Archive for the ‘Ryder-Cup-Players’ Category

Press round-up

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

With all the players now well settled in Valhalla, it appears that every golf journalist in the world has followed them to Kentucky. In the absence of any significant news – no real clarity on pairings or no unexpected events – much of the focus is on good old-fashioned previews. Here’s a sample of some of the more interesting media outputs in the build-up to Friday’s competition:

ESPN’s Jason Sobel asks 18 pertinent questions, the first being ‘Can the US actually win this thing?’. The answer is yes.

The Telegraph have a fascinating interview with Paul McGinley which poses some questions about whether the European locker-room will have the winning dynamic of recent competitions. It seems they will have a drum kit though. And DJ Spoony.

In recent years, traveling sports teams have tended to prevent players from having ‘exclusive diaries’ in the papers. However, it seems that Justin Rose has a diary in the Times. No major revelations as yet. The most exciting news is that Ryder Cup is embroidered on their pillows and blankets.

The Ryder Cup is a global event. This piece in The Australian suggests that Tiger’s absence is, in fact, a good thing for the US team.

The local Louisville Courier Journal has the inside scoop on young Kentuckian JB Holmes. Will the passion of the local supporters be stirred by the presence of Holmes and Perry?

And if you that was a local spin, then how about this. The University of Kentucky has the exciting news that their Wildcat Marching Band will play at the opening ceremony!

Reflections on team selection

Monday, September 15th, 2008

As the teams gather in Kentucky, some final thoughts on the two teams..

  • All of the controversy generated by Nick Faldo’s wild card selections (as we more or less predicted) will be forgotten about if Poulter and Casey play their part in a European victory. Of course, the opposite is equally true. If Europe loses and Ian Poulter struggles then the press will be on Faldo’s back all the way to Christmas.
  • Talk of an English bias on Faldo’s part appears to be unfair. It is possible to make an argument that both Faldo and Poulter have very ‘English’ personalities and that Faldo would find some of Poulter’s strengths more appealing than, say, Olazabal or Monty might. But to suggest that Faldo showed national bias in picking Poulter over Clarke stretches the point too far. Remember that if Luke Donald’s wrist was in good shape, he would almost certainly have taken Poulter’s place. And he’s English too!
  • Many have argued that the absence of Clarke and Monty will mean that the team will lack leadership. This remains to be seen but it’s difficult to imagine that a team with players like Garcia and Harrington will be a rudderless ship. Garcia has been sensational as a Ryder Cup player and there’s no reason to expect that he won’t play a leading role once more.
  • Paul Azinger has played the local card with his selection of JB Holmes. At the press conference where his final team line-up was announced, Azinger pointedly highlighted the fact Holmes was a local boy and that he was a bomber (hits it long off the tee!) before mentioning his name. Anyone who experienced the visceral roar that greeted Darren Clarke’s arrival at the first tee in the K Club in 2006 will understand how local passion can create a magical dynamic.
  • With all the talk about the loss of leadership on the European side, the US team has no fewer than six rookies on board. Monty has advanced the argument this week that Europe’s victory in 2004 came down to the rookies delivering. It’s obvious that a US triumph in 08 will require a significant contribution from these new players.
  • As for which pairing combinations would work the best, well, let’s just say that those scientists at CERN with the 17-mile long accelerator have an easier job than trying to work out the Ryder Cup pairings…

Is Tiger's absence balanced by Luke's?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Luke Donald

As feared, Luke Donald won’t be participating in this year’s Ryder Cup having undergone surgery on his left wrist. This is a significant, if fully expected, blow to the chances of the European team. Donald’s Ryder Cup record is excellent, having been a key contributor to the last two victories.

A comparison of Luke’s record with Tiger’s is interesting: Luke has won 5.5 points from a possible 7; Tiger has won 11 points from a possible 25.  Tiger’s poor record in fourballs/foursomes is well documented. Luke is unbeaten in pairs.

For all of Tiger’s greatness (and yes, he is the greatest player to ever play the game), maybe his absence has been balanced by that of Luke Donald?

No Tiger in Kentucky!

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

The game’s greatest player will not be playing in this year’s Ryder Cup in Valhalla. News that Tiger will have reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of his left knee emerged today from his personal website.

Tiger’s golfing accomplishments in the last twelve months seem even greater with the news that he ruptured his ACL shortly after last year’s Open Championship yet since then has battled on to win ten of the thirteen tournaments in which he has played (btw, the other three were two second-place finishes and one fifth-place!). Even more extraordinary is the news that he also has a double stress fracture of his left tibia. One can only speculate how well Tiger could be playing if he was fully fit!


New faces on the European team?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

With just 16 weeks of golf remaining before European captain Nick Faldo finalises his team for Ryder Cup 2008, it does appear likely that the European team will feature quite a few new faces in Valhalla.

Some of the veterans of the 2006 victory, and indeed of many previous victories, will have to play a lot of successful golf to climb back into serious contention for this year’s team. Previous European stalwarts such as Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Jose-Maria Olazabal are all facing an uphill climb to get themselves into contention on the points lists.


Olazabal won't be teeing it up in September

Saturday, March 29th, 2008


Jose Maria Olazabal, vice-captain of the European team in this year’s Ryder Cup is almost certainly going to contribute in a non-playing role only. Olazabal has played in seven Ryder Cups, most recently in Ireland in 2006. He has battled bravely against different forms of rheumatism and arthritis for over a decade, famously coming back from crippling arthritis in his foot to win the Augusta Masters in 1999. (more…)

Match-play format certainly suits Tiger!

Sunday, February 24th, 2008


Match-play format, where players compete directly against each other to win each hole, is rarely employed on the major golf tours. This is primarily due to the impracticality of arranging a tournament in head-to-head fashion, in contrast to the standard practice of allowing 100+ professionals to measure themselves against the par of the course. The Accenture Match Play Championship (part of the World Golf Championships series) is one such rare event and has brought the (nominally) Top 64 players in the world together in Tucson, Arizona for five glorious days of mano-a-mano competition.

The next time we see match-play dividing some of these talented players will be in Valhalla in September. (more…)

BBC Sports Personality of the Year – Vote Darren Clarke

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke has indicated that he feels that Joe Calzaghe deserves to win the 2006 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. Darren who is one of the favourites to win the BBC award has emphasised that he feels that the boxer Calzaghe is more deserving of the award and that he doesn’t want to win it on a “sympathy vote”.

Darren’s heroic effort in this years Ryder Cup team, despite his personal circumstances is the primary reason for his popularity. Unfortunately this is inextricably bound to the untimely death of his wife (more…)

Ryder Cup Players

Monday, September 25th, 2006

So the Ryder Cup is Europe’s once more… The Europeans won 18.5 – 9.5

The Ryder Cup Players involved in the 36th Ryder Cup were as follows: (more…)

Ryder Cup Pairings for Friday's Fourball

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Monty and Woods

The first Ryder Cup pairings have been announced and it looks like it is going to start with a bang. They are as follows:

Match 1
(Time 8:00) Padraig Harrington/Colin Montgomerie (EUROPE – Ireland & Scotland) v Tiger Woods/Jim Furyk (USA) (more…)