Lydia Ko: Despite mom’s insult, the former prodigy is better than ever at 25

Lydia Ko will probably have to put up a new wardrobe at home in Orlando – with all the trophies she brings home from the CME Group Tour Championship: the glass globe for winning the LPGA final tournament, the silver bowl of the Vare Trophy, the “Player of the Year” awards and everything else the 25-year-old was presented with at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples. “The winner takes it all,” ABBA once warbled. But despite the record check for two million dollars and a total of 4,364,403 dollars for three victories and a total of seven top-five finishes since the Amundi Evian Championship in July, the most successful prize money season of all time didn’t work out. Lorena Ochoa was “better” by $591 in 2007.

“She’s made peace with herself”

But money, as we all know, isn’t everything. Especially when the “main prize” is standing on the edge of the 18th green: Ko’s fiancé Jun Chung. “He makes me smile, motivates and inspires me to become a better person and a better player,” says the New Zealander. “Since she met him, she has made peace with herself,” confirms her sister Sura.

Lydia Ko and Jun Chung have been a couple for almost two years, writing letters to each other for six months until the Corona pandemic allowed the first real date. Meanwhile, Chung, who lives in San Francisco, is the son of a Hyundai manager, works in the finance department of the Korean car company and first had to Google his new pen pal’s golf career, had taken up golf himself. On December 30, the two will marry in Kos and Chung’s native Seoul.

But after that, not much will change, says Chung, who likes to stay out of the camera’s focus: “She’ll keep playing. I don’t want to get involved in that. I want ‘Lyds’ to give all she can in the time she has ahead of her at this top level.” In turn, she says, “Since I’ve been with him, I want to make better use of the time I have to work on my game. To then be able to really enjoy the time off. I feel like that helps me train better and focus more.”

Three “meager” years already count as a crisis there

Time is the key word in every sense of the word for change, for the development of exceptional golfer Lydia Ko, who began as a teenage sensation, won her first professional tournament at 14, became the youngest tour winner in LPGA history at 15 years, four months and two days at the Canadian Open in August 2012, was number one in the world amateur rankings for 130 weeks and won her first professional tournament at the age of 18. Before the age of 20, she had already won two majors and the silver medal in golf’s Olympic comeback, and now has 19 LPGA victories to her name.

With such a golfing career, three years, the period between July 2016 and April 2021, with only one tournament title and a drop to 46th in the world rankings, can seem like a sporting crisis: “When you’re not playing so well, you have these weaker moments that feel so long. All too often, she has linked her existence exclusively to the numbers on the scorecard, identifying herself by her results on the golf course, Ko admits self-critically and unapologetically.

Interviewer rendered speechless

As bluntly as she spoke in June about her menstrual cramps and their effects on her back muscles (“It’s that times of the month”) after asking for medical help during the round – which literally left the interviewer from the “Golf Channel” speechless.

Equally candid, she says Jun Chung has given her “a new outlook on golf and life”: “How he perceives me doesn’t depend on my performance on the course.” And that’s precisely why “above all, I really wanted to win the BMW Ladies Championship last month in both our motherland, South Korea, with him by my side.” Mission accomplished. If Rosamunde Pilcher had written this plot, the whole world would have called it kitsch.

“You played better when you were 15”

So be it. From Ko’s point of view, the balance in her life has never been better. Without the period of the so-called form crisis, “I probably wouldn’t have the attitude I have today,” she says after her first season of multiple wins since 2016. “I feel like I matured a lot during that time.” And then isn’t fazed by a “You played better when you were 15” comment from her mother Tina: “What am I supposed to do with that information?” After nine years on the tour, you act differently, you’re simply more experienced, more familiar with the processes and conditions.

“Experience is the reason why some players play successfully on the tour for 15, 20 years. They hit their balls and know what’s going to happen. That comes naturally over time. Experience is like having a 15th club in the bag.”

Lydia Ko

On and off the court – starting with training on “more different types of grass than you can name in the same breath,” grins the new world number two behind Nelly Korda. “I used to play up liberated because I was young and clueless. Today I’m freer because I’ve learned to take things as they come and deal with them.”

Soon to be youngest Hall of Fame member

No question, the former child prodigy has grown up. And will probably soon become even the youngest member “ever” in the LPGA Hall of Fame. Until now, or since 2016, this privilege has gone to Inbee Park, who had to turn 27 to become a member. Ko, meanwhile, is only two points short.


LPGA Announces Changes to LPGA Hall of Fame Criteria

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the LPGA Hall of Fame Committee (formerly known as the Veterans Committee) announced today that the LPGA Hall of Fame has modified its entry requirements. The most significant modification includes lifting the 10-year playing requirement to enter the Hall of Fame, which makes two-time major champion Lorena Ochoa eligible for induction. Ochoa earned 37 Hall of Fame points in her eight-year playing career before retiring in 2010.

Players should be in the spotlight for as long as possible

“The Hall of Fame Committee wanted to understand why the 10-year rule was originally instituted, so we talked to the other Hall of Famers about the reasoning,” said Beth Daniel, an LPGA Hall of Famer and member of the LPGA Hall of Fame Committee. “I spoke to Carol Mann right before she passed away. Carol was president of the LPGA when the rule was set up and said it was because they needed players at that time to keep playing to keep the spotlight on the Tour. I think we have seen that the Tour is strong enough now that we don’t need that requirement, so the committee decided to do away with it. If you make the Hall of Fame in less than 10 years, more power to you. We shouldn’t keep you out of the Hall of Fame for that reason.”

Induction of the 13 LPGA female founders into the Hall of Fame as recognition

The Committee also elected to induct under the Honorary Category the remaining eight of the LPGA’s 13 Founders not already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, including Shirley Spork, who was monumental in creating what is now the LPGA Professionals organization.

“The 13 LPGA Founders were true pioneers whose collective passion, determination and foresight changed the course of history for women’s sports and laid the foundation for what is today the best women’s professional sports organization in the world. It is time to welcome them all into the LPGA Hall of Fame, recognizing the indelible impact they made on the game of golf and the doors they opened for female golfers, and female athletes more broadly,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “As we honor the efforts of the Founders, we also recognize that the LPGA is in a much stronger place than it was even just a decade ago. By removing the 10-year playing requirement, we will open the Hall of Fame to players who excel at the very highest level even in shorter periods of time on the LPGA Tour. Lorena Ochoa is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the history of our game, and we could not be more honored to welcome her into the LPGA Hall of Fame.”

