Rain jackets fail US doesnt

By Associated PressOctober 2, 2010, 1:58 am

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – The Sir Terry river was flowing wildly down the hill toward the 18th green, as thousands of fans trudged toward home through the muck of a golf course that was never supposed to flood. Taking advantage of a badly needed break, U.S. Ryder Cup players huddled in their team room, presumably trying to figure out why an event that earns so many millions couldn’t afford to give them rain jackets that didn’t leak.

At least the jackets offered a convenient excuse. Better to blame the equipment for what was starting to shape up as a European rout than face the reality that, just a few holes into the Ryder Cup, the Americans were already a team in desperate disarray.

The day before their captain had forgotten Stewart Cink was even there. On this miserable day, it seemed like most of the team had forgotten how to play.

Their shots were as ugly as their leaky rain jackets, which looked as if they might have been leftovers from the U.S. track team in the 1960 Olympics. Tiger Woods seemed so embarrassed to be seen in his that he took it off before embarrassing himself anyway by taking four shots to reach the first green.

If the fairways that billionaire owner Sir Terry Matthews said could never flood hadn’t flooded, the Americans would have been finished before afternoon tea. But even billionaires can mess up a sure thing, and for that the Americans should buy the Celtic Manor founder a pint.

Matthews boasted earlier that the course could take a month’s worth of rain and drain in 10 minutes. It got a week’s worth, and it took seven hours and 18 minutes.

The delay did more than just give the fairways a chance to dry out. It gave the Americans perhaps the only chance they had to regroup.

New jackets. New swings. New hope.

And new appreciation, perhaps, for a team that suddenly doesn’t seem like such an underdog.

“We all made good comebacks, I thought,” Steve Stricker said. “We all kind of rallied a little bit, and they are going to be tight and close.”

None of it translated into any points, but those will come soon enough. Sometime Saturday morning is the best guess, when the four opening better ball matches should finish in a Ryder Cup that organizers will try to compress into two long and wet days.

The relentless rain forced officials to combine formats and send off every player in the remaining three rounds, hoping against hope that the new front coming in Sunday won’t dump so much more rain on the course that the Sir Terry river starts churning again. Not everyone—the weatherman in particular—is convinced the new plan will work. If it doesn’t, the Ryder Cup will go to a Monday for the first time.

Either way, the most carefully laid plans of both team captains can be tossed away. They can’t rest anyone now, can’t sit a bad player and can’t make some of the pairings they might like to make.

Captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin agreed to the changes; then again, they didn’t have much choice. They work for the people running the Ryder Cup, the same people who refused to give any of the many thousands of fans who left early refunds on their $160 tickets.

“I’m pleased that the solution was thought of by very smart people, other than myself, because I’m not a smart person,” Pavin said.

On that, Pavin might have gotten some agreement before his players rallied to take leads in two of four matches and tie a third. Though Pavin always comes off as dull to the colorful Montgomerie, he was under fire even before play began for forgetting to introduce Cink at the opening ceremony and for pairings some thought were questionable.

He looked a lot better as darkness halted play, largely because the conditions had changed and the Americans found the lack of wind and soft greens to their liking. Cink made five birdies in 11 holes, Woods and Phil Mickelson began showing some signs of life, and the surprise pairing of rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton also played solid.

If play hadn’t resumed Friday, the Americans would have faced a long night wondering what else could go wrong. They might have gone to bed haunted by the sight of fans carrying around life-sized cardboard replicas of Monty holding the Ryder Cup.

Now, the swagger is back. It’s anyone’s cup.

Assuming the Sir Terry doesn’t overflow again, the game is back on.

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.

Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

The Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement or the end to the lawsuit.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”