Twelve Captains Picks Nah

By Brian HewittSeptember 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker this week, quite naturally, is all about Americas smashing 16-11 Ryder Cup victory over the Euros last week.
Without further ado:
Harry writes: Why do there have to be any automatic selections? Why cant it be all captains choices, putting together a squad much like they do in Olympic basketball now? I would love to see the captain have total control to pair players whose games complement each other, those that are singles specialists, etc. What do you think?
The Comebacker
Interesting thought. But part of the fascination with the build-up to the Ryder Cup is following the point standings, week-to-week, especially as the date for the Ryder Cup nears. Unlike Wall St., the more volatility the better.


Ernest writes: As an avid golf follower, who appreciates the contributions of Corey Pavin, (Im) sorry he has to wait. Everyone in sports understands the chemistry of a team is invaluable and it starts at the top. All you have to do is look at the other sports to see the consistency ' whether its manager, head coach, or in this case the captain ' that he brings to the table. Azinger made the bold decisions to changing the system, did his homework, and even without the best player in the world brought home a victory. He deserves the right to defend if he wants to. Besides, anyone who beats cancer is too tough for me to say he cant do it.
The Comebacker
It says here we havent seen the last of Paul Azinger as a U.S. Ryder Cup captain. And, yes, thats an educated guess.


Bryce writes: In my view, captain Azinger has reverted back to the win at all costs attitude and I was not impressed by his conduct or that of Anthony Kim on Sunday. It looked more like a tailgating party at a football game than a golf match. The lack of etiquette and poor sportsmanship by Anthony Kim was particularly striking and goes against the grain of the Ryder Cup. Perhaps Kim, who is either too young to remember or too brash to care, should be forced to watch the tape of Jack Nicklaus giving Tony Jacklin his putt on the 18th hole and see what a true sportsman looks and acts like.
The Comebacker
Perhaps Bryce should be forced to watch the on-course antics of Sergio Garcia in recent Ryder Cups. Maybe then he will realize there is a difference between enthusiasm and egotism.


David writes:Has there ever been talk of another cup to have the Europeans vs. the Internationals? I would love to see a three-year rotation to accommodate this. It would give all teams two years on, one year off rotation.
The Comebacker
Actually, theres been a lot of talk about this concept. I have no use for the talk. The Ryder Cup is too good. The PGA of America would be foolish to change it.


Ken writes:I think our team played with a lot of heart, intensity and cool. But my hat is off to the Euros also. It is a real pleasure to watch the level of sportsmanship displayed by all of the players and the captains of both teams. It makes me proud to say that I, too, am a golfer.
The Comebacker
Well stated.


Jim writes: I was born and raised in England and left that country over 55 years ago and my heart will always have a place for that country. The reason for that statement is to make a comment regarding Lee Westwood. I was really disappointed in his statements during the tournament, about (Boo) Weekley and the fans. I also was surprised with his comments after the Europeans lost. His whining was one of the sore notes in this years entertainment. It is easy when you are winning, but not so easy when the shoe is on the other foot.
The Comebacker
More than a few e-mails came in bashing Westwood. The Comebacker doesnt think Westwood was the problem for the Euros.


Lauri writes: Congratulations to (the) U.S. team. What is with you freakin news people? Why are you putting the teams (through) this Spanish Inquisition? WHO CARES? It will not change anything. I can't believe the ignorant questions asked! All you want is some sound bite to put them (all) in a bad light. Nick Faldo did the job the way he felt it should be done. You didn't like it? Get someone else next time. THIS TIME IS DONE! Golf is a game of time and conditions, every day is different. GOT THAT? No day will ever be the same. So everyone plays differently. Some days you're ON, and some days you're OFF. Azinger was, as usual, BEING IN CONTROL, acting like a 10-year old.
The Comebacker
I wish, just once, wed hear from somebody with an opinion.Oh, and by the way, Lauri, I think your Caps Lock key is busted.


Dave writes:As I revel in seeing the Cup come back home, two thoughts bother me. First, are Lee Westwood's comments reasonable or at all appropriate from a professional even if true? Second, and perhaps most troubling ' are we seeing the start of the end of Phil's career? I've been a fan ever since his days of winning a pro event as an amateur. His magic seems to be gone, and the fire in his eyes that he used to have wasn't there at all this week, even though he said it was.'
The Comebacker
Phil needs to figure out a way to keep his juices flowing late in the season.


Dan writes: What an effort! Sunday was great. My girlfriend hates golf but she didnt stop watching until the U.S. Ryder Cup team won. Golf just received another fan.
The Comebacker
You know youre on to something when the girlfriends start buying in to a sporting event.


Kevin writes: Please bring up that golf without Tiger (Woods) does exist. I am a huge Tiger fan and always will be and will continue to cheer him on to a win every time he tees it up. However, I think this Ryder Cup just showed the world that there are a lot of other great golfers. Without him in the field it was fun to watch the media have to report on all the golfers involved in this years Ryder Cup and not dwell on Tiger's matches. This may have been a great thing for the PGA Tour and golf worldwide to see that there are some great talents out there even though they do get overshadowed, rightfully so, by Tigers accomplishments. Once again the stage of the Ryder Cup showed what a great game golf is and how great these players truly are.
The Comebacker
Somebody needed to say this.


Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
  • Getty Images

    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.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

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

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    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.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    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.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

    Masters victory

    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.