Ochoa expressed being amazed and “very moved”

Ochoa played on the LPGA Tour from 2003 to 2010, winning 27 LPGA Tour titles during her career. Her victories include two major championships, the 2007 AIG Women’s Open and the 2008 Chevron Championship. Along with earning Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors in 2003, Ochoa was a four-time Rolex Player of the Year (2006-2009) and four-time Vare Trophy recipient (2006-2009). During her time on Tour, Ochoa was No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings for 158 weeks (April 23, 2007, to May 2, 2010), which is the record for most total and most consecutive weeks spent at No. 1. She received the news of her induction from 48-time LPGA Tour winner Nancy Lopez, a 1987 inductee into the LPGA Hall of Fame.

“It was very special to receive Nancy’s call. She is a person I admire a lot,” said Ochoa, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017. “When the call came in, I was in my backyard. It started as a casual conversation, how is my family, my children. Then she said she has good news to share. My first thought was something related to my foundation. I could not guess. When she told me I was taken aback, and I was very moved, never imagined. I walked around the garden several times and laughed to myself for several minutes. I composed myself from the excitement, then drove off to pick up my children from school. After that, I called my parents, and my father was very happy and surprised also. It’s an honor to receive this recognition. It was unexpected and very special to me.”

Spork on “highest honor ever in our profession”

The following Founders will join the five additional LPGA founding Members in the LPGA Hall of Fame through the Honorary Category: Alice Bauer (born 1927, died 2002), Bettye Danoff (born 1923, died 2011), Helen Dettweiler (born 1914, died 1990), Helen Hicks (born 1911, died 1974), Opal Hill (born 1892, died 1981), Sally Sessions (born 1923, died 1966), Marilynn Smith (born 1929, died 2019), Shirley Spork (born 1927).

The only other person to be inducted through the Honorary Category is Dinah Shore (1994), who was recognized for her incredible contributions to the LPGA through her relationship with the now Chevron Championship. LPGA Founders Patty Berg, Betty Jameson, Louise Suggs and Babe Zaharias were previously inducted based on criteria created before the current points system, and Marlene Bauer Hagge was inducted in 2002 through the Veterans Category. Hagge and Spork are the only two living Founders today.

“Getting into the LPGA Hall of Fame is the highest honor ever in our profession, so I’ve climbed the whole ladder and gotten to the top,” said Spork on the induction. “I hope I can sit up on that ladder for a few more years and enjoy it.”

The LPGA Hall of Fame’s scoring system

Additionally, the Committee decided to allocate one Hall of Fame point for an Olympic gold medal. This will apply retroactively to 2016 gold medalist Inbee Park, who was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. Nelly Korda will receive a Hall of Fame point based on her gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, bringing her to a total of nine points in her five years on Tour.

To qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame, Members of the LPGA Tour who were active in 1998 and going forward must meet a minimum point threshold of 27 points. One point is awarded for each LPGA Tour official event win, two points for each LPGA Tour major championship, one point for each Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honor earned and now one point for an Olympic gold medal. Players must also have won or been awarded at least one of the following – an LPGA Tour major championship, the Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honors.

The LPGA Hall of Fame Committee can also induct selected individuals through the Honorary Category. The Veterans Category, with inductees nominated by the former Veterans Committee, was created specifically to recognize players Donna Caponi, Marlene Bauer Hagge and Judy Rankin. All three players were granted induction after new LPGA Tour Hall of Fame criteria was introduced in 1999 because they were retired and had met the new 27-point criteria during their playing careers. The Veterans Category has since been dissolved.

The LPGA Hall of Fame Committee includes LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan, Heather Daly-Donofrio, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Kelly Schultz, Mike Waldron, Beth Daniel, Sandra Haynie, Leta Lindley, Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb.

(Text: LPGA)

European Tour Ladies European Tour Ladies Tours LPGA Tour PGA Tour PGA Tour Champions

Weekly Preview: Exciting English Debuts

PGA Tour: Shriners Children’s Open

When TPC Summerlin calls, the best players in the world come together. This year is no exception. After the stars of this year’s Ryder Cup took a little break, fans can look forward to seeing some familiar faces again this week. Starting with Ian Poulter who will begin early, teeing off tomorrow at 11:51(BST). As well as Matt Wallace who will get a chance to redeem himself from last week’s disappointing cut. Danny Willet who was last weekend’s champion of the Alfred Dunhill Links tournament will also be playing and teeing off at 18:35(BST).

PGA Tour Shriners Children’s Open
Course TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Prize Money 7,0 Mio US-Dollar (6,0 Mio EUR)
Defending Champion Martin Laird
Headliner Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Viktor Hovland
English players Ian Poulter, Matt Wallace, Paul Casey, Aaron Rai, Danny Willet, Harry Hall

European Tour: Open de Espana

Starting signal for the Spanish weeks on the European Tour! The next three weekends the European Tour stays in the home country of world number one Jon Rahm. The start is made by the Club de Campo Villa in Madrid, Spain. Since last year’s tournament had to be cancelled due to pandemic. A few English stars to get a chance at this year’s tournament include, Richard Bland, Daniel Gavins, and Ross McGowan.

EU Tour Open de Espana
Course Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Prize Money 1,5 Mio EUR
Defending Champion Jon Rahm
Headliner Jon Rahm, Bernd Wiesberger, Nicolai Hojgaard
English players

Richard Bland, Daniel Gavins, Ross McGowan, Steven Brown, Eddie Pepperell, Richard Mcevoy, Marcus Armitage, Andy Sullivan, Luke Donald 

LPGA Tour: Cognizant Founders Cup

For the women of the highest American tour, it’s off to New Jersey this week, where the Cognizant Founders Cup will be held for the tenth time. Since 2014, four of the last five winners have come from Korea, the most recent being Jin Young Ko in 2019. However English stars will be there to being the heat. Stars such as Charley Hull and Georgia Hall who both sit in the top 50 Rolex Rankings.

LPGA Tour Cognizant Founders Cup
Course TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Prize Money 3,0 Mio US-Dollar (ca. 2,5 Mio Euro)
Defending Champion Jin Young Ko
Headliner Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, Jin Young Ko
English players Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Laura Davies, Olivia Mehaffey, Mel Reid, Bronte Law, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, 

PGA Tour Champions: Constellation Furyk & Friends

A new tournament in the calendar of the PGA Tour Champions. When Jim Furyk invites the oldies, they all pack their bags again. They all come together at the Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Florida. Even Phil Mickelson does the honors and takes a break from the PGA Tour this week to join his friend Jim Furyk on the course. According to the rankings in the Charles Schwab Cup, it is the best-staffed tournament of the PGA Tour Champions ever. Furthermore, the two Ryder Cup captains Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington are also entered. Paul Broadhurst is the only English player in the tournament.

