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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.

Melissa Reid and Michelle Wie are two of the young stars on show in Ireland

Melissa Reid and Michelle Wie are two of the young stars on show in Ireland; Photos - Getty

Less than a fortnight ago, the amateur men of Great Britain and Ireland overcame what was regarded as one of the strongest American Walker Cup sides assembled, to defend the famous old trophy.

Now it is the turn of Europe's professional women to try to do something similar here in Ireland. They will be attempting this with world number two Suzann Pettersen as their only representative in the world's top 20.

The US, meanwhile, boast top-tenners Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Stacy Lewis, as well as daunting talents like Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie.

No wonder the visitors are odds-on favourites.

Yet a closer examination of the make-up of the two teams gives cause for European optimism that is not reflected in the bookmakers' assessments.

Alison Nicholas's team possess a mix of personality and game that might just seem them thrive, and relish the opportunity of upsetting the form book.

For years it was Annika Sorenstam who led the way for European women's golf and this could be the week when we see her long term successor emerge.

Like the retired Sorenstam, Caroline Hedwall is Swedish. The 22-year-old is also a phenomenal talent capable of inspiring Europe in her very first Solheim Cup.

Already a three-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, Hedwall is a fearless putter and there is no more valuable commodity in matchplay. No European will be disappointed to be paired with her.

Melissa Reid is a feisty character who has hit form at just the right moment, celebrating victory in Spain only last Sunday. The 24-year-old from Derbyshire topped the LET qualifying table and is relishing the prospect of her Solheim debut.

"Rookies like Mel Reid, who is one of the most exciting prospects in world golf right now, will be complimented and guided by sage old heads like Laura Davies and Catriona Matthew," says Sorenstam, who is one of Nicholas' vice-captains.

Davies will need to emerge from a poor season as she bids for the single point that would make her the highest points-scorer in the history of the Solheim Cup. This will be her record 12th appearance but she has missed the cut in four of her last five LPGA events.

Matthew is the Bernhard Langer of the women's game with her unflappable demeanour and dependable game. The Scot has been beaten only once in six singles matches.

By contrast, Pettersen has yet to win a singles, but Sorenstam believes she is vital to the European cause, calling her "without doubt our most important player".

The former world number one went on: "She should excel at Killeen, where she won the Irish Open. That triumph was a massive confidence boost to us all."

Extending that potent blend of youth and experience, Sophie Gustafson, 37, has also won at Killeen Castle while Anna Nordqvist, 24, plays with such accuracy she will be an asset in all formats.

Meanwhile, US captain Rosie Jones has a number of potential worries.

One will be whether world number 102 Ryann O'Toole can justify her place in the team. The 24-year-old rookie has missed three cuts in a row since gaining her controversial wildcard selection.

Veteran Juli Inkster, who is doubling up as a vice-captain, is short of form; the highly rated Kerr has only won one of her five singles matches to date and Christina Kim failed to make a cut in any of the four majors this year.

Then there is the enigmatic Wie and her belly putter that blows hot and cold. It is hard to predict how the 21-year-old will fare, but the evidence of two years ago suggests the Solheim might be the arena in which she plays at her best.

The Irish crowds and weather offer more dimensions that may prove significant. It doesn't feel as though interest in the Solheim Cup is in terminal decline just yet.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Good Blog Iain. What do you think of the ever increasing use of Belly Putters in the Woman's game? A lot of them are using them these days.

  • Comment number 2.

    Good article Iain, I agree with you that it is far from one sided and predict a close match. Europe have a good blend of youth (emerging talent, eager to prove their worth, fearless having not suffered defeat at the hands of the Americans) and experience (determined to avenge the last 3 defeats). I think if Davies can find a bit of form (she can be a bit like Monty in the men's game- unplayable in matchplay on her day) and Pettersen can live up to her world no2 status and have a good week, one or two of the youngsters to shine through, then throw in a bit of Irish magic (followed by a rain dance and ensuing rendition of "singing in the rain" by yours truly to get the crowd behind the team!!), they have a real chance. They need momentum and to get off to a good start tomorrow morning.

  • Comment number 3.

    Very good Iain,
    One lady you haven't mentioned is Karen Stupples and I'd think she'll be a rock for Alison Nicholas this week. It's not fashionable for the British Press to mention her, but she's as consistent as almost anyone on the LPGA Tour.
    A little bit of needle between the two teams suggested in the US Press, especially directed to the Kim and Wie camps. Good!

  • Comment number 4.

    Agree that Karen will be a very important player. Her length and ability to make birdies and eagles should be a big asset for Europe. By the way, anyone who heard Five Live's Open coverage this year will know that she is very much in fashion with the BBC.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hope Europe can do the business. I would have selected Becky Brewerton though. I think she will be missed.

  • Comment number 6.

    I watched an interview with Peter Allis the other day and he said Brittany Murphy is the threat for the USA, he said shes like the Boo Weekley of the US team back in 2008, rough, tough and big hitter!! And he said Sandra Gal should play well for Europe, she as consistent game and is like the Sandy Lyle of the Europe team, Nice girl and relaxed under whatever pressure!! Should be good cant wait!

  • Comment number 7.

    I remember watching snippets of the last tournament and I have to say watching those American girls whooping and high-fiving after every shot put me off women's golf for good.

