Thoughts on The Match with Lexi Thompson and Rose Zhang — Stacy Lewis announces Solheim Cup assistant captains

The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, Feb. 22, 2024

This week’s Golf Thursday was a bit delayed … but for good reason. I got to sit in on a Zoom with four of the best golfers in the business to discuss the latest iteration of The Match, which will be broadcast Monday, Feb. 26th, on TNT. Max Homa, Rory McIlroy, Lexi Thompson, and Rose Zhang gathered to discuss details of the event, preparation and what this moment in particular means for golf as a whole.

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It was as casual as any conversation could be, with Zhang tuning in from a local campus cafe, as she is currently nose-deep in her textbooks completing the winter term at Stanford. The most striking part of the conversation came when our dear friend Sarah Kellam asked what this moment meant for the game, giving women a platform. Homa and McIlroy were more than gracious when asked about Thompson and Zhang throughout the call.

The topics of distance and accuracy were mentioned frequently, with each party bashfully admitting to being just as wowed by each other as we are as fans.

Zhang also eloquently compared this moment with other major moments occurring across sports. From Steph vs. Sabrina to Caitlin Clark breaking the all-time scoring record, all eyes are on women’s sports, and this is golf’s chance to build on the momentum from Grant Thornton to build to a place of equity in the game.

McIlroy also mentioned the synergies between golf and tennis, and the wonders of what having grand slams host men’s and women’s divisions simultaneously has done for growing the sport on both sides. Logistically, golf’s majors couldn’t exist in the same manner as tennis’s, but perhaps there is a middle ground to be explored (hint, hint: a joint Solheim–Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup).

None of this is new or groundbreaking, but it is quite refreshing to hear that these players are too inching for something more … or dare I say better.

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The ninth edition of The Match will be played in West Palm Beach, Florida, at a municipal course called “The Park,” where the players will be under the lights, going head-to-head in a skins match. Think back to a couple of weeks ago, when I discussed the impact of YouTube Golf and the place it holds in the sport right now. The relatability factor is crucial in keeping golf alive. We need more of it, and the casual fan craves it. We want the fun, easy-going vibes that other events don’t necessarily allow for.

The Match’s format, along with the commentating crew of Charles Barkley, LPGA vet Christina Kim and DJ Khaled, will allow for this to be a unique yet impactful moment for women’s golf. It’s the first of its kind, and although it’s been a long time coming, it’s still exciting.

This week in women’s golf

If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at! Discussion of any kind is always welcome. … I mean it. … MESSAGE ME!

LPGA news

Follow the Honda LPGA Thailand!!!

Patty Tavatanakit feeling confident at Honda LPGA Thailand after LET win

5 takeaways from Honda LPGA Thailand, where a ‘humbled’ Patty Tavatanakit stays hot

LET news

Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome and Megan Khang headline upcoming Aramco Team Series event in Florida

Epson Tour news

Up next on the Epson Tour: 2024 Florida swing

NCAA/amateur news

The last week in college golf was pretty stellar

College Golf Talk Podcast: Meet the new No. 1 in NCAA women’s golf, Florida’s Maisie Filler

Other news

Catch up on my latest from Golf Digest

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Five at The IX: Stacy Lewis names her four assistant captains for Solheim Cup

Earlier this week, U.S. Solheim Cup team captain Stacy Lewis announced the four assistant captains who will help lead her team this September. Team USA’s leadership core is a veteran squad composed of Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome. Pressel and Stanford joined Lewis last September in Spain.

When introducing her picks, Lewis said, “[It’s an] exciting day to kind of finalize the team that’s going to help me at RTJ in September. Two familiar faces with Morgan and Angela. They’re coming back from last year, and then adding Brittany and Paula. So it was actually a hard decision to figure out where I wanted to go with putting this group together. You know, throughout that process, I kind of came up with the idea of adding a fourth. Had to go through the channels to make that happen, but I’m excited. I think this group is going to work really well together.”

Here’s what the assistant captains had to say:

Creamer: ”It’s funny, the first thing I said to her was, ‘You know I want to play for you. That’s my goal.’ She goes, ‘I know, you can still play.’ I’m like, ‘But we all know Solheim Cup, there is just something about it that has always brought the best out of me.’” —Creamer on her Solheim Cup history and moving into a captain role versus being a player

Lincicome: ”When it finally processed in my brain quickly and I got chills on my legs, it was like the coolest thing. Being on the team and playing on the team is one thing. Just sitting out the last couple, whether it’s through kids or not playing well enough, being on the sideline, so being back a part of it and wearing the red, white and blue, there is literally nothing better.” —Lincicome recalls getting the call from Lewis and what was going through her head

Stanford: ”I think the cool part about Brittany and PC coming along is that I think we’re all friends. That’s first. And then we’ve all played against each other. That’s second. The thing that is the coolest is we all have this respect and love for the Solheim Cup. You know, everything that I felt like Morgan and myself and Natalie hopefully did for Stacy in Spain, this is just another boost. Like we’re on the same lines here. It’s nothing out of the ordinary or not going to surprise anybody.” —Stanford’s reaction to adding Lincicome and Creamer to the team

Pressel: ”I think Brittany and Paula will be an incredible addition to the team room in those moments where nobody else really sees what happens. But we all know how important that encouragement is, having been in those team rooms, having had other players before us, past captains and assistant captains share that message with us. They will definitely add to that fold.” — Pressel on what she thinks Lincicome’s and Creamer’s leadership will bring to the players

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Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
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By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
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Saturdays: Gymnastics
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Written by Addie Parker