PGA Tour Champions Constellation Furyk & Friends
Course TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Prize Money
500.000 US-Dollar
Defending Champion Martin Laird
Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson,
English players Paul Broadhurst
Ladies Tours

Leona Maguire: “Back to business..”

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the media center for the 2021 ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer. We are joined this afternoon by current Rolex Rankings No. 42 and the undefeated Solheim Cup star, Leona Maguire. Leona, thanks for stopping by today.

LEONA MAGUIRE: Thanks for having me.

Q. We’ll start with this event first. You made your pro debut here in 2018 after a historic career at Duke University. Finished in a tie for 15th that year. Had a top 25 last year. Some good finishes, but what does Seaview and the ShopRite tournament mean to you?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I think it will always have a special place in his heart. Like you said, it was my first event after I turned pro, and nice to be back here.

This is one of the first courses I’ve come back to after my rookie year that I’ve actually been to before and I know the golf course, some the people here. It’s kind of like home. It has a linksy feel to it. There are a lot of Irish people in this area.

Yeah, it’s just a nice place to come back to year after year.

Q. This is your first LPGA Tour start since the AIG Women’s Open. Obviously had your first appearance since the undefeated showing at the Solheim Cup. You had that event in the middle of the break. You put together seven straight top 15 performances before the hiatus. How good of a place is your game in and what have you figured out at the LPGA level to find those results week in and week out?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, the consistency has been something that I’ve been very proud of. I think I learned a lot from last year. Made some tweaks at the end of the year. Changed my irons. Went back to graphite shafts. Put on a little bit of distance. Worked on my putting a lot. Sort of and all just coming together quite nicely.

Changed my caddie starting from MEDIHEAL. That’s where those top 15s started. Dermot has been a huge help to me as well on the bag keeping me calm and making a few better decisions. It doesn’t take much. All these girls are such great players, it doesn’t take much to go from a Top 5 to a Top 10 to a Top 40.

I think I’ve just been saving a few more shots around the greens and not giving away silly mistakes, which has been a big thinking with the consistency.

Q. Back to the Solheim Cup where you went undefeated. You played a big role obviously in Team Europe’s victory, and then everyone saw on social media the massive celebrations on your return home to Ireland. Just take us through the festivities, what was it was like to get that welcome, and the overall experience to celebrate with friends, family, and fans back home?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, we had an incredible week at Inverness. It was obviously special for me to be a part of that team. It was something I had dreamed about for a long time, and to get that win, we knew as a team we knew how big of a deal it was, but I don’t think I really understood.

I had seen things on Twitter and Instagram and social media of how excited people were back home, but I don’t think I fully grasped it. My dad picked me up from the airport in Dublin and stopped by his school on the way down. He’s a teacher, and all the kids had prepared poems and dances and songs and all of this, so we stopped for that.

Then I went to bed for a few hours and dad kind of said, yeah, there is something in our local town that evening. I suppose a lot of Olympians and Paralympians had been coming home celebrations like that, so I think it was just another continuation on.

It was fun for me to see how excited everybody was. There hasn’t a lot for people to be happy about. I suppose in the last two years sort of rural Ireland has been hit hard with lockdowns and COVID and all that. It was nice to see people that normally would never watch golf tuned into the Solheim Cup because there was an Irish person involved, and obviously a bonus that you were born.

Yeah, the response was just incredible. Wasn’t expecting anything like that. Went through my local town in like a convertible, gold convertible car, and my 94 year old grandmother was in the front waving to everybody. It was fun for me to see her enjoying it so much. It’s been a quiet two years for her, so for her to see a lot of people she hadn’t seen in a while and everybody sort of congratulating and messaging her. She’s on Facebook, she had fun sort of seeing all the messages all around the world were coming from, everybody commenting on things. So that was probably one of the most special things for me.

Q. In those moments it’s almost more fun to see the people you’re closest to enjoy it. Was that kind of the case?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, it was so much fun being at Solheim Cup playing in the Solheim Cup, but it was almost just as much fun seeing everybody else enjoy it. The Solheim Cup wasn’t about me. It was about whatever I could do for the team. Getting that team win, seeing everybody else, for Beany, the captains, for the rest of my teammates, and then also then coming home and getting — for everybody else to enjoy as well, it was — I suppose that is the special thing about Solheim Cup or a Ryder Cup. You’re part of something a lot bigger than yourself.

I kind of knew that at that time, but going home I really sort of felt that. Hopefully it’s inspired a young generation of Irish players who hopefully someday want to be on the Solheim Cup or even take part in any sport. I don’t really care what sport it is, but I think there is a great buzz about the country in general right now about sport and women’s sport, and I suppose things like the Solheim Cup and all of that can only help.

Q. You have you come down from that sort when you chase a dream and you reach it, kind of a pinnacle, and then when I win it, it almost takes you to a whole other statosphere. Have you come down? Have you been able to reflect in it at all, or is it one where it’s still going to provide some adrenaline for the end of the year?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, I would like to think I’ll take some confidence from it. It’s not something I’ll dwell on too much. Obviously it’s back to business this week and it’s back to regular life on tour.

Nobody cares about the Solheim Cup when I tee it up on Friday morning. Still have to go out and play golf. You’re only as good as your next round. Yeah, I take the confidence from that knowing I can compete with the best golfers in the world. You dream about those moments and you practice for those moments, and you don’t know how you are going to deal with that until you actually end up in that situation. Can you hole those putts when you need to? Can you pull off the shots when the moment is right?

Was able to do that at the Solheim Cup, and I suppose it’s just a case of bringing that back to regular LPGA events week in and week out and taking all I can from being around so many great players, my teammates, Beany, vice captains. Yeah, it was a big goal of mine to be on the Solheim Cup, but there is still a lot of golf to be checked off the list.

I think that’s the good thing about being home. You kind of get brought down to earth quickly being at home. It was nice to be around friends and family. They’ll definitely not let me get too big of a head.

Solheim success

Q. First of all, congratulations on your Solheim Cup success.


Q. Sort of similar to what you were saying there, have you found things have changed for you since the Solheim Cup in terms of recognition or even coming to the event this week? Have you found anything different now that you’ve had that Solheim Cup experience?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, I think the response at home was not something I was expecting. I think the fact that so many people watched it that would not normally watch golf, and even when I was out practicing the past few weeks, a lot more people coming up. Usually I can just go practice, and every once this a while someone will come up and recognize me.

