European and International players dominated at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Who would win between the European Ryder Cup and International Presidents Cup teams (taking the current top players) on neutral ground?
Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GolfChannel.com:
The Internationals would win just using the Aussies and South Africans. Throw into the mix Vijay, Weir, Cabrera and a few others and you've got enough for two strong squads. By the way, if you had a two-person alternate shot event with the top male and female from each country teaming up, would anybody beat the Swedish entry of Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson?
Kraig Kann - Host, Golf Channel:
It would definitely be a better match right now than any match involving the United States. Id go with the International team featuring Els, Singh, Goosen, Immelman, Ogilvy, Scott, Allenby, Baddeley, Pampling and others who are pretty strong to say the least. But Europe is stacked, too; and given their two recent trouncings of the American team at the Ryder Cup, how can I pick against their chemistry.
Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GolfChannel.com:
The Europeans. Just like they have been for so long against the Americans, the Euros would enter this contest as the underdogs on paper. And just as they have done to the Americans for so long, they would beat the Internationals handily. As it is in the Ryder Cup, the Europeans would have the 'team' advantage over the Internationals. That unity would overcome any talent disadvantage they might have.
Geoff Ogilvy could not defend his title at the Accenture. What is the toughest professional tournament in which to defend?
I think the toughest one to defend is probably the Open Championship because of the changing venues and conditions every year. Plus, for Americans, it's a long trip. There are just more variable involved in the Open Championship than any big tournament in the world.
I would definitely say its the Accenture Match Play Championship. Better yet how about the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in England, which brings in a heavy dose of 36-hole matches. It's so tough to be on for an entire week ' two years in a row! If the tournament was still around, I might argue The International with its modified stableford scoring system. Nobody ever successfully defended his title.
The Open Championship -- by a hair over the Match Play -- because of the change in venue each year, combined with the uncertainty of the elements. It's obivously difficult to win 12 straight match at the WGC-Accenture, but I think, given all of the variables, it's a little more difficult to win two straight at The Open.
The PGA TOUR is headed to Florida. What was the highlight of the West Coast Swing?'
The highlight of the West Coast Swing was the return of Phil Mickelson to the winner's circle at Pebble Beach, followed closely by the re-emergence of Charles Howell III. Also getting votes: Riviera. And, if I was allowed by the judges, I'd cast a ballot or three for the performance of GOLF CHANNEL on the PGA TOUR
To me, its a toss up between Tigers win (at the Buick Invitational) and Charles Howells consistency. Howells win (at the Nissan) is really sweet. As I told him afterward, Nobody could have handled the recent five-year struggles to get back to winning, and nobody will move forward better because of it. Surprise of the West Coast Swing is Jeff Quinney. He can play.
The Streak. Even though Tiger played in only two events on the West Coast Swing, talk of his PGA TOUR winning streak dominated conversation the entire two months. It added an element of excitement and -- as he has done throughout his career -- Tiger once again attracted many non-golf fans to the game.
The Johnnie Walker Classic is on tap this week on the European Tour. What is your post-round beverage of choice?
My post round beverage of choice is an ice cold Corona Lite with two limes chased with a New Zealand sauvignon blanc (preferably Old Renwick) followed by dinner and complemented by a designated driver and the promise of more golf the next day.
Beer ... simple. Light of any kind or a Guiness to change it up.
The last time I played, I hit six fairways -- four of them on adjacent holes. I also managed to lose a match to my younger brother something like 7 and 1, which I didn't think was even possible. Unfortunately, I had to drive home (that was another bad drive as a bird committed suicide on my windshield) after the round. Sure would have been nice to have a Jim Beam and coke instead -- double.
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