Tiger Dissects Lopsided US Ryder Cup Loss

By Sports NetworkSeptember 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesTiger Woods believes curing America's Ryder Cup ills requires an infusion of good young players, getting off to better starts in the matches, a true home-course advantage -- and making timely putts.
 
After he and his teammates joined the triumphant European players in their celebration party the previous evening, Woods dissected the latest lopsided loss by the Americans.
 
'They have a younger crop of players that are playing well. When our youngest player is 30 years old, that's not a positive thing,' the 30-year-old Woods said Monday in a conference call from London. 'They have Luke (Donald) and Sergio (Garcia), Paul Casey, all in their 20s. We don't have anybody in their 20s on the team.
 
'And all three guys I just mentioned have won numerous tournaments around the world; most of our guys in our 20s haven't won tournaments yet.'
 
Former British Open champion Ben Curtis, 29, is the only American player currently under 30 to have won a tournament on the PGA Tour.
 
'Hopefully we'll have a new crop of guys that will come up from college and start producing, and the guys right now in their 20s will start winning tournaments and get on these teams,' Woods said. 'Dealing with pressure-packed situations in regular tour events, that's one of the reasons why I think they (the young Europeans) are able to win tournaments around the world as well.'
 
The Europeans kept the Cup with an 18 1/2 -9 1/2 victory, identical to their one-sided margin in 2004.
 
The Americans got off to a bad start, and it didn't get any better. At the end, the Europeans had won 8 1/2 points from the 12 singles matches to become the first team to win all five sessions since that format began in 1979.
 
'We were in two record Ryder Cups, and unfortunately, we were on the losing side,' said Woods, the world's No. 1 player who went 3-2-0 in his matches. 'I've always felt that it's important to get off to quick starts in matches.
 
'We were down one or two in the first six or seven holes and always had to fight to get up. When you see that blue on the board and you're European, it sends a positive feeling through the entire team. Their guys were up in every match, so we were never able to get that feeling.'
 
Then there was the putting.
 
'We hit about the same, but they holed so many more putts,' Woods said. 'Time and again we were in position to make momentum-building putts and we didn't. If you can't change momentum, it fuels the other side.
 
'Those greens weren't really that hard to learn. They actually were very simple. They just outputted us. I had numerous opportunities to make putts and I didn't. Unfortunately, the rest of the team didn't as well.'
 
He noted that when the matches are in Europe, they are generally held on courses the players there play each year, and that when the United States hosts the event, it's often on a course the Americans aren't familiar with.
 
'We have chosen venues that are fantastic venues, difficult golf courses, but courses we don't play,' Woods said.
 
The 2008 Ryder Cup will be at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky., and although Woods won the PGA title there in 2000, he said the site essentially will be neutral because it will have been eight years 'since any of us have seen the golf course.'
 
After Sunday's final matches, the players spent some time together that evening.
 
'Both teams hung out with each other last night, which is the way the spirit of the Ryder Cup is supposed to be,' Woods said. 'We were all having a great time and singing and dancing, so I think it was a true celebration of golf.
 
'Unfortunately we got beat pretty bad.'
 
Eleven players from the Ryder Cup, including Ireland's Darren Clarke, will join Woods in December's Target World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Woods stages the annual event, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation for youth.
 
Clarke, whose wife died of breast cancer six weeks ago, inspired his European teammates simply by playing, and he won all three of his matches.
 
'From what he's had to endure, his family, his immediate family and his kids, we can all sympathize for him,' Woods said. 'I personally invited him. I just wanted him to understand that he always has a home with us.
 
'He's always been a wonderful supporter of our event. It's our turn to reach out a helping hand (in) any way possible.'
 
Related Links:
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  • Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

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    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

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    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

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