View From The Fairway - Get Ready For Solheim Cup Fireworks
Golfshake's Derek Clements glances across the golf headlines in his latest View From The Fairway!
THERE could be fireworks when Europe try to win the Solheim Cup for the third time on the bounce in Spain next year. Suzann Pettersen was named as the successor to Catriona Matthew as European captain some time ago and the Americans last week announced that Stacy Lewis will be taking on the job for the USA as they aim to stop the rot on European soil. It is something of an understatement to say that these are two fiery, feisty characters and if there is any controversy it is a safe bet that these two will be somewhere close to it. I have to say that I am surprised that Lewis has agreed to take on the role. A former world number one, she is still only 36 years old and it seems she has already accepted that her best days are behind her.
THERE was recent proof that there are still some dinosaurs in the broadcasting industry. Former PGA Tour player Mark Lye was fired by SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio for the following extraordinary outburst: “You know, the LPGA Tour to me is a completely different tour than it was 10 years ago. You couldn’t pay me to watch, you really couldn’t. Because I just, I couldn’t relate at all. It’s kind of like, you know, if you’re a basketball player, and I’m not trashing anybody please, don’t take it the wrong way, but I saw some highlights of ladies’ basketball. Man, is there a gun in the house? I’ll shoot myself rather than watch that. I love watching the men’s basketball. I love watching the men’s golf. I never used to like watching ladies’ golf. But I will tell you this. I’ve been up close watching these ladies play because I used to have a big function every year called the Lucas Cup and I’d have LPGA players and PGA Tour players.” Lye will now have rather more time on his hands to consider moving into the 21st century.
SPEAKING of women’s golf, keep your eye on Ireland’s Leona Maguire. A sensation at last year’s Solheim Cup, Maguire has now won her first LPGA Tour title, holding off a world-class field. It is surely only a matter of time before the hugely-talented Maguire wins her first major.
LIKE them or loathe them there is nothing quite like the crowds who pour into the WM Phoenix Open. Purists will loathe them but the players who take part know exactly what to expect in Arizona. They know that if they hit a poor shot at the par-three 16th hole they are going to be booed but they also know that if they hit it close or hole a long putt that more than 20,000 people are going to roar and whoop and holler. They sure as heck know how to enjoy themselves - and how to drink industrial quantities of beer!
AT A time when restrictions are finally being lifted in most parts of the UK, there is a stark reminder this coming week that we are still not quite back to normal, with the Hero Indian Open being postponed because of Covid. It means that the DP World Tour is forced to take a week off, giving several of its leading lights the opportunity to cross the Atlantic to take part in the Genesis Invitational.
CHARLES HOWELL III reached a personal milestone at the Phoenix Open when he teed it up on the PGA Tour for the 600th time. At 42, he is the third-youngest player to achieve the feat. Howell III is a machine. Ahead of starting in Phoenix, his earnings stood at $41,252,833 - just 21 players have earned more. In his first 599 PGA Tour starts, he made 461 made cuts (77%), had 227 top-25 finishes (38%), 97 top-10s (16%), and three wins (0.5%). He says that his biggest regret is that he has finished runner-up on 16 occasions and has been third 10 times in a 22-year career. If he had converted half of those into victories we would be talking about a stellar career.
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