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Notes Tiger Butchers College Fight Song

36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- The U.S. team room at the Ryder Cup must have looked like rookie orientation in the NFL, especially when captain Tom Lehman asked all his players to sing their college fight song.
The scouting report: Tiger Woods needs to stick to golf.
'He wasn't good,' Scott Verplank said. 'And he didn't like doing it. I wouldn't recommend he go to a recording studio or anything. Tom got him a little embarrassed, which was good, and everybody had a good laugh.'
Lehman was asked the name of the song for Woods, who spent two years at Stanford.
'I've never heard it before, and I couldn't recognize it when he was singing it, either,' Lehman said. 'I'm totally lost.'
Woods wasn't the only one who took it on the chin.
'Some of us, including myself, didn't really know all the words,' said Verplank, an Oklahoma State alum. 'You kind of exposed a few guys. They think they are pretty good fans, and they don't even know the words to the fight song at their school.'
It was another example of an American team that appears to be enjoying this Ryder Cup.
Jim Furyk recently told Golf World magazine that the Americans look like they are 'constipated' when they're at the Ryder Cup. Lehman has stressed that he wants his team to have more fun.
On the practice range Tuesday morning, the Americans huddled together before splitting up into their foursomes. They switched partners after nine holes and Lehman instructed everyone to put $100 in a pot for a skins game. Cink took home most of the money.
While on the Palmer Course, the Americans signed plenty of autographs, another change.
There is supposed to be a no-autograph policy on the course, but the Europeans violated that at Oakland Hills while trying to earn support from the American gallery, and Lehman said his team would do the same this year.
Told about the all the activities by the Americans, Colin Montgomerie was asked what he had been doing.
'We've actually been playing golf, believe it or not,' he said with a smile. 'That's why we're here.'
Lehman says he has had pairings in mind for a few weeks, and it was no surprise that Tiger Woods and Furyk were in the same group with Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco, two successful teams from the Presidents Cup.
In other U.S. pairings during the practice round, David Toms played with Chad Campbell, and Scott Verplank was with Brett Wetterich; Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink played with Vaughn Taylor and J.J. Henry.
Asked if the public could read anything into the Woods-Furyk and Mickelson-DiMarco pairings, Lehman said, 'I think we all know that there's a good chance those guys will play together.'
As for Europe, captain Ian Woosnam put together his two Swedes (Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson) and two Spaniards (Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia); Montgomerie and three Englishman (David Howell, Paul Casey and Luke Donald); and three Irishmen (Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke) with Lee Westwood.
'I think you can read a little bit into that,' Woosnam said.
Word at Oakland Hills two years ago was that Casey had a hunch Woods would be first off in singles, and that the European rookie wanted a crack at him.
It was a good story, Casey concedes, but not entirely correct.
'Would you volunteer to play Tiger?' Casey said.
Casey said he was riding in a cart Saturday afternoon with European captain Bernhard Langer and teammate Clarke when Langer told them he had a few people in mind to send out first in singles, figuring Woods would lead off for the Americans.
'And he turned and looked at both of us,' Casey said. 'To which Darren leaned across to me, patted me on the back and said, 'Paul, you'll be fantastic!' It was just typical Clarkey. He was trying to give me confidence and he thought I was up for the task, I guess.'
He was wrong. Woods breezed past Casey, winning 3 and 2.
'What can you do? Can't refuse either of those two guys,' Casey said of his response to Clarke and Langer.
And would he do it again?
Casey smiled.
'Maybe not the same fashion as that,' he said.
The Europeans are getting some respect from where it counts: the pockets of bettors who like the chances of the defending champions.
Bookmakers William Hill credited a patriotic surge for the money on Europe, which is a slight favorite in most betting lines.
'It now seems certain that Ian Woosnam's team will go into the opening hole of the event as odds-on favorites -- the first time that has been the case,' said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Europe isn't much of a favorite, though. The betting line barely favors the Europeans at 10-11 odds, while the Americans are 11-10 underdogs.
To show how close oddsmakers think things will be, a tie is only a 9-1 pick.
Lehman started getting a little worried himself when he noticed airport workers warily eyeing the massive amount of luggage the American team brought overseas.
With good reason -- he had something to do with the added weight.
Lehman, who lives in Arizona, loves tortilla chips and salsa. He also knows from past experience that, while the Irish make a great stew, you can't find good chips and salsa in Ireland.
'So rather than try to find it, we decided we're going to bring our own corn tortillas, and you can make your own chips and salsa,' Lehman said.
Lehman's wife, Melissa, ordered several large bags of the tortillas and Lehman packed them into his golf travel bag. Trouble was, when he tried to move it, he couldn't get it off the ground. Lehman said his golf bag must have weighed 500 pounds loaded down with the tortillas. He won't have that problem on the way home.
'A one-way trip, absolutely, because we're going to eat those babies,' he said.
Lehman will get to play his own team competition this year. Lehman will join Johnson and Cink on the PGA Tour team at the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge, to be held Nov. 14 in Las Vegas. The silly season event matches three-player teams from the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Champions Tour. ... The forecast for Wednesday's practice round was 100 percent of rain and wind up to 30 mph. ... Ryder Cup officials issued a list of the players' wives or partners who have joined them at The K Club. Sergio Garcia is with Morgan Leigh Norman, the daughter of Greg Norman. They have been dating about two months.
Lehman is higher in the world ranking (No. 39) than four of his Ryder Cup players.
'If he played five matches here like he plays in 95 percent of the major championships, he's going to win four or five points. Judging by how we've done here recently, that would be a nice boost.' -- Scott Verplank on Tiger Woods.
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