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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    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

    For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

    By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

    But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

    As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

    “This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

    Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

    As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

    After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

    “I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

    But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

    Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

    “I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

    There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

    Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

    And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

    As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

    “We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

    Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

    Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

    The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

    Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

    It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”