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.”

Getty Images

Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

Getty Images

Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

Off the course, they're also different.

The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

Getty Images

Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

"Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

"No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

“I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

“Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

“We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”