McDowell raves about U.S. Ryder Cup team

By Randall MellSeptember 4, 2012, 8:53 pm

CARMEL, Ind. – Now that the American and European rosters are set, Graeme McDowell can’t wait for the Ryder Cup to begin at Medinah in three weeks.

“It speaks volumes about the American team that Hunter Mahan wins twice this year and does not get on that team,” McDowell said on the driving range at Crooked Stick Tuesday while preparing for the FedEx Cup's BMW Championship. “It speaks volumes about how strong they are.”

McDowell was impressed at the number of good choices U.S. captain Davis Love III had for his four captain’s picks. Mahan didn’t make it despite his two PGA Tour victories this year, one the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Nick Watney didn’t make it despite winning a FedEx Cup playoff event two weeks ago.

“I think Davis Love could have tossed the names up in the air and taken any four and had a good team,” McDowell said.

Ladbrokes makes the Americans a 4/5 favorite.

“They are both very good teams, and it’s going to be very competitive and tight and will go down to the last few games,” McDowell said. “I’m excited.”

McDowell, who became a Ryder Cup star holing a clutch putt to set up Europe’s victory in Wales two years ago, is tempering his Ryder Cup excitement this week with work at hand. He’s trying to make the Tour Championship for the first time.

McDowell is 41st in the FedEx Cup points standings and needs to be among the top 30 to advance to the Tour Championship.

“I think I’ll need a top five this week to make it,” McDowell said. “I am, by my own admission, a little flat the last couple weeks, maybe struggling to kind of get going after the U.S. PGA Championship. It’s very hard to switch off after that and switch on for something, the FedEx Cup playoffs, that I’m still trying to get my head around. It’s only my second FedEx Cup.

“I have a big job to do this week, and I’m motivated.”

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.

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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.