There was a lot more people looking for pictures and wanting to talk about the Solheim Cup and things like that. Same when I went to see my coach, Shane, at his golf club. When I was leaving one of the days it took a while to get out of the car park because people were coming over and just so excited and wanted to tell me they watched and how proud they were and get a picture.

Yeah, I went back into my secondary school as well. Seeing everybody, it was seven years since I’d been back there. Yeah, it’s not something I was expecting, but at the same time, it’s nice to sort of share that experience with everybody, especially seeing as we didn’t have all that support over in Inverness that we potentially could have.

I would imagine quite a few Irish people would’ve traveled over, so it’s nice that they sort of got to share in that a little bit since I got home.

Q. What is the adjustment like going back into just a regular tour event this week? I’m sure Solheim Cup is obviously the pinnacle of team golf, but what’s it like coming back for this week?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, it’s nice to see all the girls again. Haven’t seen them in three weeks. Yeah, I mean, it’s back to business really. Get back to my routines. This week is a little different. There are more pro-ams than usual.

Yeah, it’s nice to come back to a course that I know, get back to my routines. Yeah, try and act as if nothing has changed, because really nothing has changed. Yeah, get back to what I do best. Sort of keep my head down and take care of business that way, sort of quietly and effectively.

How has Maguire evolved?

Q. Just a quick one for you. How different a player are you to the woman who turned up here in 2018?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Wow, I would like to think I have a bit more experience under my belt since then. It’s been three years have gone by pretty quick. Obviously that year and a half on Symetra under my belt, which I learned a lot. And then the last year and a half on LPGA, the same.

The big thing I’ll take from Solheim Cup is feeling like I belong out here. Bit by bit this year I felt more and more comfortable every week. I suppose when I was here back in 2018 I was still probably kind of in awe of a lot of the girls out here.

They were the girls I watched on TV, was still watching them on TV. A little bit of probably star struck up and down the range and on the putting green and all that. It’s nice to sort of be a little bit more comfortable out here three years on. A lot of familiar faces and same players I play with week in and week out.

My game is also in really good shape leaving college. It was still quite consistent all the rest, but I would like to hope I have a few more shots in my bag than I had three years ago. Putting has improved and added a bit of extra yardage.

I had a local caddie that week as well, and then I have Dermot this week. Yeah, a few things have changed, but a lot is still the same as well at the same time.

Q. Now that your feet are back on the ground or almost back on the ground after that great week at Inverness, what kind of goals do you set for yourself now? Going very well in the Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year standings. Do you set yourself any goals that you can tell us about or are they all secret?

LEONA MAGUIRE: No, I mean, I’d like to finish off the season as strong as I possibly can. The season has been going well so far. If the season ended today I would be still incredibly happy with how — I couldn’t have asked for a better season. Still my rookie year technically.

We’ve got five events left. Try and put myself in contention in as many of them as I possibly can. A lot of that momentum from Solheim and off the back of the majors, Evian and British Open and all those events. Yeah, I mean, it would be sort of cherry on top to finish off the year with a win.

If I do, great. If not, take all the experiences from this year and bring them into next year. I’ve never been one to worry about rankings or any of that sort stuff.

I’ll just keep sort of playing my golf, trying to do as well as I possibly can, and let Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year and all that sort of look after itself.

Q. Just a couple detail questions. What school does your are dad teach at?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Castle Tara National School.

Q. Nice. And then the little town that you said?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Ballyconnell.

Q. Okay. Very nice.

LEONA MAGUIRE: There is only like — it’s a small down. There is one stop light. You go over the bridge and you turn right, and we did like a loop around and then back to the golf club where I grew up playing. There is a hotel and like a little bit of a stage they had set up. We sort of did some chatting and answered questions and stuff like that, and then we had a little bit of food and music after.

Q. Awesome. And last one I have for you: We saw the fist pumps at Solheim. Maybe a little more energy than maybe fans are used to seeing from you. I’m sure it was greatly appreciated. Is that something that — first of all, where did you learn that from? I had never seen it, and I’ve seen you since you turned pro. And two, could we see maybe a few more subdued versions of it out here?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, we’ll see. I suppose that’s something that — I think my brother tweeted that I’d been practicing them in the mirror all that week. No, it’s not something I planned. I think the lack of crowds, European crowds, I guess, at Solheim, we had to be each other’s own biggest cheerleaders. I don’t know, maybe some of Mel had rubbed off on me at that point.

But, no, it’s Solheim Cup. It’s a different dynamic to every other week. It’s a lot of the fun playing match play. Match play, that one-on-one thing is a bit of a different dynamic. Yeah, who knows. I suppose holing a birdie putt on the 5th hole this week won’t be quite the same as doing it at a Solheim Cup, but I’m excited to have crowds back this week hopefully cheering for every shot, which will be nice again.

Yeah, it’s just nice when you saw that emotion from Shane Lowry too at the Ryder Cup. Yeah, doesn’t come out all that often, but if there is a reason to this week, why not?

Q. I’m sure plenty of people would love to see it on the 54th hole on Sunday.

LEONA MAGUIRE: Absolutely. If I have a putt to be in contention on Sunday, I’m sure there will be a few fist pumps.

Interview Transcript from Asap Sports


Jin Young Ko: Cambia Champion

THE MODERATOR: Really happy to be here with Jin Young Ko, winner of the 2021 Cambia Portland Classic.

Jin Young, you came here off several weeks off. Did you think your first event back would be a win?

JIN YOUNG KO: No, I didn’t. Yeah. I spent a great time in Korea after the Olympics, maybe over six or seven weeks. I had a lot of practice with my same coach and I had a lot of workouts, three times or four times each week. My body weight is getting higher so, (laughing) but I had a great week this week and I’m so happy for the name on the trophy. Yeah, it’s a great win, I think.

THE MODERATOR: Absolutely. It was a great week for you. I wanted to go to 18, to your final putt. That was a long putt and great to drain in for the win. Did you know you had that putt? Did you think that you had that putt in you.

JIN YOUNG KO: Yes, I did. But I was thinking, I just make 2-putt easy, but the ball goes in, so, who knows.

Q. How long was the putt?

JIN YOUNG KO: I guess, oh, 7 meters. Yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Overall, what was the course like today considering how much rain we got? Do you think the course conditions were able to help you at all? You played bogey-free today.

JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah. I really wanted to play yesterday, but we couldn’t play. I tried to make a no bogey-free round today, but I made it. I had a lot of missed shots and I had a lot of missed chipping or something, so I had to make great par saves, but I made it.

