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Archives for September 2011

Modest Donald fights back

Iain Carter | 18:58 UK time, Thursday, 29 September 2011

Luke Donald is a naturally modest and understated man. You can tell this by the way he prefaces statements with words and statements like "pretty", "a little bit" and "somewhat."

He has a humble, accommodating demeanour that often hides fierce ambition and on occasion great disappointment if a tournament has just slipped from his grasp.

But where he becomes unequivocal is when he talks of his achievement in making himself the best golfer on the planet because there are some who doubt his credentials to be considered the world's number one.

Many of those critics are Americans who point to the lack of a major title to Donald's name or even a strokeplay win on the PGA Tour for five years.

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Sublime Solheim restores lustre to competition

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Iain Carter | 17:05 UK time, Monday, 26 September 2011

While a fourth successive American Solheim Cup victory would not have spelled the end of the event as a credible spectacle there can be no underestimating the boost the match received from Europe's sensational victory at Killeen Castle.

There is a danger of these transatlantic tussles losing their magic if they remain too one-sided for too long. That's why the US victory at Valhalla in the 2008 so reinvigorated the Ryder Cup.

The need was even greater for a Solheim Cup largely ignored by British newspapers. What transpired was worthy of far more than a derisory mention in a "Sport in Brief" section.

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Solheim Cup far from one-sided

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Iain Carter | 10:52 UK time, Thursday, 22 September 2011

It is a battle not so much for the trophy but for relevance, claim some observers ahead of the biennial Solheim Cup clash between the women golfers of Europe and the United States.

The doomsayers fear a loss of public interest if the US march to a fourth successive victory at Killeen Castle in County Meath this weekend.

One leading Golf Channel analyst points to an aggregate Euro deficit of 11 points over the last three matches as evidence that the match has become too one-sided.

Certainly another thumping win for the US would do the Solheim Cup no favours, but it is far too soon to be pressing panic buttons over the future of the event, even though pitching the US against Asia might currently appear a more relevant contest.

Rubbishing this event ignores the cyclical nature of sport and fails to take account of the way underdogs can prosper in team golf when matches are played over 18 holes.

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Walker Cup is tough act to follow

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Iain Carter | 11:04 UK time, Monday, 12 September 2011

A stunning Walker Cup marked the start of a series of team matchplay tournaments that will add spice to the golfing calendar following the culmination of the major season.

The Seve Trophy pits the pros of Great Britain and Ireland against Continental Europe this week. Then it is the turn of Europe's professional women to try to overcome the United States in the Solheim Cup.

Pitching an individual sport like golf into a team environment has magical consequences as numerous Ryder Cups have proven and as the Walker Cup dramatically illustrated again at Royal Aberdeen. GB&I's brilliant 14-12 success gave them victory in the competition for the first time in eight years.

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Can GB&I claim Walker Cup?

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Iain Carter | 23:13 UK time, Thursday, 8 September 2011

It feels like the old days when the United States would routinely bash Great Britain & Ireland in the Walker Cup.

The US team defending the trophy at Royal Aberdeen this weekend are odds-on favourites to claim victory for the fourth match running.

Certainly, the US amateur scene is packed full of talent. Jim Holtgrieve's team boasts the top four players in the current amateur world rankings but their GB&I opposition should still feel capable of wrestling back the trophy for the first time since 2003.

Recent Walker Cup history suggests it is time for the pendulum to swing back this side of the Atlantic because, over the last ten matches, there has been little to choose between the two teams. America have won six match-ups, with GB&I taking four.

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