  • Comment number 8.

    goodwalkspoiled....i have to agree about Becky Brewerton, she should have been selected. Peter Allis was giving out last week about the amount of Woman on the European team using Belly Putters. He said there are too many using them and its a disgrace. I agree with him.

  • Comment number 9.

    Don- an article in today's Irish Times sports section re: PC "Pink Panther is in the mood for fun". Let's hope that this may lead her to be distracted by one rather dapper looking Jeffkenna thereby helping the Europeans to victory

  • Comment number 10.

    Allis was talking about the Belly putter thing when i was listening to his interview, is it correct that the majority of both teams will be using belly putters? Allis was calling it a farce!

  • Comment number 11.

    no need for that jeffkenna. very inapropriate.

  • Comment number 12.

    Iain, what do you think of Belly Putters?

  • Comment number 13.

    Bilomct- myself and don have had much discussion over my tactics for the weekend!
    On the belly putter debate- I am firmly against them as I believe that you should not be able to use a part of your body as an anchor point for the club. Even though i have sometimes struggled with my short putting a belly putter is something i would never consider for this reason.

  • Comment number 14.

    jeffkenna:

    I tell you, once PC catches a glimpse of your smooth suave sophistication and hears that delicate lilting Irish brogue ( ... voted by some 5,000 women worldwide as the "world's sexiest accent"), she will be reduced to "meowing" around your ankles. She'll be a "complete walkover" for you and for the European Team! (I'm trying to have the effect on Melissa Reid, the new poster girl of European golf and recent winner of the Spain Open.)

    Coincidentally I see that Cristie Kerr is #3 in the world ... just like "our/your/everbody's poster boy" Rory ..... winner of a new seven-figure, mult-year sponsorship deal (with bonuses) with a certain Spanish bank beginning with Sant(a Claus)!

  • Comment number 15.

    goodwalkspoiled:

    Becky Brewerton played well recently in the Czech Republic and in the Spanish Open and is currently in really good form. Unfortunately it's a case of "too little too late" - hopefully not to the detriment of the team .... but we'll never know!!

  • Comment number 16.

    Don247 & Jeffkenna i have just been a little bit sick in my mouth looking at the constant talk you are having with yourselves, i think you should both meet up and discuss these matters in private, and we should talk soley about golf, what do you think BiloMct?

  • Comment number 17.

    Don247 what do you of Peter Allis's comments in his interview earlier this week?

  • Comment number 18.

    What do we reckon of Laura Davies guys? As she past it? i belive she as also changed her putter in a bid to find some form!

  • Comment number 19.

    Back to Belly putters guys, what are peoples overall thoughts? Because apparently Brad Faxton isnt to pleased and he is fuming that Phil Mickleson as decided to switch to belly putter, he also says that it is giving people a definate advantage and showed when Adam Scott, who in February switched to a long putter that he anchors to his chest, won the World Golf Championship at Firestone. A week later at the PGA Championship, Keegan Bradley (belly) became the first player to win a major using a longer putter. Webb Simpson (belly) won the following week in Greensboro, N.C., and then won again at the TPC Boston. Something of a thing here guys???

  • Comment number 20.

    mickeysausage- on Laura Davies- yes she is currently on a bad run of form however if I was one of the US players I would not like to face her in a matchplay situation, as I alluded to earlier she, like Monty, on her day can be unplayable in matchplay. It will be interesting to see how she performs this week.

    Ps mickeysausage- I can't help that i am so enamoured with Paula Creamer and excited by the prospect of catching up eith her on Saturday.

  • Comment number 21.

    mickysausage:

    Sorry, I didn't actually see the Peter Alliss interview so I can't make any comments about it I'm afraid.

    BiloMcT:

    Hopefully you've noticed that your hot tip for stardom, Paul Cutler - after enjoying Walker Cup success - has begun his professional career with a first round 5 over par 77 at the Austrian Open; Tom Lewis scored a two over par 74.

    Welcome to the real world ... and a whole new (golf)ball park ("greenhorns")!

  • Comment number 22.

    Laura Davies left out of Solheim Cup squad!
    What a rubbish headline on BBC Golf sport tonight.
    I have tickets for SUnday and read this headline and thought something had happened to Laura to make her pull out- and all it is is that she hasn't been pikced to play on Friday morning!

  • Comment number 23.

    Golf, like tennis, is an individual sport so that team matches are somewhat meaningless. They may give a rough guide to the comparative level of talent in two regions but does anyone really care who wins the Davis or Soldheim cups. Rory made it clear that he regards the Ryder Cup as exhibition play and wasn't too excited about playing. He had to be pressured into participating and keeping schtum so the tv money keeps rolling in!

  • Comment number 24.

    Ever been to watch the Ryder Cup kiwidavid? "Meaningless" wasn't exactly what it appeared to be to the players at Celtic Manor last year!!

    Those may have been Rory's comments BEFORE he had ever played a Ryder Cup, but search out some of his comment AFTER - it may be less easy as the press were not so keen to report his complete retraction and admition of naivety as it was less headline grabbing.

    Individual sportsmen and women reach a tipping point where they have so much money that team events start to mean more to them.

  • Comment number 25.

    jeffkenna, i respect you 7% more now for your thoughts on bellyputters. they are embarressing. they shoudnt be allowed. As for your love in with Don247, i have to disrespect you 4%. Thats an overall jump of 3% in respect so well done on that.
    Don Don Don....you sink lower and lower, what happened to being the best blogger on here? you need to up the game! Regarding Cutler he has back injury at the moment apparantly caused by go karting so lets give him a bye ball this week. How about my tips for the tour championship eh...Keegan Bradley leading again and Luke Donald up there. told you boys Luke is not a massive bottler and choker like Lee Westwood is.

