What you missed: History at the Solheim, Niemann’s win, Chappell’s 59 and Tiger’s revealing blog post


History at the Solheim, Niemann’s win, Chappell’s 59 and Tiger’s revealing blog post

Suzann Pettersen was the Solheim Cup hero at Gleneagles as she found the bottom of the cup with a must-make birdie putt on the very last hole, with the very last stroke of the spectacular contest. And just shortly after she holed it, she announced that she was retiring from the sport. 

On the PGA Tour history was made twice in one week: Not only did Kevin Chappell return for his first event since back surgery last November to record a 59, but Joaquinn Niemann became the first ever golfer from Chile to win on the PGA Tour. 

Elsewhere, Tiger Woods dropped a big hint that he still has his sights set on being a playing Captain at the Presidents Cup this December. 

Europe edge America with final putt to win Solheim Cup in Scotland

Suzann Pettersen helped Europe edge out America on the final hole to win the Solheim Cup 14.5 to 13.5

It all came down to the final moments on the 18th green at Gleneagles during one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the contest, with European Team veteran Suzann Pettersen in control of the fate of the Solheim Cup.

With the scores standing at 13.5 points each, the margins could not have been slimmer: After Marina Alex missed her birdie putt, Pettersen had to hole hers to win, or miss and tie her match for the USA to retain the Cup.

Catriona Matthew made her controversial wildcard pick in Pettersen for moments exactly like this, and the Norwegian player delivered, rolling in her birdie putt from seven feet to win her match, and the Solheim Cup for Europe.

“There’s never been a better moment,” said European Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew. “To come down to the last game.

“The Americans played great as well but it was always going to come down to that putt here or there, and for Suzann to get it, just phenomenal. Nothing tops this to be honest.”

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Pettersen calls time on her career after winning Solheim for Europe

If you’re going to call time on your professional career, is there a better place to do it than an hour after holing the winning putt for your team at the Solheim Cup?

Suzann Pettersen may have been a controversial wildcard pick, but Catriona Matthew chose her because of her experience, and there was no more fitting an end than the Norweigan rolling in her birdie putt for victory on the 18th green, with the words ‘it all leads to this moment’ emblazoned on the grandstand behind her.

The moment belonged to the Solheim Cup veteran, who delighted the home crowds with a final hole birdie to win her match, and the contest for Europe, 14.5 points to 13.5.

For Pettersen, it was the perfect way to end an impressive career, and she announced her retirement from the game soon after the celebrations.

“I think this is a perfect closure — the end for my at least Solheim career, and also a nice “the end” for professional career. It doesn’t get any better,” said Pettersen, before quickly adding “My professional career, I’m done.

“I’m closing it down tomorrow, and what more can I say? I’m done.

“Obviously life has changed for me,” she continued, referencing the birth of her son. “He’s obviously the biggest thing that’s ever happened for me. But now I know what it feels like to win as a mom. I’m going to leave it like that.

“And to do it with these girls, I never thought I was going to be here four months ago until I met Beany this summer. And to have the confidence from Beany to give me the go, yeah, this is it. I’m completely done.”

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Joaquin Niemann makes history at The Greenbrier

Just a few short hours after Suzann Pettersen made Solheim Cup history for Team Europe, Joaquin Niemann raced to a convincing six stroke victory at the first event of the PGA Tour season at The Old White TPC.

In doing so Niemann became the first player from Chile to win on the PGA Tour with a final-round 64, finishing at 21-under-par to win A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

“It’s been unbelievable, yeah, for my whole country,” said Niemann, who also became the youngest winner in the tournament’s history. “They were watching me. I got a couple text from them, so really happy to get the trophy for my family, for my coach, and everyone back there in Chile.

“From the beginning of the week, since the first day, I felt with a lot of confidence coming off like three weeks off. So I feel like fresh. I was playing really good. I had practice a lot with my coach this off-season, so my game was feeling great. Mentally was awesome.

“So I was just feel like I was going to win this tournament since the first day. I was in a really good mindset.”

