Torrances Gamble Pays Big

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 29, 2002, 4:00 pm
SUTTON COLDFIELD, England ' Soccer-style cheers echoed throughout the countryside. Chants unfamiliar to Americans, but like nursery rhymes to those local.
 
The Ryder Cup was back in European hands, and patrons expressed their enthusiasm for hours.
 
But there was one man, a man of quick wit and betraying emotion, to whom the victory meant most.
 
Sam Torrances golfing essence is steeped in the Ryder Cup Matches. He played on each occasion from 1981-1995. Over the years hes seen it all evolve ' from European futility to respectability to repeated victory.
 
In 1985, he holed the putt that gave the Europeans their first Cup win in 28 years. Seventeen years later he returned to the site of that historical occasion, The Belfry, and captained his team to another remarkable triumph.
 
Apart from my marriage and the birth of my children, without a doubt this is the proudest moment of my life, said Torrance, eyes swelling with pride and tears.
 
The sentiment wasnt lost on his players, either. They knew the importance of winning this week, not just to them, but to their leader as well.
 
Its been a privilege to be captained by a truly emotional Scot in Sam Torrance, said Colin Montgomerie, who grew up in the same county as his captain. I am so proud to be a part of his team this week.
 
We cant say enough about our leadership, added Bernhard Langer, who played with Torrance in all eight of the Scots Ryder Cup appearances.
 
After two days the competition was a wash ' deadlocked at eight points apiece. It was time for Torrance to earn his true keep as captain.
 
He stacked his team heavy up front, sending out his best players to stockpile precious points. The strategy was daring. What if they failed? Could the rookies and the out-of-form be counted upon to take on the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson?
 
The questions were presented. But not by his team.
 
Sam had an idea of the draw and it worked out brilliantly. It was a risk, but in life you dont get rewards without risking, Montgomerie said.
 
Everybody on the team just knew we were going to win tomorrow, Jesper Parnevik said after looking at the line-up Saturday night. And it was not one of those wishful, 'I hope were going to win,' it was, 'We know were going to win tomorrow.''
 
They knew of the past, too, when the Americans put forth their best early in 1999 and ambushed the Europeans at Brookline. That year the U.S. trailed by four points entering the final session. They won the first six singles matches and prevailed by a point. It was a lesson learned, and one applied three years later.
 
In Brookline, when Monty and I looked at each other at pretty much the same time when the (singles) draw came up, we stared into each others eyes and said, Where are we going to get the points tomorrow? Parnevik said.
 
Sam did exactly what we wanted, or what we needed when he made the draw. And I think that was the best move of the week.
 
The move paid off in the form of a 7 - 4 singles victory, and a 15 - 12 team win. His men won five of the first eight matches Sunday, and halved another, leaving U.S. captain Curtis Strange impressed by his colleague.
 
Sam did one remarkable job today. And I mean by that I thought he took a hell of a gamble by front-loading his team like he did, Strange said. Ive never seen somebody front-load like that and play on home-field advantage, it looks pretty good now, it really does.
 
And it feels good, too. After the closing ceremonies Torrrance sat alongside his troops and fielded question from the media. All the while, he heard the chants from outside.
 
'Can we keep the questions brief?' he asked. 'Sounds like a hell of a party out there.'
 
A party where Torrance was the guest of honor.
 
Full coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches
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.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.