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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2009-09-03

Cool Gig: Covering the Solheim Cup
By William DeShazer, Chicago Tribune

Photo by William DeShazer / Chicago Tribune

Photo by William DeShazer / Chicago Tribune

Paula Creamer (left) and Cristie Kerr hug at the end of play winning the 18th hole during the first round of the Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms on Friday August 21, 2009.
I'd been at the Chicago Tribune for less than a month on my two-year residency when I got the opportunity to cover the Solheim Cup. Whenever I cover a big event, whether it's sports, spot news, or even a day at the fair I always have this 10 to 15 minutes of panic that kicks in. These events can be overwhelming to me. The Solheim Cup was no different.

I'm pretty green when it comes to professional golf. I've only covered a little bit of the Buick Open while on internship at the Flint Journal in 2006 and even then I was mostly looking for features and collecting audio. I was the only person sent by the Chicago Tribune that day and that in it self scared me. That soon passed after covering my first hole.

As players were walking to the green the crowd was chanting "U.S.A." Golfers were reacting, smiling, and getting the crowd involved. I knew this would be a fun day for photography as long as I tried to capture that emotion. That's what this event is all about. Pride for your home. I assume this is what the Olympics feel like. I just wanted to focus on the emotion of the event and bring that back to our readers. As soon as Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer fist bumped on the seventh green I was ready for the day.

It was the first day of the three-day event and the first part of the tournament was a Four-Ball game. This is where two players from Europe and America team up. This makes it easier to cover since there are only four groups on the greens and they aren't scattered around 18 holes. You know exactly where the players are and can better navigate around the course.

It's still a challenge to try and keep up with four different groups. I would be waiting for a player to tee off when cheers would irrupt from the previous hole and I would wonder if I just missed a crucial part of the tournament, but you couldn't let that distract you because the very same thing might take place from where you were. And time after time it did. Patience is a virtue.

It was a close game up to the end. So whether it was a missed putt or a great chip I was ready to capture the reactions of the players and the fans. The only thing I wished is I had worn tennis shoes. For one, I was the only photographer out there in black dress shoes and two, my feet hurt by the end of the day. Lesson learned.


(William DeShazer is a staff photographer with the Chicago Tribune. This is his first article for the Sports Shooter Newsletter. You can see examples of his work at: http://www.sportsshooter.com/willdeshazer and http://willdeshazer.com)

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