Monty Out First Tiger Out Last
European captain Torrance will have Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia in his first two matches out in the Sunday singles. U.S. captain Strange will clean up with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, the top two ranked players in the world.
I had two formulas for Sunday, said Strange. One was if the matches were close or we were a little (behind). And if we were ahead it would be different. But this is pretty much the way I had it.
With the teams tied at 8 points apiece through two days of the 34th Ryder Cup, Scott Hoch and Montgomerie will kick start the singles matches Sunday at The Belfry. Montgomerie is 3-0-1 this week.
The two faced each other in 1997 at Valderrama, with the match ending in a half after Europe had already clinched the Cup.
We actually guessed that Monty would go last. And we thought Garcia might go 11, Strange admitted, thinking that if it was close, youd have to have somebody at the end, like I have Tiger.
Instead, Garcia will go out second against David Toms. Garcia has earned three points for Europe this week. Toms, who went 2-1-1 while teamed with Mickelson, is a Ryder Cup rookie. Garcia lost his singles match to Jim Furyk in his first appearance in 1999.
Ive noticed a lot in team events that on the last day, that I really think momentum is a great thing, Torrance said. I think its important to get ahead early and just surge to the finish. That was one of my master plans. That was my reason.
He wants to get the spectators involved early. He wants to get the momentum early and hopefully that will feed over into the back-end of his field, the players, Strange noted.
In the fourth match of the day, Hal Sutton will face fellow 44-year-old Bernhard Langer.
The final two matches will pit Mickelson against rookie Phillip Price, and Woods against Jesper Parnevik.
Mickelson is 3-0-0 in his Ryder Cup singles career; Woods is 1-1-0, with a loss to Costantino Rocca in 97. He beat Andrew Coltart in the last Matches.
If the Ryder Cup is on the line, for any team, thats the guy you have to have go last, Strange said of Woods.
Theyve got one Tiger, Ive got 12 lions, Torrance said.
Price is a rookie, while Parnevik is 0-2-0 in singles. Both players have competed only once this week, with both losing their matches.
The U.S. holds a commanding 77-55 points advantage in singles since all of Europe was first included in the Ryder Cup, in 1979.
The Europeans have only twice out-pointed the Americans on Sunday during that stretch ' both times they won the Cup. They did so in 1995 at Oak Hill Country Club, and 10 years earlier here at The Belfry.
This European team ' with four rookies ' has a combined 7-10-6 singles record. The Americans ' with three first-timers ' has a record of 13-4-4.
Sunday Singles Matches
All times are Eastern
6:15 AM Scott Hoch (USA) vs. Colin Montgomerie (Scotland)
6:27 AM David Toms (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia (Spain)
6:39 AM David Duval (USA) vs. Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland)
6:51 AM Hal Sutton (USA) vs. Bernhard Langer (Germany)
7:03 AM Mark Calcavecchia (USA) vs. Padraig Harrington (Ireland)
7:15 AM Stewart Cink (USA) vs. Thomas Bjorn (Denmark)
7:27 AM Scott Verplank (USA) vs. Lee Westwood (England)
7:39 AM Paul Azinger (USA) vs. Niclas Fasth (Sweden)
7:51 AM Jim Furyk (USA) vs. Paul McGinley (Ireland)
8:03 AM Davis Love III (USA) vs. Pierre Fulke (Sweden)
8:15 AM Phil Mickelson (USA) vs. Phillip Price (Wales)
8:27 AM Tiger Woods (USA) vs. Jesper Parnevik (Sweden)
Full coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
Well, this is a one new one.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.
PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation
Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.
The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
The statement reads:
The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.
The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.
The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.
The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.