Euros Yanks Still Fan Hate Flames
Someone hears a few buzzwords ' hatred or them or dont like - and they dont even wait for the rest of the sentence. The only thing they get is the name of the offending player, and off a rumor goes, making thousands of rounds before it finally lands in the garbage can where it belongs.
A month or so ago I received an e-mail from a disgruntled reader ' he obviously was from Europe, but he could just as easily been from America under a little different circumstances. The e-mail went something like this:
Whats the difference in Chris DiMarco saying he hates Europeans and what Paul Casey said?
Huh? I never heard DiMarco say anything that even remotely suggested he hates Europeans. Matter of fact, I never personally heard Paul Casey says he hates Americans, either, but he apparently did say something like that to a London newspaper. Casey said ' and Im paraphrasing here ' that during Ryder Cup week he hates the American team. It sounded a wee bit harsh, but I figured it just meant he does something to stoke the competitive fires. So be it ' but it caused a tremendous negative reaction here in the U.S. of A.
Casey later went of American television ' The Golf Channel ' to explain what he meant. And I didnt find what he said offensive at all. But plenty of Americans wanted some fodder to feed their hatred, and they have found it. Poor Paul has had a terrible time of it in the U.S. this year, missing five cuts in nine starts before fleeing back to his home in England.
Europeans, though, thought they had a comparable villain in DiMarco. Someone thought DiMarco said, We hate the Europeans after the Presidents Cup victory. Nothing, DiMarco said, could be further from the truth.
You know, its funny ' I got a call about a week after (the Presidents Cup) from somebody at the Golf Channel, DiMarco said Wednesday. They said, Hey, there was some comments made
And DiMarco was forced to start the process of putting out another brushfire, much the same as Casey had done.
I guess what I meant to say - and what was perceived - were two different things, he said. What I said was, The media and the fans want there to be hatred in the Ryder Cup.
Unfortunately, I made it sound like, We hate them. Which is totally wrong.
I went back and found what DiMarco really said at the Presidents Cup. And if you were just searching for one or two hot words, you would probably come up with, I hate the Europeans. Put the whole phrase together, though, and you have something totally different.
I like that there's a genuine respect for both teams, DiMarco actually said, and it's more about the game of golf and not necessarily somebody being ugly and somebody not being ugly.
I think the players pretty much on both teams, whether it's Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, have a mutual respect for everybody. I think the media makes it, unfortunately, for Ryder Cup, hateful, and that's the difference between the two.
I would naturally take issue with his statement that its the media who has done the skullduggery ' but, I guess that just comes with the territory. Whatever ' the fact is, what DiMarco said, and what he is being accused of saying, are as far apart as London is from Los Angeles.
So, DiMarco has gone into the preempt mode. It started at the WCG-American Express Championship recently in San Francisco, where he happened to bump into a couple of Euros ' Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie ' at the course. He immediately stopped the pair and went into an explanation.
I just wanted to let them that know that what I said, and what they heard ' was not what I said, said DiMarco.
And then he went down the list, of all the European Ryder Cup members at the tournament.
I have the utmost respect for everyone on that team, he said, mentioning that the play of Westwood in the Ryder Cup has been phenomenal.
Just the fact that there was a comment on that ' I didnt even know there was something going on. So I sat down with every one of the Ryder Cup members I saw last week, I sat down with them and said, Im sorry that it was misconstrued that way. They all said, Its no big deal.
He knows, however, that he can never, ever change the mind of some European fans who need to have an American villain ' just like some Americans refuse to consider that Paul Casey is just another Englishman who didnt at all mean to bum-rap the U.S.
Like I said, they (the fans) just want to make it to where it seems hateful, said DiMarco. And, there is no hatred. I just think that people like to take the competitive nature of that, and they think that hatred is a part of that. Thats not what it is.
Thats the nature of the Ryder Cup. People work themselves into a fever pitch, and to do so, they need somebody to hate. Doesnt matter who it is, as long as that person is on the opposite side. Is it any wonder that DiMarco is despised in Europe, and Casey is despised in America?
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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School
One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.
It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.
McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).
Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).
Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.
Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award
The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.
The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.
Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.
The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4
Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.
Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.
South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.
Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.
The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout
It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.
Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.
Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.
"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."
Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.