World Cup Theme Song
Hello, Goodbye by Anker Brown
Juli Inkster was back at home this week in Los Altos, Ca., coming down from her eighth and final Solheim Cup as a player by getting ready to take her youngest daughter to college. When I reached her on Wednesday, she was doing the wash.
Michelle Wie, a sophomore at Stanford, was in Portland trying to build off the momentum of leading Inkster's final team to a four-point victory in her maiden Solheim Cup. She'll return to Palo Alto after this week's Safeway Classic and a full month of competitive golf.
What Inkster saw in Michelle she also sees in daughter Hayley. They left on Friday for Loyola Marymount while Wie morphed back into her role as one of the most visible female athletes in the world. The 19-year-old who toured Nike Headquarters with a hero's welcome on Tuesday, and who will be pulled back into a world where she's accompanied by a team of two parents, a swing coach, and a sports management company, grinding to win her first professional event.
This was not the loose and fun-loving Michelle Wie that made such a favorable impression behind the scenes at Rich Harvest Farms and on the course with a 3-0-1 record. "She's a college student, that's exactly what she is," Inkster said. "She enjoys dancing, the computer, hanging out with the girls. She loves fashion, designing her own clothes. I learned a lot about Michelle in a different light."
As the youngest and the oldest players on Team U.S.A., the two captain's picks by Beth Daniel, Inkster and Wie became the mix masters of an energy level that came through TV screens and poured out in the team room and on the putting green at night after dinner. Instead of putting practice, they became jam sessions, with the younger players bringing out their computers and breaking out their moves. "Juli was like the rest of us," Pressel said. "We were supposed to be practicing, but we were really dancing."
Pressel, 21, also noted the emotional speech Inkster gave at the beginning of the week. "There's so much to learn being around Juli, how at her age how seriously she still takes it, how badly she wants it, not just in the Solheim, but every week, she's practicing really, really hard," Pressel said after a week in which she went 2-0-1. "I don't know when I'm her age I'll have same drive and desire. It's always hard to step away from the sport,http://www.topgolfshops.com/ but you can tell she wants it."
Inkster's career has ranged from classic rock and disco to hip-hop and rap, from winning her first of three straight U.S. Amateur titles in 1980 to her last half Solheim Cup point in 2009 -- and it was a big one, a momentum-turner, coming from three down with a classic back-nine Inkster charge of three straight birdies. Always demonstrative on the course, she had reason to dance again, just as she had done all week behind the scenes. Fittingly, the team's theme song turned out to be the raunchy "Let Me See Your Hips Swing," by Savage and Soulja Boy. It's nothing that Inkster hasn't heard as the mother of a teenage daughter.
What was amazing about Daniel's team is that the energy level never subsided. "Those kids, they never stop," Inkster said. "If they're not playing golf, they're listening to music or playing ping pong, or just shooting the breeze. Of course it helps when you're 19, 21, 22."
Not sure how the team chemistry would work, Daniel recalled two examples of Inkster setting a tone. The first was at 5:45 in the morning on the Tuesday after the Women's British http://www.golfzonejp.com/ Open, when Daniel brought the team together for its first gathering at Rich Harvest Farms. Still jet-lagged, Inkster walked out onto the putting green in the dark and fog with three balls. By 6 a.m., there were three other players on the green.
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