Being Captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team has proven to be very exciting this year as I made my final visit to the season ending LPGA Tour Championship in Orlando last week. Lots to catch up with the players and staff since this will be the last tournament of the year and players will be in off season mode for the next several weeks as they all enjoy the Holiday Season and then gear up for year 2011.
This was a good event for me to attend since all the top U.S. players were there looking to better their position in many category’s on the treacherous Grand Cypress layout just outside of Disney World. The weather turned to cool with windy conditions making the course very hard to score on with drastic greens proving hard to master. I have to brag a bit about how well our American players played, but the big congrats to Sweden’s Maria Hjorth for her great play to capture the title.
Player of the Year
It was fun to watch the top 5 players on tour battle it out those past weeks for Play of the Year award and Vare Trophy as the results all came down to the final round and to whether Cristie Kerr could pull off a win to capture both honors. After watching the top honor trade like baseball cards the past 3 months, the final congrats go to Yani Tseng. I guess we’ll have to wait another year to see if the POY award will come home to an American player as C. Kerr just missed out with a brave attempt finishing Tied for 3rd place finish.
Lots of good golf and plenty of points being made, but not a lot of movement on the 2011 Solheim Cup point standings these past couple of weeks as the tour ends it’s year long plus qualifying. Cristie Kerr leads the American squad with 441 points with Morgan Pressel in second place at 239 and Michelle Wie in third at 223. Team USA has got a good strong line up of experienced players in the top 10 with a good mix of young players looking for their first experience of Solheim Competition and Veterans’ holding their own within the top 15 spots.
Even though I have been watching the points pretty closely these past several months, this is when the players themselves start to keep a keen eye on what is going on as well. I expect next year will be quite the shoot out as points are worth 1 ½ times during Solheim Cup year. Example: a Win is 60 points, double for Majors. This will favor hot play in 2011, and give a player the ability to make a pretty good move up the roster.
Captain RoJo Wins
One of the great things about being Captain is that even though it sometimes feels like a full time job, it still allows me the opportunity to be competitive on the Legends Tour (Official Senior Tour of the LPGA). Last month I teed it up with some great former players of the LPGA including past Captains Beth Daniel, Patty Sheehan, Pat Bradley and current players on the LPGA tour like Michelle Redman and Lori Kane at the Legends Tour Championship on the Island Course at Innisbrook FL.
With a two day total of -9, I was hoisting the trophy for my first Major Win and my fourth title in 4 years as a senior player on the tour. It was a fun week and a good experience for me as all those competitive juices come back to me and keep me on my toes and in touch with what my Solheim Players are going through week in and week out.
As the Holiday Season is in full swing this is the time players wind down from the busy Tour Life and the crazy travel schedule that can take its toll over the entire year. It’s a good time to relax and enjoy their life at home, revitalize the body, rest and balance out their time for family and friends. It won’t be long before the sticks come back out of the trunk and the grind starts back up with new goals and expectations.
- Will she be the first American in 16 years to win LPGA Tour Player of the Year?
- Spain’s Azahara Munoz has clinched the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award
- Maria Hjorth wins LPGA Tour Championship in rare fashion
- John Cook had plenty of motivation to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship for the second straight year
- Will the temperature get the best of LPGA Tour Championship players?