Tiger who New breed carries US to victory

By Associated PressSeptember 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupLOUISVILLE, Ky. ' Finally, the Americans figured it out.
 
They didnt need to all come from the same background, or play a similar style of golf, or even have the best player in the world leading them into the Ryder Cup.
 
They just needed some passion, some camaraderie, some sense of purpose.
 
So, it was a country boy from Floridas Panhandle who kept everyone in stitches. It was a brash kid from LA who stared down one of Europes superstars. It was two native sons of Kentucky who brought the sort of desire that only comes from playing in front of the home folks.
 
Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley was one of the U.S. rookies who helped carry the team to victory. (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods wasnt at Valhalla. But Boo Weekley was. So were Anthony Kim, Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes.
 
Sunday evening, they joined hands on the balcony of the clubhouse at Valhalla Golf Club, sprayed champagne on the crowd below and celebrated the Ryder Cups return to this side of the Atlantic.
 
With Woods back home in Florida, recovering from knee surgery, the Americans turned to an unlikely band of seeming misfits to wrest the gold chalice away from Europe for the first time since 1999.
 
This is a week Ill never forget, said Perry, at 48 the oldest member of the team. Its the greatest experience of my life.
 
Kim set the tone by winning the first match of the day in a rout. Perry, Weekley and Holmes each added a point to the U.S. cause. When it was done, the Americans had romped to a 16 1/2 -11 1/2 victory that ended a streak of three consecutive European wins, the last two of them not even close.
 
Their records over three days were stunning: Kim and Perry each went 2-1-1; Weekley and Holmes both went 2-0-1. Together, they had a hand in 8 1/2 points.
 
That was more excitement than Ive had in a loooooong time, said Weekley, who certainly came out of the week as a folk hero ' and surefire target of the Europeans should he make the team in 2010. Its hard to describe. Its not all sank in yet.
 
As one Ryder Cup loss after another piled up, five of the last six in all, the Americans were accused of being too robotic, too individualistic when it came to team golf. There was no doubt they had most of the best players, but they were a disjointed, disparate bunch when joined as one.
 
That all changed in the bluegrass state.
 
At the very first hole, Weekley galloped down the fairway like Happy Gilmore after hitting his tee shot, using his driver as a toy horse while whipping his behind. The gallery roared with delight. Hard to imagine Woods doing anything like that.
 
An amazing moment, U.S. captain Paul Azinger said. Never to be duplicated.
 
Weekley revved up the crowds all weekend ' so much so that Europes Lee Westwood complained about him broaching the lines of proper decorum ' but theres little doubt from all those chants of Boooooooo! that American golf has its new John Daly.
 
I kind of took it on my own, said Weekley, who beat Oliver Wilson 4 and 2.
 
I felt like I needed to do it in a way. Im not going to say Im the most outgoing guy on the team, but if there was one who was going to cut up the most, it was going to be me. I thought I might want to do this and see if I could help get the team fired up and the fans fired up.
 
Kim broke out one of his gaudy belt buckles, this one bejeweled in red, white and blue with the letters USA, and conceded nothing to Garcia ' not even 2-foot putts. It was over by the 14th hole, though Kim didnt even fathom his 5-and-4 victory until someone stopped him on the way to 15.
 
That said, the 23-year-olds greatest contribution might have come behind the scenes, where his youthful exuberance and cocky demeanor gave him a leadership role that no one could have expected from the youngest team member.
 
That guy is the funniest guy on the team, said Phil Mickelson, who paired up with Kim three times and basically just got out of the way on Sunday. Everything that comes out of his mouth is a hoot.
 
Certainly no one on the team had more on the line than Perry.
 
Two years away from the old-timers tour, he built his whole schedule this year around qualifying for the Ryder Cup, even when it meant skipping a chance to qualify for the U.S. Open and choosing to play in Milwaukee rather than at the British Open. That certainly subjected him to plenty of criticism, but he was born, raised and still lives right down the road in Franklin, Ky.
 
No event ' not even a major ' meant more to Perry than this one.
 
He birdied four of the five holes and never let up in a 3-and-2 win over Henrik Stenson, who had been one of Europes best in the match-play format. When it was done, Perrys overall-clad father hugged him along the 16th green.
 
I said this was going to define my career, Perry said. You know what? This made my career.
 
Holmes was the lesser-known of the two Kentuckians on the team, a monstrous hitter who first joined his high school team in the third grade and overcame dyslexia to make it at the states flagship university. He was one of four players added to the team by captain Paul Azinger, who figured he might benefit from the home-course advantage.
 
Feeding off Weekleys energy ' the two paired up twice in fourball ' Holmes had to go it alone on Sunday. He was up to the challenge, winning a crucial point with a 2 and 1 victory over Soren Hansen.
 
It ended in true Holmes fashion: a huge drive that headed left and looked as though it might not stop until it got to downtown Louisville. The crowd parted like the Red Sea and the ball caught the trees, bounced off a cart path, hopped along the trampled down rough, caught a bank and rolled back toward the fairway, finally stopping some 370 yards from where it started.
 
Holmes flipped a wedge toward the green, the ball checking up some 3 feet from the pin. Hansen missed his birdie try and the American sank his gimme to pull the Americans within one point of the win. A few minutes, it was over.
 
It was pretty much perfect, Holmes said. You couldnt draw it up any better.
 
Jim Furyk actually clinched the win when Miguel Angel Jimenez conceded a putt at that same 17th hole. But there was no doubt who carried the load for the Americans.
 
Tiger who?
 

Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.