And this course was really amazing, perfectly clearing, and fairways and greens are really perfect. So I can’t wait to play for next year.

THE MODERATOR: What did you do yesterday?

JIN YOUNG KO: Well, we went to the H Mart with my parents and my manager and I bought Korean food, some Korea food and ice cream. So I ate ice cream and I watched, I was watching Netflix, Korean drama and taking a rest. Yeah, I took a rest.

THE MODERATOR: The nice thing about this golf course. You can work off the ice cream, right?

JIN YOUNG KO: Yes. (Laughing).

THE MODERATOR: A good workout on this golf course.

JIN YOUNG KO: Yes, I think so.

THE MODERATOR: Outside of the win, what were some of the highlights of the week for you?

JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah, I went to the Columbia mall. So I bought a lot of things. Like, inside this one were a lot of great jackets or hiking shoes and it was fun, with my parents.

THE MODERATOR: Glad to have your parents here with you?


Her parents got the chance to see a win like this in Texas

THE MODERATOR: Have they seen you win before?

JIN YOUNG KO: Yes, in Texas.

THE MODERATOR: So two this year.

JIN YOUNG KO: It ridiculous, you know? I want to win without my parents, but this year, I had two wins with my parents. But we’ll see what’s going to happen for next three weeks.

THE MODERATOR: Are they going with you the next three weeks?


THE MODERATOR: All right. Well, then you’re going to win four in a row.

JIN YOUNG KO: We’ll see. (Laughing).

Her thoughts on the course

THE MODERATOR: What are your thoughts on this golf course, on the challenge it was, but you played so solid over the three days?

JIN YOUNG KO: It was like fairways really narrow and greens are too, so we had to hit it straight to the fairway or even green as well and greens are really fast so we had to make sure great speed on it. But I did a great job this week.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned him in your speech, but Tom Maletis, who is retiring, if you wouldn’t mind just saying what it means to the LPGA players to have people like Tom and Cambia and Oregon Golf Club, who support women’s golf and support you.

JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah, I want to say thank you for who supports the LPGA Tour, even Tom or a lot of people are behind us. So I want to say thank you to all and Cambia, this year is the 50th anniversary, so I want to say congratulations and thank you.

THE MODERATOR: I know you’re on a plane tonight to go out to the next event, this was the first of four weeks in a row. How do you manage playing four weeks in a row to keep yourself from getting too tired or too stressed.

JIN YOUNG KO: Well, yeah, four weeks in a row is really tiring and tough, but two weeks is like just three days and, you know, not bad. And then after that I go back to Korea and then I will keep reminding myself, Okay, I can go back to Korea after New Jersey. So it will help me a lot.

Q. What can you say about coming to Oregon, the beauty of Oregon, the state, and your experience here, the nature and the other stuff?

JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah, I love this place. I like this weather, even — well I like this weather, like rain, but today it wasn’t rain, but I like this, like British weather, I like this. Even a few days ago it was perfect, so I went to the park, anyway, it’s a famous one, and I went there with my caddie and parents and Sue and we hiked, we went hiking, and the weather was really good. Yeah, and I heard there’s a lot of good wine here. I love drinking wine (laughing). Do you have wine right now? (Laughing).

THE MODERATOR: We can get you some.

JIN YOUNG KO: Oh, thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Yes, lots of good wine here. Definitely next year we can get a wine tour next year.

JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah, a winery.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Well, congratulations, we’ll see you down the road and we’ll see you here next year.

JIN YOUNG KO: Okay. Thank you.

Interview Transcript by Asap Sports


Brooke Henderson: “It was tougher than I was expecting”

Q. Brooke, opening round 70, only two back of the lead. After your practice rounds and pro-am, did you expect the course play this difficult today?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was tougher than I was expecting. It was very cold this morning, which I think played a huge factor, and also the wind has been pretty high. On a few shots really affected as well.

I feel like all in all it was a good day. Nice to get in under par. I felt like I left one out there on 18, but other than that, hopefully I can just make a lot of birdies tomorrow and climb up.

Q. You hit an inordinate number of shots today, at least during our coverage, that never left the flagstick or your target. Is that the result of finally getting to see your dad who’s also your instructor?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think so. It’s a really nice feeling to be hitting it a little better and seeing some good results, you know, shooting under par today. I feel like I’ve gained some confidence back over these last few week, which is big thing for me, and I’m excited just to play and see where it goes.

Q. How much practice will you do? It’s a course that is really difficult to walk, kind of taxing on everybody. I know you’re young and very fit, but how much practice will you do and will it be less than normal?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it’s a very hilly here and Brit is definitely getting a big workout in. I’m proud of her how she’s been able to cope the last few days.

Yeah, I’ll do a little practice this afternoon, get ready for tomorrow. But definitely have to pay attention to the rest and proper amount of fluids as well.

Henderson is happy to finish under par on day one

Q. You seemed to have a pretty steady round today, pretty quiet round. What was the story of your day out here?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was is nice to start off first hole with a birdie. That felt nice. Got some confidence there.

Then, yeah, nothing else really happened. Made a few more birdies, one bogey I guess.

But happy to finish under par today. Nice feeling. Felt like I hit some good shots and played the holes pretty well. Hopefully just continue that the next three days.

It was a little chilly out there today, how did it affect Henderson?

Q. You saw a little bit of everything today. It was downright cold first thing this morning; nice and warm now. What’s the challenge of seeing a bunch of weather conditions like that in one round, particularly starting out like that?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was very cold this morning. Wasn’t really expecting that, so definitely had to deal with that. Also the wind, it was pretty high at times. On certain holes it really blew, so just trying to calculate solid numbers and hit good shots under those conditions.

Q. Overall did the golf course play as you expected today? It’s so tough coming into a place you’ve never seen before and having to tee it up.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it’s really hard to judge on a place you never competed on before, so I felt like it played a little bit tougher that I was expecting I think mainly just because of the colder weather this morning.

I’m excited. Tomorrow afternoon should be a little warmer than this morning, so hopefully go out and continue to hit it well and make a lot of birdies.

Q. This was your first event since you had your break. Had time to go home and work with dad, coach. Do you feel what you worked on was of use, that you’re still using it today?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, definitely. I think it was a big key for me to go home and see my family and also my coach, my dad, just get some solid work in and build the confidence back up.

Really looking forward to the rest of this week, and, yeah, coming weeks. Got four in a row, so excited to see where it goes.

