Danielle Kang made it safely from Las Vegas to Spain for her fourth appearance in the Solheim Cup. Her golf clubs did not.
Kang sent out a desperate plea on X, formerly known as Twitter, for someone to put her clubs on a plane from Amsterdam to Malaga. The matches are at Finca Cortesin, about an hour down the coast from Malaga toward Gibraltar.
“First they told me they were in Amsterdam. Then they said Vegas. Now it’s Amsterdam again. It’s been an adventure,” Kang told reporters during her news conference Tuesday at Finca Cortesin. “If it wasn’t a dramatic entrance, it wouldn’t be my life.”
She said U.S. captain Stacy Lewis and the rest of the American team has been helping. In the meantime, she said she played Tuesday with a set of Ping clubs to see the course. She said Titleist has built a set to her specifications and they were on the way. She has two more days of practice and hopes to get her 13 clubs.
The 14th club is her putter, and Kang says it doesn’t leave her when she travels. She said she keeps it in a rifle case because putters can bend during travel.
This isn’t the first time Kang has dealt with missing clubs. They also went missing during her flight from the Evian Championship in France to the Women’s British Open in England.
Meanwhile, she said Lewis was providing tremendous support.
“She’s putting out fires, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one causing fire right now,” Kang said.
The new PGA Tour season is just under four months away, and all signs point to it starting on the west end of Maui for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
A posting in the Maui News last week noted that volunteer registration was open for the Plantation Course at Kapalua. The tournament is Jan. 4-7.
Maui has been devastated by wildfires that destroyed much of Lahaina — about 10 miles away from Kapalua — and killed at least 97 people. Gov. Josh Green recently signed a proclamation that most of West Maui will reopen to travelers on Oct. 8. The area has 11,000 hotel rooms, half of Maui’s total.
An internal memo from the PGA Tour indicated it was working with state, county and community leaders to advance the planning, and that Green formally told the tour to “go forward,” acknowledging the economic and charitable impact of playing.
Wisconsin-based Sentry has made initial contributions to Maui United Way, Maui Food Bank and UH-Maui County, and Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa are among players contributing to relief efforts.
The tournament is for the top 50 from the FedEx Cup and 2024 winners of PGA Tour events.
Steve Stricker already set the PGA Tour Champions record for most earnings in a season when he won the Sanford International for his sixth victory of the year.
Now he has a chance for something really remarkable — winning the Charles Schwab Cup without even playing in the postseason.
Stricker is at $3,956,127, more than twice as much as anyone else. Bernhard Langer is No. 2 in the Schwab Cup standings and is $2,065,705 behind.
“It kind of pads my lead on that Schwab Cup a little bit and it’s something I’m looking forward to trying to cap off at the end of the year,” Stricker said.
Stricker withdrew Monday from the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach. His next start is likely the Constellation Furyk & Friends in Jacksonville, Florida, the week after he returns from the Ryder Cup as an assistant captain. Stricker is the defending champion.
A year ago, that was Stricker’s final event of the year. He tends to hunt in the fall.
Points (dollars) are double during the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. According to PGA Tour Champions projections, he would need to lead by $2,426,001 to clinch the Schwab Cup. That’s unlikely, because even winning in Florida is worth only $300,000.
However, even with a lead of around $2.2 million, the No. 2 player in the Schwab Cup might have to win all three playoff events to be able to catch him.
Stricker has not indicated his schedule for the rest of the year. He has never played beyond the first week in October since joining the PGA Tour Champions in 2017.
Sergio Garcia seems to have buyer’s remorse when it comes to LIV Golf and the Ryder Cup.
Garcia resigned his membership in May when he refused to pay his 100,000-pound fine for joining LIV Golf. The Daily Telegraph reports that Garcia offered to pay the fine, along with all outstanding fines, and that he offered to play whatever European tour events were necessary as long as they weren’t the same week as LIV Golf. The hope was to be eligible for the Ryder Cup.
The Telegraph cited a source that said the European tour told Garcia he would not be eligible to rejoin the tour until 2024.
Garcia will not be part of the Ryder Cup for the first time in his career. He has won the most points in Ryder Cup history dating to his debut in 1999. The one time he didn’t play was in 2010, and then he was appointed as a vice captain.
Former U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor discovered earlier this year.
A message posted Monday on his social media account by “Team GW” said, “ After a long surgery today, the majority of the tumor has been removed and he is currently resting.”
Woods announced on Aug. 20 that he had tried to treat symptoms with medication and that multiple specialists said surgery was the best course to take.
Woodland won the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, one of his four PGA Tour titles.
PGA HALL OF FAME
Suzy Whaley, the first woman to be president of the PGA of America, and CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz are among those being inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame later this year at the new headquarters in Frisco, Texas.
The other inductees are the late LPGA Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth and longtime PGA professionals Robert Dolan, Don Wegrzyn and Herb Wimberly.
The induction is Nov. 8 during the 107th annual meeting.
Adam Hayes will be headed to Europe for the third time as a caddie in a cup.
Hayes has been the caddie for Jon Rahm ever since the Spaniard turned pro, and he was with Rahm at the Ryder Cup in France in 2018. Before that, he caddied for Vaughn Taylor in 2006 at The K Club in Ireland.
The other occasion was Sweden. He worked for Wendy Ward when the Americans lost to Europe in the 2003 Solheim Cup at Barseback Golf Club.
“Now all I need is to caddie for a European player in a Solheim Cup,” Hayes said.
That would be unlikely.
As the U.S. and Europe face off in the Solheim Cup in Spain, two of the top 10 players in the world will be at the Hana Financial Group Championship on the Korean LPGA. Two-time major champion Minjee Lee, fresh of her LPGA win in Cincinnati, and Lydia Ko highlight the field that starts Thursday. Also playing is former major champion Patty Tavatanakit. … California natives have won the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, four of the last five years. Sahith Theegala joins two-time winner Max Homa and Cameron Champ. … Of the six players at the Fortinet Championship who finished in the top 50 in the FedEx Cup, five of them finished in the top 10 — Theegala, Cam Davis, Eric Cole, Brendon Todd and Homa.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Steve Stricker has won or finished runner-up in 48% of his starts on the PGA Tour Champions.
“It’s a combination of the Olympics and the Super Bowl and a (Rolling) Stones concert.” — PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh on the Ryder Cup.