Casey shocked about Ryder Cup snub

By Doug FergusonAugust 30, 2010, 3:01 am
Ryder Cup

PARAMUS, N.J. – Paul Casey had not checked his cell phone after his final round at The Barclays to see if he had made the Ryder Cup team for Europe.

He didn’t have to.

Casey was playing Sunday with Padraig Harrington, and on the seventh hole, he noticed Caroline Harrington giving the thumbs-up to her husband’s caddie.

“Caroline’s a great friend,” Casey said. “She would have said something to me if I had been picked. So at that point, I knew that I hadn’t. I was trying to keep my composure and put in a solid performance today.”

It was never going to be easy for European captain Colin Montgomerie, who had three picks for five worthy candidates. It sure wasn’t easy for Casey and Justin Rose, two Ryder Cup veterans who will have to watch this competition from home.

Edoardo Molinari birdied the last three holes to win the Johnnie Walker Championship, making him a realistic choice. That left two picks among Harrington, Casey, Luke Donald and Justin Rose, all of whom were in New Jersey when he announced his selections.

Montgomerie went with Harrington and Donald, who were relieved.

Casey did well to keep his composure so soon after he had finished his round of 69. When asked if it was awkward to play the last 12 holes with Harrington, who had made the team, Casey replied with a smile, “It was difficult. Can I go now?”

Even some of the American players were stunned that Casey was not selected.

He is No. 9 in the world ranking, despite coming off a rib injury that cost him the second half of the 2009 season. He tied for third at the British Open, has played in the last three Ryder Cups, won the World Match Play Championship in England and twice has been a finalist in the Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Equally disappointed was Rose, who won the Memorial and the AT&T National at Aronimink earlier this summer. Rose played in his first Ryder Cup two years ago and went 3-1-0.

“I thought I had as good as shot as anyone,” Rose said. “With Paul Casey not picked as well, I think it’s a very interesting selection. I don’t think many people would have gone with those three.”

Donald is No. 10 in the world ranking and has a 5-1-1 record in the two Ryder Cups he has played. Harrington is a three-time major championship winner, although he has not won a sanctioned event since his PGA Championship in 2008 at Oakland Hills. In the last two cups, the Irishman is 0-7-2.

“It was going to be a difficult situation,” Harrington said. “As I’ve said all along, if you don’t qualify for the team, you don’t have an automatic right to be on the team. It comes down to Monty’s decision.”

Harrington said Montgomerie could not have gone wrong no matter whom he selected. It might have helped Harrington to have the experience of playing on five teams, because six Europeans will be Ryder Cup rookies.

“I won’t normally play the age card, but this time, it obviously suits me,” he said.

Montgomerie had said he was able to contact everyone except Casey, although Harrington and Donald said they did not find out until after they were on the course at Ridgewood Country Club.

Donald opened with six straight birdies and went out in 28, which put him two shots out of the lead. He learned he was on the team at the 10th hole, and it was no coincidence that he bogeyed three of the next four holes. Donald shot 28-40 for a strange round of 68.

“It did throw me off a little bit,” Donald said. “I was trying to get it out of my head and just play golf. But I didn’t do a very good job on the back nine.”

Donald felt particularly bad for Casey because his brother is Casey’s caddie.

“It was probably one of the craziest selections for a Ryder Cup ever,” Donald said. “Guys in top 10 didn’t know if they were going to be playing. It was very anxious moments, and obviously, there was some relief. Very excited to be back on the team and to be part of the Ryder Cup again.”

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Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

There’s was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.

Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.

“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”

While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.

When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”

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Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 17, 2018, 12:03 pm

Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.

Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.

Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.

"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."

The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.

While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.

"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."

For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes:

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Davies takes 2-shot lead into final round of Senior LPGA

By Associated PressOctober 17, 2018, 2:00 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys Tuesday for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship as she goes for a second senior major.

In slightly warmer weather on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the 55-year-old Davies played bogey-free over the last 11 holes and was at 6-under 138. Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.

Silvia Cavalleri (69) and Jane Crafter (71) were three shots behind at 141.

Juli Inkster, who was one shot behind Davies starting the second round, shot 80 to fall 11 shots behind.

''I had a couple of bogeys early on, but I didn't panic,'' Davies said. ''I'm playing with a bit of confidence now and that's good to have going into the final round.''

Davies already won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer at Chicago Golf Club.

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Miller's biggest on-air regret: Leonard at Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:00 am

Johnny Miller made a broadcasting career out of being brutally honest, calling golf tournaments exactly like he saw them.

His unfiltered style is what kept him on the air for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't always the most popular with players.

After announcing his upcoming retirement, Miller was asked Tuesday if there were any on-air comments he regretted over the last three decades. One immediately came to mind.

"I think that I didn't say the right words about Justin Leonard at Miracle at Brookline about he should be home watching it on TV. I meant really - I did say he should be home, but I meant the motel room. Even then I probably shouldn't have said that," Miller recalled. "I want so much for the outcome that I'm hoping for that I actually get overwhelmed with what I want to see. Almost the kind of things you would say to your buddies if you were watching it on TV, you know? He just couldn't win a match."

After struggling on Friday and Saturday in team play, Leonard ended up the U.S. hero after halving his Sunday singles match with José María Olazábal by holing a 40-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole - one of the most famous shots in Ryder Cup history.

"Of course he ended up - after the crappy comment I made that motivated maybe the team supposedly in the locker room, and he ends up making that 45-, 50- foot putt to seal the deal," Miller said. "Almost like a Hollywood movie or something."

Not only did the putt seal the comeback for the U.S., but it also earned Leonard an apology from Miller. 

"I apologized to him literally the next day; I happened to see him. I tried to make a policy when I go over the line that I get ahold of the guy within 24 hours and tell him I made a double bogey, you know. That's just the way I have done it through the years."