Q. Anything in specific you’re working on with your dad or just fine tuning?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, just really everything. I hadn’t seen him in so long that we just kind of went over all parts of the game. Was able to give me a couple pointers in every single one, and I feel like it made a big difference.

Q. Last question: How did you and Brit handle the walk today, the beast?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, definitely is very hilly. I was happy when we finally made it to the back nine because it’s a little flatter. Yeah, hopefully we make it the next three days.

Interview Transcript from Asap Sports

Ladies Tours

Team Europe tramples on Toledo

Fresh off the last round these players share their excitement.

Madeline Sagstrom:

Q. Madelene, when we talked coming into this week you said you wanted to be yourself and let yourself go out and enjoy it. Did you enjoy it out there?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: It’s been a great week. The team has obviously done amazing. I haven’t really contributed until today. I was saying on the range this morning, hold on a second, I need to be myself. I need to be myself out there. I can’t play somebody else’s game, I can’t be somebody else’s character. I need to be myself, and I really found that today. I grinded hard. Ally put up a really good fight, so we had a really solid game going, and I’m really proud of myself.

Q. You said the last time when you were in Des Moines, the crowds, that there was so much cheering against you and that’s kind of unnerving, but you said this time you’d be a little bit more prepared. How do you think you did that that?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Yeah, last time I was a rookie on Tour and I’ve had four years under my belt. It’s definitely tough. I’m kind of — they’re still cheering for me, but you still hear, “good shot,” when you do well, but it’s quite loud out there, I’m not going to lie.

Q. How pleased are you with that victory?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Oh, I’m very happy right now. I didn’t have the best start to the week. I’ve been playing really well. We’ve been playing well, both with Nanna and with Georgia yesterday. We just couldn’t pull a win through, so I’m really happy that I went out and got a point for the team today.

Q. With everything that happened, how important was it for you to come out here on singles and get that point?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Well, I was really happy Catriona decided to put me out first thing Sunday morning, just showing that she believes in me, showing that the team has got my back, so that was really nice. We put up a great fight, and it was just nice today to be able to go out — I played some really good golf today. Ally did, too, so we had a really good game, but I’m really happy to be on the winning side.

Q. Give us a bit of insight into how it was this morning in the team room. What sort of things did Catriona say to you? It’s looking pretty good with blue on the board right now.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I think the thing she’s focused on in singles is go out, it’s a new game, obviously you can see scoreboards, but your point is the only thing that matters. You go out in your match and that’s all you can do, and now we’re going to be there for everybody else.

She just has so much belief in us. She’s said that from day one. It’s such a great atmosphere to be around, and it just really fuels both my confidence and that I believe in myself so much, the fact that she believes in us.

TOLEDO, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 06: Anna Nordqvist of Team Europe and Madelene Sagstrom of Team Europe celebrate with the Solheim Cup after winning over Team USA during day three of the Solheim Cup at the Inverness Club on September 06, 2021 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Sophia Popov:

Q. Just over a year ago you came here to Inverness and caddied for your friend Anne van Dam. Did you think in your wildest dreams you would be here today part of the winning Solheim Cup team?

SOPHIA POPOV: Probably not, no. I couldn’t even predict what was going to happen the week after and the week after that, more importantly.

So I think that dream just became real once I won the Open, and before that I never in a million years would have thought I was going to be standing here and just be teeing it up with all these amazing girls, not only on our team, obviously on the American team. They’re so stacked, and it was just — it was just so enjoyable. Such an amazing moment.

Q. What do you think it was about the makeup of your team and the players and the character they have that produced this result?

SOPHIA POPOV: I think we have a great mix of experience and obviously rookies, and we have someone like Leona who just came out and said, All right, I’m going to snatch every point, or at least a half.

I think just all of us, we fight so hard, even myself. I know I had three tough matches, but three tough battles that could have gone either way.

And today I tried everything I could, and that fight, I think all of us have that in us, and I think that’s what makes the team so special, and I think it starts with leaders like Beanie, like Suzann who’s been in that position two years ago, and Catherine.

I think it’s just a great balance of experience and newbies.

TOLEDO, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 06: Sophia Popov of Team Europe celebrates with the Solheim Cup after winning over Team USA during day three of the Solheim Cup at the Inverness Club on September 06, 2021 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Matilda Castren:

Q. Retained the Cup for Europe; how does it feel?

MATILDA CASTREN: It feels amazing. It’s just crazy, crazy. I can’t believe I made that putt. I knew it was important. I knew it was going to break a little bit left.

Me and Mikey read the putt perfectly and it went in. It’s just such an amazing feeling, and so proud to be part of this team.

Q. Tell us what was going through your mind the last few holes as it was so tense and you know that anything can happen. What was going through your mind the last few holes?

MATILDA CASTREN: I was just trying to play my best. She’s a tough competitor, and I knew she was going to make some putts and make some birdies and hit some good shots.

I was just trying to play my best and give it all I’ve got and hit some good shots and roll some good putts, and some of them went in.

Q. Give us a sense of how your week has been. What are some of the experiences that you had? How do you feel standing at the back of 18 now being a Solheim Cup team player?

MATILDA CASTREN: It’s been such a cool experience. I mean, it’s more than I could have asked for, playing with Anna in the foursomes and four-ball matches. It was so much fun, and we did great.

Just the team atmosphere is so great. Everyone is so supportive of one another, and just the chemistry is amazing. Our bus rides, we were listening to music, and it was just like everyone was hoping the best for each other, and yeah, I think it’s the team really that made this happen.

We worked really well together all of us and we got all along and had so much fun together. It’s just been an amazing experience, and I’m so, so happy I made it.

Q. How much of a different player do you feel you are after these days? Do you feel more confident perhaps?

MATILDA CASTREN: I mean, it’s been intense, an immense amount of pressure, especially today. I was really nervous these last few holes, and I think — I mean, I learned a lot playing with Anna and just playing under pressure. That’s always something you want to do, and when you perform well under pressure, that’s even better.

I’m definitely coming out a more confident player after this week and just a lot of experiences and just amazing week.

Q. You have retained the Solheim Cup for Team Europe on U.S. soil. How does that sound?

MATILDA CASTREN: That sounds amazing. We have Suzann’s photo when she made the putt at Gleneagles. It’s in our locker room when you get out of the locker. I look at it every day, and I hope one day that can be me and I hope I can handle the pressure.

To have retained the Cup, I mean, it’s such an amazing feeling. There was a little part of me that thought I wasn’t able to do it, but I don’t know, I guess just the pressure, and it just made me focus a little bit more, and just rolled those putts in.

