Aug. 21, 10:54 a.m.: Cosmic update
Doc Redman’s long eagle putt on No. 17 at The Riviera eclipsed (interesting choice of words, eh?) Doug Ghim’s birdie, and though it wasn’t over at that point — Redman was still 1-down heading to 18 for the 36th hole of the day — he didn’t let go of the momentum and won the U.S. Amateur on the first extra hole.
Team USA had little apparent trouble eclipsing (oh, man, I’m on a roll) the Euros in the Solheim Cup. That was so yesterday, but I’m leaving Lexi’s picture here … can’t think of any reason in the known universe to take it down.
It came, it mostly went, by now, and I wasn’t caught in any traffic jams nor did I burn out my eyeballs because I wore them geeky-cool glasses on my back porch and you know what? I’m still wearing ’em. Wait, no I’m not … why can’t I see anything?
The fact that Team USA is the defending champion in this week’s Solheim Cup is not so surprising when you know the Yanks’ opponent in this biennial match-play event is Team Europe. Not Team Asia. Or Team South Korea.
Unlike the men’s Presidents Cup, which is the U.S.A. against the world, the Solheim is more like the men’s Ryder Cup — U.S. v. Europe. Manageable. Maybe not so much against Team Asia, as in the defunct Lexus Cup, which was Asia against an international team. If there were a Lexus this year, the Asian team would have to go no deeper than No. 17 in the women’s world golf rankings to field a team of 12 players.
The U.S. has a World No. 2 — Lexi Thompson — and after her the next highest-ranked is No. 14 Cristie Kerr (who knew?). The top-ranked European heading to the Solheim is Anna Nordqvist of Sweden at No. 13.
The best women’s player of our era, the retired Annika Sorenstam, is the European captain. That’s a new role for her, and a point in the Euros’ favor. It’s almost a fair fight.
A feature match Friday in the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals pits American Doug Ghim (No. 7 amateur in the world) against Scotsman Colin Syme, who peeled off the biggest name in the Round of 64 when he downed Californian Maverick McNealy, 2 and 1. McNealy, a former Pac-12 champion at Stanford, is the world’s No. 2-ranked amateur. He might not feel huge pressure to turn pro: his old man’s got money. Scott McNealy co-founded Sun Microsystems, which was gobbled up by Oracle for more than $7 billion back in 2010.