  • Comment number 26.

    mickysausage...i seen that Allis interview, he was disgusted with the belly putters. i'd like to see it again if you know where it can be viewed?

  • Comment number 27.

    also....does anyone else think Laura Davies ( Solhiems Monty ) also looks a bit like Monty as well!?

  • Comment number 28.

    Bilomct- so i've managed a nett gain of 3% respect in your eyes, i bet i'll gain more than 3% if i manage to woo the lovely Paula this weekend! Looks like she is firmly focused on her golf at the moment as the US ladies have made an excellent start to the morning foursomes.

  • Comment number 29.

    mickeysausage - I saw the Alliss interview last night, i can't believe how furious he was about bellyputters 'a disgusting farce that is plaguing the world of golf espcially in the womens game' - very strong words from the normally jovial Aliss.

    BiloMcT - Laura Davies does look like Monty/mrs Doubtfire, good observation.

    jeffkenna - Are you going to the solheim cup this weekend to watch the golf?
    or are you trying to find a future Mrs Jeffkenna?
    If the latter, keep your paws off Melissa Reid, she's mine!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Sumo82- I will be there observing the golf and while at the same time unleashing my endless charm, suave sophistication, lilting Irish accent (impossible for ladies from the U S of A to resist) to woo the lovely American gal that is Paula "Pink Panther" Creamer. Throw in a dash of shamrock, a pink tie and she's sure to be won over. You may face competition from "blogger of the decade" Don247 in pursuit of Derby' finest Melissa.
    Alliss' thoughts on the belly putter may be strong however I would be on his side of the fence.

  • Comment number 31.

    I see my prediction for the Fed Ex cup tital Chez Revie is lying nicely in 2nd place, should have put a bet on him now, he was 250/1 when i looked. I'll get the link for the Allis interview Bilo if it's online. Did you hear him saying that Laura Davies as had her good day's and he could see her getting left out the solheim up team? Well it looks like Mr Allis was right again because she as been left out the opening matches.

    Kiwidavid what have you been watching? Did you see Boo Weekley riding the pony in 2008, if that wasnt pride i dont know what he was up too?

  • Comment number 32.

    With the sound of some of your comments Jeffkenna it seems like your "charm" wont be the only thing you will be "unleashing"!!

  • Comment number 33.

    jeffkenna....give her one for me! if you do you'll go up 42%!

    Allis was rather scathing about the Belly Putters but i'm on his side about the debate.

    whats kiwidavid talking about? do we have a joker on our hands here?

  • Comment number 34.

    kiwidavid- I couldn't disagree more. The team events (Ryder/Solheim Cups- I'll exclude Walker Cup as it is a given that this is a huge event for amateur golfers) mean a huge deal to the players. For professional golfers this is a unique experience. Yes golf is an individual sport and thus in these events the players are proud to represent not just themselves but their country. It is the only chance they get to play in such an atmosphere- akin to a football stadium with either a huge home following or smaller travelling contingent spurring on not just one golfer but a collective union. As has been mentioned- look at Boo's jockeying in Valhalla, the joy of the Europeans at Celtic Manor, the celebrations at the K-Club. Turn on your telly this morning and watch the (sometimes over exuberant it has o be said) passion of the ladies and you will see how much it means to them.

  • Comment number 35.

    Alliss was bang on about the belly putters, i think the majority of the decent golf players/fans on this site are all agreed that belly putters are a big No, except kiwidavid who seems to grasp the wrong end of the club with regards to passion/belly putters/women.

  • Comment number 36.

    kiwidavid doesnt seem to have a clue! i rate him currently 1/10 as a blogger. Sumo82, did you hear what Allis said about some if the lady Golfers being ' Excellent Specimen's ' ???

  • Comment number 37.

    This is not the first time Peter Alliss as spoke is mind, i think Nick Doherty wasnt pleased, see below!..............................

  • Comment number 38.

    Peter Alliss dismissed modern players as "thin-skinned" last night - in a row over BBC coverage of the BMW PGA.
    Golfer Nick Dougherty claimed critical comments by the 77-year-old broadcaster during Saturday's windy third round at the Surrey course had been "disgusting".
    The 25-year-old Scouser fumed: "I don't know whether it's because he has been out of the game for so long, but he ought to show us more respect.
    "I wish we could take him out there and show him how difficult it was."
    But Alliss, a veteran of eight Ryder Cup teams and the doyen of British golf broadcasting, defended his right to speak his mind on poor play.
    And he claimed pampered modern players simply do not have the technique or temperament to play in conditions which are anything other than perfect.
    cont below......

  • Comment number 39.

    Alliss declared: "They are so thin-skinned nowadays, it is quite extraordinary. They all say they can take criticism and they don't mind constructive criticism - but they do. I am not here to do anything but say what is going on - and they didn't play well.
    "He said 'Take him out and show him how hard it is'.
    "Christ almighty! I know it is bloody difficult. I played rounds of golf at Wentworth before they had bloody watering here.
    "I won 21 tournaments and played in eight Ryder Cups. Don't tell me how hard it is!
    "I am sorry he is upset because he is a nice lad - but he will get over it

  • Comment number 40.

