Europeans tweeting at Ryder Cup

By Associated PressOctober 1, 2010, 1:45 am

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – So much for that ban on tweeting.

Ian Poulter, Europe’s social networking star, has been posting all sorts of interesting tidbits and pictures on Twitter during Ryder Cup week, though he appears to be staying within captain Colin Montgomerie’s request to keep all inside information within the team room.

For instance, Poulter reported that Lee Westwood set the alarm on assistant captain Paul McGinley’s cell phone to go off right in the middle of Montgomerie’s speech at the opening ceremony Thursday.

“u should have seen the panic. Hilarious,” Poulter tweeted.

He also was the first to reveal a gift that Montgomerie and his wife, Gaynor, presented to the players and assistant captains at a dinner on the eve of the first matches: individualized framed portraits of each standing in front of a fireplace, with a club in hand and the Ryder Cup on the mantel.

“I love it,” tweeted Poulter, who posted a picture of his portrait.

He also sent pictures of teammate Graeme McDowell getting a massage, the view from the clubhouse team room before the Europeans headed to the opening ceremony, and even a plug for a 10 percent-off sale on Poulter-designed fashions at his Web site.

And that was just on Thursday!

McDowell was nearly as prolific as Poulter. The U.S. Open champion sent a post about his pairing with fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, whom he described as the “Curly Haired Wonder kid.”

“Can’t wait,” McDowell tweeted.

He also posted pictures of a dinner at Cardiff Castle with Prince Charles, the Europeans donning McIlroy-styled wigs on the first tee during a practice round, and the first details of a conference call with Seve Ballesteros, the longtime Ryder Cup star who’s battling brain cancer.

“What a legend! Trying to win it for him this weekend. He symbolizes European golf,” McDowell tweeted.

At the start of the week, Montgomerie said he wanted his players to refrain from social networking during the Ryder Cup, but he softened his stance after a team meeting.

U.S. captain Corey Pavin asked his players to put their Twitter and Facebook accounts on hiatus, as well, and they’ve apparently heeded his call. Stewart Cink, who has more than 1 million followers, had not sent a post since writing Sunday, “Go USA y’all pull hard for us thanks!!! … see you in a week!”


COREY’S GAFFE: Blame it on the teleprompter.


American captain Corey Pavin was doing a fine job announcing the names of his 12-man team – until he got to one of his most experienced players.

Pavin mistakenly skipped over Stewart Cink, playing in his fifth Ryder Cup, and went straight to 21-year-old rookie Rickie Fowler. Since the U.S. players remained standing after their names were called, the captain’s gaffe was even more noticeable.

As the crowd broke into laughter, Cink mockingly slumped his shoulders and received good-natured pats on his bald head from his teammates. Pavin realized his error and quickly tried to make amends.

“A special round of applause, from Sea Island, Georgia – Stewart Cink,” Pavin said.

Only one problem: Cink actually lives in Duluth, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. Pavin confused Cink with Davis Love III, an assistant U.S. captain who does live in Sea Island.

“I’m glad the opening speech is over with. I only screwed up once, so that wasn’t too bad,” Pavin quipped. “I only forgot one player. It could have been two, so it could have been worse.”

European captain Colin Montgomerie blamed the positioning of two teleprompters for the mistake, saying they were hard to read from the podium in the middle of the stage. But after announcing his entire team without a hitch, he couldn’t resist a little dig at his American counterpart.

“We are 1-up,” Monty said.


FAMILY TIME: The Americans were spending the eve of the Ryder Cup with those closest to them.


Captain Corey Pavin told the players to bring their parents, in-laws and children to a barbecue at the team hotel after Thursday’s opening ceremony.

“In previous Ryder Cups, it’s been very difficult for you to even see your families during the week,” Pavin said. “So we thought it would be nice for the players and wives to be able to see their families this evening. So we are just going to have a nice relaxing kind of barbecue.”

AND NOW, FOR THE WEATHER: The Ryder Cup teams can probably count on getting wet this weekend.

The forecast called for a 90 percent chance of rain for the opening matches Friday. Another round of heavy showers was projected to move in for Sunday’s singles matches.

The Americans were sending out some of their biggest hitters for morning fourball. Captain Corey Pavin figures they’ll have an edge if the course at Celtic Manor is soaked.

“Me being a very short hitter, I thought there was an advantage to the guys that are longer when it’s wet out, because it’s not going to roll into the rough and where they fly it, is where it lands,” Pavin said. “Guys that fly it 290 or 300 yards, that’s where it’s going to end up. When I fly it 210, that’s where it’s going to end up.”

