NONot Again

By Kraig KannNovember 19, 2004, 5:00 pm
Just when you thought civility and sportsmanship had returned the Ryder Cup to its roots, Luke Donald and Paul Casey visited the media room at the WGC-World Cup.
 
Now, before I continue, let me say that Ive interviewed both men, and found them just as strong in character as in world class game.
 
Donald and Casey are teaming at the World Cup this week in Spain, but Tuesday spent time in an interview setting tag-teaming in a rant about Tom Lehman as the chosen Ryder Cup captain, the habits of American players in general, and a general perception of the United States.
 
Lehmans appointment as captain, by the way, has been a hot topic for many who believe that Lehmans exuberant display (specifically) after Justin Leonards 1999 putt at Brookline was over the top.
 
ON LEHMAN ' (Casey) If Lehman wins the Ryder Cup back for the Americans, it will be the best captaincy, the best appointment they have ever made. However, I dont think his appointment will be universally accepted on this side of the Atlantic. I dont think a lot of people want to see him as captain. I think a lot of people are just afraid that it might bring up a Brookline-type could be a Brookline-type situation at K Club.
 
ON LEHMAN ' (Donald) Ive heard reports, you know, about he was the first person to rush on the green at Brookline when Justin Leonard holed that putt. Ive heard a few things that go against what he kind of proclaims as being a very religious and it just seemed a little bit shady to me. I think from what Ive read, the Americans were running out of candidates, and he was kind of a choice that they probably wouldnt have made if a few others had accepted.
 
ON AMERICANS ' (Donald) I think people who are not Americans can get upset with Americans quite easily. They do seem to be very insular. They make rash comments that are really quite upsetting sometimes. I remember watching Disney and Ryan Palmer said, you know, the Nationwide was the second strongest tour in the world, days after Europe had just thrashed the U.S. 18 to 9 . I guess its a reaction to the Americans way of thinking that they have the best country in the world and they dont really need to leave their country; they have everything there.
 
ON AMERICANS ' (Casey) I think that, you know, Americans do have a tendency to sort of wind people up. You know, when they are chanting USA, and theres lots of them, it just wants to make you beat them even more, and I think thats the point I was probably trying to get across. They probably failed to realize it really sort of riles us and the rest of the world. I dont hate Americans. I have an American girlfriend, I live in America, I play many events in the U.S. I certainly dont hate them.
 
OK. If you saw the Sprint Pre-Game Wednesday night, you saw reaction from us, reaction from Colin Montgomerie whos competing at the UBS Cup and some e-mails from viewers.
 
Heres a sampling of those e-mails sent in to the Sprint Pre-Game that I thought youd like to read.
 
  • I think its good that there are some early emotions stirring up. Maybe our (U.S.) players will get a little more involved and be ready to win the cup back.
     
  • Sure, Paul Casey jumps on the anti-U.S. bandwagonbut were everybodys daddy when they need something. What a cheap shot from someone who has reaped the benefits of an education, golf and life here in America.
     
  • I think Luke Donald has just taken the bullseye off of Montys back and placed it squarely on his own. This is not the first time weve heard these types of comments from foreigners that choose to live in our country for whatever reason. I guess thats the price we pay as Americans for extending our hand to all foreigners from all walks of life.
     
  • I listened to the show tonight and heard the comments from Luke Donald and Paul Casey. I dont understand there comments being they both lost there singles matches at the Ryder Cup this year and Luke got waxed 5 and 3. So I think he need not talk for his teammates. Please revoke their Visas!
     
  • You folks just dont get it do you. The comments by these young players were not just about golf but American attitude in general. You are so arrogant it scares the rest of the world you are out of control, the ugly American is well and truly back.
     
  • Guys, hello! The U.S. is an insular country, no international news, or sports outside of the U.S. All domestic sports finals are called world. Anyway, I think both Lukes and Pauls comments are partly to do with golf and part to do with these other matters. And yes you can live in a country that does have these things that may annoy from time to time..they live here as the PGA is the best tour with the most money. Thats why Im over here - better opportunities and cash! Europeans get frustrated with the general U.S. public that appears to think that the world stops at their border and no other place could possibly compete on comparable levels. I think the younger generation of European players sees this more clearly as now they are competing more and more on the U.S. tour. I can imagine the comments regarding the Nationwide being the No. 2 world tour was the last straw.All this said the comments were not appropriate and I wish Tom Lehman all the best, hes going to need it!
     
    Ive given this just a days thought, and have some reactions. Lehmans captaincy might be of concern to some, but not to me. His enthusiasm for the Ryder Cup is stronger than most on either side.
     
    Yes, he jumped for joy on Leonards putt, but hes also one of the most decent, honorable, fair-minded sportsmen that Ive come across ' not just in golf but in any sport. Trust me, he hasnt enjoyed the label hes been tagged with by Europeans after 99, and Im certain he took the job with nothing but the best interests of the Ryder Cup in mind. If anything, its my opinion that hell go overboard with proper political balance during his captaincy.
     
    I have mixed feelings on the comments by Donald and Casey, which actually furthered a verbal jabbing by Casey in an article in a London paper a few weeks ago. Together the duo is a big part of Europes Ryder Cup future, yet these comments ' attacking in nature ' dont do much for the immediate future of their reputations, or the current state of Ryder Cup fellowship.
     
    Still, theres always a little shade of harsh reality to any argumentative statements and I find myself actually nodding in agreement that we are a spoiled country to some degree. If people or countries have negative feelings toward America, then there must be some reason for it. And collectively, it never hurts to self-evaluate.
     
    But if its opportunity that one wants, the United States is as good as it gets. Donald and Casey both chose the United States for college, college golf and a path to future professional success. If I dare to find fault, its about biting the hand that fed you.
     
    Ive always believed you respect the opportunities given and taken in life, and carefully choose words when talking about them later. A scholarship and a chance to play with the worlds best players is a pretty nice opportunity. Maybe theyve forgotten.
     
    Nobody has to love the United States. Dont even have to like it. But theres always something positive to take from any experience. Luke and Paul would have been wise to throw in some of the positive along with so much negative.
     
    Finally, Im worried for the Ryder Cup. I barely had my frequent flyer account updated after the trip to Detroit and now this!
     
    Hadnt we moved past this? I thought wed kissed and made up. Sutton and Langer talked about mended fences and the renewed priority of sportsmanship for two years prior to an American butt-whoopin by the Europeans. And when it was mercifully over on Sunday, there were no stern words, no quotable lashings to leave us with a bad taste. The score spoke for itself.
     
    Curtis Strange and Sam Torrance started the difficult process of returning the Ryder Cup to its rightful roots. Sutton and Langer continued it. But suddenly, with comments made by two Ryder Cup rookies, the ego-bruised United States has plenty to rally around and plenty to play for. Brace yourselves; were in for an interesting couple of years.
     
    But PLEASE.. Lets not go back to where weve been. That wasnt good for anyone.
     
    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.