Back Home for What Might Have Been


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - We just cant put it behind us. Not yet. Last weekends Ryder Cup was such a compelling event that we cant just move on to the next PGA Tour stop ' especially when the stop is the home of Curtis Strange.
This weeks Michelob Championship at Kingsmill in beautiful Williamsburg, Va., was supposed to be a party ' a week-long celebration. After a 35-year run on the PGA Tour, the Michelob Championship will disappear after this year. Anheuser Busch ' the title sponsor - decided to spend its money elsewhere.
It would have been the perfect scenario for the United States to celebrate a Cup victory. Captain Curtis lives here, and is the unofficial host of the tournament. Surely, Strange, like many others, had envisioned carrying Samuel Ryders cup onto the 18th green at Kingsmill, much to the delight of thousands of proud, adoring fans. What a way to say goodbye to the Michelob.

But, alas, those Europeans got in the way. So instead of returning home as the conquering hero, Strange still must face some lingering questions about his captaincy and the way he deployed his lineup for the Sundays singles. Have you spent any time second-guessing yourself, one reporter asked. Nuh-uh, Curtis answered, without a pause.
In his Wednesday news conference, Strange then said, Youve got to look at it like this: I feel so badly for the guys, but its nothing they did other than they just didnt perform as well as you would expect on some rounds We lost.

Scott Hoch, who lost to Colin Montgomerie in the opening Sunday singles match, is dumbfounded by any criticism of his captain. They either dont know anything about golf, or theyre idiots, Hoch said of Stranges detractors.
When all the second-guessing is done, it comes down to just that one fact: The European team simply outplayed the Americans. Another reporter asked: If you put Phil or Tiger out first, they probably would have lost?
Curtis agreed quickly, Against Monty (Colin Montgomerie), yes. Then, the captain laughed and made reference to all of the Ryder Cup pundits whove lambasted him, Then the darts really would have come out.
Nonetheless, Curtis said, That week was the greatest week of my life. So Strange comes home to Kingsmill to play in his ' and everyones ' final Michelob Championship.
Sure, itd make for a great story if this former Player of the Year could win this final home stand. But theres little chance of that. Strange has put his focus on others games of late, and hasnt played a round of golf since the PGA Championship six weeks ago. As Strange said to one reporter who queried him about winning this week, What, are you on drugs?
Full coverage of the Michelob Championship at Kingsmill