Women's Golf Seen As Big Winner Coming Out Of Solheim Cup, As Huge Crowds Pack Iowa
Crowds "turned out in force throughout the week" for the Solheim Cup in Des Moines, which saw the U.S. defeat Europe 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 to claim the competition for the second consecutive time, according to Luke Kerr-Dineen of USA TODAY. Tournament officials "projected record-breaking attendance heading into the event, and multiple players spoke glowingly about the size of the crowds" at Des Moines Golf & Country Club. Official figures are "yet to be released, but early estimates peg the total at more than 20,000 people" per tournament day for the three-day event (USA TODAY, 8/21). GLOBAL GOLF POST's Steve Eubanks notes LPGA officials expect the attendance totals "to break all previous records by miles." The crowds were so big that U.S. golfer Brittany Lang said that she had "never seen anything like it" (GLOBAL GOLF POST, 8/21 issue).
WE'LL HAVE FUN, FUN, FUN: In Des Moines, Danny Lawhon wrote fun "emerged as the word" of the Solheim Cup, from "incredibly relaxed news conferences to the tens of thousands packing the central Iowa grounds and to the immense success" of the U.S. team (DES MOINES REGISTER, 8/20). Also in Des Moines, Tommy Birch noted the first hole was the "go-to spot and talk of the event," largely because it is "unlike any other golf event." The "'quiet' signs have been replaced with 'loud' signs." Songs like "Black in Black" by AC/DC and "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars "blared out of the sound system before tee shots" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 8/20). USA TODAY's Kerr-Dineen noted the crowd at the 1st tee on Saturday "started blaring the Pink Panther theme" before Paula Creamer teed off. Creamer's nickname has long been "The Pink Panther" (USATODAY.com, 8/19).
INKING HER NAME IN THE RECORD BOOKS: GOLFWEEK's Beth Ann Nichols wrote U.S. captain Juli Inkster "solidified her place" as not only a Golf HOF player, but a "world-class captain, the kind of leader who can connect with anyone and bring out their best." She joined Judy Rankin as the only U.S. captains to win the Solheim Cup twice. Players "praised her pod system and were grateful for the emphasis on fun." Inkster "essentially helped the Americans learn how to be a team again" (GOLFWEEK.com, 8/20). GOLF DIGEST's Keely Levins wrote Inkster's "ability to function as an individual within the framework of a team" made her a "great captain." Inkster helped personify what the Solheim Cup "means to so many involved in it, players, officials and fans alike" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 8/20). ESPNW's Bill Fields noted for U.S. team member Cristie Kerr, Inkster "coaxes unselfish acts out of golfers in what usually is a selfish sport" (ESPNW.com, 8/20). The DES MOINES REGISTER's Lawhon notes all throughout the week and again yesterday, players "gushed over Inkster’s leadership, affection and constant presence." It "seems clear that if she wanted to captain again, there’d be less than zero resistance." Inkster: "I would love to do it, but I think there's other people in line that deserve the chance" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 8/21).