It was a fitting place for the 20-year-old to earn his maiden tour win, having played his first ever PGA Tour event here two years ago when he was the World No.1 ranked amateur, where he finished T29.

“The Greenbrier has been awesome with me,” said Niemann. “Has treat me really well. It was the first tournament I play on PGA tour. I was an amateur and finish like 20 something, so it was unbelievable place. I wanted to come back the next year, and the crazy life it is, the next year was getting my card here in this event.

“And then this year was the year after I won my first PGA TOUR event, so it’s just crazy. I mean, I love this place. I been playing really good golf here, so going to be here couple more times.”

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Sergio Garcia claims 16th European Tour title at KLM Open

Sergio Garcia claimed his 16th European Tour victory during the 100th edition of the KLM Open
Sergio Garcia won his 16th European Tour title on Sunday with a final round 69, edging out 18-year-old Nicolai Højgaard by a single shot on 18-under-par.

Garcia, who was playing in the KLM Open for the first time, called his first victory of the year ‘amazing’.

“It was honestly amazing to have my brother, Angie my wife and little Azalea [Garcia’s daughter] here, it’s very special,” Garcia said after tapping in for par at the last.

“Amazing. We had a great week and great to win again. I played well all week under pressure. It wasn’t easy, there were a couple of tough moments today but I hung on tough, that’s the most important thing.

“I want to thank all my sponsors for their support and everything they do for me and the year just got a little bit better.”

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Kevin Chappell shoots 59 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier

History was made on Friday at The Old White TPC as Kevin Chappell became the 10th man in PGA Tour history to record a 59, having recorded nine consecutive birdies during his round.

And the feat is even more remarkable when you consider that less than a year ago Chappell was having back surgery after nearly five years of playing through discomfort, and this was his first tournament back.

“I just couldn’t feel more lucky to be here right now,” Chappell said. “Ten months ago, I was laying on my couch and couldn’t get up. So many people sacrificed to get me here, especially my family. A lot of people believed in me, put in a lot of hard work.

“To go out and have my first start back on the PGA TOUR to shoot 59, get myself in contention going into the weekend, I just couldn’t be more proud of myself right now.”

Chappell, who started at the 10th hole, recorded a par before nine straight birdies, tieing the PGA Tour record for consecutive birdies. He recorded two more gains at the 5th and 7th holes (his 14th and 16th of the day) before parring his final two holes.

Tiger Woods gives hint he’s choosing himself as a pick for The Presidents Cup in blog post

Tiger Woods has always been clear that he hopes to be a playing Captain at the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne, and he dropped a big hint on Friday in his Captain’s Blog Post for the PGA Tour about what role he’ll be taking on that week.

In the blog post, Woods talked about his disappointment of not earning one of the top eight automatic spots, before reiterating that while he will lean on his captain’s assistants, the decision about the wildcards will ultimately come down to him.

“While I was disappointed to not earn one of the top 8 spots, I’m hopeful to perform well at my next start in Japan,” Woods wrote. “In the meantime, I’m going to rely on playing with some of the guys in Florida to stay sharp. I’ll practice hard, work on my game, and we’ll have some matches. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also always fun.

“At the end of the day, the decision of who rounds out this team will ultimately be my call, but I’m going to lean heavily on the opinions of my captain’s assistants and the eight guys who have already earned a spot. My plan is to keep an open line of communication to ensure we find the four guys who best fit this team. We will be watching the fall events closely. There are so many guys who are world-class players who aren’t yet on the team like Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Gary Woodland, Jordan Spieth and many more. The Fall events will also allow me to get extended looks at two young rookies, Matthew Wolff and Colin Morikawa, who both played well after turning pro late in the season.”

But while Woods name-checked plenty of players who could well be on the team, his sign-off (which had the word Captain scored out and replaced with ‘ Playing Captain’) indicated that he still very much hopes to be one of them.

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Woods recently revealed that he had undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, but will be making his return to the ZOZO Championship in Japan in October, before announcing his four Captain’s picks on November 4.

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