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"You lose a lot more in golf than you win. So when you do win, you have to enjoy it. I'm going to go back home and enjoy it with my friends and enjoy it with my family and, yeah, I love being from Northern Ireland. I tell everyone how great it is. For me, it's the best place on earth. I'm obviously biased, but I love it back there and I love the people."

 

 

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Just three days removed from the one-year anniversary of his grandfather Arnold Palmer’s passing, Sam Saunders put his name in golf’s record books with a 12-under 59 at the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship, contested at Atlantic Beach Country Club. Playing on his home course, Saunders recorded 13 birdies on his way to becoming the seventh player in Web.com Tour history to post a round of 59 or better.

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Its been said time and time again, that when you get knocked down, its best to get right back up. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Matt Kuchar is back on his feet despite suffering a tough loss on Sunday at the Open Championship. “It is one of the great things about the game of golf, and maybe sport in general. It's pretty easy to leave the past in the past when Thursday gets here. It's a whole new week. Nobody cares what you did last week. Win, lose, whatever it may be; it's a fresh start,” he said prior to teeing it up at the RBC Canadian Open. “I certainly remember the Ryder Cup at Medinah being a really difficult loss. I think I played two or three weeks after that, and it was great to get back into competition again and to kind of just put Ryder Cup behind and say, you know what, it's time to re-tee it again. I've got to go out and perform.”


Kuchar acknowledged coming close on Sunday was tough for him. “It was hard but I certainly don't feel like I lost it. I had a one-shot lead with five holes to go. I played the next four holes 2-under par. I felt like I played good quality golf, and Jordan Spieth put on an amazing, probably one of the great closing stretches in major championship history,” he said. “When something like that happens, nothing you can do but tip your hat and say, well done. He certainly teased me through 13 holes with a chance at it. It helps when I look back at the situation, the scenario, and certainly I didn't give it away. I didn't lose it. Jordan played incredible. He won it.

“Jordan was playing poor golf through 13 holes. I thought I was just going to keep plotting along, and once he hit his drive on 13, I was figuring, I was going to end up with a two-shot lead with five to go,” he continued. “He made an amazing up-and-down to save bogey, and so I still end up with a one-shot lead, and he was not on good form at that point. I thought I was definitely the one playing the better golf and was going to keep plotting along. He nearly made a hole-in-one. He hit just a perfect shot on 14. So now we're even. Great, even with four to go. Good place to be. I feel like I'm playing the better golf. After we hit our second shots, he had a clear advantage on 15 but I knew my bunker shot, I was going to have a good shot at birdie. I hit a great bunker shot to three feet and knew that I was going to make that for birdie, and probably be tied with three to go. He makes the putt for eagle and I go, all right, 1-down with three to go.Certainly still in this. Feeling good,” he recalled. “I hit two good shots. Came up just short. He hits a drive in the rough and a shot on the green. Great shot to 25 feet or so and makes the putt. I'm 2-down, two to go. I'm still in this. He hits a bad drive on 17. I hit a poor drive on 17, as well. And we're kind of neck-and-neck there. I hit a good wedge. He hits a great wedge. I make my putt thinking, I'm still in this. And he makes his putt on top of me, and go, yeah, I'm not out totally. 18, you know, he could make bogey. I could make birdie. Still had hopes. When he put it on the green, I find myself with a flyer lie that I knew I didn't have much control over. I thought, chances are slim. With 40 feet, possible to 3-putt and when I found my ball plugged in the bunker, there weren't many chances from there. But still, held out hope and thought it was doable. I continued playing some good, steady golf. And Jordan, what a show he put on. That was impressive stuff.”

Kuchar noted that winning isn’t as easy at it sometimes appears. “Winning majors is a tough thing. Winning golf tournaments out here as a whole is a tough thing. Hard to peak at the right time. I think all of us get hot at some point in a year, at some point in a career. There are some lucky ones that get hot at the right time, and the great ones kind of stay hot,” he said.

Perhaps he was able to accept the outcome a little easier when he was surprised by his family after he finished his 72nd hole at Royal Birkdale. “An amazing gesture for them to be there and support. Was difficult on me to see the kids in tears knowing their dad didn't win.It's an interesting position as a father. When your kids are young, they look up to you like you're Superman. Kind of you're their hero. You're the one to protect them and save them and to do great things. And when it doesn't work out and you aren't the hero holding the trophy, it's saddening, as well. I saw the look in their eyes, and I wanted to be that guy. So I was a little bit broken myself that I wasn't that guy,” he said. “But golf is a very, very humbling game, and amazing the lessons you learn. We had a similar situation in Houston, probably three or four years ago. I was right there looking like I was going to win the tournament. I bogey the 18th, end up going in a playoff with Matt Jones and he chips in in a playoff to beat me. So my kids were busted that I didn't win,” he said. “We had a flight getting home that got delayed, and we went to a bowling alley and killed some time. I had to tell them, I said, ‘Listen, you do your best. You play your best, you try on every shot, and sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't. You have to learn that these things happen.’ There are such great lessons that come from golf. You know, this was one of them. I did my best. I tried my hardest and it didn't work out. Certainly going to keep trying. And so it's hard when you don't come through as Superman, but it's lessons that I think will pay dividends in the long run.”

Its hard not to root for Kuchar in the future given his class in defeat and his feet planted on the ground for the sake of his family. “Certainly I did kind of all I could last week, and I had one guy out-play me. You never know in the game of golf what you need to do to get in that winner's circle. I feel like I've put the work in. I feel like I've paid the dues. I feel like I did the right preparation,” he said. Perhaps a major championship is in his future to go with his bronze medal from last summer’s Olympics.

 

A group of 42 amateur men and women golfers competed in the first R&A Nine Hole Championship Final at Royal Birkdale today.

