New Kind of Love

By Randall MellOctober 7, 2010, 1:11 am

Hunter Mahan will be embraced.

At the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children event in Las Vegas in two weeks, where he is scheduled to make his first appearance in a tournament since the Americans lost the Ryder Cup, he will get a quick sense of all the new fans he won over in his loss. The encouragement's coming. You can be sure of it.

Mahan will feel the same enormous new support that Dustin Johnson felt in the wake of Johnson’s PGA Championship loss this summer, when galleries at the BMW Championship adopted Johnson and rooted for his rebound there. Mahan's going to feel that new kind of love, too.

For so long, we believed the Americans didn’t care as much as the Europeans about the Ryder Cup.

Mahan is proof that’s no longer true, and maybe never was as true as we believed.

In time, Mahan will be remembered as much as the face of how passionately Americans care about the Ryder Cup as he will for losing the anchor match to Graeme McDowell, for chunking a chip at the final hole

Hunter Mahan
Hunter Mahan returns to action in Las Vegas in two weeks. (Getty Images)

in the final act. The pain Mahan showed in the news conference after Monday’s loss touched golf fans around the world. His tears were proof this American team cared so much it hurt.

Americans loved that, even in the loss. Europeans loved it, too, and respected it, even in their festive celebration after.

You get a sense of that on Mahan’s website and on his Facebook page in the hours after the loss.

We cry when you cry . . .

I am an Englishman, but I have total respect and admiration for you . . .

You’ll live to fight another day . . .

Your valiant effort to battle back and make this a most memorable Ryder Cup will not be forgotten . . .

I feel sorry for the European players you will face in future Ryder Cups . . .

Thanks for the courage to be the last man standing . . .

There are pages and pages of comments just like these on the wall of Mahan’s Facebook page.

Mahan saluted fans for their encouragement in a message on his website,

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the fans who have been so supportive of me and the rest of the team through my website, Facebook, Twitter, text, email, etc. Your support means a lot to me. While I’m clearly disappointed that we did not win this year’s Ryder Cup, the experience was extremely valuable and one I’ll learn a lot from. I’m already looking forward to winning back the cup when the event returns to the US at Medinah Country Club in 2012!

That Mahan’s returning to action so quickly at the Timberlake event in two weeks is a good thing.

It can’t hurt to feel the boost golf fans can give him sooner rather than later, because the added whammy to his heartache is that it comes with the PGA Tour season’s biggest events already over. There’s an entire offseason he could dwell on the Ryder Cup loss. According to his management team, the week after Timberlake’s event, he’s scheduled to head overseas for the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. In December, he’s planning to play the Chevron World Challenge.

There’s another larger event after these that trumps the golf, a life-changing event. Mahan’s getting married in January outside Dallas.

In the wake of the Ryder Cup loss, Mahan’s American teammates set the tone for what we can expect from fans when Mahan returns to play.

“If you go up and down the line of the Tour players in Europe and U.S. and asked them if you would like to be the last guy to decide the Ryder Cup, probably less than half would say they would like to be that guy, and probably less than 10 percent of them would mean it,” Stewart Cink said. “Hunter Mahan put himself in that position today. He was a man on our team, to put himself in that position.”

Cink’s response got applause from the rest of his teammates.

Jim Furyk also drew applause when he spoke of Mahan’s pain in the end.

“We know what it means to us,” Furyk said of the Ryder Cup. “Whatever you all thought in the past, whatever you've all written in the past, it's your observations, the way you feel. But that judgment . . . we know what it means. I'm glad maybe finally you've all figured it out.”

Mahan made the strongest case in the pain he felt, and he’ll be embraced, even in his loss, for making the Ryder Cup matter even more.

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 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.