Wie paired with Pressel in Solheim Cup


POSTED: Friday, August 21, 2009

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. » The Americans have stuck to a pretty tight script at the Solheim Cup this week: They talk about how much fun they're having, how honored they are to represent their country and rave about what great shape the golf course is in.

Not Angela Stanford.

Stanford is sick of hearing what overwhelming favorites the Americans are when the Solheim Cup opens today. Never mind that the U.S. team includes two of the world's four best players, while four of Europe's players are ranked 125th or lower. Or that the United States has yet to lose on home soil, and has won the last two Solheim Cups. Or that the Europeans no longer have Annika Sorenstam, the best player in Solheim Cup history.

“;We need to go out and play like we're the underdogs because I think that they're going to be ready to play and they're going to be ready to fight,”; Stanford, who has been in the top 10 in half her starts this year, including winning her fourth career title at the SBS Open, said yesterday.

“;It's one thing to think, yeah, we have a lot of talent and we're stacked,”; she added. “;But you can't go in thinking that the ball is just going to go in the hole. I mean, it's still golf, it's still match play, and they still have two major champions on their team and a boatload of experience.”;

Cristie Kerr and Paula Kreamer, the third- and fourth-ranked players in the world, face Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson in the opening fourball match. In the final match, young guns Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie team up against Women's British Open winner Catriona Matthew and Maria Hjorth.

In the other two matches, Helen Alfredsson and Tania Elosegui play Stanford and Juli Inkster; and Laura Davies and Becky Brewerton play Brittany Lang and Brittany Lincicome.

The first two days consist of 16 team matches and the tournament closes with 12 singles matches. As defending champions, the Americans need 14 of the 28 points to retain the cup. Europe needs 14 1/2 .


Bryant ties record

Fred Funk was finished with his round at the Jeld-Wen Tradition when a nearby radio squawked with the news that Brad Bryant had just shot a 10-under 62.

“;OK. Game is on,”; Funk said. “;We know who we're chasing now.”;

Bryant matched a tournament record with his first-round play at Crosswater Golf Club in central Oregon. He had 11 birdies and one bogey for a three-shot lead yesterday in the fourth of five majors this year on the Champions Tour.

“;Just played really great,”; he said. “;Definitely one of my top five ball-striking rounds in my life.”;

Bryant's best finish this year was fourth at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in June. He has four overall tour victories, his last coming at the Senior U.S. Open in 2007.


Three tied for PGA lead

Chez Reavie, Ryan Moore and former winner Brandt Snedeker each shot a 64 at the Wyndham Championship yesterday, the PGA Tour's final event before the playoffs.

But the big story at Sedgefield Country Club was the weather. Heavy rains and lightning forced a mid-afternoon delay of about four hours, and play was suspended shortly before 2 p.m. Hawaii time because of darkness.