Torrance Names Parnevik Garcia to Ryder Cup

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 2, 2001, 4:00 pm
Sam Torrance made no surprises on Sunday, as the European team captain of the upcoming Ryder Cup selected Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik as his two wild card picks for Septembers big event in England.
The two will team with Darren Clarke, Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn and seven others at The Belfry, where they will be attempting to defeat the United States, who won the last edition from Massachusetts in 1999.
Click Here to View the Finalized European Team.
Ranked well outside the automatically-qualifying top-10 on the points list, Parnevik and Garcia had been spending the bulk of their time competing in America.
In that time this year, Parnevik had claimed victory once, while Garcia had done so on two occasions. In Europe, however, they hadnt played much at all.
No matter for Torrance ' for him, they were the right picks.
Both have been there before, both have done it, and thats who I wanted to pick, he stated flatly immediately following the BMW International Open in Munich, Germany.
Sergios No. 6 in the world, Jespers No. 21. Obviously, they will be great assets to the team.
Free Video - Registration Required Torrance announces his two Picks
Torrances decisions were somewhat of a foregone conclusion, not nearly as surprising as were American captain Curtis Stranges picks of Paul Azinger and Scott Verplank.
Click Here to View the Finalized United States Team.
For several weeks, the Scottish veteran had been hinting that Garcia and Parnevik would be the two selections, and even made a formal announcement last week that Garcia would definitely be one of the two picks.
He confirmed it all on Sunday.
I feel we will be a very strong team, he said. We have a lot of experience and strength, and we have some rookie-firepower as well.
Certainly, experience will come with Garcia and Parnevik.
While this years edition will serve as Parneviks third, Garcia will be competing in his second.
The two were seemingly unbeatable in 1999 at Brookline, when they partnered together to win three times and halve once in foursomes and fourball matches.
Chances are that the American team will see that same partnership again this year in England.
They were very good together last time, said Torrance.
The one player who seemed a possible spoiler for the duo was fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal.
Ranked 18th on the points list entering the BMW, Olazabal was faced with one way of getting into the top-10 ' winning.
As it ended, he didnt, but he did come relatively close, finishing in a tie for 13th behind eventual champion John Daly.
Some speculated that his good form and years of experience in the Ryder Cup might warrant a pick from Torrance.
Not so, claimed the captain ' but the decision was a tough one.
He understands that I had to make a decision, said Torrance. It might not have been the decision he would have liked, but he was okay. He was fine with it, he was a gentleman.
While Torrance admitted that Olazabals experience was impressive, he also claimed that the Spanish veteran wasnt playing as well as Parnevik.
Plus, he pointed to another important trait of the game.
Parneviks a better driver of the golf ball than Ollie, he said. And driving is a very important aspect of the Ryder Cup.
Now that the big decision is over for Torrance, he says his work is just beginning as they move into the final days before compeitiion.
'I'm glad it's over now,' he said. 'We've got the team, we can look at pairings, we can get everything going.'
Full Coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches
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Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.

Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.

Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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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.