Notes Riley Runs Out of Steam

By Associated PressSeptember 18, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupBLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Chris Riley's seemingly endless supply of energy ran out when the U.S. Ryder Cup team needed it most.
 
After teaming with Tiger Woods for a dominating win in better-ball on Saturday morning, the 30-year-old told U.S. captain Hal Sutton that he was too tired to come out for alternate-shot play in the afternoon.
 
'I'm pretty drained right now,' Riley said after the 4-and-3 victory over Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter. 'So I told (Sutton) I wasn't ready to go. And look at our U.S. team, we have tons of guys that will step up and play.'
 
Maybe not.
 
Sutton paired Woods with Davis Love III for the afternoon match, but the two fell 4-and-3 to Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley. Woods just didn't look as comfortable without his childhood buddy from California by his side.
 
Woods seemed to feed off Riley's enthusiasm and emotion in his first victory of the weekend, smiling often and high-fiving the charismatic rookie.
 
But Riley, who has been one of the U.S. team's lone bright spots with 1 1/2 points in two matches, has been bouncing off the walls since arriving at Oakland Hills, and it may have caught up with him on Saturday.
 
'I just said, 'I'll do whatever you want me to do, but if it was up to me, I'm pretty emotionally drained, and let's get a fresh guy out there,'' said Riley, who also became a father for the first time on Sept. 2.
 
That didn't sit well with Sutton, who played five times in the Americans' 1999 win at Brookline.
 
'I said, 'A 42-year-old fat man in '99 went five straight matches, so I'm sure that a 30-year-old flat-belly that's hyper can go four, can't ya?''
 
When Riley hesitated, Sutton didn't.
 
'I just thought, 'Well if he really doesn't feel like it, well then I'm not sure he can help us as much as somebody who is really energetic about being out there. So I went a different direction.'
 
Love was a natural alternative after teaming with Woods for two wins at The Belfry in 2002.
 
But Woods wasn't the same with the reserved Love as his partner, and the lackluster loss helped Europe build an 11-5 lead by the day's end.
 
Riley was relegated to the role of cheerleader in his team's disastrous afternoon of alternate-shot play, even though his morning match went just 15 holes and he only played one match on Friday.
 
'I want to be fresh and ready to go tomorrow morning because I think it's going to be a big deal tomorrow,' Riley said.
 
From the look of things, that may be too late.
 
GOOD ADVICE
Things didn't look good for Europeans Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington early in their alternate-shot match against Tiger Woods and Davis Love III.
 
The Irishmen lost the first two holes, and it took some wise words from McGinley to right the ship.
 
As the teammates strode off the second green, McGinley pulled Harrington aside and said, 'Let's stop playing the two guys. Let's concentrate on our own ball like it's a U.S. Open and try to shoot under par.'
 
It worked. McGinley and Harrington methodically chipped away at the lead, then blew by Woods and Love after the turn en route to a 4-and-3 win.
 
'We've been pals for 20 years and it's the first time he's ever paid heed to me,' McGinley quipped.
 
HOME CROWD ADVANTAGE?
The Ryder Cup may be taking place on U.S. soil, but there's definitely an Irish presence at Oakland Hills.
 
Irish players Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke have seen plenty of friendly faces amid the red, white and blue.
 
'It was great to have the Irish support out there,' McGinley said. 'We have massive support from everybody.'
 
One of the most vocal and visible supporters was Tony Reynolds, who was dressed head-to-toe in the national colors of orange, white and green and a huge orange wig.
 
'He's my caddie's father,' McGinley said. 'My caddie's girlfriend was bumped off the plane to put him on. But he didn't come on dressed like that.'
 
NICE GESTURE
Tiger Woods carried partner Chris Riley through the first 11 holes of their better-ball match until a smart move got the rookie going on No. 12.
 
Woods was responsible for the pair's score on nine straight holes and 10 of the first 11 when he allowed Riley to putt on No. 12, even though Woods was away.
 
'He's a veteran and he's been there before,' Riley said. 'He told me, 'You just knock it in.''
 