    I think Alliss is right again, does Nick Doherty think that Alliss never played in bad weather?? He was consistantly performing whatever the on-course weather.
    Nick Doherty has always been a whinger, remember when he moaned about Monty saying he was purposely coughing in his back swing on the tee?
    And when he moaned about the catering at Royal Birkdale saying he was sick of eating frozen sausages!

    BiloMcT - Alliss was refering to the portrait pictures that has been selected for the European Solheim cup. Have you seen them? Very racy!
    http://www.solheimcup.com/players.php

  • Comment number 41.

    BiloMcT:

    I fear I'm going to sink even lower in your estimation in a moment, but as Oscar Wilde once said: "A true friend stabs you in the front!"

    You say you tipped Keegan Bradley for the FedEx Cup! When exactly was this? Before or after the end of the first round? - mickeysausage clearly went for Chez Reavie and sumo82 plumped for Brandt Snedeker while I had a "midnight vision" about a certain Jason Dufner, coming in under the radar out of "left field"!

    Furthermore @8, referring to belly putters, you say quoting the venerable Peter Alliss: "He said there are too many using them and its a disgrace. I agree with him."

    BiloMcT, if you haven't noticed , Keegan Bradley uses with a belly putter and, indeed, is one of its key exponents ..... so how can you tip him if you're constantly banging on about belly putters, saying they're a disgrace and should be banned etc. etc. This is sheer and utter hypocrisy!

    To prevent such unscrupulous behaviour in future, I suggest we immediately introduce a rule on this blog which prohibits anyone who is against belly putters and/or broom-handle putters (such as you BiloMcT) from tipping Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Phil Mickleson or Adam Scott etc. to win the tournament (... before or after they've teed off!).

    Like the truly pure and honest bloggers/golfers that we are - both on and off the blog/course (.... like David Toms, who won the Payne Stewart Award on Tuesday, and the ever-so-honest Brian Davis), we cannot bend the rules or, indeed, our principles simply when it suits us or the occasion!.

    Man up, BiloMcT! Renounce/denounce Keegan Bradley immediatedly and sign up for for Don247's "No to belly-putters' tipping rule!" today.

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm afraid i'm with don247 on this one BiloMcT, you definatley haven't tipped KB to do anything and if you did you'd be contradicting everything you stand for regarding belly putters!
    I'm disappointed in you Bilo, you should of put your neck on the line earlier in the week like me, mickeysausage and Don247. It doesn't matter if your wrong (see mickeyweir) it's only a bit of fun.

  • Comment number 43.

    Don247 - Your comments are correct rgarding BiloMcswizz!! Were did you tip Keegen Bradley Bilo? Your obviously a rogue, you have been banging on about Belly Putters from day one and how they are bad for the game and should be banned but yet you say you backed Keegen Bradley for the fed ex (after the first round placings) who is renowned for his belly putter!

    There is only four people who have stuck to the "no belly putter in golf rule" and that is me, Don247, Sumo82 and the great Peter Alliss!

    You are a disgrace BiloMct exactly like your disgraced golfing mate "John Hawksworth"

  • Comment number 44.

    Hey guys, who has missed me?? sorry I aint been on for a while, another boring business trip.

    @BiloMcT.....I see you are back to your contraversial ways, surely you are winding people up about belly putters, and claiming to back Keegan Bradley. You have only backed Luke Donald because he is number 1 in the world, you strike me as the kinda guy who likes the easy option/easy way out!
    I agree with Don247, you need to MAN up!! or you might be in contention for the solheim cup next time round.....

  • Comment number 45.

    Once again you guys are bullying me becuase i am always right about my calls. If you look at the last blog, comment 34, BiloMcT clearly tipped Keegan Bradley. Just because i think Belly Putters are a disgrace doesnt mean i cant tip someone to win! You guys are all just ganging up on me cause i'm the only German guy in this forum. Admit it, your all ganging up on me cause i'm German. Disgraceful. you should all be ashamed of yourselves. Especially you Don247, your a disgrace!

  • Comment number 46.

    Iain Carter, any chance of stepping in to salvage my reputation as best blogger please? Cant believe this hostility towards me. and John Hawksworth has been disrespected again. this is not on.

  • Comment number 47.

    Oh come on Bilo !!!
    If anybody comes on to you or disagree's with a comment of yours, you claim to be bullied and german.
    Peter Alliss (god) wouldn't be happy with the way you've behaved today!

  • Comment number 48.

    @BiloMcT.. I cant believe you are still banging on about John Hawksworth, and as for the bullying, you bring it all on yourself.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hawksworth had about 220 Yards to the green and he was on a tight lie on a downward slope, the ball was about 8 inches below his feet. he was hitting directly into the wind. it was a very stiff breeze, about 30mph i'd say. Hawksworth played a low punched 3 iron that pierced the wind and flew straight and true and finished about 2 foot from the pin. without doubt the best shot in the world ever. 17TH at Sawgrass is only a 9 iron or wedge. Brian Davis did get a good hole in one there but technically nowhere near as good as Hawksworth's legendary shot.

  • Comment number 50.

    woeh....claim to be German?! i am German! why do you think my name is Bilo!

  • Comment number 51.

    BiloMct comment 34 in the previous blog was by me, so still no sign of this alleged backing of KB!

    Don247 isnt very keen on Germans.....................

