Solheim Cup: Suzann Pettersen, Bronte Law, Jodi Ewart Shadoff get wildcard spots

Suzann Pettersen

Suzann Pettersen is a surprise wildcard inclusion in Europe’s Solheim Cup team to face the United States at Gleneagles in Scotland from 11-13 September.

The Norwegian, ranked 620 in the world, has missed the cut in the only two events she has played since taking time off in November 2017 to have a baby.

Captain Catriona Matthew also picked Bronte Law and Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England and France’s Celine Boutier.

England’s Charley Hull and Georgia Hall are also in the 12-strong team.

Hull and Hall qualified via their world ranking, along with Spain’s Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson of Germany and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.

Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Dutchwoman Anne van Dam qualified through the Solheim Cup points list.

Van Dam, 23, will be making her debut after securing her place by finishing joint sixth at last week’s Ladies Scottish Open, the final qualifying event for Europe’s players.

Ciganda is the highest-ranked European in the world rankings, at 13th, with Hull 28th and Hall 32nd.

Law – ranked 25th after her first LPGA Tour victory in May – needed a wildcard pick because she had not played enough events on the Ladies European Tour.

Pettersen, 38, has played in eight Solheim Cups. She missed the last event in 2017 because of injury and had initially been selected as a vice-captain for this year’s edition.

She missed the cut at her first event back a month ago, and again at the Ladies Scottish Open.

Boutier strengthened her claim for a wildcard pick by finishing sixth at the Women’s British Open this month.

US captain Juli Inkster will name her squad after the CP Women’s Open, which finishes on 25 August. She will select two wildcard players, with 10 qualifying through their points system and world ranking positions.

The US, who have won 10 of the previous 15 Solheim Cups, are favourites to claim a third straight victory.

Europe have won both times the event has been held in Scotland, at Dalmahoy in 1992 and Loch Lomond in 2000.

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‘Medinah has good memories for me’ – McIlroy relishing return to Ryder Cup course

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy says returning to Medinah for the first time since the 2012 Ryder Cup will “rekindle some fond memories”.

The world number three will tee off on Thursday in Illinois after finishing four shots behind winner Patrick Reed in the first FedEx Cup play-offs.

Seven years ago, Medinah hosted one of the most memorable sporting comebacks of recent times as a remarkable final day saw Europe retain the trophy.

“Medinah has got some good memories for me,” said McIlroy.

“Unbeknown to us at the time, but it was where I met my wife for the first time.

“It was an incredible Ryder Cup with everything that happened there.”

In what became known as the ‘Miracle at Medinah’, the USA led 10-6 lead after two days, needing just four and a half points from Sunday’s singles to win.

McIlroy, who arrived at at the course just 10 minutes before his tee-off time, beat Keegan Bradley 2&1 as Europe won eight and tied one of the 12 matches.

“We have been sort of excited to get back there all year. If I play next week how I played at Medinah that week, I’d be very happy,” said McIlroy.

“I played some great golf.”

‘The good stuff is in there’

McIlroy shot five bogeys and seven birdies in a final round of 69 at The Northern Trust on Sunday, and now sits third in the FedEx Cup standings behind Brooks Koepka and Reed.

The four-time major winner managed a below-par score in each of the four rounds, including a 65 on the first day.

“Even if I’m not playing that well I’m still able to get myself somewhat in contention,” McIlroy said.

“Even when one part of my game is off, I am sort of making up for it with other parts of my game, whether it be driving, chipping or putting.

“The good stuff is in there; I’m just hitting too many loose shots and they are costing me.

“I don’t think the frustrating thing is not winning the tournament, the frustrating thing is just not quite being in control of what I’m doing out there.”

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Solheim Cup: Anne van Dam seals place on Catriona Matthew’s Europe team

Anne Van Dam has qualified for the Solheim Cup team

Anne van Dam will make her Solheim Cup debut next month after a top-10 finish at the Ladies Scottish Open.

The eight automatic qualifiers for Europe’s team to face the United States were decided on Sunday – five from the world rankings and three from points earned during the qualifying period.

The Netherlands’ Van Dam, 23, tied for sixth at the Ladies Scottish Open to seal her spot in the 12-strong squad.

The Solheim Cup will take place at Gleneagles in Scotland from 11-13 September.

European captain Catriona Matthew will reveal her full squad, including four wildcard choices, at 14:00 BST on Monday..

Van Dam is joined by Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Hedwall of Sweden in qualifying from the Solheim Cup points list.

The five world ranking spots have gone to England duo Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, Spain’s Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson of Germany, and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.

England’s Bronte Law, whose first LPGA Tour victory in May lifted her into the world’s top 25, could not qualify automatically due to not playing enough events on the Ladies European Tour but is expected to be selected by Matthew.

Vice-captain Suzann Pettersen is a surprise contender having played just twice since November 2017 after taking time off to have a baby, while France’s Celine Boutier is in the frame after narrowly failing to qualify following her sixth place in the Women’s British Open.

Others still in the mix include English trio Mel Reid, Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Meghan MacLaren, as well as Germany’s Esther Henseleit, Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord and Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg.

