Archive for August, 2006

Ryder Cup Road Closures

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Ryder Cup Road Closure

There will be a 2km exclusion zone for cars in Straffan for the duration of the Ryder Cup. Kildare County Council have published that official map of road closures as a large PDF here (979KB)

We’ve created a smaller JGP image of it here (146KB) (or simply click on the image above for a larger view).

Please note that Park and Ride is the only way to get to the K Club – there will be no pedestrian access. Read our article on Ryder Cup Security for an overview.

Harrington, McGinley and Olazabal – Ryder Cup Qualification Battle in Munich

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Padraig Harrington Paul McGinley Jose Maria Olazabal

The last qualifying event for the European Ryder Cup team tees off today at the BMW International Open in Munich and it really has come down to the wire.  The current European Ryder Cup points sees seven players secure in their automatic qualification spots however Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazábal can still all be caught.

There are endless permutations and combinations however here is the overview.  If Colin Montgomerie finishes 47th or higher in the event then this will push Olazábal off the World Cup Points list and into the last qualifying place on the European Points list.  This puts him within reach of the preceding five players Paul Broadhurst, Johan Edfors, (more…)

Darren Clarke Wants to Play

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke has confirmed that he would like to play in the Ryder Cup and would like to be considered for one of the two wildcard picks.

Amid lots of media speculation that Woosnam has offered Darren one of the places on the team, Darren’s management team have now confirmed his interest in playing. In the aftermath of his wife Heather’s tragic death everyone wondered whether he would need more time to be with his family, but clearly Clarke feels that it’s best to get back out there and start playing again. He has a great Ryder Cup record having been on three winning Ryder Cup teams in four appearances.

Woosnam will announce his two wildcard picks on Sunday evening once he knows the exact composition of the automatic qualifiers (three positions are still to be filled at the BMW open). He’s playing his cards very close to his chest and refuses to confirm who he may pick or whether Darren Clarke is one of the picks.

European Ryder Cup Points – August 30th

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

The Ryder Cup is firmly within view now. The US Ryder Cup team is finalised (and the US Captain’s picks announced) and as we enter the last week of the European qualifying competitions the team is beginning to become clear. This week see Olazabal re-entering the World Cup Points list putting the pressure back on McGinley who’s hanging on to the last place in the European Points list now that Montgomerie is also qualifying as top of the European Points list (See this article for how this works).

Ryder Cup World Points List (30 August 2006 Updated!)

Position Player Name Points
1 Luke DONALD 235.36
2 Sergio GARCIA 225.89
3 Henrik STENSON 214.70


No Drug Testing

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

No Drugs

I was amazed to learn that there is no drug testing in professional golf!

As a newcomer to golf I just assumed that like most other international sports there would be random tests for performance enhancing substances – not so. Greg Norman the former world No1 recently brought the subject into the limelight insisting that the PGA should have a comprehensive drug testing program like any other sport. He accused PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem of having his head in the sand. Norman was quoted as saying “It’s been rumoured for over 20 years, players using outside substances to help their performances. If you’re playing for $5 million a week, you’ve got to take advantage of it the best you can” which quite honestly makes a lot of sense to me. It indicates that there is considerable scope for cheating (or is it cheating if there are no rules against it?). (more…)

Ryder Cup News

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Tiger Woods completed a successful defense of his title at the Bridgestone world championship in Akron last night. This is his 4th victory in a row and must be a big boost to the morale of the US Ryder Cup Team as their star player is definitely on form (after a very shaky start to the competition – Tiger himself admitting that he was lucky to even make the play-off). This was Tigers 70th professional victory. He has arrived in Ireland today with the rest of the US Ryder cup team to get to know the other players on the sqaud and play some golf on the Palmer course at the K Club.
America’s leading sports writer Rick Reilly has savaged the US Ryder Cup team with a scathing piece in the latest issue of Sports illustrated (more…)

US Team Warm Up

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Tom Lehman is bringing the US team over to visit the K Club in advance of their forthcoming Ryder Cup campaign. The team will be at the K Club next Monday and Tuesday (28th 29th) to play a few practice rounds. Woods and Mickelson who were previously thought to be set to miss the trip, due to previous commitments, have both now confirmed that they will be there. This gives Tom a crucial opportunity to let the team get to know one and other and work on the team tactics while soaking in the nuances of the Palmer course. (more…)

Ryder Cup Stamps

Friday, August 25th, 2006

An Post (the Irish Postal service) has launched an official Ryder Cup commemorative stamp collection in honour of Ireland’s hosting of the Ryder Cup Matches at the K Club. There are 4 stamps in this series which depict the progress of a shamrock marked golf ball around a golf course, the stamps can be puchased online here
Ryder Cup Stamps

An Post is also poised to release a two special edition Ryder Cup stamps, with an innovative design feature which will be a unique souvenir of the event and may be of interest to stamp collectors worldwide.

Ryder Cup Ticket Competitions

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Ryder Cup Ireland

Well it’s getting to that time isn’t it? Team USA is now picked for better or worse and Team Europe will be decided at the BMW international open. Tickets are sold out as everyone knows at this stage. Tickets are like gold dust and the only way to buy one is to pay through the nose on Ebay (note the organisers say that tickets are non-transferable and security will be tight so check the status of the ticket before you buy) or purchase from a corporate travel company (note – one went bust over here leaving huge debts and no tickets, so be careful) or to enter one of the last minute competitions for tickets.

Here are the competitions that are currently running: – This is a competition being run by Failte Ireland just fill in you details and plans to holiday in Ireland

PGA European Tour – Give your email address and you could win a pair of tickets for practice days and all matches.

European Ryder Cup Points – August 21

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

The Ryder Cup is firmly within view now. This week saw the US Ryder Cup team finalised (and the US Captain’s picks announced) and as we enter the last weeks of the European qualifying competitions the team is beginning to become clear. There’s still a lot of competition for those last places. Here’s the latest standings for who’s going to make the European Ryder Cup Team on merit.

Interestingly Olazábal has now dropped out of the World Cup Points list and qualifies under the European Points list which has inadvertently given McGinley a boost in his hopes despite not playing in the US PGA Championship to attend the funeral of Heather Clarke (See this article for how this works).

Ryder Cup World Points List (21 August 2006 Updated!)

Position Player Name Points
1 Luke DONALD 223.58
2 Sergio GARCIA 221.63
3 Henrik STENSON 211.51