No Captains Picks No Monty

By Brian HewittAugust 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker is getting a lot of feedback on the Ryder Cup as the matches approach. In my mind, Ryder Cup theater is every bit as compelling as youll find in major championships.
 
Without further ado:
 
Robert writes: The more the back and forth about Ryder Cup selections the more I wish the top 12 in points would make it. The choices bring into it: Who knows when a player will start playing well or STOP playing well? Age or youth? Experience really an advantage when the experienced player hasn't really beaten anybody in a long time? Horses for courses? Take the top 12 and play them proportionately to their team ranking based on Ryder Cup points.
 
The Comebacker So Paul Azinger shouldnt pick a player not already on the team if that player wins a couple of FedExCup playoff events? Of course he should. The Playoffs are a boon to Azinger because nobody is playing especially well right now. But chances are somebody will get hot (or at least warm) in the Playoffs.
 

Terry writes: Great insight on Pettersson! With the Ryder Cup being played on a PGA TOUR setup at Valhalla he would be a great choice. Two of his wins have come on very difficult courses and he typically plays very well on tough set-ups. I'm sure he would team up well with one of the other Swedes on the team. Or maybe he can get a quick citizenship change and play for the U.S. Either way he should be participating next month!
 
The Comebacker Its a longshot. But if Pettersson stays hot for The Playoffs, Euro captain Nick Faldo cant ignore him as a pick. If he stays really hot, Pettersson can still play himself onto the Euro team by making the top 5 on the World Points list. Hes currently at No. 13 on that list.
 

WD writes: Regarding Phil and Bones, I heard a very interesting comment from Phil's mother. She stated that Phil is a free thinker and will do whatever he wants whenever he wants. When he was young they would ask him to turn right and he would go left; ask him to stop and he would go faster; ask him not to do something and he would do it. All I'm saying is Phil is a type of guy who is going to do whatever he wants on the golf course no matter who his caddie is. Bones is irreplaceable in my opinion. Who else would stay in that position with that type of boss? Change Phil's mind ' I think not!
 
The Comebacker Maybe what Bones should do is suggest Phil hit driver when he wants him to hit 3-wood and suggest Phil hit 3-wood when he wants him to hit driver. This strategy works for a lot of parents I know.
 

Derek writes: Where is all this hype regarding Monty coming from? The guy has had a dreadful year by anybody's standards and yet some people are still saying that Faldo should pick him. I suspect a lot of those people are Americans hoping to introduce a weakness to the European team. Apart from his game, Monty has had a torrid time in recent months in respect of his attitude and temper on the course and this would be brilliant for the American crowd as they have always been able to bring out the worst in Monty.(Which he tends to deserve.) Judging by some of the current comments being made, we will have calls being made for a captain's pick for Monty for the 2040 Ryder Cup ' assuming he isn't at the top of the Order of Merit.
 
The Comebacker If Faldo passes over Monty, he will be passing over the greatest European Ryder Cup player (Faldo and Ballesteros included) of all time.
 

Jerry writes: Finally, golf is enjoyable to watch again. There is some suspense each week about who is going to emerge, and we are getting to see the talent and character of some other players. I am tired of all Tiger all the time, and actually am watching tournament golf more!!!!
 
The Comebacker The ratings would argue that you are in the minority. The fans of good theater would agree with most of your opinion.
 

Dave writes: There was the usual giant amount of focus on whether or not Sergio (Garcia) would finally win a major (at the PGA). As nice as that would be for him, it still wouldn't do much for the Tour. What made the old Tour exciting was having four or five guys who had a legitimate shot to win each major, and who actually pulled it off more than once in a blue moon. Tiger is the new Jack, but Phil is not really the new Arnie, and there's no Gary or Lee or even Billy to really push the excitement and rooting interest to where it used to be. The Tiger /Phil rivalry was fun for about three years but is becoming a fast fading memory. Padraig (Harrington) is the first to step up to the plate in quite a while. If he can grab even one or two majors more in the next year or two, fan interest will definitely increase. As for Sergio, it's beginning to look like he will assume his role as the new Monty.
 
The Comebacker Am thinking Sergio probably wouldnt feel flattered in any way shape or form by being called the new Monty. Thats just a guess on my part.
 

Mark writes: There has been talk about putting golf in the Olympics. We already see golf every weekend, as well as baseball and basketball. Olympics should be about the things we never get a chance to see otherwise: discus, javelin, running, etc. We already have tournaments that determine the best athletes in the major sports ' professional as well as amateur. Leave the Olympics to the swimmers and gymnasts.
 
The Comebacker You forgot to mention the kayakers and the synchronized swimmers.
 

 
Michael writes: Padraig Harrington is a great golfer, a fine fellow, a great competitor and I hate to question his achievements in the last month, but when it comes to POY (Player of the Year) talk, there appears to be a large white elephant in the corner of the room that everyone prefers to ignore. Without wins in either of the recent majors Padraig Harrington is not even a remote candidate for POY. Up to this point in the season, his only claim to POY is the result of his back-to-back major wins. Were Padraig not to distinguish himself further for the rest of the season, there SHOULD be a problem making him POY for 2008.
 
The Comebacker Strangely mixed metaphor there, Michael ' white elephant in the corner of the room. But the fact remains that two majors trumps one. End of discussion. Am thinking Tiger might even cast his ballot for Harrington when the time comes.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

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.

Getty Images

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 GolfChannel.com 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.