Solheim Cup

How Nicholas made Pettersen a Solheim Cup rock

Alison Nicholas raises the Solheim Cup in triumph. Picture, Jenny Matthews www.golffile.ieTough talk from skipper Alison Nicholas helped Suzann Pettersen become Europe’s inspirational match-winner and undisputed leader in September’s Solheim Cup victory at Killeen Castle.

Jones has no regrets over management of Kerr injury

Cristie Kerr could not compete on Sunday because of injury. Europe was awarded the point. Picture by Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieUnited States captain Rosie Jones said she had no regrets about playing Cristie Kerr in the first four sessions after the US player was forced to withdraw injured from Sunday’s Solheim Cup singles.

Europe's late surge wins Solheim Cup

Europe celebrates its Solheim Cup victory. Jenny Matthews www.golffile.ieSuper rookies Caroline Hedwall and Azahara Muñoz built on a brilliant comeback by Suzann Pettersen to snatch the Solheim Cup for Europe.

US with momentum for Solheim Cup singles

Ryann O’Toole celebrates. Photo by Jenny Matthews www.golffile.ieThe United States staged a dramatic rally to win the afternoon fourball session 3-1 and tie 8-8 with Europe ahead of Sunday’s singles series in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.

Europe won the morning foursomes 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 to extend its lead to 7-5 over the Americans in the biennial match play competition.

Veteran Laura Davies then became the all-time Solheim Cup points record points scorer when she teamed up with Melissa Reid to beat Americans Brittany Lang and Michelle Wie 4 and 3 and put Europe 8-5 in front.

But the Americans stormed back to win the last three matches and leave the sides tied going into the 12 singles for the second match in succession and the third time in the event’s history.  

Europe extends Solheim Cup lead

Azahara Muñoz holes out ont he 18th to give Europe a crucial half in the final foursomes. Picture by Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieSpanish rookie Azahara Muñoz holed a crucial par putt on the 18th to help Europe extend its lead over the over the United States to 7-5 in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle today.

Americans Cristie Kerr and Paul Creamer went one up on Muñoz and Scot Catriona Matthew in the final match of the morning foursomes when Kerr birdied the 17th from six feet.

But the American bunkered her approach to the last and couldn’t save par from 12 feet, allowing the Europeans to halve the match with a winning par four and double the home side’s overnight lead to two points.

Americans hang tough at Killeen Castle

Christina Kim and Ryann O’Toole at Killeen Castle. Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieAmericans Morgan Pressel and Ryann O’Toole holed big putts to help the United States keep Europe in its sights in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.

With the sides level at 2-2 after the morning foursomes, Europe surged ahead in all four afternoon fourballs but to had to settle for a 4 1/2 - 3 1/2 lead after a windy opening day in Ireland.

Rookie Caroline Hedwall and fellow Swede Sophie Gustafson put Europe 3-2 ahead with a 5 and 4 win over Vicky Hurst and Brittany Lincicome.

Europe one up in Solheim Cup strategy

European Captain Alison Nicholas and USA Captain Rosie Jones at the Opening Ceremony for the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle. Photo Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieEuropean skipper Ali Nicholas scored a home run over US rival Rosie Jones before a ball was struck in the Solheim Cup.

Jones confessed that the canny home captain had out-foxed her by not putting world No 2 Suzann Pettersen out first in this morning’s opening foursomes at Killeen Castle.

After seeing the Norwegian superstar reserved for the anchor match, Jones confessed: “I was kind of going on what you have done before.  That didn’t work out, but it’s okay.  You got me there.  Strike one.”

No-one wants Solheim Cup format change

World No 2 Suzann Pettersen wants tradition maintained in the biennial clash between Europe and the USA. Picture: Jenny Matthews www.golffile.ieSweden’s Annika Sorenstam believes that a European Solheim Cup victory in Ireland this week will kill off talk that the biennial matchplay event is becoming too one-sided.

The United States leads the series 8-3 and will be seeking its fourth successive victory when the three-day match begins on Friday at the Jack Nicklaus designed Killeen Castle course in County Meath, 25 miles north-west of Dublin.

Ten-time major winner Sorenstam, who is one of Europe captain Alison Nicholas’ non-playing assistants this week, does not want to see the event’s format changed to see the United States taking on an International team.

"I didn't have the normal childhood" - Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie was in relaxed mood at Killeen Castle on Tuesday. Photo by Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieMichelle Wie has hit back at European vice-captain Annika Sorenstam again and insisted that hitting the books has made her all grown up.

Ten-time major winner Sorenstam believes the big hitting Hawaiian has made a mistake by mixing the tour with her degree at Stanford University and isn’t “mentally strong enough to finish at the top.”

But as she prepares to lead the US in Solheim Cup battle with Europe at Killeen Castle this week, Wie reckons that mixing books and birdies was just what she needed to make up for a lost childhood.

Pettersen romps to six shot Ladies Irish Open win

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen fired an stunning final round 64 to romp to a six stroke win at the Ladies Irish Open supported by Fáilte Ireland at Killeen Castle.

The world No 3 finished ahead of Spain’s Azahara Munoz on 18 under par as she followed her course record 63 on Saturday and eight under par closing effort.

LPGA's China crisis helps Ladies Irish Open field

Ladies Irish Open boss Roddy Carr avoided some Chinese torture to deliver a world class field at Killeen Castle next month.

The €400,000 curtain-raiser for September’s Solheim Cup could have been turned into a damp squib as it clashed with a $2 million US women’s tour event in China.

But Chinese red tape has tied the Imperial Springs LPGA event up in knots and allowed Carr to sign up US stars Christina Kim, Angela Stanford and teenage sensation Lexi Thompson to accompany major winner Stacey Lewis at the Meath venue from August 5-7.

World class field for Ladies Irish Open

Killeen Castle

Three of the world’s top 10 and host of top Americans will headline a world class field at this summer’s AIB Ladies Irish Open.  

World No 3 Suzann Pettersen will be joined by Anna Nordqvist and American star Angela Stanford at Killeen Castle from August 6-8.

Sorenstam and Morley get Solheim Cup jobs

Solheim Cup skipper Alison Nicholas has opted not to have an Irish vice captain when Europe take on the US at Killeen Castle next year. 

The English star hinted last month that she might include an Irish player like Maureen Madill in her back room team in Co Meath. 

It now appears that Ireland will not be represented on the sidelines as Nicholas yesterday named Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam and England’s Joanne Morley as her assistants. 

Coakley wants Solheim Cup date with Michelle Wie

Rebecca Coakley believes she has the game and the confidence to win on tour become the Ireland’s first Solheim Cup player at Killeen Castle in 2011.

The 28-year old Carlow native has re-invented herself over the past two years and after three top 10s in her last four starts, she’s beginning to believe that she can make Alison Nicholas’s 12-strong side to face Michelle Wie and Co at the luxury Jack Nicklaus design near Dunsany in Co Meath.

In-form Coakley battered - then teased

It’s cruel to tease but the Ladies European Tour was at it this week.

As if Rebecca Coakley didn't have enough headaches after being bashed on the noggin recently by a pro-am hacker in China.

With the 2011 Solheim Cup coming to Killeen Castle, Coakley is hell bent on becoming the first Irish woman to make the European side to take on the USA. Or at least, she is starting to believe it's more than a pipe dream.