Langer Could Pair Ryder Cup Rookies

By Brian HewittSeptember 1, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupUnwittingly, American Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton gave us the best hint that European captain Bernhard Langer was going to pick Englands Luke Donald with one of his two discretionary selections.
 
The tip-off came during a press conference at the PGA Championship last month when Sutton was talking about who his captains picks might be. Sutton went to great lengths to tell reporters that the Ryder Cup venue at Oakland Hills, in his opinion, favored a certain kind of player. That kind of player, Sutton said, did well on par-3s and par-4s.
 
If you wanted to know who he might favor, Sutton recommended, check out the par-3 and par-4 stats. Oakland Hills, he reminded everybody, has only three par-5s. (Actually, it has just two. But that made Suttons point even more.)
 
He wound up tabbing Jay Haas and Stewart Cink. Sunday Langer named Colin Montgomerie and the 26-year-old Donald. Donalds rank on the PGA Tour this year in par-3 birdie leaders is eighth. His rank on the PGA Tours par-4 performance category is 12th. He is 30th in driving accuracy and 14th in greens in regulation.
 
If you are playing a course where par has value, then Luke is the player you want on your side, said Pat Goss after Langer announced his choices. Goss coached Donald at Northwestern University and still serves as his teacher when Donald returns to his stateside home near Chicago.
 
Even more interesting is the possibility that Langer may pair Donald with another Euro rookie, fellow Englishman Paul Casey. Casey and Donald have terrific history together. Most notably they were Walker Cup teammates on the 1999 GB&I team that defeated the Americans in Scotland. Casey and Donald played together and won both of their foursomes matches. They also won both their singles, compiling a combined 8-0 mark between them.
 
Langer, Donald, Casey and Goss are all well aware that there is a world of competitive difference between the Walker Cup and the Ryder Cup. But rookies need something on which to hang their hats. Moreover, Casey and Donald are not ordinary rookies. Casey ranks 28th in the world, Donald 47th.
 
The conventional wisdom says you dont pair rookies in Ryder Cup foursomes or fourballs. In each of the last seven instances a European captain has thrown rookies together, the pairing has failed to produce a full point.
 
But Langer has a long memory. In 1981, Langers rookie Ryder Cup year, Euro captain John Jacobs paired Langer with fellow rookie Manuel Pinero of Spain in the Saturday morning fourballs. They beat Ray Floyd and Hale Irwin, 2-and-1.
 
Goss says Casey and Donald get along famously and their styles complement one another. He believes they are well-equipped to transcend the notion that rookies should not play together in the Ryder Cup.
 
If he (Langer) is ever going to take a chance pairing rookies, Goss says, this would be the time.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
 
Related links:
  • European Ryder Cup Team

  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team

  • Full Coverage - 35th Ryder Cup
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

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    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

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    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

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    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


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    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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