Europe Dominates US to Win Ryder Cup

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- When Luke Donald rolled in a 3-foot putt at the 17th to win his match against Chad Campbell Sunday, that gave Europe 14 1/2 points, the number needed to win the Ryder Cup -- again.
The European side captured the Ryder Cup by a final score of 18 1/2 - 9 1/2, which matched the largest margin of victory by its side that was established the last time around in 2004 at Oakland Hills.
European Ryder Cup Team
The victorious European team poses with the Ryder Cup trophy.
All totaled, Europe pounded the Americans in singles, winning 8 1/2 - 3 1/2, the largest margin of victory in singles ever for a European team. The European side captured all five sessions, a feat accomplished for the first time by either team since the inception of the current format in 1979.
This was another historic for victory for the Europeans. It was the third straight win for that team, which is the first time that happened for the European side. They won two in a row in 1985 and 1987, then tied to retain the Cup in 1989.
'I've been working on this for 18 months now,' said victorious captain Ian Woosnam. 'We had a fantastic team spirit all week. I had a very strong team. To be a captain, is incredible.'
For the Americans, it was a dreadful Sunday with the Europeans seemingly holing every putt. The U.S. team only won six matches out of the 28 played this week.
'I know our guys played with heart, but it wasn't enough,' acknowledged American captain Tom Lehman.
Perhaps the most emotional moment for the European side occurred on the 16th hole Sunday at The K Club.
Darren Clarke, playing a little more than a month after the death of his wife, Heather, had a chance to close out his match against Zach Johnson and strode up to the 16th green to a thunderous ovation from the huge gallery at the par-5 hole.
Clarke missed his birdie putt and lagged it up to three feet. Johnson's birdie also failed to fall and Johnson conceded Clarke's par putt, giving Clarke a 3-and-2 victory.
After a handshake with Johnson, Clarke hugged his caddy as tears streamed down his face. He received hugs from Woosnam, along with several players from both teams, and began to celebrate with his team.
'I was trying to keep my emotions in check from midway through the back nine,' admitted Clarke, who went 3-0 this week. 'I had a lucky day and Zach had an unlucky day. Things went for me.
'I was trying hard not to get ahead of myself about what all this week means to me. Heather would have wanted me to play here and I feel like I played well. I missed her.'
Europe held a 10-6 lead heading into the singles and tried to avoid the debacle of 1999 when the American team overcame that same deficit on Sunday en route to its last victory.
That did not happen on Sunday as Colin Montgomerie started things off with a 1-up victory over David Toms in the opening match. That ran Montgomerie's singles record to 6-0-2.
Paul Casey continued his strong run as he toppled world No. 3, Jim Furyk, 2 and 1. That was a rematch of last week's HSBC World Match Play Championship first- round battle that saw the same winner.
Paul McGinley provided an extremely classy moment in his match against J.J. Henry. With the Cup already decided, he conceded a long birdie putt at the 18th to halve his match after a naked patron caused a disruption.
In the middle of the singles, the European team showed its depth.
Clarke won the seventh match, rookie Henrik Stenson hammered fellow first- timer Vaughn Taylor, 4 and 3 and David Howell knocked off Brett Wetterich, 5 and 4 in the ninth match.
Jose Maria Olazabal compounded what was an awful week for Phil Mickelson. The Spaniard defeated Mickelson, 2 and 1 and went 3-0 for the Ryder Cup. The American went 0-4-1 this week.
Lee Westwood, Woosnam's other captain's pick with Clarke, polished off five straight wins for the European side as he bested Chris DiMarco, 2-up in the penultimate match.
Westwood completed an undefeated week with a 3-0-2 mark. He has not lost a match in his last two Ryder Cups.
There were very few bright spots for the American team, although Stewart Cink did prevent the Americans from putting Sergio Garcia's name in the Ryder Cup history books.
Garcia had a chance to become the second player, joining Larry Nelson, to go a perfect 5-0 in a Ryder Cup. Cink, one of Lehman's captain's picks, destroyed the Spaniard Sunday, 4 and 3.
Tiger Woods lost his first hole, but took command from there. He dispatched Swedish rookie Robert Karlsson, 4 and 3. Woods finished as the Americans' leading point earner with a 3-2 record, his first winning record at a Ryder Cup in his fifth appearance.
On a day when the Europeans holed almost everything they looked at, American Scott Verplank holed the longest shot on Sunday. The captain's pick, who was unhappy Lehman played him in only one session before Sunday, aced the 14th hole en route to a 4 and 3 victory over Padraig Harrington in the anchor match.
It was the second ace of the competition after Casey holed a four-iron at the same hole in Saturday's foursomes. Verplank's ace was the sixth in the competition's history, but the first by an American.
'It was a perfect yardage for a 3-iron and it dribbled in,' said Verplank.
Harrington finished winless in his home country with an 0-4-1 record.
Related Links:
  • Ryder Cup Scoring
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  • South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

    By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

    South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

    Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

    Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

    So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

    Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

    The fourball results:

    LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

    LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

    KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

    LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

    NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.


    Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

    By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

    In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

    Made Cut

    The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

    Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

    “I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

    Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

    Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

    This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

    Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

    Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

    The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

    Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

    Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

    The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

    First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

    “You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

    A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

    “The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

    For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

    Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

    “I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

    Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

    “Oh, yeah,” he told “Way by.”

    Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

    Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.

    Missed Cut

    Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

    Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

    “That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

    Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

    While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

    Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

    Here are some other social media posts that have surfaced:

    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''