Europes Big Three come up woefully short for Faldo

By Associated PressSeptember 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupLOUISVILLE, Ky. ' Europe came to Valhalla with the stars, the experience and arguably the hottest golfer on the planet.
 
The Europeans left without the Ryder Cup, thanks in part to the Big Three that turned into the Little 2 1/2.
 
Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington ' who had combined for 38 1/2 points during their storied Cup careers ' managed just 2 1/2 at raucous Valhalla, giving a largely lifeless performance as the U.S. won the Cup for the first time in nine years.
 
Sergio Garcia
Stalwarts like Sergio Garcia let captain Nick Faldo down. (Getty Images)
Garcia and Westwood had been nearly unbeatable during Europes run of three consecutive Cup wins. Yet the magic ' not to mention the clutch putts ' that they delivered so often this decade never showed up in front of a raucous crowd that seemed to delight in their struggles.
 
Westwood called out budding U.S. star Boo Weekley following their testy fourball match Friday afternoon, saying Weekleys fist-pumping, crowd-whooping antics straddled the line of good taste.
 
Normally the nearly unflappable Westwood thrives under the crucible of the Cup, but this Cup was anything but normal.
 
Europe captain Nick Faldo drew some criticism for sitting his two most experienced players during Saturdays morning foursomes, though Garcia later admitted he told Faldo he wasnt feeling well and perhaps could use a session off. Faldo decided to sit Westwood as well, the first time Westwood sat out a match in his Cup career.
 
The rest didnt pay off with a victory.
 
Westwood and Soren Hansen dropped their afternoon match to Weekley and J.B. Holmes, and all Garcia and Paul Casey could manage was a half-point against Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis.
 
Needing a spark in singles play to jump-start a comeback, Faldo sent out Garcia first Sunday. It never happened against Anthony Kim, who played with the kind of fire thats become part of Garcias trademark in the Cup. Kim played aggressively and never missed an opportunity to take advantage when Garcias play got away from him.
 
Its hard when youre in those kind of situations, but unfortunately I just couldnt get anything right today, Garcia said. I feel like I had a good chance, but I just couldnt get anything right.
 
Neither could Harrington.
 
The reigning British Open and PGA champion admitted he came to Valhalla a little off and managed just an 0-2-1 record through the first two days. Still, Harrington asked Faldo if he could go last in singles on Sunday, hoping it would come down to him.
 
No chance.
 
Harrington led only briefly during his match against Chad Campbell, and lost all enthusiasm when the U.S. clinched the Cup up ahead of him on his way to a 2 and 1 loss.
 
The stinging defeat will stick with Faldo for a while. He took considerable heat when he chose Ian Poulter and Paul Casey with his wild card picks over longtime European stars Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie.
 
Though Poulter turned into the European team star, going 4-1-0, it wasnt enough. The European team never led after any session and when Garcia fell flat against Kim, Faldos decision to backload his singles lineup with Westwood and Harrington backfired.
 
It was always going to be a difficult situation, we needed to win most of the matches up front, Harrington said. It didnt come down to us and well never really know if we could have pulled something out of the hat at that stage.
 
By that time, the hat was empty.
 
Garcia had been nearly unbeatable the last three Cups, losing just once and becoming the emotional spark plug who reveled in making big shots and irking the Americans.
 
This time whenever Sergio surged, the U.S. had an answer.
 
Garcia tried to pick himself up on Saturday, knocking in long birdie putt during his afternoon four-ball match, shouting Come on, come on, when the ball disappeared into the hole. Stricker responded by matching Garcia with a lengthy putt of his own and adding an uncharacteristic fist-pump on top of it.
 
It was more of the same on Sunday. Garcias loss to Kim dropped him to 1-4 in singles play, and this time he couldnt take solace in a team victory.
 

Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
  • Getty Images

    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

    Getty Images

    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

    Getty Images

    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

    Getty Images

    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.