Monday, September 17, 2007

Solheim Cup – Epilogue

Fortunately for Team USA, I picked Europe to win the Solheim Cup. In recent weeks, that’s been a sure sign that the opposite will occur. Of course had Pettersen, Sorenstam and Gustafson all won their singles matches (and they were all close), I would have had the final tally dead right. I’m glad I was wrong.

The U.S. certainly dominated the singles matches, winning 8.5 out of a possible 12 points with a record of 8-3-1. When the U.S. won in Wales in 1996 (the only other road victory in the series), they collected 10 of the possible 12 points in singles.

Picking an MVP for the U.S. team is difficult. Creamer, Inkster, Stanford, Prammanasudh and Steinhauer all went undefeated. Creamer collected 3.5 points (2-0-3), Inkster had 3 (2-0-2), Stanford had 2.5 (2-0-1) while Prammanasudh and Steinhauer collected 2 apiece (1-0-2). I’ll have to choose Paula Creamer – most points and against usually stiffer competition. Europe’s best player was Catriona Matthew (3-1-0) with 3 points.

Because I just have to point stuff like this out, Brittany Lincicome was the least effective player for the U.S. with an 0-2-1 record. She apparently knew this as she was very subdued during a post-round interview. Kay Cockerill kinda put Beth Daniel on the spot when she asked her what she was most proud of Brittany for with Lincicome standing right there. Beth handled the question pretty well – she mentioned that Brittany had drawn Laura Davies on a day when Laura was on fire. Brittany’s other loss came in four-ball with Pat Hurst against Matthew and Iben Tinning. Losses to Matthew and Davies shouldn’t be shameful for anybody, and Brittany did get one of the two half-points in the Saturday afternoon (which ended Sunday morning) four-balls where Europe dominated.

I wonder if Helen Alfredsson regrets not using Linda Wessberg more. She went 1-0-1, beating Cristie Kerr in singles and halving the only match Alfredsson chose her for – a four-ball with Maria Hjorth against Creamer and Lincicome. Maybe she should have stood in for Sophie Gustafson (0-2-2).

Team match-play really kicks the stuffing out of individual match-play, doesn’t it? I wish the Lexus Cup would get as much exposure as Solheim, so we could get more of this excitement. One thing I would like to change about Solheim – as long as they are wearing some kind of red-white-blue combination, they should let the U.S. ladies wear what they want and trash the uniform code. It was difficult at times to distinguish between the players, especially with all the winter headgear and sweaters. I like being able to tell who is about to play without having to wait for Brian Hammond to tell me.

Dottie Pepper comment reached the ears of the U.S. team and they were rightfully angry about it. Dottie is my favorite golf commentator but there is no excuse for blurting that out, even if you believe you are off the air. The cameras, video servers and mikes are still operating even during breaks and usually the raw TV feed is available in media tents on the course. I’m not a TV production guy, but rule #1 for an on-air personality is to always assume that a lot of people can hear you belch, blow your nose or curse somebody under your breath. That’s what they make “sneeze buttons” for. To make things worse, Mulligan Stu says that Pepper stood by her comments Sunday morning so she apparently has no intention of apologizing. I didn’t hear her address the issue (not that 95% of us got up at 2am Sunday to have the chance to hear her, either) so I don’t know exactly what she said. But she certainly owes the U.S. team an apology – whether they won the Cup or not. And if she thinks saying insensitive things on-air and standing by them makes her another Johnny Miller - we don't really need another one of those, do we?


The Constructivist said...

Just wanted to let yu knw you won the first Mostly Harmless Prize for Solheim Cup Blogging. Woo! Plus, you may be interested in my final proposal for improving the Cup.

Hound Dog said...

My first blogging award! Many thanks, sir!

That just goes to show what getting up before dawn on the weekend can do for you!

Sergio said...

I didn't get up at 2:00am to watch the Solheim, but I watched the “Primetime” version on the Golf Channel and they reran what Dottie said. I was shocked to hear what she said, basically saying that it was a bad choice of words, but that "she said, what she said"... meaning that she stood by her comments.. I wonder how much of this whole thing is to increase ratings??

Hound Dog said...

I think she's "standing by her comments" because she truly believes that the players were choking. At least she admitted the poor choice of words.

Why is it that when golfers fail to hold onto a lead, people seem compelled to abuse them with this "choker" label? I've heard it used in other sports but golf has a real phobia with that. Is Johnny Miller responsible? If these players suck so bad, how did they get that lead in the first place? I guess Dottie would have preferred Sherri and Laura lose the match outright than "tease" us with the possibility of victory.