Ways the Ryder Cup can be won

By Associated PressOctober 1, 2010, 2:25 am

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – Tom Lehman dug deep for an answer when asked why the U.S. got whipped so badly under his leadership in the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland.

“They made more putts than we did,” the American captain said.

Odds are that might be the deciding factor again at this Ryder Cup. Because even after months of over-the-top buildup, the cup can’t be decided without three days of actual golf.

Here, though, are a few other reasons why each team might win, starting with the favored Europeans:

THE FULL MONTY: Love him or hate him – and Europe’s players seem to be split – captain Colin Montgomerie is a Ryder Cup winner. He’s 20-9-7 overall, has never lost a singles match, and has been on five winning teams. That he’s never won a major championship in 86 tries merely makes him more lovable in Britain.

FAST TRACK: Montgomerie wants his team to set the pace early, both to fire up the crowd and build a cushion heading into Sunday’s singles, where the U.S. traditionally does well. He seemed almost giddy after the first morning draw, certain that he had the right matchups to do the job.

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Never have two Italians been paired together in the Ryder Cup. Only once have two brothers played together. Never before has any of that mattered. Francesco and Edoardo Molinari have plenty of game, but it may be their blood connection that helps them win points beginning, perhaps, with Friday afternoon’s alternate shot matches.

TIGER HUNT: Conversation about the strength of the U.S. team usually begins and ends with Tiger Woods, though he has struggled with the team concept in the Ryder Cup. For the first time, though, there’s a European who really wants a piece of Woods and who can fault Rory McIlroy for having the youthful enthusiasm to say so? Unfortunately, singles play is a blind draw so the two may not meet on Sunday. There’s a better chance they might find themselves on opposite sides of the green in the fourball or alternate shot matches.

ROYALTY RULES: Prince Charles spent some time with the guys at a local castle the other night, so they’ve got that going for them.

MONEY MATTERS: A billionaire named Sir Terry spent $50 million for the Ryder Cup, and built a course just for it. He was thanked a lot at the opening ceremony. A better way of getting him to reach into his deep pockets again would be to win the cup.

FUNNY GUYS: They wear wigs, crack jokes, and seem to regard the Ryder Cup as just good fun. Lee Westwood even set Paul McGinley’s cell phone alarm to go off as a joke just as Montgomerie was speaking in the opening ceremony. The Euros seem less uptight than the Americans, from their captain all the way down to their lowest rookie.

Still, the American’s have a chance. Here’s why:

CAPTAIN BULLDOG: Tenacity could be Corey Pavin’s middle name, if he didn’t have one already. If he can pass on his bulldog instincts to the U.S. team, the underdogs have a good shot at retaining the cup. Hopefully, he remembers to send out all his players because during an opening ceremony blunder, he forgot to introduce Stewart Cink. And, hopefully, his second blunder wasn’t picking two Ryder Cup rookies, Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton, to play Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald in opening fourball matches Friday.

LEFTY-LEFTY: The U.S. is the only team that can pair two lefties, something that would surely unsettle the right-handed Euros. The odds of Watson playing with Phil Mickelson, though, are about the same as the odds of Tiger Woods being paired with Mickelson.

TIGERRIFIC: It took a few Ryder Cups to find someone who could play with Tiger Woods in the first two days of team matches. A disastrous pairing with Mickelson in 2004 didn’t help Woods’ losing record in Ryder Cup play, but now Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker have shown they are compatible with the man formerly known as the best player in the world. Stricker, who was 4-0 with Woods in the President’s Cup last year, will go off with him Friday against Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.

DESPERATE TIGER: Woods usually builds his year around the majors, and treats the Ryder Cup mostly as an afterthought. But after a year unlike any other, he’s desperate for something good to happen. If his swing holds up under pressure, this could be a big Ryder Cup for a very motivated Woods. If it doesn’t, well, worse things have happened this year.

MATT’S SMILE: Matt Kuchar is a Ryder Cup rookie and always seems to be smiling. His teammates will rise to the occasion to keep the Euros from wiping the smile off his face.

STREAKBUSTERS: All streaks must end sometime, and Europe’s winning streak on home soil is no exception. The Euros haven’t lost at home since 1993, when the balls were made of balata and Davis Love III was still using real woods.

OVERTON’S OPPORTUNITY: No one knows who Jeff Overton is. No one. He’s never won a tournament on the PGA Tour, never played on a Ryder Cup team, and never has known such pressure. In his last two tournaments he was a combined 21 over par. What better story could the Ryder Cup have than for Overton to win a bunch of points and lead the U.S. to an upset win?

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.

Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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Finally got it down lol

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

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Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).

And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 


Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.