TOLEDO, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 06: Matilda Castren of Team Europe celebrates with the Solheim Cup after winning over Team USA during day three of the Solheim Cup at the Inverness Club on September 06, 2021 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ladies Tours LPGA Tour

Deb Vangellow receives 2021 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award in recognition of her dedication to the teaching of golf.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 24, 2021 – Deb Vangellow, a LPGA Master Professional and Director of Golf Instruction at Riverbend Country Club in Houston, Texas, joins an elite group of her peers as the recipient of the 2021 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award.

The Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, instituted by the LPGA Professionals membership in 1989 to honor the late teaching professional Ellen Griffin, recognizes an individual, male or female, who made a major contribution to the teaching of golf and emulates Griffin’s spirit, love and dedication to students, teachers, teaching skills and the game of golf.

Vangellow honored by LPGA after more than 30 years as teaching professional
“I am so thrilled to be the 2021 LPGA Ellen Griffin Award recipient. I did not know Ellen personally, but have numerous friends who did and shared her inspiring story about the terrific Golf Education Programming she led on ‘The Farm’ in Greensboro, North Carolina,” said Vangellow. “Golf was her subject matter, but she taught people. For Ellen, the frustrations of golf were always overcome by fun. This very thing has been so very instrumental with the wonderful peer group I am so lucky to have who nominated me for this award. These special LPGA Members, many of whom are on this grand list of award recipients, are dear friends I had the fantastic fortune to work with in our LPGA Education Program. I am so grateful for their guidance and support and cherish the 30+ years we had together. Forever friends, for sure! Thank you so much for this award. I will appreciate it forever and will fondly remember Ellen Griffin’s outstanding teaching of golf.”

LPGA Master Professional/PGA Honorary Director Vangellow holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Health/Physical Education/Coaching and Educational Leadership/Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and Miami (Ohio) University, respectively. A multi-sport athlete who was a scholarship recipient, captain and letter winner in soccer and track & field, Vangellow elected to devote her career path to develop into a top golf educator. Her experiences reflect this endeavor.

Educational professional career of Deb Vangellow in the field of golf
After holding various positions in higher education, Vangellow coached Division I collegiate golf at the University of Northern Iowa and led the American Junior Team that traveled to Europe in 1996 as part of the International Sport for Understanding Program. In 1997, Vangellow was honored as a recipient of the Young Alumni Award at the University of Northern Iowa and was a 3-time LPGA Central Section Teacher of the Year in 2002, 2009, and 2012. She was also named the 2012 LPGA National Teacher of the Year. Vangellow was recently inducted into the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame, the UNI School of HPELS Hall of Excellence, and the Fairport High School Hall of Fame.

In addition to teaching men, women, senior and junior golfers of all skill levels individually and in groups at Riverbend Country Club, Vangellow was the first ever National Vice President for the LPGA Professionals membership and served as the elected National President. She was a longtime lead instructor in the LPGA Global Education Program, the industry leading teacher training program for golf professionals in the U.S. and Korea, and is a U.S. Kids Golf Master Teacher. In 2016, she joined the team at Callaway Golf Company as a Master Staff Professional promoting their Women’s Equipment Line.

“Receiving this award is an unbelievable honor, especially to be among so many past recipients I call friends and mentors,” added Vangellow. “I stand on the shoulders of these folks, without a doubt, and feel fortunate to do what I get to do and for the people I have met along the way. I am so grateful for this recognition. Lastly, many thanks to Rolex and the LPGA.”

Past recipients of the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award include: Peggy Kirk Bell, 1989; Linda Craft, 1990; Shirley Englehorn, 1991; Harvey Penick, 1992; Goldie Bateson, 1993; Carol Clark Johnson, 1994; Joanne Winter, 1995; Ann Casey Johnstone, 1996; Dr. DeDe Owens, 1997; Shirley Spork, 1998; Betty Hicks, 1999; Gary Wiren, 2000; Penny Zavichas, 2001; Annette Thompson, 2002; Dr. Barbara B. Smith, 2003; Marjorie Burns, 2004; Pat Lange, 2005; Donna White, 2006; Betsy Cullen, 2007; Lynn Marriott, 2008; Kay McMahon, 2009; Mary Beth McGirr, 2010; Dr. Debbie Crews, 2011; Dr. Betsy Clark, 2012; Kathy Murphy, 2013; Kerry Graham, 2014; Dana Rader, 2015; Pia Nilsson, 2016; Sandy LaBauve, 2017; Jane Frost, 2018; Nancy Quarcelino, 2019; and Renee Powell, 2020.


Rolex is the official timepiece of the LPGA and sponsors many of the LPGA’s annual awards, including the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, Rolex Player of the Year, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. Rolex honors the LPGA Tour’s Rolex First-Time Winners and is a supporting sponsor of the annual LPGA Professionals National Championship. At tournament sites, Rolex has a presence by providing the official time at selected tournaments and advertises in many event programs. In addition, Rolex is a Global Partner of Solheim Cup and the presenting sponsor of the World Golf Rankings.


The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women, with a goal to change the face of golf by making the sport more accessible and inclusive.

Created in 1950 by 13 Founders, the Association celebrates a diverse and storied history. The LPGA Tour competes across the globe, reaching television audiences in more than 220 countries. The Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official qualifying tour, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA also holds a joint-venture collaboration with the Ladies European Tour (LET), increasing playing opportunities for female golfers in Europe. Across the three Tours, the LPGA represents players in more than 60 countries.

Additionally, the LPGA Foundation has empowered and supported girls and women since 1991, most notably through LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the only national program of its kind, which annually engages with nearly 100,000 girls. The LPGA Amateur Golf Association and LPGA Women’s Network provide virtual and in-person connections to female golfers around the world, while LPGA Professionals are educators, business leaders and gamechangers dedicated to growing the game of golf for everyone.

Press Release by the LPGA Professionals Communication

Ladies Tours LPGA Tour

LPGA announces Cindy Miller as 2021 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award Recipient

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 24, 2021 – The LPGA Professionals announced today Cindy Miller as the recipient of the 2021 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award, which recognizes a LPGA Professional who gives back to the game in the spirit of Nancy Lopez.

The Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award was created in 2007 and is given to a LPGA Professional who emulates qualities valued by Lopez: leadership, passion, giving, and approachability. Lopez is a 48-time LPGA Tour winner and four-time Rolex Player of the Year. She was inducted into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame in 1987 and captained the victorious 2005 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.

