Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr and Sydnee Michaels all carded splendid 1st round 66s at the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC are going into the 2nd round with a 1-shot edge over ten players who are crowded into 4th place on this very young leaderboard. In addition to her own overnight lead, perhaps equally exciting for Solheim Cup 2015 Team USA Captain Inkster is the fact that seven of the 14 players at or near the top of the board right now are Americans.
Inkster and Kerr, both Tour veterans, bring a combined total of 48 wins and 9 major championships to the North Texas Shootout but as Inkster explains, every new lead and every potential win is special.
Solheim Cup On the Mind
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Inkster’s also very pleased that the Americans are playing well. At this point in the season Inkster’s keenly aware of how potential Team USA members are playing.
Inkster took the top Team USA candidates to dinner with former President George W Bush and First Lady Laura Bush last Monday night and everyone seemed to come away from that evening with a renewed commitment to delivering their best game.
"Everybody got on the bus when we were going home, and I could see it in their eyes that they also felt that it was a really special occasion . . . Julie Inkster"
Inkster says the last 4 slots on Team USA are still wide open and everyone who wants to participate in Team USA’s attempt to bring the Solheim Cup back to the United States is putting their best game out there every round.
On Down the Leaderboard
Defending champion Stacy Lewis carded a respectable first round 2-under par 69 but didn’t seem to have her gamed warmed up yet. That may come during the 2nd round. The course is in superb condition and the greens are very receptive, so look for Lewis to fire off some birdies and start working her way up the board.
Brooke Henderson’s 69 looked a bit different from Lewis’s 69. Lewis cruised through her round more or less on par with the exception of a bogey on the par-3 6th but Henderson’s first round was more volatile, 4 bogeys and 6 birdies, as though she didn’t quite have a feel for the Loa Colinas track, not surprising given what she went through to get there!
. . .you just get those days where the things that you least expect happens. . . Lydia Ko
had a very bad day at Las Colinas and with a triple on the 14th that involved a ball that got stuck in a tree followed by a double on the 15th that has to do with a ball that went swimming Ko carded a 75 and is starting the 2nd round well down the leaderboard.
I think talk of Ko missing the cut at the North Texas Shootout, however, may be a bit premature. Given the receptive condition of the golf course and the overall quality of Ko’s game, I’m looking for her to go low in the 2nd round and get herself into the upper half of the field for the weekend.
Golf Channel will provide 2nd round coverage beginning at 10:30am Friday and weekend coverage as well, beginning Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 2pm. Golf Channel’s Golf Life Extra will extend Saturday coverage through live streaming beginning at 3pm, when televised coverage concludes. All times at ET.