Time to tee it up for the Solheim Cup

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Wandering around the Colorado Golf Club trying to find the best location to watch the Solheim Cup could be as difficult as successfully getting out of one of the course's bunkers.
 
The Solheim Cup, matching 12 of the top women professional golfers from the United States against a dozen of Europe's top players, will be contested Aug. 16-18 in Parker.
 
Fans want to be sure to be on the first hole to watch the players tee off in the match-play tournament. The first tee is a raucous place to be when players are teeing off because fans from both sides will be yelling, chanting and even singing songs to inspire the respective teams.
 
The Solheim Cup is often called football golf because spectators can yell and scream. The par 4, 428-yard third hole is one that could be tough for the ladies. It is downhill, which results in a forced carry on the second shot off a downhill lie.
 
Holes 14, 15 and 16 could produce a bushel of birdies that might spark comebacks for trailing players.
 
And, any match coming down to the 435-yard, par 4 18th hole could deliver some highlight-reel memories.
 
“The course is going to be firm and fast, which means the ball is going to spend a lot of time on the ground and do a lot of things,” said Colorado Golf Club head professional Graham Cliff.
 
Holes on the course will have different setups from session-to-session.
“The girls won't know what to expect,” said Cliff. “They can't go out and say `this morning I did this.' The hole is going to be completely different that it was in the morning. They play a hole like No. 2, which is a par 3, it could play 150 yards in the morning and it could play 130 in the afternoon.
“We've already discussed with the LPGA some setup things for Sunday and other days on some holes just to make them more exciting.”
 
Golf Channel analyst Curt Byrum, who played Colorado Golf Club during the 2010 Senior PGA, says the Parker course that is exposed to the wind is an ideal venue for the Solheim Cup.
 
“Overall it's going to be a tremendous venue,” said Byrum. “They can do so much with the setup to play to the match play part of this. “No. 14 is one of those holes that they can move the tees up to make that a drivable par 4. So that stretch of 14, 15 and 16 could be real volatile. There are eagle possibilities in that stretch of three holes.”
 
The U.S. team with Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Gerina Piller and Michele Wie has more long hitters than the Europeans.
 
“If the girls are playing best ball or alternate shot on certain holes if you can have your longest player playing, it could make a difference,” said Cliff. “That's the reason Michelle Wie was picked for the team is for her length.
 
“Meg (U.S. captain Mallon) said it best, she can't leave four or five birdies she thinks Michelle is going to make sitting at home on the couch.”
 
Cliff warns spectators not to leave early and echoed the thoughts of many people that anything can happen in match play.
 
“On 14, 15 and 16 there is no lead that is safe,” he said. “You are not going to be able to coast. People are going to birdie 14, 15 and 16 on a daily basis. A match coming down to 18 is going to be a fabulous hole for the gals playing up the hill with all the spectators.
 
“At the end of the day, the team that putts the best is going to win. It's the same for any tournament. The greens are really tough and the greens will be really fast.”
 
Solheim schedule
Aug. 16:
7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Four Foursomes matches
1-5:30 p.m. - Four Four-ball matches
Aug. 17:
7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Four Foursomes matches
1-5:30 p.m. - Four Four-ball matches
Aug. 18:
12:30-6:30 p.m. - Twelve singles matches
7-7:45 p.m. - Closing ceremonies.
TV Coverage:
Golf Channel will provide coverage of all sessions of the tournament.
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