ODD MIX: Miguel Angel Jimenez enjoys fine wine, big cigars – and the knot in his stomach.

The popular Spaniard said that just shows he’s ready to play the most tense team event in golf.

“All week you feel a knot in your stomach,” Jimenez said on Thursday before the final day of practice at Celtic Manor. “But it’s not nerves. It’s something you can endure. I like to feel that thing, and that makes you motivated more. And that’s where you want to be. It’s a good thing, yeah. If you don’t have any feelings, probably you’re not here, or you don’t play golf or you don’t know anything. You need to feel things.”

Few players are in better form than Jimenez, who has won three times on the European Tour this year, and he likes the way he has played in practice on the Twenty Ten course.

But Jimenez won’t go in the opening round of four-ball matches. Captain Colin Montgomerie decided to put him on the bench along with Peter Hanson and the Molinari brothers, Edoardo and Francesco. All four are expected to make their debuts in the afternoon with the alternate-shot matches.

LIKING THE EURO ODDS: The Las Vegas oddsmakers wasted no time labeling the Europeans a solid favorite to jump ahead in the fourball matches.

Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington were an overwhelming pick to beat Ryder Cup rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton in the final match of the morning. Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy are favored over Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink, while Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson are underdogs against Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer.

The only American favorites are Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, who will go in the third match against Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher. That’s not surprising, considering bettors are usually eager to put money on Woods – even when he’s slumping – so he usually has the odds against him to even out the wagers.

DIVOTS: The always stylish Ian Poulter found a way to put his fashion stamp on the Ryder Cup, even though he’s having to wear the same outfit as his teammates. The Europeans practiced Thursday in pink shirts with blue sweaters and slacks, so Poulter whipped up some two-tone shoes with pink down the sides. … In the biggest surprise of the opening pairings, seven-time Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk was left on the sideline by the Americans. Only once in his previous six appearances was he held out of matches on the opening morning, and that was in 1999. He played in the opening matches in 1997, 2002, ’04, ’06 and ’08.

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Rose (64) peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:40 pm

A former U.S. Open champion appears to be finding his form just three weeks ahead of the year's second major.

Justin Rose ascended to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational, with rounds of 66-64 pushing him to 10 under par for the week.

Through 36 at Colonial, Rose has marked 12 birdies against just two bogeys.

"Yeah, I did a lot of good things today," Rose said. "I think, you know, the end of my round got a little scrappy, but until the last three holes it was pretty flawless. I think I hit every fairway pretty much and obviously every green to that point. ...

"Yeah, the way I played through, I guess through my first 15 holes today, was about as good as I've played in a long time."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Rose won in back-to-back weeks last fall, stunning Dustin Johnson at the WGC-HSBC Championship and riding that victory right into another at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Now the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion feels himself once again rounding into form ahead of this year's Open at Shinnecock. A final-round 66 at The Players gave Rose something to focus on in his recent practice sessions with swing coach Sean Foley, as the two work to shore up the timing of Rose's transition into the downswing.

As for his decision to tee it up at Colonial for the first time since 2010, "It was more the run of form really," Rose explained. "I feel like if I didn't play here it was going to be a little spotty going into the U.S. Open. I felt like I wanted to play enough golf where I would have a good read on my game going into Shinnecock.

"So rather than the venue it was more the timing, but it's obviously it's just such a bonus to be on a great layout like this."

For whatever reason, Rose does tend to play his best golf at iconic venues, having won PGA Tour events at Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional.

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Koepka (63): Two wrist dislocations in two months

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:19 pm

Brook Koepka's journey back from a wrist injury that kept him out four months hasn't been totally smooth sailing, even if his play has suggested otherwise.

Koepka on Friday fired a 7-under 63 to move up the leaderboard into a tie for third, three shots behind leader Justin Rose through the end of the morning wave at the Fort Worth Invitational.

After a slow start Thursday saw him play his first 13 holes 3 over, Koepka is 10 under with 11 birdies in his last 23 holes at Colonial.

"It doesn't matter to me. I could care less. I'm still going to try as hard as I can," Koepka said. "I don't care how many over or how many under I am. Still going to fight through it."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Just like he's been fighting his wrist the last two months or so. Koepka reinjured his wrist the Wednesday of The Players when he was practicing on the range and had to halt mid-swing after a golf cart drove in front of him. He nonetheless managed to finish T-11.

And that's not the only issue he's had with that wrist during his return.

"We had a bone pop out of place. I didn't tell anybody, but, yeah, they popped it back in," Koepka admitted Friday. "Luckily enough we kind of popped it back into place right away so it wasn't stiff and I didn't have too, too many problems.

"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right."

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below: