Daniel’s Pairing Choices Making Noise

August 22, 2009

Despite a surging American team on Day 2 of the Solehim Cup in Sugar Grove, IL, America captain Beth Daniel has gotten grief regarding some of her pairing choices for this latest installment of the event.

In an article written for Europe’s Telegraph.co.uk, Mark Reason states that “[s]ome of Beth Daniel’s pairings have been so bizarre that you almost wondered if she was trying to sabotage her own team. Not many people have given Europe a chance this week, but Daniel is one of them” (2009). Reason went on to write, “Daniel left out Cristie Kerr on the first afternoon despite the fact that Kerr had been America’s best player in the morning. It seemed as unthinkable as not playing Sergio Garcia after he had just taken out Tiger Woods” (2009).

Daniel’s response?

“I didn’t want to play Cristie five matches. I don’t want to play anybody five matches. That’s my goal. I’m trying to save their strength for Sunday. This is a very tough golf course to walk. There are a lot of big distances between greens and tees. I know Cristie played extremely well this morning, but she’ll still have her golf game tomorrow” (telegraph.co.uk, 2009).

In my opinion, if you’ve got a player that is hot and playing well in a tournament of this magnitude, you keep that golfer on the tee box. There really is no reason why Kerr should have sat for the afternoon sessions, and Reason agrees:

“Momentum is everything in these matches. Kerr had a ton of momentum in the morning, but she was left to wander around. Daniel preferred to keep Angela Stanford in the Friday afternoon line-up, despite her awful form in the morning. Guess what, she lost again in the foursomes, and to some pretty dreadful golf from the Europeans. Momentum gone” (telegraph.co.uk, 2009).

Only time will tell if Daniel will be the reason for an American victory or defeat this year at the Solheim, but definitely something to keep your eye on as the weekend continues.