The United States are seeking a third straight victory in the biennial event and have won 10 of the previous 15 editions. However, Europe have won both times the event has been staged in Scotland, at Dalmahoy in 1992 and Loch Lomond in 2000.

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Reed holds off Ancer to win The Northern Trust

Patrick Reed

The Northern Trust final-round leaderboard
-16 P Reed (US); -15 A Ancer (Mex); -14 H Varner III (US), J Rahm (Spa); -13 A Scott (SA); -12 R McIlroy (NI), B Snedeker (US), L Oosthuizen (SA), J Spieth (US); -11 I Poulter (Eng), J Rose (Eng)
Selected others: -10 J Thomas (US), -7 D Johnson (US), D Willett (Eng)
Full leaderboard

Overnight leader Patrick Reed held off the challenge of Mexico’s Abraham Ancer to win The Northern Trust by a shot in New Jersey.

Reed began the day one shot ahead of Ancer and both hit a two-under-par 69, with the American finishing on 16 under for the tournament.

Harold Varner III and Spain’s Jon Rahm came joint third on 14 under.

Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut at The Open last month, finished four shots behind Reed.

Australia’s Adam Scott shot the round of the day – a six-under-par 65 – to finish three shots back on 13 under.

England’s Ian Poulter and Justin Rose ended on 11 under but fellow countryman Danny Willett, who began the day three shots behind Reed, shot a four-over-par 74 to slip out of contention.

Reed sank his winning putt from three feet to clinch victory, while Ancer remains in search of his first PGA Tour win.

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Hur birdie blitz clinches Ladies Scottish Open title

South Korea's Mi Jung Hur cruised to victory with a final-round 66 in East Lothian

Ladies Scottish Open final leaderboard
-20 J Hur (Kor); -16 M Jutanugarn (Tha), M J Lee6 (Kor); -15 M H Lee (Kor); -13 A Jutanugarn (Tha); -11 A Van Dam (Ned), M Lee (Aus), E Szokol (USA). Selected others:-10 C Booth (Sco); -5 G Hall (Eng), Hull (Eng), L Davies (Eng, B Law (Eng); Level par K Henry (Sco), H Clyburn (Eng), F Johnson (Eng); +10 P Pretswell (Sco).
Full leaderboard

Mi Jung Hur closed with a terrific five-under-par 66 to secure a four-shot victory in the Ladies Scottish Open at a soggy Renaissance Club.

The South Korean posted six birdies in the last 10 holes – including four in a row from the ninth – to finish 20 under and end her five-year wait for a title.

Third-round leader Moriya Jutanugarn carded 71 to tie for second with Jeongeun Lee6.

Two late bogeys saw Scotland’s Carly Booth finish joint ninth on 10 under.

English quartet Laura Davies, Georgia Hall, Bronte Law and Charley Hull were five strokes further back.

With qualification for the Solheim Cup now closed following the final round in East Lothian, Europe captain Catriona Matthew will reveal her four wildcard picks on Monday for the September showpiece against the United States at Gleneagles.

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The Northern Trust: Danny Willett and Justin Rose in contention

Danny Willett

Northern Trust third-round leaderboard
-14 P Reed (US); -13 A Ancer (Mex); -12 B Snedeker (US), J Rahm (Spa); -11 D Willett (Eng), H Varner III (US), J Rose (Eng); -10 L Oosthuizen (SA), R McIlroy (NI)
Selected others: -9 D Johnson (US); -8 W Simpson (US), I Poulter (Eng), J Spieth (US); -6 B DeChambeau (US)

England’s Danny Willett and Justin Rose are three shots behind leader Patrick Reed after impressive third rounds at The Northern Trust in New Jersey.

Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, carded a 66 to move to 11 under par, with Rose signing for a 69.

Brandt Snedeker had the round of the day, his eight-under par 63 meaning he is tied third with Spain’s Jon Rahm.

Second-round leader Dustin Johnson (74) slipped back to nine under, a shot behind Rory McIlroy who carded a 70.

The Northern Irishman, who missed the cut at Tthe Open last month, had a mixed round with five birdies and four bogeys.

But he is only four behind Reed, who has a one-shot advantage over second-placed Abraham Ancer of Mexico.

Bryson DeChambeau, who was criticised for his slow play during the second round, hit an even-par 71 to remain on six under.

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‘Continual disrespect’: DeChambeau criticised for slow play

Bryson DeChambeau

American golfer Bryson DeChambeau has infuriated fellow professionals with his slow play at the Northern Trust event in New Jersey.

The defending champion, 25, took over two minutes to hit a 70-yard chip, and a similar time for an eight-foot putt.

England’s Eddie Pepperell said: “Slow players do this to their partners, making the game less enjoyable.

“Problem is, the unaffected single-minded twit in this instance doesn’t care much for others.”

Slow play has become a big issue in the sport and players including four-time major winner Brooks Koepka have been open in their criticism of players who take too long over shots.

On Wednesday before the Northern Trust began, Koepka said: “I think it’s just got out of hand.”

Criticism of DeChambeau, who is known for his ponderous style, began after video of his second round on Saturday emerged on social media.

