University. "Maybe this is more to do with a societal change than a technological/treatment change.

"There have been medical advancements and we have a better understanding of how the body responds and adapts to training. There is also the idea that, for endurance sports, an older age is preferable since, with aging, the body responds more to endurance training in terms of muscle tissue and cellular adaptation."

Don't be surprised if the world's next big golf star is Jon Rahm, according to the report:
John Rahm, golf - Statistics show that male golfers begin to peak at the age of 25 and can enjoy success for around 10 years before slipping away at 35. Rahm turns 25 later this year and has impressed in recent majors without breaking his duck. Expect the big-hitting Spaniard to go on a run of success in the coming years.

Tuesday, September 3

First-Time European Tour Winner Sebastian Soderberg: 'I Was Shaking the Last Few Holes'



A WILD OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS in the Swiss Alps ended with a playoff. It was a fivesome. And it included World No. 2 and FedEx king Rory McIlroy.

The other four who tied at 14-under 266 weren't exactly the usual suspects. Their names and rankings were Kalle Samooja (300), Andres Romero (735), Lorenzo Gagli (513) and Sebastian Soderberg (287).

Soderberg of Sweden won with a birdie on the first playoff hole. It was his maiden victory on the European Tour.

Judging from his comments, the Swede might still be in shock.

"This is tough to describe," Soderberg said. "I was shaking the last few holes.

"I calmed down a bit for the playoff, but now I don't know what to say. I actually didn't play my best today, but my chipping and putting was unbelievable. And it was so exciting to play with Rory. This really hasn’t sunk in yet.

"All I really tried to do was just keep going. I didn't really watch the leader board until the last tee. I hit the first putt on 17 too firm, but I'm proud of myself being able to play good when I was shaking so much. On the 18th, I just tried to focus on hitting two more good shots. There was not as much pressure in the playoff. I had nothing to lose. I was way more calm then I was over the last few holes."

Soderberg, now exempt through 2021, called his new status "life-changing."