Monster Mash Europe Routs Americans

By Associated PressSeptember 19, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupBLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Over here, over there, it no longer matters. Europe again proved to be the best in the Ryder Cup with its biggest romp over the Americans.
 
The final blow Sunday was a scene all too familiar at Oakland Hills: With the cup already won, Padraig Harrington made a 25-foot par putt on the 18th hole of the last match that only counted in the record books.
 
Europe 18 1/2, United States 9 1/2.
 
It was the Americans' worst loss in the 77-year history of the Ryder Cup, and there was no doubt who the underdogs are now.
 
'We haven't been winning it,' Davis Love III said. 'If they keep bringing the cup back on their airplane, we are the underdog.
 
'It's a long two years until we get to do it again.'
 
Lee Westwood ended the slightest suspense with a 4-foot par putt on the 18th to beat Kenny Perry. With Colin Montgomerie 1 up on the 18th hole and assured a half-point, Europe had the 14 points it needed to retain the cup.
 
Montgomerie also made a 4-foot par putt to beat David Toms and secure outright victory for Europe for the fourth time in the last five Ryder Cup matches.
 
The Europeans are not only winning, they are winning big.
 
And there is no doubt who the underdogs are now.
 
'Obviously, our results would suggest that,' Darren Clarke said. 'We come here with a big heart, full of hopes, full of expectations.'
 
The Europeans' last blowout was 16 1/2-11 1/2 in 1985 at The Belfry when they won for the first time in 28 years. Since then, they have captured the cup seven out of 10 times with a collection of players not many people know in the States until they are posing with the 19-inch gold trophy.
 
'We came here again as underdogs. It's amazing how well we do,' Montgomerie said. 'I don't know how it happens.'
 
The Americans haven't figured it out, either. They have the higher world ranking, more majors, greater star power.
 
But when it comes to the Ryder Cup, it's no contest.
 
The Europeans won for the third time on U.S. soil, and they made sure there was no rally like Brookline five years ago when the Americans stormed back from a 10-6 deficit by putting its best players at the top of the lineup and riding a tidal wave of momentum.
 
Tiger Woods finally did his part, the only player not to lose a single hole in an easy victory over Paul Casey. The Americans had early leads in the first five matches as cheers of 'USA! USA!' rang out across the course, the crowd trying to urge them to pull off another improbable comeback.
 
But just as it had gone all week, the Americans simply couldn't keep it up.
 
Sergio Garcia made three straight birdies to quickly turn the tide against Phil Mickelson, then won the match when Lefty tried a peculiar shot at a crucial moment -- a low punch that came up short and rolled into the water on the 16th.
 
Clarke was two holes behind with three to play when he made an 8-foot birdie on the 16th, chipped in from behind the green on the 17th to square the match and wound up halving his match with Love after both missed par putts.
 
Westwood also rallied from an early two-hole deficit, winning the 15th with a par to go 1 up, and then holing his cup-clinching putt to seal the victory.
 
'I had a fair idea the way everyone was biting their nails,' Westwood said when asked whether he knew his putt was for the Ryder Cup.
 
This was no nail-biter. It was a rout from the start.
 
Europe led 11-5 going into the 12 singles matches and needed only three points to retain the cup. Five matches were still in progress when it clinched the cup, and the celebration was under way.
 
Fans began lustily singing 'Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole!' and players swarmed captain Bernhard Langer with hugs. Garcia waved the European flag on the back of a cart, as he sped off to watch the final matches.
 
Champagne filled the air over the 18th green, and Langer took a sweet sip as his players roared.
 
'The Europeans are great,' U.S. captain Hal Sutton. 'They played ferociously. There are a lot of great players in America, but we got outplayed this week.'
 
Fred Funk and Perry, in their first Ryder Cup, were the only players who failed to win a point. Mickelson went 1-3, while Woods had another losing record at 2-3.
 
Garcia and Westwood were the European stars, each going 4-0-1. And when Thomas Levet beat Funk for his first point of the week, he assured every European player contributed something to this record victory.
 
It was a disastrous week for Sutton, whose tough talk didn't do the Americans much good on the course.
 
He said he had a Woods-Mickelson pairing in mind since being appointed captain two years ago because, 'History needed it. ... The fans needed it,' even though it sure looked as if Woods didn't want it: They lost twice on Friday when Europe took a five-point lead.
 
'We just never got any charisma going that we needed,' he said.
 
Sutton let Chris Riley skip the Saturday afternoon match, even though Riley was unbeaten in two matches.
 
Asked if he would do anything differently, Sutton held his ground.
 
'That will be debated until the day I die,' he said. 'They've debated past and future captains, and I knew it was part of the job. I'm not going to second-guess myself.'
 
But that's what will happen until the Ryder Cup is next played at The K Club in Ireland in 2006.
 
Europe should be the clear favorite.
 
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    Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    @bubbawatson on Instagram

    Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

    Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

    Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

    Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

    A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

    And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

    Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

    Getty Images

    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari

    ---

    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    ---

    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



    The second is from Sunday night.



    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.