U.S. Solheim Cup team could learn valuable lessons from U.S. Walker Cup kids
The American Solheim Cup team could learn a little something from the U.S. Walker Cup team.
Don’t fall behind and expect to come back your singles prowess to make up the difference. And the ladies better be ready to grind it out every point in all kinds of weather.
The two American teams feature some striking parallels.
The U.S. Walker Cup team was on a roll heading into their match last week at the Balgownie Links of Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. The Americans were favored on paper and had beaten the Great Britain & Ireland team three straight times since 2003. I witnessed their last overseas victory in 2007 at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. Even that loaded U.S. team – featuring future PGA TOUR winners Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Chris Kirk, along with TOUR members Rickie Fowler, Colt Knost, Billy Horschel, Kyle Stanley and Jamie Lovemark – had a hard time winning on foreign soil and staving off Rory McIlroy, winning on a last-second eagle on the par-5 18th by Jonathan Moore.
Sounds a little bit like the situation surrounding the U.S. women heading to Killeen Castle Sept. 23-25 in Ireland. They are slight favorites and have delivered stirring performances in recent years, winning three in a row and sporting an 8-3 record overall since the Solheim’s beginnings in 1990.
But winning on foreign soil – where spirited crowds show up for even amateur events – is another story. The strong 2011 U.S. Walker Cup team, spearheaded by Peter Uihlein and Patrick Cantlay, fell behind early and, despite its firepower in singles, couldn’t catch up in fierce winds on the final day, losing 14-12.
The American Solheim Cup team – Vickie Hurst, Ryanne O’Toole, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang, Inkster and Christina Kim – better be ready to play their best golf and work together, not rely on their individual talents to knock off the Europeans in singles. That might end up being too little too late, much to the chagrin of the American Walker Cuppers.
I’m thrilled to be attending my first Solheim Cup, soaking in all the raw emotion. The Golf Channel will televise more than 27 hours of live match-play competition. The three days will feature more than 10 consecutive hours of live coverage on Friday and Saturday and six hours on Sunday. Each round will be replayed in prime time as a three-hour highlight special. Coverage begins Friday, Sept. 23 at 2 a.m. ET.
Let’s hope the red, white and blue is flying high by the end of the weekend.
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