LPGA Professionals member recognized for giving back in the spirit of Nancy Lopez
“I first met Nancy Lopez while playing collegiate golf. When I watched her play, it was like watching someone float through the course while making almost every putt she looked at. She became one of the friendliest Tour players I have ever met and has been a hero of mine for a very long time,” said Miller. “She has that special charisma that only a few possess. Her leadership, passion, giving and approachability are qualities I have been striving to emulate my whole career. I am thrilled and honored to receive this award.”

Miller is the current Section President for the LPGA Professionals Northeast section, with a two-term history of serving as the Northeast Section Vice President before that. A member of the ‘Legends of the LPGA,’ Miller is a Certified Behavior, Motivation, and Emotional Intelligence Professional who teaches individuals, teams, and corporations to improve performance and profitability. She also runs a LPGA*USGA Girls Golf site and has written for numerous golf publications as a contributing columnist.

She has also been named a Top-50 Teacher by the Women’s Golf Journal and won LPGA National Teacher of the Year (2010), LPGA Northeast Section Teacher of the Year (2001, 2005, and 2010) and LPGA Northeast Player of the Year (2005 and 2007).

Past recipients of the Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award include: Debbie O’Connell (2007), Troy Beck (2008), Patti Benson (2009), Lynn Stellman (2010), Malia Folquet (2011), Suzy Whaley (2012), Marvol Barnard (2013), Angela Aulenti (2014), Teresa Zamboni (2015), Donna White (2016), Sandy LaBauve (2017), Lynn Marriott (2018), Louise Ball (2019) and Dana Rader (2020).


The Nancy Lopez Golf (NLG) line provides unprecedented choice to the woman golfer in the selection of golf equipment and apparel. The four-step NLG Match Play Process also provides selection in club configuration to best fit the game of each woman. Nancy Lopez Golf embodies the spirit and energy of women’s golf and of its namesake, Nancy Lopez, who captured the imagination of people everywhere with her remarkable playing career and the genuine warmth of her charm. For more information about Nancy Lopez Golf, visit


The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women, with a goal to change the face of golf by making the sport more accessible and inclusive.

Created in 1950 by 13 Founders, the Association celebrates a diverse and storied history. The LPGA Tour competes across the globe, reaching television audiences in more than 220 countries. The Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official qualifying tour, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA also holds a joint-venture collaboration with the Ladies European Tour (LET), increasing playing opportunities for female golfers in Europe. Across the three Tours, the LPGA represents players in more than 60 countries.

Additionally, the LPGA Foundation has empowered and supported girls and women since 1991, most notably through LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the only national program of its kind, which annually engages with nearly 100,000 girls. The LPGA Amateur Golf Association and LPGA Women’s Network provide virtual and in-person connections to female golfers around the world, while LPGA Professionals are educators, business leaders and gamechangers dedicated to growing the game of golf for everyone.

Press Release transcript by the LPGA Professionals Communication

Ladies Tours

Brittany Altomare, Mina Harigae and Yealimi Noh Added to 2021 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, Aug. 23, 2021 – USA Captain Pat Hurst has selected Brittany Altomare, Mina Harigae and Yealimi Noh as her captain’s picks for the 2021 Solheim Cup, to be held Sept. 4-6 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Altomare will make her second appearance for Team USA at the Solheim Cup, following her 2-1-1 performance at Gleneagles in 2019. Harigae and Noh will make their Solheim Cup debuts.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but I’m very happy to have Brittany, Mina and Yealimi as my picks for Team USA,” said Hurst. “Brittany proved that she’s the ultimate team player in 2019 and really came through for us at Gleneagles. Mina and Yealimi have played so well over the last two years, and just because they’re Solheim Cup rookies on paper doesn’t mean they’re rookies inside the ropes. I have no doubt they’ll be great competitors at Inverness.”

Top players that automatically classify to play the 2021 U.S. Solheim Cup

These three players join the nine automatic qualifiers for Team USA who were named following the completion of play at the AIG Women’s Open. Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Ally Ewing, Austin Ernst, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Megan Khang qualified off the USA Solheim Cup Team Standings, while Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho qualified off the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

Stacy Lewis also joins Team USA as third Assistant Captain.

Additionally, Hurst has selected Stacy Lewis as the third Assistant Captain for Team USA. She joins the previously announced Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie West. Lewis is a 13-time LPGA Tour winner and has represented the USA on four Solheim Cup Teams (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017). She was named to the team in 2019 but served as an unofficial assistant captain after withdrawing from competition due to injury.

“I am really honored that Pat asked me to be part of Team USA as an assistant captain,” said Lewis. “The opportunity to learn from Pat and the other captains in 2019 was fascinating and while I know that I can still keep up with the players, I will always welcome any chance to wear the Red, White and Blue at the Solheim Cup. I can’t thank Pat enough for trusting me and having me join her team.”

The biennial Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. In 2019, Team Europe earned a 14.5-13.5 victory at Gleneagles in Scotland, a breathtaking win that saw Suzann Pettersen knock in the winning putt on the final hole of the final match. Team USA leads Team Europe, 10-6, all-time in Solheim Cup competition.

With a full week of action at the 2021 Solheim Cup, fans can purchase various ticket and hospitality packages to enjoy every activity in Toledo at Inverness Club. New in 2021 is the Meijer Pavilion, which will give ticketholders a 300-degree view of the surrounding holes, upgraded food and beverage options and much more. Information on ticket options and prices is available at


About The Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup combines the tradition and prestige of the game of golf with passion for one’s country and continent. This biennial international match-play competition features the best U.S. players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European players from the Ladies European Tour (LET).

The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LPGA and the LET, developed the concept and became the title sponsor for the Solheim Cup. Today, the Global Partners of the Solheim Cup are PING, Rolex and Marathon Petroleum.

Held every two years, the event has grown into the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. The 2021 Solheim Cup will be held at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, on Sept. 4-6. In 2019, Team Europe took a thrilling 14.5-13.5 victory at Gleneagles in Scotland, a thrilling win that came down to the final putt. Team USA leads Team Europe, 10-6, all-time in Solheim Cup competition.

For more information, visit

About Inverness Club

Inverness Club, located in Toledo, Ohio, has forged a place of distinction in professional golf. Opening in 1903, the historic club has been the site of twelve championships, including four U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships. Byron Nelson, who served as head golf professional from 1940 to 1944, recognized Inverness Club as his home course. S.P. Jermain, their first Board President, was credited with conceiving the idea of the Ryder Cup. The championship course was designed by the renowned architect Donald Ross. Inverness Club successfully hosted the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur and is the host site of the 2021 Solheim Cup.

Press Release by the Tour Media, LPGA