Captains Shouldnt Sweat the Details

By Brian HewittSeptember 22, 2004, 4:00 pm
There is an answer today on the tip of the tongue of every player, writer, spectator, broadcaster, pundit, observer and analyst.
Americas Ryder Cup dreams are broken. They must be fixed.
I have a plan.
First, you must understood WHY the 12 best players in the United States lost so badly to Europes 12 best last weekend at Oakland Hills near Detroit:
The Americans look forward to the Ryder Cup. The Europeans live for the Ryder Cup. Theres a big, big difference. This time the difference was nine points. The Euros trashed the Americans. How many gs in juggernaut?
Now for the solution:
Let the captain be the captain.
Let a manager handle everything else.
The way it works right now the captain and his wife must concern themselves with everything from uniforms styles and sizes, to golf bags, to gifts, to food, to social schedules to seating charts.
Clearly, American captain Hal Sutton had his hands full just trying to figure out which American should play with which American in which session.
The captain of the United States Ryder Cup needs to be freed up to concentrate on those decisions that matter.
Bill Parcells doesnt worry about shoes, balls or jerseys. Joe Torre doesnt worry about menus. Vince Lombardi didnt give a tinkers damn about hat sizes or styles.
They had people to do that stuff for them. They worried about the games and how to win them. And thats precisely what the next American Ryder Cup captain needs. He needs a combination general manager/general factotum. He needs Radar OReilly from M*A*S*H. He needs James Garner, the scrounger in The Great Escape.
He needs to be left alone to pay attention to the lineup and the golf.
By the time the American team had arrived at Oakland Hills early last week, Sutton and his wife, Ashley, had invested too much time and emotion trying to keep everybody happy and ensure a chemistry that never really existed to begin with.
When it came time to make tough decisions'like insisting Phil Mickelson, who didnt putt Oakland Hills tricky and changing greens after Tuesday, spend more time on the South Course'Sutton was compromised.
Understandably, he didnt want to upset the delicate balance in the team room. Instead, he sacrificed the delicate balance that needed to be attended to on the golf course. Similarly, when Chris Riley begged off of the Saturday afternoon match as Tiger Woods partner, Sutton didnt feel completely right telling Riley he was completely wrong.
What Im saying here is the American Ryder Cup captains of the future should distance themselves from their players to the extent that it allows them the freedom to make the big picture decisions that will be for the greater good of the team.
Sutton is not a softie. He just got caught in a trap not of his own making. One of the best ways for the next American captain to avoid the same trap will be for the PGA of America to appoint a person to take care of the little stuff so the captain can focus on the big picture.
It wont guarantee victory. The Euros have raised the bar on the course. But it will be a step in the right direction for the Americans.
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Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.