  • Comment number 52.

    i have been deeply upset by the last few comments. i am away now for a few hours to take stock of this attack on me. i will gather my thoughts and reply later. Goodbye for now from a very saddened BiloMcT. This Blog has taken a very sour turn and i am devastated.

  • Comment number 53.

    Brian Davis's hole in one one was by far the better shot! It wiped the floor with hawksworths lucky 3 iron, and i am sure Don247 will agree with this!

    Did anyone else see Brian Davis's hole in one on the 17th at Sawgrass??

  • Comment number 54.

    I saw Brian Davis' hole in one at Sawgrass.

    It was a great shot, some people deem hole in ones to be luck, admittedly you do need a bit of luck but you still need to be a very good player.
    I've not seen Hawksworth's 3-iron (i think only BiloMcT has) but i'm sure it wasn't as good as Brian Davis masterpeice on that tricky 17th.

  • Comment number 55.

    Anybody else think the BBC coverage of this is pathetic? Look on the front page of the BBC Sport and where can you find scores?
    The Sportsday info is not much better.
    Normally i am a big supporter of the BBC and the website is the best around but this leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Comment number 56.

    I actually saw John Hawksworths 3 iron in the 95 open, it was a great a shot, but i think BiloMcT has beat it up to be something that its not. Admittidley it was a great shot, but there have been miles better shots before and since, and thats not showing any disrespect to John Hawksworth.
    p.s BiloMct... if you are indead german, like you claim to be ...... why do you hate Kaymer with so much passion????

  • Comment number 57.

    I agree with @JFP, the best thing to come out of the BBC in the last 25 years is Peter Alliss (who is alegedly moving over to sky because of the BBC'S lack of courage) and Strictly come Dancing!

    Bob Bubka said on his twitter the other day that the Alliss to Sky deal as nearly been finalised.

  • Comment number 58.

    I am also in the anti-belly putter campaign, they should be outlawed. So I see the blog has descended again into debate over the John "the man with the microphone- Let me entertain your guests with my golf stories and experiences through the decades" Hawksworth(less) 3 iron (we get it guys, JH once hit a really good 3 iron end of story) and Brian "greatest ball striker this side of Jupiter and maybe beyond" Davis hole in one.
    Guys there are some lovely ladies competing over a piece of Waterford (that's in Ireland folks) Crystal (The Solheim Cup trophy is Waterford Crystal, designed in 1990 by Billy Briggs, a longtime designer at Waterford) and the final installment of this years Fedex Cup, where I have predicted Mr Tavistock Cup Justin Rose to take home (to Lake Nona) the bacon.

  • Comment number 59.

    @55 jfp- agreed, and the coverage on RTE website (Irish national TV station) is also worse than useless and quite pathetic given the fact that this is a major sporting event taking place in our very own golf loving country

  • Comment number 60.

    mickysausage:

    I didn't actually say I was against the belly putter and/or the broom-handle putter. I said, as a traditionalist, that the R&A should have taken swift and decisive action to ban equipment, like "metal" woods, hybrid clubs, belly and broom-handle putters, as soon as they came on the scene. However, the R&A dithered about and now it's too late to try and put the genie back in the bottle.

    Belly putters and broom-handle putters are now legal so we have to accept them, whether we like them or not.

    The same holds true for the golf balls, which now go for miles and miles, resulting in courses becoming longer and longer (.. and taking more time to play which, in turn, puts many people off taking up golf!)

    Jack Nicklaus, Peter Alliss and now Geoff Ogilvy (see his comments on pgatour.com) are all traditionalists, who fear that "the good old game of golf" is being lost in this technological race. Geoff Ogilvy even suggests that the belly putter will soon be used by the majority of pros ... much to his displeasure!

    As jeffkenna said, the belly putter's "anchoring point" is not part of the original game so, in theory, contravenes the Rules of Golf.

    jeffkenna:

    Enjoy your day out with PC and the other golfing ladies! (I wish I could be there, above all to protect Melissa Reid from the clawing hands/advances of my BBFF, sumo82. I thought I had "first refusal" on Melissa??!!)

    kiwidavid obviously didn't see the camaraderie on display at the recent Seve Trophy or the Ryder Cup.

    Plus he seems to put faith in the opinions of Rory "I-am-a-self-confessed-fair-weather-golfer who-only-likes-playing-in-calm-sunny-weather-like-in-America" McIlroy. Despite what he says (reputedly with "forked tongue"), Rory is now off to America before more people in Europe twig that he is, in fact, a very one-dimensional player. To maintain/boost his poster-boy image, Rors is simply moving into/exploiting a new market ... where the "sheeple" don't know any better ....yet!!

  • Comment number 61.

    I'm glad jeffkenna has come on to clear this mess up again.
    I agree him that the thread has been dragged down from Alliss level to Hawksworth Level.
    And i think we should also draw a line under the bely putter argument as well, nobody really like them except a select few.
    P.S. jeffkenna, Paula Creamer has said she'll meet you behind the big bush on the 9th for a 'fumble'

  • Comment number 62.

    Don247 - Leave her alone...............

  • Comment number 63.

    Just been looking down the solheim cup teams, and paula creamer is quite a fox.......

  • Comment number 64.

    mickysausage:

    Actually I have many German friends and, unlike many British people and the jingoistic/anti-EU views expressed in many British newspapers, think Germany is a "fantastic country", very clean and well run. (I'm often there on business and try to take in a golf tournament at the same time.)

