Twelve Captains Picks Nah

By Brian HewittSeptember 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker this week, quite naturally, is all about Americas smashing 16-11 Ryder Cup victory over the Euros last week.
Without further ado:
Harry writes: Why do there have to be any automatic selections? Why cant it be all captains choices, putting together a squad much like they do in Olympic basketball now? I would love to see the captain have total control to pair players whose games complement each other, those that are singles specialists, etc. What do you think?
The Comebacker
Interesting thought. But part of the fascination with the build-up to the Ryder Cup is following the point standings, week-to-week, especially as the date for the Ryder Cup nears. Unlike Wall St., the more volatility the better.


Ernest writes: As an avid golf follower, who appreciates the contributions of Corey Pavin, (Im) sorry he has to wait. Everyone in sports understands the chemistry of a team is invaluable and it starts at the top. All you have to do is look at the other sports to see the consistency ' whether its manager, head coach, or in this case the captain ' that he brings to the table. Azinger made the bold decisions to changing the system, did his homework, and even without the best player in the world brought home a victory. He deserves the right to defend if he wants to. Besides, anyone who beats cancer is too tough for me to say he cant do it.
The Comebacker
It says here we havent seen the last of Paul Azinger as a U.S. Ryder Cup captain. And, yes, thats an educated guess.


Bryce writes: In my view, captain Azinger has reverted back to the win at all costs attitude and I was not impressed by his conduct or that of Anthony Kim on Sunday. It looked more like a tailgating party at a football game than a golf match. The lack of etiquette and poor sportsmanship by Anthony Kim was particularly striking and goes against the grain of the Ryder Cup. Perhaps Kim, who is either too young to remember or too brash to care, should be forced to watch the tape of Jack Nicklaus giving Tony Jacklin his putt on the 18th hole and see what a true sportsman looks and acts like.
The Comebacker
Perhaps Bryce should be forced to watch the on-course antics of Sergio Garcia in recent Ryder Cups. Maybe then he will realize there is a difference between enthusiasm and egotism.


David writes:Has there ever been talk of another cup to have the Europeans vs. the Internationals? I would love to see a three-year rotation to accommodate this. It would give all teams two years on, one year off rotation.
The Comebacker
Actually, theres been a lot of talk about this concept. I have no use for the talk. The Ryder Cup is too good. The PGA of America would be foolish to change it.


Ken writes:I think our team played with a lot of heart, intensity and cool. But my hat is off to the Euros also. It is a real pleasure to watch the level of sportsmanship displayed by all of the players and the captains of both teams. It makes me proud to say that I, too, am a golfer.
The Comebacker
Well stated.


Jim writes: I was born and raised in England and left that country over 55 years ago and my heart will always have a place for that country. The reason for that statement is to make a comment regarding Lee Westwood. I was really disappointed in his statements during the tournament, about (Boo) Weekley and the fans. I also was surprised with his comments after the Europeans lost. His whining was one of the sore notes in this years entertainment. It is easy when you are winning, but not so easy when the shoe is on the other foot.
The Comebacker
More than a few e-mails came in bashing Westwood. The Comebacker doesnt think Westwood was the problem for the Euros.


Lauri writes: Congratulations to (the) U.S. team. What is with you freakin news people? Why are you putting the teams (through) this Spanish Inquisition? WHO CARES? It will not change anything. I can't believe the ignorant questions asked! All you want is some sound bite to put them (all) in a bad light. Nick Faldo did the job the way he felt it should be done. You didn't like it? Get someone else next time. THIS TIME IS DONE! Golf is a game of time and conditions, every day is different. GOT THAT? No day will ever be the same. So everyone plays differently. Some days you're ON, and some days you're OFF. Azinger was, as usual, BEING IN CONTROL, acting like a 10-year old.
The Comebacker
I wish, just once, wed hear from somebody with an opinion.Oh, and by the way, Lauri, I think your Caps Lock key is busted.


Dave writes:As I revel in seeing the Cup come back home, two thoughts bother me. First, are Lee Westwood's comments reasonable or at all appropriate from a professional even if true? Second, and perhaps most troubling ' are we seeing the start of the end of Phil's career? I've been a fan ever since his days of winning a pro event as an amateur. His magic seems to be gone, and the fire in his eyes that he used to have wasn't there at all this week, even though he said it was.'
The Comebacker
Phil needs to figure out a way to keep his juices flowing late in the season.


Dan writes: What an effort! Sunday was great. My girlfriend hates golf but she didnt stop watching until the U.S. Ryder Cup team won. Golf just received another fan.
The Comebacker
You know youre on to something when the girlfriends start buying in to a sporting event.


Kevin writes: Please bring up that golf without Tiger (Woods) does exist. I am a huge Tiger fan and always will be and will continue to cheer him on to a win every time he tees it up. However, I think this Ryder Cup just showed the world that there are a lot of other great golfers. Without him in the field it was fun to watch the media have to report on all the golfers involved in this years Ryder Cup and not dwell on Tiger's matches. This may have been a great thing for the PGA Tour and golf worldwide to see that there are some great talents out there even though they do get overshadowed, rightfully so, by Tigers accomplishments. Once again the stage of the Ryder Cup showed what a great game golf is and how great these players truly are.
The Comebacker
Somebody needed to say this.


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Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
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    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

    Getty Images

    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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    Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

    A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

    The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

    There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

    As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

    This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

    Getty Images

    Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

    There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

    Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

    Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

    The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

    Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.