Riley holed the 4-footer to give the team a 3-up lead over Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter.
 
The birdie propelled Riley to a strong finish.
 
He followed with a brilliant tee shot on 13 that led to another birdie and a 4-up lead and closed the match out with one more birdie on 15 for a 4-and-3 victory.
 
SURPRISE GUEST
The anchor match in better ball on Saturday morning was crawling along at a snail's pace, even before things got squirrelly on No. 9.
 
A squirrel scurried on to the tee box and lingered in the area, forcing Colin Montgomerie to wait for the critter to get out of the way.
 
The squirrel finally obliged, slipping off into the rough on the right side of the fairway, and an irritated Monty finally was able to tee off after a two-minute delay.
 
ALMOST DONE
Tournament director Andy Odenbach's three-year stay in Michigan may be nearing an end, but he'll always have something to remember it by.
 
Odenbach moved to Michigan in 2001 to prepare the course and the community for one of golf's biggest events.
 
'It's crazy to think that I've spent three years of my life preparing for six days,' Odenbach said. 'It's like going to college, but there's no midterm. Only the final exam.'
 
He anticipated staying for only two years. But the 2001 Ryder Cup at The Belfry was delayed a year after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, pushing the Oakland Hills event back to this year.
 
But after the matches conclude on Sunday, it's all over.
 
'It's a letdown. You spend so much time here and then the sports world has moved on,' he said.
 
Odenbach will move on as well, to Pebble Beach, but he'll never forget his time in Michigan.
 
His wife gave birth to their first child in December. After choosing Gavin for the first name, Andy said, 'I think we need a little symbolism here.'
 
Gavin's middle name? Ryder, of course.
 
Related Links:
  • Match Play Scoring
  • Photo Gallery

  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team

  • European Ryder Cup Team

  • Full Coverage - 35th Ryder Cup

  •  
    Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    Getty Images

    Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

    By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

    Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

    That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

    Watch the video below.

    The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

    Getty Images

    Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

    ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

    The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

    Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

    Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

    Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

    Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

    Getty Images

    Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

    According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

    “I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

    It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

    “They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

    DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

    “It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

    Getty Images

    Bubba fires 63 to win his third Travelers title

    By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 9:52 pm

    Bubba Watson fired a final-round 63 to storm from six back and steal the Travelers Championship. Here’s how Bubba came from behind once again at TPC River Highlands.

    Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-17), Stewart Cink (-14), Beau Hossler (-14), J.B. Holmes (-14), Paul Casey (-14)

    What it means: This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, his third of the season, and his third Travelers title. Watson picked up his first Tour victory at this event in 2010 – when he also came from six back – and won again in 2015 in a playoff victory over – guess who – Casey. Thinking he might need a round of 60 to scare the leader, Watson made eight birdies, the last of which came on the 72nd hole, giving him the outright lead by one. A short while later, Casey would bogey the 16th and 17th to end the drama and allow Bubba to breathe easy. With the win, Watson becomes the only Tour player to win three times this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

    Round of the day: Cink’s round was a stroke better, but Bubba earns this title for winning the title. The left-hander made the turn in 2-under 33 and then ripped off five birdies on his back nine to take the clubhouse lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

    Best of the rest: Cink looked as though he was going to record the second sub-60 round at the Travelers in the last three years. The 2009 champion golfer of the year played his first 10 holes in 7 under par on the par-70 layout. Cink added three more birdies but also added two bogeys to settle for 8-under 62, tying the round of the week. The 45-year-old has finished T-4 and T-2 in his last two starts.

    Biggest disappointment: Casey (2-over 72) began the day up four and couldn’t close. Even par on his round through 15 holes, he missed a 4-footer for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17, ending his chances. The Englishman, who ended a nine-year Tour winless drought earlier this season at the Valspar, is now 1 for 4 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

    Shot of the day: Watson’s wedge from 77 yards at the 72nd hole, setting up his eighth and final birdie of the day.

    Quote of the day: “That’s the best shot you ever hit.” – caddie Ted Scott to Bubba Watson on his approach at 18