Notes Tiger Sergio Ready for One Another

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36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- Tiger Woods didn't say much, but the look in his eye and his short answer showed he was aware of Sergio Garcia's comments in Switzerland, and more than willing to play him.
 
Woods is 7-11-2 in the Ryder Cup, a performance Garcia duly noted three weeks ago during the European Masters.
 
'Fortunately for us, he doesn't have a great Ryder Cup record,' Garcia was quoted as saying. 'So I'm looking forward to hopefully going out there and meeting him two or three times.'
 
Garcia has played with Woods three times in the final group. Woods won all three, including the British Open at Royal Liverpool this summer.
 
'As far as the Sergio comments, hopefully we can get together out there and play,' Woods said.
 
Garcia denied making the comments but did not back down.
 
'I definitely don't mind playing him,' he said. 'I've played him before in the Ryder Cup, and I've been fortunate enough to do pretty well against him. I guess I've had some nice partners.'
 
Garcia is 2-1 against Woods at the Ryder Cup. He and Jesper Parnevik beat Woods and Tom Lehman in foursomes in 1999; Garcia and Lee Westwood beat Woods and Mark Calcavecchia in foursomes in 2002; and Woods and Davis Love III beat Garcia and Westwood in fourballs that same year.
 
WIND AND RAIN
The Irish must have wondered what all the fuss was about.
 
True, the wind was howling and the rain went horizontal as a storm moved into the area. That's not unusual in these parts. But it was enough for Ryder Cup officials to shut down The K Club for three hours Wednesday, giving them time to inspect the damage.
 
The course reopened at 9:45 a.m., after forcing fans to wait in parking lots that were miles away.
 
'We were worried about all of the structures and what we call 'loose impediments' that were around the site until we could conduct a full review in daylight,' Ryder Cup tournament director Richard Hills said.
 
Gusts were about 40 mph, and Hills said anything beyond that could have created dangerous situations for spectators. He was more worried about tables, chairs and umbrellas taking flight than any problems with grandstands or three-story corporate chalets.
 
The storm was from remnants of Hurricane Gordon, which steadily has weakened as it crossed the Atlantic. Ireland's state forecasting system says the weather will remain wet or storm on Thursday, with more rain Friday.
 
What will that do to the practice rounds?
 
'These are top professionals of Europe and America. They have played here before,' European Tour chief George O'Grady said. 'I don't think our forecast is so bad that we won't be able to play tomorrow, but we'll do everything we can to start on time Friday.'
 
The weather raised a couple of issues, however.
 
The opening ceremony is Thursday near the practice range, and that might have to be moved indoors. Officials also acknowledged a Monday finish is possible. Rules officials also are debating whether to play preferred lies, meaning players can clean mud off their golf balls and replace them in the fairway.
 
Captains Tom Lehman and Ian Woosnam will have to agree on that.
 
'We will resist the temptation of playing preferred lies as far as we possibly can,' O'Grady said. 'But if both captains wish to do it. ... I don't think it would demean the tournament.'
 
EUROPE PREPARED
Paul McGinley of Ireland said he believes bad weather will favor the home team if it continues through the weekend.
 
'The Americans, I know they were cringing when the plane landed in Dublin airport and it was blowing an absolute gale and lashing rain,' McGinley said.
 
The U.S. team is usually known for its sense of fashion, if not its good play in recent Ryder Cups. But Woosnam might have done the Americans one better with his attention to detail on rain suits.
 
'I spent six months working on the rain suits, because I know what the weather can be like here,' Woosnam said. 'I've tried to get the very best out of the waterproofs.'
 
PAIRINGS GAME
Woosnam's main duty this week is pairing players with different games, personalities and even languages, while somehow making it work.
 
He can draw on his own Ryder Cup playing days for some help.
 
Woosnam remembers being paired in 1993 with Bernhard Langer of Germany, who has a reputation for calculating everything down to the smallest detail.
 
Before the alternate shot match, Langer told Woosnam he could leave him 101 or 80 meters for any approach shot. During one match, he asked Woosie how long of a shot to leave into the green.
 
'Just hit it down there, it doesn't bother me. I'll just get on with it,' Woosnam said.
 
The pairing might have been apples and oranges, but it worked. Woosnam and Langer won, 7 and 5, in the opening match over Payne Stewart and Paul Azinger. Oddly enough, it was the only time the two were paired in foursomes.
 
GO FIGURE
Woosnam isn't totally up to speed on how this course might play into his hands.
 
A reporter asked him Wednesday about how The K Club works nicely if he chooses to pair a big hitter with a short hitter in foursomes. The par 5s are all even-numbered holes (Nos. 4, 10, 16 and 18), allowing the long hitter to hit the tee shot. The par 3s are even-numbered holes except for No. 3.
 
'I haven't thought of that,' Woosnam said as the room broke up in laughter. 'I think that's something we'll discuss; we're going to have a team meeting tonight and we're going to have a look at that. That's a good point, who is going to be comfortable hitting more often off the par 3s than the others.'
 
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
It's been quite a year for Brett Wetterich, the only player to go from Q-school to the Ryder Cup in one year. Along the way, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati.
 
That might have been the biggest surprise of all.
 
'I don't think my high school really liked me too much, and it was kind of weird when they called me and said they were going to induct me into their Hall of Fame,' he said.
 
And why didn't he get along with the school?
 
'I don't know if I should go into that one,' Wetterich said. 'I spent a lot of time in the principal's office, I should say.'
 
Other athletes who went to Oak Hills include Mark and Kim Rodenbaugh, who were part of the U.S. Olympic swimming team in 1984; former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Bill Wegman; and Pete Rose Jr.
 
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