    As for BiloMcT (self-confessed German) playing the "bullying card" ... Du bist selbst schuld, mein Freund!!

  • Comment number 65.

    Sumo82- thanks, i knew she would find it impossible to resist my Irish charm, Paula may just fall in love and never again leave this land!

  • Comment number 66.

    sumo82:

    Fact: I "bagged" Melissa Reid @14 ... while you came on the scene much later @29!

    Sorry, but it's a case of "first come, first served!"

    (Plus when Melissa sees Don Van de Velde's elegant stylish swing coupled with his well-toned muscular body and stunning good looks ... sumo82, you won't have a look in .... "bestest best friend for life" or not!!)

  • Comment number 67.

    jeffkenna:

    From all appearances, PC is a "very high maintenance girl" .... so, hopefully, you have very deep, well-lined pockets to cater for/pamper her every whim!

    Plus, just keeping her in pink champagne (for her daily bath) would cost you a fortune alone!! I suggest you "play a round with her", get to the "end game" as quickly as possible, then find a convenient excuse to exit stage left as fast as you can!

  • Comment number 68.

    jeffkenna - your like another love sick puppy from the emerald isle !!

    Don247 - when Melissa see's my Eamonn Darcy swing and my Adam Scott long putter, you'll be back in the clubhouse while we play the back nine!

  • Comment number 69.

    CHUMBAWUMBA12:

    Don't get your hopes up too high regarding Paula C. jeffkenna "put down his marker" on her right from the beginning of this blog!

    Unfortunately, you were away for a few days so you can't expect to come back and have the "cream(er)" of the crop on your first day back!

    By the way, welcome back .... and thank you for your support regarding that "German" charlatan, BiloMcT!

  • Comment number 70.

    The disrespect shown to Brian Davis is ridicoulous, a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and would relish a Ryder Cup outing because he is that patriotic and passionate, and on his current form i have no doubt he will carry this on to next season, and win a few more tourneys.

    On the Solheim note, @don247 and @Jeffkenna I think Christina Kim is a bit of a fox from the US team, but @Jeffkenna if you happen to bump into the lovely Caroline Hedwall please put a good word in for me, i have always had soft spot for her since i seen her win on the Australasian Tour earlier this year, she's definatley whjat i like to call a "Swedish Bombshell", and Micky would definatley show her the "Sausage" if i was over in Ireland this weekend! Hope she plays because she was a captains wild card!

  • Comment number 71.

    sumo82:

    Maybe, you're right. After playing nine holes with Melissa, I doubt if I would be fit enough to go the full distance ... not at my advanced age!!

  • Comment number 72.

    sumo82- another love sick puppy from the emerald isle i may be and perhaps another thing i share with the young rapscallion is an occasional pull hook shot (though never in the vicinity of the butler cabin and my good friends Hootie Johnson and Jim Nantz) but that is where my similarities with rors end. Unlike Rors i don't suffer from the terrible condition high-ball-flight-itis, i quite enjoy adverse conditions, i don't have puffy apple cheeks or golliwog hair (in fact I am more akin to a younger handsomer Robert "because I'm worth it" Rock in the hair department), when i wear sunglasses i wear them over my eyes (as the good Lord intended) and not on the back of my cap (in fact just like RR, Monty and Lee Westwood at the recent Seve Trophy i don't wear a cap (my only choice of headgear being a cool 1950s fedora to impress those classy American ladies mst importantly the lovely Paula)).

  • Comment number 73.

    @bilo - With respect buddy but who are you to give someone 1/10 for blogging?
    Bit disrespectful & the guy is right in the fact that Rors did have to knocked into line & your opinion or anyone elses is not a tablet of stone.
    Live and let live bud.
    I kinda agree as I think the whole Ryder Cup/ Solheim Cup etc.. is blown out of proportion & do you want to know why?
    TV OR SKY ALOT OF THE TIME.
    Yes it is important but I would bet my lunchbox that every player would give up a point on a sunday in a team game for a major or a team victory for a major.
    To me the ryder and solheim are like formal stag or hen weekends with their clubs with all the hooraying etc..
    It is too hyped up.
    As for Boo,it didn't do him any good did it?
    @don - I am sorry I didn't get you my sought after weekend tip and it may seem a bit obvious now but I am going for a bradley to do post to post.
    Can't see how donald is favourite when his closing tournaments off record in the US isn't great.
    I think this bradley geezer is the real deal.
    @bilo - don't get pissed off now... or go throwing a wobbly, I am here to air my nonsense and that is all!

  • Comment number 74.

    mickysausage:

    Seemingly this Caroline Hedwall is not only a "Swedish Bombshell" as you suggest, but is also a deadly putter .... jeffkenna will certainly keep a very keen eye on her for you!

    He's also very interested in the world's #3 ... the one who knows a thing or two about putting. No, not Rory McIlroy ..... Cristie Kerr!!

  • Comment number 75.

    @ guys, i hope your wives don't read this and suspect you are watching the solheim cup for dubious 'fox' reasons?
    When you are as handsome as me,this is not required.
    Think Camilla Villegas & Martin johnson cocktail for my look.
    I wonder whether anyone thinks Camilla is a fox?hahaha
    A seriously sexist thread...my gosh it is..

  • Comment number 76.

    Just read @74 & the sexism and shallowness keeps rolling on courtesy of Don Curry!
    You are a dark horse Don!

