Tiger Rumors are False


04 Ryder CupTiger Woods is certain at least one European is rooting for him in the Ryder Cup: his fiancee, Elin Nordegren, the Swedish model who became engaged to Woods late last year.
Woods denied on Tuesday a Boston Herald gossip columnist's recent report the twosome 'may have called it quits.'
'That's completely false,' Woods said. 'It's 100 percent false, actually. It's amazing how the media can quote false things like that and not be held accountable ... which I think is just incredible.'
Woods insisted he and his fiancee don't even argue.
'Nothing's happened to us. We're still very happy,' Woods said. 'It's just unbelievable how the media can do that and get away with that.'
Nordegren, formerly a nanny for Jesper Parnevik's children, and Woods met three years ago at the British Open at Royal Lytham. Woods became upset last year when it was leaked to the media that he and Nordegren became engaged at a game reserve in South Africa.
The Ryder Cup is one of the few times pro golfers experience the kind of partisan, root-against-the-other team crowds indigenous to other sports.
Sometimes it can be uplifting and motivating to the home team. Sometimes the support can border on the ugly, as it did when members of the U.S. team ran onto the green to celebrate Justin Leonard's Cup-clinching 45-foot birdie putt in Brookline, Mass., in 1999.
European players felt the celebration was over the top, especially since Europe's Jose Maria Olazabal had yet to putt with a chance to halve the hole.
Sutton was asked again Tuesday by a British reporter about the incident, and his reply was decidedly testy.
'Look, y'all (the media) have been kind of like a bad marriage partner,' he said. 'We've apologized for five years for what happened in 1999. So y'all need to forget about that. The American players, if we had to do it all over again, would not have run out on the green. But the truth of the matter is we're going to be ourselves. I've told all of our players, just go be yourself. Be a gentleman and be yourself.
'So we're going out there and we're going to be ourselves. No more apologies or anything else.'
American Jim Furyk found out how Olazabal felt when Furyk and Paul McGinley halved their singles match in 2002, assuring Europe of winning the cup.
'It's an empty feeling to be standing there and watch it unfold. ... Yeah, it's a hollow feeling and it stung. Eventually you get over it and you move on,' Furyk said.
Make that dinner for 13, with separate checks?
Michael Jordan, who knows something about the subject of winning, dined with the U.S. Ryder Cup team Monday night at the Big Rock restaurant in suburban Detroit - the dining choice of Hal Sutton's wife, Ashley.
Jordan has been an avid golfer for years, often playing on the celebrity tour.
'He's passionate about golf, as most of y'all know, but he's also passionate about the Ryder Cup team,' Sutton said. 'He talked about how special he felt it was and I couldn't help but think every guy in that room had to feel special that he thought they were special.'
Well, except maybe Tiger Woods.
'It's weird for me to see people react to him that way because he's just Mike,' Woods said. 'He's MJ to me. He's one of my best friends. So it was kind of funny to sit back and watch. ... It was kind of cool what he said, how excited he is about the event.'
Europe's Padraig Harrington has a pro athlete from another sport supporting him, too: his cousin, Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington.
Joey Harrington walked four holes of Padraig's practice round Tuesday, the traditional off day for NFL players. The quarterback's 4-yard touchdown pass to Az-Zahir Hakim proved decisive in the Lions' 20-16 victory at Chicago on Sunday.
While Joey Harrington is wishing his cousin well, he's already told him he is rooting for the United States to win.
'We both have some small games, sort of, toward the end of the week and so we are probably not going to see a lot of each other,' Padraig Harrington said. 'It's amazing when we do talk, we spend so much time trying to figure out what the other guy is doing. There's going to be a time in the future, obviously, where we're going to meet up where we're not exactly competing or performing in that week.'
While the Americans played practice rounds in foursomes Tuesday, the Europeans took a different approach by going out in threesomes. Even though Ryder Cup play Friday and Saturday is foursomes or four-ball, Europe's Luke Donald said, 'For most of us it was our first look at the course. ... We didn't want to take forever out there, so we played in threesomes.' ... Every aspect of the Ryder Cup is dissected in detail by the European media, much like the Super Bowl is in the United States. That's one reason why Paul Casey was asked repeatedly Tuesday about his decision to switch caddies, from Ken Comboy to Craig Connelly, earlier this week. ... Current projections have the remnants of Hurricane Ivan missing the Detroit area over the weekend. Weather forecasts call for partly cloudy to cloudy skies each day, with temperatures ranging from 71 to 78. ... European captain Bernhard Langer gave each team member an engraved Rolex watch as a gift. Asked what he would give his players, Sutton said, 'I want it to be a surprise. I didn't leave them out, I promise.'
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