The group participated in a handicap pairs competition at the famous Southport links just five days before The 146th Open gets underway, playing the 10th to 18th holes.

Following a successful pilot at Royal Troon last year, more than 7,000 amateur golfers entered qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland to reach the Final at the host venue of The Open.

Pauline Rostron, from Formby Ladies, and Sally Pearson, from Chester, (pictured) were the overall winners and were both thrilled to play in a nine hole competition on the eve of golf’s original Championship.

The victorious pair returned a winning combined net score of 70.5 to be crowned champions in front of family and friends in the Royal Birkdale clubhouse.

“I feel totally exhilarated and also completely surprised!” said Sally, who was celebrating her 36th birthday as she took on the back nine of Royal Birkdale. “I love nine hole golf – it is much quicker. Even if you have a bad nine holes it doesn’t ruin your day. You can get around after work and I can’t encourage people enough to play nine hole golf.”

Pauline added, “I’m absolutely ecstatic – it’s fabulous. It’s a little bit of history.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to play here again – but to win as well is fantastic. If you can play after work in the summer – nine hole golf is much quicker.”

The R&A continues to work with national golf bodies in Great Britain and Ireland to promote nine hole golf as a quick and enjoyable way to play golf either socially or competitively.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Working for Golf at The R&A, said, “We have had a wonderful first Great Britain and Ireland wide Nine Hole Final here at Royal Birkdale today.

"Everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves – they appreciated being here and they revelled in the challenge of playing Royal Birkdale on the eve of The Open.

“It wasn’t all about what happened here today. It’s about promoting nine hole golf throughout Great Britain and Ireland and beyond. This event should serve as a reminder to golf clubs that golf, whether social or competitive, can be played more quickly if it’s played over nine holes. That’s the real message behind this event.”

 

Louise Solheim, wife of PING Founder Karsten Solheim, has passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 99. “Today we lost a very special woman who touched and improved the lives of so many,” said John A. Solheim, Karsten and Louise’s youngest son and PING’s Chairman & CEO. “Our mother was a blessing to everyone in so many ways. She had a special quality that gave her the ability to bring a smile to everyone’s face and she handled every situation with grace. We looked to her for guidance in all aspects of our lives and she always took great care to advise us, building our confidence to make decisions ourselves. We will miss her dearly. Our entire family is at peace knowing she’s now in God’s care.”

Louise was a soft-spoken, gracious lady who worked side-by-side with Karsten to build PING into one of the most successful golf equipment companies in the history of the game while raising a family of four children. She chose to remain off stage and left the spotlight to Karsten. She vowed the day she was married to put Karsten’s desires and those of their family ahead of her own. She did it willingly and joyfully without the need for recognition. “I most definitely wanted it this way,” she often said.

“Our mother preferred working behind the scenes,” said Allan D. Solheim, the middle son. “Karsten’s tinkering with putter designs in our garage began as a hobby, but it quickly turned into a thriving business. From the beginning, my mother assumed the administrative side of the business, allowing Karsten to focus on club designs. She was blessed with an incredible memory, which Karsten relied on regularly. Whether it was remembering someone’s name or the specifics of an event, she always had the answer. Together, they made an amazing team that formed the foundation for PING today.”

Despite her desire to maintain a low profile, her countless contributions are widely recognized and deeply engrained in PING’s history. She is credited with naming the most famous putter in golf -- the PING ANSER -- which has been used to win more than 500 professional golf tournaments around the world. Her role in creating the Solheim Cup in 1990 opened the door to bringing women’s professional team golf to a world-wide stage for the players to show off their shot-making skills while competing for the honor of their countries.

Her numerous honors include an Honorary Doctorate degree from Arizona State University (1992), the LPGA’s Commissioner’s Award (1994), Swedish Golf Federation Distinguished Service Award (2003), Arizona Golf Hall of Fame (2004), Arizona State University Regents Award for Outstanding Service to Higher Education (2004), Honorary LPGA member (2005) and Honorary Ladies European Tour member (2011).

“Louise had a keen business sense that she combined with a generous heart,” said Karsten Louis Solheim, the oldest son. “She was guided by the Bible and wanted every action to be pleasing to God. She believed God had been exceptionally good to us and wanted to make sure as a company we gave back. She was especially thoughtful in her administration of the Solheim Foundation. I worked closely with her over the years and she applied a wise and fair approach to the distribution of the funds, always making sure the beneficiary’s values and missions led to the betterment of people’s lives.”  

Born June 6, 1918, in Spokane, Wash., Louise was the only child of John Louis Crozier, a teacher and inventor, and his wife, Nellie, who died of scarlet fever a month after giving birth to Louise. She and Karsten met in 1936 in church and were married that same year. Both devout Christians, they remained active in church throughout their lives. At the time of her passing, Louise was a member of Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix.

An honor student in high school, Louise worked various jobs over the years as she and Karsten moved around the country while he continued his engineering career. In the early 1950s, she worked for Convair (now General Dynamics) in its wind tunnels, calculating and plotting test results for the aerospace engineers. Her title was “Computer.” Shortly after moving to Syracuse in 1954, she took a position with the Eastern Milk Producers Dairy Cooperative, where her job included editing the company newsletter. It turned out to be her favorite job of all. Her last position before PING became a full-time pursuit for her family was assisting John Conlan, a two-term State Senator from Arizona who later became a U.S. Congressman.

Louise was preceded in death by Karsten (February, 2000) and their daughter, Sandra Solheim Aiken (December, 2013). She is survived by her three sons: John A. Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation Chairman, President & CEO; Allan D. Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member; and Karsten Louis Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member. Louise was blessed with 14 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and 14 great, great grandchildren.  

 

 

 
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