  • Comment number 77.

    @Mickweir i seem to remember Sumo82 saying in an earlier blog that you look like a cross between Jiminez and Sandy Lyle? Is this right?

    How is this thread sexist Mickyweir? Jeffkenna is going to the Solheim and we are just having a bit of banter on the lovely ladies that are playing, whilst also admiring there very good golfing skills! This isnt a bad mix in my eyes? Unless you dont like ladies Mickweir?

  • Comment number 78.

    I wonder if Caroline Hedwall will ride the pony this weekend at all??................

  • Comment number 79.

    as Don points out the love sick puppy (no not me) from Norn Iron could learn a thing or two about putting from his fellow number 3 in the world lady golfer the lovely Christie Kerr, consistently one of the best putters in the game and doesn't even use a belly putter. The future Mrs. Jeffkenna (if you haven't been paying attention that is Paula Creamer) was lethal on the greens this morning, holed everything in sight.

  • Comment number 80.

    mickyweir:

    I've missed you mate ... and the big belly laugh I usually get from your (self-confessed hopeless) tips!

    Keegan Bradley going for his third title of the year ... could indeed happen. Hopefully, my unfashionable yet courageous tip, Jason Dufner will turn the tables on him this time around and overtake him in the closing holes! Bradley had a mini-meltdown on the back nine last week so it is possible!!

    What do you think about:

    a) Rory's new seven-figure deal with the Sant(a Claus) bank from Spain?
    b) His interview on the BBC. (Didn't his honesty ... or lack of it ....come shining through loud and clear? How can you possibly continue to "root" for this "fair weather golfer"?)
    c) Rory "calling Tiger out" again? (TW will grind this little son of an Irishman into the turf the first opportunity he gets! I bet TW is doing plenty of "reps" today after seeing Rory's "put-down" interview!!)

    Enjoy the golf!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Take my word for it,it is sexist!!!
    We are supposed to talk about golf and we are talking about 'foxes' and 'creamer'.
    I am no killjoy,just happen to work with alot of women and I know they take exception to 'fox' type comments or as i would call it the 'richard keys approach'..
    Also,my desire on who I like, whether it be men or woman is no business of yours or anyone else on a blog as this is not a dating website but a golf blog, but suffice to say I have alot of kids and have spent alot of nights in the maternity ward.
    Use that fab imagination of yours mickysausage & do the biology on it.
    I like everyone and fairness mickysausage,I thought you would know that by now:-)

  • Comment number 82.

    I'm glad mickeyweir is back...........
    this is a good thread anyway, i can't wait to see jeffkenna on the tele with his new beau, but if i see Don making in-roads onto Miss Reid i'll be jumping on the next Ryanair flight to.....congatulate him.

  • Comment number 83.

    Mickweir what as Richard Keys done wrong to be brought into this?..........

  • Comment number 84.

    @ don - I am getting very depressed about the Rory situation actually(not literally before people offer me counselling) as here we have a guy who has it all but I sincerely hope he is not chasing the $$$s only as if so,my prediction is he will make lots of dough but will end up getting his 'head turned' out there with Uncle Sam.
    The rumour I heard is that he is on an absolutely monstrous deal to go to the US and it has been brokered by Chubby so as to link him up with all the global bigwigs and utillise his marketability.
    Will it go to his head? I hope not.
    Why is he with Caro? It HAS TO BE SPONSOR($$$$$) orientated and I just don't buy the remarkable love story!
    YES I know andre agassi and steffi did it and there are a few examples floating about but I think the girl he had at home kept him grounded (literally) and I hope he doesn't live to regret it.
    Next season he will make a fortune but will he be in a better place in his life?
    I don't know and sense dark forces at work to make him a CORPORATE dream rather than a successful,happy guy.
    The thing that has made him so attractive to the sponsors (his demeanour/ humility etc..) is his biggest asset, I hope he doesn't change from 'our rors' from holywood to a michael jordan money making machine from Hollywood!
    Thanks for the sweet words don, I had to get involved today as it was like being in a dating chatroom(not that I have)reading the golfing 'knowledge' on the solheim.
    I think GB will nick it btw which means a US victory then..haha

  • Comment number 85.

    jeffkenna:

    If Paula is holing everything in practice today, I suggest you get down to the first tee at the crack of dawn tomorrow to distract her.

    We can't have her sinking putts from all over the place; we want her "all over the place" after catching a glimpse of your debonair manner and jaunty Irish swagger!

  • Comment number 86.

    @mickybattered - Richard Keys got the bullet from Sky alongside Andy Gray for demeaning a female linesman and being generally condescending about women.
    Think Chubby Brown and you may be on the gist of it.
    Anyhow,I am out...enjoy the weekend JK and keep it clean at the 19th!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    mickyweir- agreed with comments on Rors. IMHO i don't think he is doing what is best for his golf game and what should be a pursuit of major championships. Very difficult to ignore the dollar signs and the potential with ladies from the U S of A (who, as my successful (and if you look back at my posts classy respectful sophisticated suave) wooing of Paula Creamer proves, find it difficult to resist an Irish accent, and of course bag loads of cash). Could his "relationship" with Wozzers go the same way as that of a young Garcia/Hingis and result in a similar plummet in his game, as experienced by the Spanish maestro? He is being used as a vehicle for lots of fat cats to make shed loads of money off the back of him and these people don't care whether or not he wins major championships, merely that he remains in the spotlight.

