The opening hour


Despite all the fears of disruption and delay, the 36th Ryder Cup has started in glorious sunshine at the K-Club. The golf has been nothing short of spectacular so far, some highlights:

  • Tiger Woods hooking his first tee shot right into the River Liffey to much ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the gallery. But, showing the magic of the fourball format, his pal Jim Furyk made a confident birdie to win the first hole for the US.
  • The legendary starter, Ivor Robson, making something of a faux pas, or in local lingo, a mishtake, by declaring the morning’s matches to be foursomes, not fourballs. The look of surprise on Padraig Harrington’s face was comical.
  • Rookie JJ Henry starting as if he’s been playing in this competition all his life and taking an early lead for the US by making a birdie at the 2nd hole.
  • The Spanish duo taking turns to birdie the first two to take an early lead.
  • Paul Casey hitting an unbelievable 3-wood shot to get within eagle distance on the 4th.

But by far, the moment of the first hour was Darren Clarke’s emotional entry to the first tee. His beaming smile was remarkable given everything that might have been on his mind. And he followed that up by hitting the best tee shot seen at the 1st today, hit a beautiful wedge with backspin and nailed the birdie putt to go 1-up. Truly extraordinary scenes as the local crowd roared him on.

Tiger seems to be struggling so far, relaying heavily on Furyk to keep the US nose in front. Monty has had chances to make birdies but the putts haven’t dropped just yet.

So, after the first 80 minutes of play, it’s looking very promising for the Europeans with more of their players playing well so far. They lead in three matches, trail in one. However, things can change quickly in fourballs.

Technorati tags ryder cup, golf

3 Responses to “The opening hour”

  1. Tony says:

    more … more more more … PLEASE … I’m stuck in the office, the firewall blocks all access to any BBC sites, my radio won’t pick up a signal and I’m desperately trying to find blow by blow coverage on the internet … I’m missing it all and it’s driving me crazy … I should have took the day off … bugger.

  2. Darren Sexton says:

    Darren Clarke was inspiring this morning; his long walk from the locker room to the first tee must have had his heart beating as fast as he walked. Clarke punched the air several times what seemed more of a statement of intent than a response to crowds roar. We can only guess what was going through his mind.

    The greeting Clarke received from the U.S.A. Captain Tom Lehman and his players should be replayed and shown to young children around the world, sport is not just about winning; it’s about having the courage and the mental strength to compete while turmoil rules your life.

    What an example Darren Clarke has set, not only for his children, but also to those who have lost someone dear to them. To risk failure on such a world stage when self-belief is in doubt is truly heroic.

    The Ryder cup commentators were unsure of Clarke’s club choice when he picked up his driver on the first tee, the Americans has used their woods and had gotten themselves in some bother to the left of the fairway. Were the occasion, the euphoria, and the adrenaline going to get the better of Clarke? Was the heart going to rule the mind? Not on your Nellie… Clarke stepped up to the tee and in front of a capacity crowd and god knows how many million television viewers, he drove his ball straighter and longer than anyone else did on the first morning of golf.

    School usually starts at 9:00am, but Darren Clarke taught us all a most valuable lesson at 8:40am this morning. You cannot stop time, it moves on, you either move with it or wallow in self pity, your children are your future, show them the way….

    Well done Darren.

  3. Conor Keatings says:

    well done darren says it all,
    I have to say that comment marks the second great performance by a darren today, so eloquently describing all the grit & determination of the human spirit which all combines to form a large lump of emotion in the throats of any right thinking men.
    Clarke doth bestride the narrow course like a colossus and is a giant among men out there today.
    He is the invigilator to those hoping to atttain his standard

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