European Report Cards

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupNick Faldos European team performed below expectations so his C grade is indicitive of that. The six-time major champion always did things his way, regardless of what anyone else thought, and perhaps that cost him in the long run. Without Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke and without Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington winning a match, Europe had no chance. Here is how GolfChannel.com graded Faldo's team for the matches played at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.:
 

 

Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington

Its impossible to believe that the best player in golf over the past three months went winless in four matches. Without Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke, Harrington (0-3-1) was the one expected to step up and take the leadership role. It never happened.


 

 

 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia

Garcia (0-2-2) easily had the worst Ryder Cup in his career, going winless and gaining a total of just 1 point. And perhaps more shocking was his benching on Day 2 ' the first time he had sat out a session in his five Ryder Cup appearances. This not to mention his 5-and-4 loss to Kim in singles.


 

 

 
Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood

Got rattled early by Boo Weekley and just never showed form that hes had this whole year and in past Ryder Cups. Just unfathomable to think that the Englishman (0-2-2) could play in four matches and not win one of them.


 

 

 
Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson

Stenson (1-2-1) had a rather lackluster Ryder Cup, earning just 1 points. Lone bright spot was rallying in the Saturday foursomes match to edge Mickelson-Kim. Had a tough draw in Sunday singles, going up against crowd favorite Kenny Perry and losing 3 and 2.


 

 

 
Robert Karlsson
Robert Karlsson

Karlsson (1-1-2) came into the matches hot after a victory on the European Tour and remained that way. Drubbed Leonard in singles. His play in the afternoon fourball on Day 2 was exceptional, draining seven birdies in one 10-hole stretch.


 

 

 
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Miguel Angel Jimenez

Expected more from one of the few true veterans on the squad, who usually is a strong protagonist in this event. If Jimenez (0-2-1) had been playing better perhaps Faldo would have played him in four matches instead of only three.


 

 

 
Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

A pleasant surprise for Faldo, the Ryder Cup rookie gained appreciation for the event from being an inside-the-ropes television reporter at the 2006 Cup. McDowell (2-1-1) paired with three different teammates in the first two days, then dropped Cink in singles.


 

 

 
Justin Rose
Justin Rose

Joins Poulter as the only two stars for Europe. The young, English duo was 2-1 together the first two days, then Rose (3-1-0) smoked Mickelson in the singles match that wasnt as close as the score indicated.


 

 

 
Soren Hansen
Soren Hansen

Hansen's (0-2-1)only real bright spot was in a Day 1 fourball match with Westwood where Team Europe made birdie on the 18th hole to squeak out a halve with Holmes and Weekley. Fought hard in singles match against Holmes but just didnt have the firepower.


 

 

 
Oliver Wilson
Oliver Wilson

Wilson's (1-1-0) grade really could be an incomplete because he was the only player on either squad that sat out the entire first day and only played in two total matches. The young, Cup rookie showed emotion though and could become more of a factor in the future.


 

 

 
Ian Poulter (captain's pick)
Ian Poulter

Poulter (4-1-0) ended up making Faldo look pretty smart as far as a captain's choice. He was the Euro team's emotional leader as well and the player making all the big putts to keep his team in the mix up until the outcome was decided.


 

 

 
Paul Casey (captain's pick)
Paul Casey

Casey (0-1-2) was one of Faldos two captain's picks and was unable to muster much of anything, gaining only two half points during the competition. His half point in the Sunday singles match was a gift from Mahan, who put his ball in the water on 18.


 

 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Report Cards
  • U.S. Team and Records
  • European Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.