  • Comment number 88.

    Richard Keys is to football, what Don247 is to this blog.....
    A nice guy who knows his onions about his chosen sport..... but also has a brooding, dark, sinister side.
    (BiloMcT is Andy Gray)

    mickeyweir - Let Rors go, he has turned his back on Ireland and good nature(ism)
    he is now a corporate puppet who'd rather be the face of subway than Norm iron golf. Join the dark side with Don247 and stop trying to defend the indefensable.

    mickeysausage - you should be locked up

  • Comment number 89.

    Mickyweestain i see you have yet again had a Britney Spears type breakdown over nothing, Richard Keys was setup by Sky and the now disgraced Rupert Murdoch, and was forced to say things on air that he didnt mean and i feel sorry Keysey and Andy Gray for being used and abused, Fifa Football games just wont be the same!

    Micky your constant abuse toward Caroline and Rory is behond a Joke, just look at David & Victoria, Ashley and Cheryl, Mike Tindall & Zara, Colin Montgomerie and Ines Sastre, Gerrard Pique & Shakira and Jamie Murray and Jelena Jankovic all examples of perfect relationships that have gone the distance, so why not for Rors!! Cant you just leave the lad alone, i think you work for the ever critical press Mickweir!!

    Don247 your right what you say, this blog just isnt right without a good old Mickweir breakdown!! Good luck Jeffkenna and dont forget to wear your best stranglers!

  • Comment number 90.

    Don- that's all part of the plan, suit trousers have been pressed, shirt ironed, pink tie (a lot of thought went into the exact shade of pink to wear) picked out and shamrocks sitting in water to keep fresh for the morning. Are you keeping tabs on the battle between our respective "apples of our eye" i.e. "your" Mel and "my" Paula in the fourball this afternoon? All square after 10, a half would be a good fair result i think Don, that way the 4 of us can go out for a nice meal later on and discuss the day's play.

  • Comment number 91.

    @88 I totally agree with you sumo82.....I would really love to hear what BiloMct and his german dream factory would say on this matter....
    mickyweir.... i think you need to take a break from this blog

  • Comment number 92.

    mickyweir:

    Reality is beginning to set in ... even across Ireland, I see. (IMHO, what a sell out by the poster boy!!)

    I think Rory should have a serious word with Symon Dyson's father, who has done a great job in getting Simon fired up and focused on his golf! (Remember SD is in the same Chubby stable as Rory ... so there must be an element of personal choice in signing/not signing all these deals!)

    Maybe Rory has indeed won his major too early and the money/adulation has just turned his head ... but playing in America, playing in Europe, taking part in corporate days/events, looking after a new girlfriend (maybe a bit like Claudia Schiffer and David Copperfield??) will need a lot of stamina and a lot of determination!

    I hope he doesn't change his clubs/ball like G-Mac or Monty because then he'll sink without a trace.

    Keegan Bradley comes from a completely different background compared with Rory ... KB's whole family are professional golfers so they keep him well grounded.

  • Comment number 93.

    sumo82:

    The "dark brooding side" comes with old age, I'm afraid ... the youthful s**t gets knocked out of you along life's highway and you become rather cynical and totally immune to all the hype and media spin. I just tell it as I see it!

    By the way, I'll be nowhere near Melissa at the weekend .... jeffkenna is indeed a lucky boy!

    Hopefully, he'll enjoy seeing all the players and caddies up close like I did at the recent "Daffy-rated second-rate" KLM Open. You simply can't beat it!

  • Comment number 94.

    I can't believe i've been blown out by jeffkenna, i had my eye on that fourball for the same reasons.
    I'll warn you now though jeffkenna, later on in the night when Don247 has had a few shandy's and brings up the subject of swinging, he doesn't mean golf clubs!

  • Comment number 95.

    ok gents I will bid you farewell for until Sunday, look out for me on the tele tomorrow, i'll be wearing a pink tie and a big cheesy grin like the cat that got the Cream(er)

  • Comment number 96.

    The Only Ball Don and Jeff will be having this weekend is an 8.....

  • Comment number 97.

    Rory McIlroy's putting:

    I am totally vindicated ... by Rory's own repeated failure!

    I've just watched Rors (dressed up like Santa Claus in a red and white outfit) on the BBC video miss two straight ten-foot putts on a flat (admittedly plastic) green. What an embarrassment for the reigning US Open champion in front of the new sponsor/TV cameras/photographers. Oh ... the wind was blowing, which helps to explain everything!!

    I'm off to watch some real golfers play!!

  • Comment number 98.

    Right! i've had some time to digest the dogs abuse i took for no reason whatsoever earlier and i've decided to be the bigger man and stay on this blog. I know i am right and the best blogger so you guys can kiss my @ss! My German @ss is staying! Bully me all you will Don247 and CHUMBAWUMBA but i know i have friends in mickysausage, Sumo82, jeffkenna and mickyweir. They are true bloggers with real things to say!
    Don247 you need to turn that Slurry Pit OFF! ( Your Mouth )

  • Comment number 99.

    How come every blog Iain Carter writes nobody gives two cents about it and it automatically turns into a nonsense debate about Belly Putters and John Hawksworth?! Who keeps going on about this stuff???!!!!

  • Comment number 100.

    I think that is generally down to you BiloMcT??
    you picked your dummy up then?

 

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