England’s Ian Poulter, who is tied 12th at Liberty National, added to a thread on social media: “There are a few players that continually disrespect their fellow pros and continue to break the rules without a conscience.

“It should be self-policed but clearly this won’t happen… so disappointing it hasn’t been stopped.”

Rich Beem, the 2002 US PGA Championship winner, said: “This has got to stop. PGA Tour, if you don’t do something about this, shame on you!

“As a member, I’m outraged you can tolerate this. You talk about ‘protecting the field’, then protect it by penalizing/disqualifying this type of behaviour. Enough!”

Pepperell, who is not playing the Northern Trust – the first of the PGA Tour’s play-off events – added: “When it’s as egregious as Bryson was [on Saturday], and if they’re already behind, then shot penalties should be handed out.

“Fines don’t mean anything to these guys. You’d only need to hand out a few penalties and things would improve quickly!”

American Dustin Johnson holds a one-stroke lead at 12 under, with DeChambeau tied 20th, six shots off the lead.

Analysis

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

Bryson DeChambeau’s protracted pre-shot routines fly in the face of pace-of-play recommendations enshrined in the rules of golf.

They state that a player should try to make their stroke in no more than 40 seconds from the time it becomes their turn to play.

It is clear the American is making no attempt to follow this guideline. Other professionals and fans are losing patience with DeChambeau’s pedestrian methods.

Rightly, pressure is growing on the PGA Tour to take action and impose penalty strokes to punish slow play.

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Woods withdraws from play-off with side strain

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the first of the PGA Tour’s play-off events at Liberty National in New Jersey because of a problem with his side.

The 15-time major champion struggled to a four-over-par 75 on Thursday during his first round since missing the cut at The Open last month.

Woods, who had spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, said he has a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness”.

“I went for treatment early Friday morning,” said the 43-year-old.

“But unfortunately I’m still unable to compete.

“I’d like to thank the New Jersey and New York fans for their support and remain hopeful I can compete next week at the BMW Championship.”

The American was only able to practise chipping and putting in Wednesday’s pro-am and joked that at least he had broken 80 during Thursday’s opening round.

Woods has played a very limited schedule since he won the Masters, with this only his fifth start since that victory in April.

His fifth Green Jacket capped a comeback from four operations on his back which saw him drop to world number 1,199.

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Tiger Woods shoots four-over at first PGA Tour play-off event

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods endured a difficult return as he shot a four-over 75 in the first of the PGA Tour’s play-off events at Liberty National in New Jersey.

Woods was playing his first round since missing the cut in The Open at Royal Portrush last month.

He was only able to practice chipping and putting in Wednesday’s pro-am and his game was not sharp as he recorded five bogeys and one double bogey.

It left him 13 strokes behind early leader, Troy Merritt, who fired a 62.

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Europe vice-captain Pettersen eyes Solheim Cup playing spot

Suzann Pettersen

Europe vice-captain Suzann Pettersen hopes she can show “signs of good form” at this week’s Ladies Scottish Open in order to be picked for the Solheim Cup.

On Monday captain Catriona Matthew will reveal her 12-strong squad for next month’s match against the United States with four wildcard spots up for grabs.

Three weeks ago Pettersen, who had her first child in August 2018, missed the cut in her first event in 20 months.

“I’d love to play [the Solheim Cup] if my game is up to it,” she said.

The 38-year-old Norwegian has played in eight previous editions of the biennial tournament and this week’s Scottish Open, which is being played at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, marks the final chance for Europeans to qualify for the team.

The Solheim Cup takes place from 11-13 September at Gleneagles, in Scotland, and eight automatic qualifiers will be confirmed after the Scottish Open finishes, with Matthew naming four wildcard picks on Monday at 14:00 BST.

“I’m not the one who will pick the final four,” said Pettersen. “I’ve told Beany [Matthew] I would love to play, but I also need to show some signs of good form.

“Had you talked to me in April, I would have said, no chance, but things have changed a bit.”

Asked about Pettersen’s chances, Matthew said: “I would say she’s looking good. I think she’s looking confident.

“I played with her and she was impressive and looked like she had not been away.

“I think just from talking to her, she’s kind of got that bug back in her system and is keen to start playing again.”

The top three players on the European Solheim Cup points list, followed by the top five eligible players in the world rankings qualify automatically.

Heading into the Ladies Scottish Open, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, Caroline Hedwall of Sweden and Dutchwoman Anne van Dam lead the Solheim Cup points list.

England duo Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, Spain’s Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson of Germany and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist currently occupy the five world ranking spots.

Several players could still force their way into the squad with English trio Bronte Law, Mel Reid and Meghan MacLaren, France’s Celine Boutier, Germany’s Esther Henseleit, Marianne Skarpnord of Norway, and Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen in contention.

“If you look mathematically, there’s a lot of people who could still potentially play their way in. There’s still a big pool. I’m looking at a slightly smaller one, but you have to be ready for that unexpected result,” Matthew said.

The US team, led by captain Juli Inkster, will be revealed following the Women’s Open in Canada, on 25 August.

This is the 16th edition of the Solheim Cup. The US are the defending champions and have won the event 10 times, with the last of Europe’s five victories coming in Colorado in 2013.

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