Poulter Rose bounce back in afternoon four-ball

By Associated PressSeptember 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupLOUISVILLE, Ky. ' Ian Poulter promised to bring flair, excitement and passion to the European Ryder Cup team.
 
Friday afternoon, he decided to bring his putter, too.
 
Poulter and fellow Englishman Justin Rose bounced back from a disappointing collapse during an opening foursome loss to dominate their afternoon match in a 4-and-2 win over Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis.
 
The win provided a little redemption for Poulter, a controversial wild-card pick by European captain Nick Faldo, and Rose, a Ryder Cup rookie.
 
The two seemingly had their morning match against Chad Campbell and Stewart Cink under control, taking an early 3-up lead before collapsing on the back nine and losing 1-up when they three-putted the 18th.
 
The afternoon went much more smoothly for the longtime friends.
 
Like the morning, they quickly built a lead. This time, it stuck. Poulter drilled a lengthy birdie putt at 14 to push the lead to 3-up, and he closed it out with another birdie on No. 16.
 
It was key, Poulter said. The 25 minutes we got at lunch didnt feel so good.
 
Faldo coupled Poulter and Rose, hoping their friendship would calm any nerves on either side.
 
Wearing matching blue visors and white belts to go with their European team polo shirts and gray slacks, they looked at ease playing together, and they quickly got over their late-morning swoon.
 
Rose birdied the par-4 second to give them the lead. Stricker drew the U.S. even with a birdie on No. 3, but Poulter responded with birdies at Nos. 6 and 7 to give them momentum they never let go.
 
We played well on the front nine in the morning, and it was nice to get that back, Poulter said.
 
It appeared it might disappear during the morning after the struggled to make a putt ' any putt ' on the back nine against Cink and Campbell.
 
A little magic around the greens ' if not on them ' allowed them to keep going after the Americans erased the 3-up deficit. They were able to extend the match to 18, when their putters gave out.
 
Poulter put his drive in the fairway on the par 5, but Roses approach came up short. Poulter splashed out of the bunker 10 feet by the hole. With Faldo watching from the back of the green, Poulter got down on his belly to help Rose read the putt.
 
It didnt help.
 
Rose pushed the ball 6 feet past, and when Poulter couldnt make the comebacker, the Americans had escaped.
 
By sundown they had gotten back on track, perhaps validating Poulters selection to the team.
 
Faldos choice to pick the flamboyant Poulter raised some eyebrows, particularly in Europe where many thought longtime Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke was a more deserving of a captains pick.
 
Poulters decision to skip a chance to secure an automatic spot on the team by choosing to play in a lucrative PGA Tour event in Boston rather than a European tour event in Scotland led some to speculate Faldo had already assured Poulter a berth on the team.
 
Poulter pledged to prove his worthiness despite a shaky season in which his best finish was a runner-up at the British Open. He had just one top-10 outside of that and came to Valhalla having missed his last two cuts.
 
Friday afternoon, his recent struggles hardly mattered.
 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.