Captains Still Juggling Their Line-ups

RSS

SUTTON COLDFIELD, England -- After two days of full practice, both Ryder Cup captains are pleased with what theyre seeing. Theyre also fine-tuning their teams.
 
I have adjusted, yes, said U.S. Captain Curtis Strange when asked if he had made adjustments in his pairings after two days of observing.
 
But when asked to divulge, Strange responded, Dont even ask me the follow-up (question). Dont even waste your breath.
 
European Captain Sam Torrance wasnt about to leak any information either.
 
Yes, theres a couple of things already changed this week, and thats just the way it is ' it has to happen, he said. Some things arent right and you have to shuffle and rearrange and make things right. Thats the job of the captain.
 
Please dont ask me what they were.
 
On the second day of preparations for the 34th Ryder Cup Matches, both captains only slightly rearranged their line-ups from the first day.
 
Torrance had Dane Thomas Bjorn, Northern Irishman Darren Clarke, Swede Pierre Fulke and Welshman Phillip Price in his first group. Bjorn and Clarke paired together Tuesday, as did Fulke and Price, but in separate groups.
 
Sergio Garcia of Spain, Germanys Bernhard Langer, Scot Colin Montgomerie and Englishman Lee Westwood went out in Europes second group. Once again, Garcia and Langer played together the day before, as did Montgomerie and Westwood, but in different groups.
 
The same held true for Wednesday's final grouping of Swedes Jesper Parnevik and Niclas Fasth, and Irishmen Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley. Parnevik and McGinley have played together each of the first two day, as have Harrington and Fasth.
 
Strange had Phil Mickelson and David Toms together again. They played alongside Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk. Cink played with Paul Azinger Tuesday, while Furyk played with Scott Hoch.
 
Azinger was teamed with Tiger Woods Wednesday. They played with Hoch and Mark Calcavecchia. Woods and Calcavecchia were paired together the day before.
 
Azinger showed up late on the first tee, leaving Hoch to play with Woods on the first nine holes, they then switched partners on the back nine.
 
Davis Love III and David Duval, and Hal Sutton and Scott Verplank played together in another group; both teams were paired together Tuesday, but in different groups.
As opposed to the first day when teams practiced four-balls, they played alternate shot on Day 2.
 
Today was the only mandatory 18 holes they had to play, explained Strange. A serious alternate shot.
 
I wanted straight alternate shot, no practice putting, which they cannot do in the matches; no second balls ' play alternate shot. Try to get a feel for what youre going to have to do in the matches. And that is very important to me.
 
I adjusted with the team Sunday night because I was adamant that they were going to play two and a half days of golf, resting a lot on Thursday; adamant about who theyre going to be paired with; adamant that they play and practice hard, because remember, we have to get ready for Friday morning.
 
The opening ceremonies will take place Thursday afternoon. Strange said his team has the option of playing as much or as little as they want tomorrow.
 
Both captains reiterated that they have their line-ups in order for Fridays four-ball and foursome matches, but stated changes may be made.
 
Its based on chemistry, Strange said. Its not so much on play. Everybody is doing okay. I just have to adjust a little bit.
 
Said Torrance: My idea on it, Im looking for the best pairings I can find. Whether its foursomes, whether its camaraderie or high spirits, I put it together, and I try to come up with the four best pairings in the series.
 
Torrance and Strange also said they like the way their teams are enjoying themselves in the long week leading up the serious competition.
 
Theyre having a ball out there. Theyre laughing and theyre joking. Theyre gambling, said Torrance.
 
Theyre even having a little fun at the captains expense.
 
Im in the bathroom (Tuesday night) and the phone goes; its Pierre Fulke. He says, Sam, Ive got a huge problem, its the biggest problem of the week, I have to come see you. Okay. So I wrap a towel around myself and I go to the door and his face is ashen. And I thought, what has happened. And he says, Sam, I cant do my tie. I could have killed him, Torrance told.
 
But the camaraderie is fantastic. Weve got great team spirit ' brilliant.
 
No such shenanigans have been played on Strange, but he feels his team is loose and prepared.
 
I have to admit, the guys are great fun. Last night, the night before, and during the day. They are relaxed, theyre having a lot of fun, Strange said. So far, so good. Its been so far perfect, it really has.
 
Full coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches