Posts Tagged ‘team sports’

Junior Golf: Take A Breath

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will slow down and take a breath. With all the overwhelming golf activities of the last 2 weeks coupled with the passing of Arnold Palmer, there has been so much emotional content we all need a moment to slow down. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

The USA win of The Ryder Cup was 3 days of the greatest golf most of us will ever see. The team events of Friday and Saturday were great with so many highlights. Sunday’s 12 singles matches started out with the score US 9.5 and Europe 6.5. 14 points were needed by Europe to keep the Cup and the US would need 14.5 to take the Cup.

Behind by 3 points EUR front-loaded their matches putting their heavyweight players out 1st. The initial pairing Sunday morning was the 2 absolute hottest players at the event, Rory McIlroy vs Patrick Reed and they performed even better than expected. Both were making almost every putt followed by enthusiastic yelling, arm-waving and fist pumping, it was great. The highlight of the match was on hole #8 where Rory made what must have been a 50-footer for a birdie. Patrick stepped right up to his 20-footer and rolled it in the middle of the cup. Rory and his caddie laughed and then he and Patrick gave each other a fist bump and walked off the green chatting. It was just the way this match would be for all 18 holes. Reed made a birdie on #18 to win 1-up.

How could anything be better than Reed/McIlroy, how about Mickelson/Garcia? Phil had 10 birdies and Garcia had 9 and they ended up halving the match, each getting ½ point for their team. Garcia evened up the match with a 2-putt birdie at 16. Then the final 2 holes were halved with, yes, birdies. Absolutely stunning golf!

There was plenty of great Sunday golf by both sides, but 1 of the amazing comebacks and feel-good moments of the whole event came with Ryan Moore. 2-down to Lee Westwood standing on #16 tee, Moore said he was able to finally relax and try to hit some great shots to help his team. Well, how about putting his 2nd shot on the par 5 16th hole to about 8 feet and making an eagle to win the hole? And a birdie on #17 to win that hole and be all square standing on the 18th tee, guaranteed ½ point? And then winning #18 with a par to give the USA the full 1 point to clinch the victory. Wow, good for Ryan Moore! (photo sbnation.com)

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Moments like these are inspirational for everyone, particularly your junior golfer as he/she can dream about playing in matches like this 1 day. Yes, The Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup for women is for only the most elite players, but your youngster will play in a number of very important team matches in high school and college. I can assure you the emotions by Moms and Dads of junior golfers are just as strong as those of Ryder Cup players. Look forward to the great experiences coming. They are very special and are to be treasured!

See you on #1 tee ready to make a bunch of birdies… Sam.

Junior Golf: The International Crown

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at the ladies’ event taking place right now at The Merit Club near Chicago. The LPGA has a lot of great golfers and this event has a true worldwide and international flavor.img_0106-1

We’re talking about the 2nd incarnation of The International Crown, won by the Spanish ladies in 2014’s inaugural event. The IC features 8 teams of 4 players each, representing their country. Players and thus the teams must qualify based on the cumulative team score of the 4 players’ Rolex World Rankings. Teams are seeded 1-8 and put into 2 4-team pool brackets where each team plays the other 3 teams in their bracket in a series of 4-ball matches. The top 2 point-earning teams from each pool plus 1 wild card team will advance to Sunday’s singles matches. The winning country is determined by the highest number of cumulative points from Thursday through Sunday’s matches. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

The Spaniards, 2014 winners, did not qualify for 2016 and neither did the runner up, the Swedes. This year’s IC teams include the United States, South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and England. Lots of great lady golfers represented here.

All but 2 hours of Sunday NBC coverage is on The Golf Channel and you know what I’m gonna say now…set your TiVo and record this tournament. I watched most of the 2014 play and it was great! This ladies are playing for their countries and it means a lot to them. Emotions and passions run high and these gals can play!image

Please don’t confuse the ladies’ tees at your home course with LPGA tees. This course is set up for 6668 yards, par 72. That’s in line with a low to medium length for men’s regular tees at most courses. So for most of the Dads out there, these women are basically playing from your tee box! Can you hit your drives as far as they do? Probably not! Great stuff! Well coverage has started and I’m watching it! (photo Jose Maria Saiz V.)

See you on #1 tee looking for that International Crown… Sam

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