Too many qualified candidates for 2014 Euro Ryder Cup captain

By Jason SobelOctober 23, 2012, 2:00 pm

So there’s this boy – let’s call him Paul – who is in love with a girl. He’s like your prototypical nice guy from the movies. Helps her with homework. Listens to her problems. Gets her home safely when she’s had too much to drink.

Paul is infatuated with this girl. He knows her favorite color. Makes her a new mix tape every week. The guy’s even written sappy poetry about her.

So what’s the problem? She still only sees him as a friend. Anytime they’ve discussed the possibility of a relationship, he offers up those puppy dog eyes only to have her look right into them and like a knife to the heart proclaim, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”

There’s another boy – let’s call him Darren – who is falling for this girl, too. He just has a different way of showing it.

Darren is one of the cool kids. Walks cool, talks cool, wears cool shades. Everybody swoons over him and the girl has started to take notice and do some swooning of her own.

And why wouldn’t she? He’s the proverbial life of the party, the kind of boy who has a good time wherever he goes. They’ve recently started spending more time together and, well, she’s starting to think this could be a long-term type of thing.

All of which leads to the question I know you’re dying to ask: What does any of this have to do with golf?

The answer: Everything. Because Paul is Paul McGinley and Darren is Darren Clarke – and the girl is the 2014 European Ryder Cup captaincy.

And yes, someone could easily make a cheesy ‘80s film about the flirtations and dalliances that McGinley and Clarke have made toward being the next man in charge of the European squad that will defend its title at Gleneagles.

Prior to the historic come-from-behind win at Medinah a few weeks ago, it was believed that McGinley was in the driver’s seat for the role. He served as vice captain two years ago at Celtic Manor and again this time, reporting directly to Jose Maria Olazabal.

That gives him an impressive 2-0 record as an assistant, but his resume hardly ends there. McGinley was 3-0 as a Ryder Cup competitor, helping the team to victories in the 2002, 2004 and 2006 editions of the event, where he compiled a 2-2-5 overall record. He also played for the winning side twice in the Royal Trophy and twice in the Seve Trophy, then twice served as captain in the latter for the GB&I team and – you got it – won them both.

Add ‘em all up and that’s an 11-0 record for all major professional international team competitions in which he’s been involved. Not too shabby.

McGinley may not own the playing pedigree of other captains – he has just four career European Tour wins and has never finished better than sixth place in a major championship – but he has the respect of every player who has competed alongside him.

That’s not to say Clarke doesn’t, though. After likewise serving as vice captain for Olazabal this year, his stock began to soar – so much so that last year’s Open Championship winner took to Twitter to deny claims that he had already been offered the job.

'To clarify..I have not been offered the Ryder Cup captaincy,' he tweeted on Oct. 10. 'It's not decided by the committee until January. Would be a huge honour if asked.'

Why is Clarke suddenly surging ahead like the European team on Sunday at Medinah? The prevailing feeling is that the girl whom everybody wants is most attracted to the cool guy who has a good time wherever he goes.

Even some major players acknowledge those traits.

“He's a major champion, a very good public speaker, which has to be taken into account,” Lee Westwood recently told reporters. '[He's] tactically very astute. Darren has a lot of things going for him.'

In offering up a comparison between the two candidates, Westwood added, 'Paul has played three [Ryder Cups], Darren has played five and got a major championship and won a lot more tournaments than Paul. You have to have a criteria somewhere and I think Darren just edges it for me.'

The truth is, each man vying for that girl’s affection can make a case for why he should be the one to win her over. In due time, she may be with each of them, but there are many other potential suitors knocking at her door, too.

Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez – each of whom also served as an assistant under Olazabal – are among candidates for the open position, and others aren’t too far away from throwing their hats into the ring, either.

'I think these two [Clarke and McGinley] deserve a chance, but I think Thomas deserves a chance and also Paul Lawrie,' Olazabal said after winning. 'Once those guys do it, we have Lee [Westwood] and Padraig [Harrington].'

Hey, a girl’s got a reputation to uphold. She can’t be with every boy in town.

Therein lies the biggest problem for the European Tour’s tournament committee, which will ultimately make the decision.

While the American side rips a page from “The Fugitive” – looking in every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse for a man who can lead its team to victory – the reigning champion apparently has too many qualified candidates. What it means is that much like Larry Nelson and Mark O’Meara have never captained a U.S. team, worthy European skippers will likely see their opportunities vanish for no good reason at all, other than somebody else beating them out for the job.

As for this time around, only one boy will get the girl. It’s starting to look like the cool guy is winning her over, potentially leaving the lovelorn nice guy with a broken heart once again.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.