Ryder Cup News – Roundup Week 15 & 16

Well after a week off last week to celebrate the arrival of the elusive Irish Summer there’s two weeks news to catch up on this week. Two weeks during which there was been no shortage of Ryder Cup news on both sides of the Atlantic.

Two weekends ago the big event in Europe was the Wales Open at Celtic Manor (home to the Ryder Cup 2010). The honours, top prize money of €364,352.49 and those valuable Ryder Cup points went to Sweden’s Robert Karlsson. Paul Broadhurst came second, Jose Filipe-Lima third and it also showed a good return to form for fourth placed Colin Montgomerie. Broadhurst, who is sanguine about his Ryder Cup hopes, is begining to look comfortable for automatic qualification if he can hold his form.

McGinley’s small operation to remove a small piece of floating bone hasn’t kept him off the tour as long as was expected and he was also to make his return at the Wales Open. He didn’t make the cut at +3 however he was back again this weekend at the Austrian Open where he made the cut but finished a disappointing joint 50th at +3. It was a historic victory for home player Markus Brier at the BA-CA Golf Open in Austria.

Carl Pettersson who lives in the US but rejoined the European Tour at the start of the year also gained a number of valuable points with his 1 million payout through his victory in the Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village, Ohio two weeks ago. The Swede topped the leaderboard but was closely followed by a number of the US Ryder Cup hopefuls Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich and Phil Mickelson.

Vijay Singh showed a well-timed return to form by securing a two shot victory at -10 in the Barclays Classic as Westchester Country Club this weekend. Harrington the defending champion shot a dissapointing +2 and must really perform at the US Open this week.Woosnam also paid compliments to his fellow Welshman and Junior Ryder Cup captain Andy Ingrams saying, “I am sure Andy will do a great job and it would be lovely if two Welshmen could be winning Captains in the same week.” From the other side of the age divide the Irish Seniors Open at Fota Wildlife (check/link) gave AIB (one of the key Ryder Cup sponsors) an opportunity to honour 13 former Ryder Cup players who were attending the event.

The exorbitant price of Ryder Cup tickets and the frenzy to get them has been covered extensively on this site already, however we’ve come across a pair of tickets that were sold for STG15,000 – which seems like a lot for a pair of tickets in anyone’s book. All is not is at seems however as the tickets belonged to Ian Woosnam who had donated them as part of a charity auction for Cancer Research.

Back at home the expected windfall that is the Ryder Cup has been valued at 130 million euro for Dublin alone! This is only for the duration of the tournament and doesn’t include the spin-off benefits such as tourism marketing and exposure.

Meanwhile the psychology of sport can be seen in the comments by victorious 1999 US Ryder Cup Captain Ben Crenshaw who paid compliments to the team spirit of the Europeans of late while Des Smyth (the assistant European Ryder Cup Captain 2006) somewhat downplays the European team by using the tactic of talking up the opposition. Smyth feels the “tide may be turning” in the Ryder Cup and makes an explicit point of pointing out that top two players, Woods and Mickleson, in the world will be part of the “big guns” for Team USA.

Sweden’s Per-Ulrik Johansson is hoping for a Ryder Cup to be held in Sweden and he even hopes to co-captain with Jesper Parnavik. Funny hats will be obligatory! If they Swede’s keep playing like they are currently it might not be far off!

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