Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – USA Solhiem Cup triumph, Norris’ wins in Fiji



A collection of golf news, thoughts and notes from the week which saw the USA retain the Solheim Cup with a five-point victory whilst Aussie golfer Jason Norris won his first career title as Henrik Stenson snuck home to claim the Wyndham Championship.


Opening drive
A tenth triumph in the Solheim Cup came easily for the USA in the end in Iowa as the European side was beset by injuries to key players (including England’s Charley Hull) and suffered a 4-0 defeat in the Friday afternoon fourball format – the first time the USA has swept a session in the tournament’s history.
The final 16.5-11.5 scoreline in favour of the USA, captained by Juli Inkster, came as the home side entered the final day with a five-point lead before the Sunday singles were shared 6-6. Christie Kerr is now the highest points-scorer for the USA in Cup history after her 3.5 points topped the tally for the home side and gave her 21 career points in the format. Anna Nordqvist’s 3.5 was the best for the Europeans.
In Fiji a career-revival result for Australian Jason Norris came in the shape of his four-stroke win at the Natadola Bay Golf Course. The victory means the 44-year-old now has exemptions across the tours which sanctioned the event (Asian, Australasia, and Europe) so can choose which events to play. The move only in the last fortnight to quit his job for one last crack at one of the big professional tours has paid off in a huge way for the South Australian who started the tournament ranked 1,238th in the world.
The European Tour’s other event on the weekend saw Spain’s Adrian Otaegui rally from two down with five holes to play in the Paul Lawrie Match Play in Bad Griesbach before beating German Marcel Siem 2 and 1. Siem looked like he was going to seal his first win since 2014 and what would have been his first in his home country.
2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson fired a final round 64 to see off the challenge of Ollie Schniederjans and win the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. Four players shared the lead on the back nine at one stage before Stenson saluted by one stroke.


Player performance notes


Players I’m interested to see how they go with notes that interest me related to capital investment if that’s your thing. This weekend it’s the first event of the US PGA Tour’s Fed-Ex Cup series – the Northern Trust (which was last year called The Barclays.)


20 to 50: Brooks Koepka. Glen Oaks Golf Club is a new venue and given it’s an elite field event there is some logic in reminding ourselves that Koepka won the US Open at Erin Hills – which was a new venue for the pros earlier in the Northern summer.


20 to 50: Patrick Reed. The world number #21 fired an opening round 66 on his way to winning the corresponding tournament last year and Reed was T2 last time out at the PGA. Notably his only win last year was this event and Reed has won at least once every year since 2013.


20 to 50: Justin Thomas. The PGA Champion won twice in quick succession at the start of the year and the event in Old Westbury New York offers a good chance.


100 to 200: Cameron Smith: After a string of three missed cuts Smith was T7 at Wyndham on the weekend and the Queenslander got long-time coach Grant Field to come over to North Carolina before the tournament which clearly paid dividends.


200 to 500: Bryson DeChambeau. A winner last month on tour the American has previously shown an ability to play well at unfamiliar venues. This includes his T2 at the Australian Masters in 2015.


200 to 500: Harold Varner III. The American was one of several players to play their way into the Fed Ex Cup playoffs with a T10 finish on the weekend. Now 123rd HVGIII needs a big week to vault into the top 100 so he can move on to TPC Boston.


Greens in regulation
After the comprehensive triumph for the USA the LPGA heads to Ottawa for the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, a tournament which was a major from 1979 until 2000 when it was replaced by the LPGA on the elite list with the British Open. The European Tour’s Made in Denmark event takes place at the Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort in Farse. It was won by Belgian Thomas Pieters in 2016.


After the event in Fiji the Australasian Tour wings it’s way to the Darwin suburb of Palmerston for the Northern Territory PGA Championship next week until a six-week break before the WA Open.


Tap in
It was not a win for an Australian as it was in 2016 for Curtis Luck but the US Amateur, a title won by Bryson DeChambeau in 2015, was won by American Doc Redman at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. North Carolina native Redman did even better than Otaegui in Germany winning in the first extra hole of the match-play final against Doug Ghim having been two down with two holes to play of the 36-hole final.


This golfing wrap first appeared on From the sideline of sport

About Hamish Neal

Born in Lower Hutt New Zealand Hamish is forever wedded to all things All Black, All Whites, Tall Blacks and more. Writing more nowadays in his 'spare time' (what is that anyway?) but still with a passion for broadcasting. Has worked in various sports development roles in England, Northern Ireland and Australia.

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