Lots of drama and rain at Ryder Cup not golf

By Doug FergusonOctober 2, 2010, 1:31 am

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – Only in the Ryder Cup can so little golf produce so much drama.

More than 11 hours after these high-charged matches began in a steady rain at Celtic Manor, they ended in darkness with Ian Poulter making a 20-foot birdie putt to square his fourballs match against Tiger Woods on a green illuminated by a large video board.

One problem: They were only on the 10th hole.

None of the four matches in the opening session finished. Captains never even turned in the lineup for the four alternate-shot matches scheduled for the afternoon.

The rain did more than suspend play for more than seven hours. It exposed a wardrobe malfunction with the Americans’ rain suits, and forced an unprecedented schedule change with the hope – or maybe it’s a prayer – that the Ryder Cup will have a winner by Sunday. That means everyone will be playing the rest of the way until one teams hoists the cup.

Ultimately, no one put a single point on the board Friday.

“We were supposed to play for eight points today,” European captain Colin Montgomerie said. “And we didn’t play for one.”

The Americans at least felt as though they had some momentum.

Trailing in three of the four matches when play was halted, Woods made a clutch par to keep from falling two holes down, and he and Steve Stricker won consecutive holes for their first lead until Poulter made his birdie in the dark.

Stewart Cink, the guy U.S. captain Corey Pavin forgot to introduce at the opening ceremony, was impossible to miss on the golf course by making one big putt after another. He and Matt Kuchar took a 2-up lead over U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy through 11 holes.

The American rookies were just as relentless. Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton won the first two holes with birdies before the rain, and they were 1-up on Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington. The Americans already have a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole, and Donald will have a chance to halve the hole with a 6-foot putt when they return Saturday.

Europe was leading only in the first match, with Lee Westwood and PGA champion Martin Kaymer 1 up through 12 holes over Masters champion Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Europe was 3 up through six holes when Mickelson led a rally.

Ultimately, the rain-soaked and mud-splattered fans saw only four hours of golf, some of it quite sloppy given the conditions. Woods took four shots to reach the first green. Europe won that hole with a par when Ross Fisher’s tee shot was lodged in the lining of a fan’s umbrella. He was given a free drop and was able to hit onto the green.

Volunteers armed with squeegees were constantly mopping up large puddles across the landing area in the fairways and on every green, until they could no longer keep up with all the water.

The entertainment didn’t let up even when the golf was suspended. If nothing else, it gave the U.S. team time to do a little shopping in the merchandise tent in yet another embarrassing moment.

The Americans looked soaked in their navy blue rain suits with white stripes, and there was a reason for that – they didn’t work. Pavin never explained why it took until Friday at the Ryder Cup to figure this out, or what specifically was wrong with them.

“My suit was fine. I had no problems – but I wasn’t playing,” Pavin said. “They just didn’t perform the way they were supposed to perform, and so we just went out and bought some more, simple as that.”

Team officials bought 20 suits from the same company that outfitted a dry-looking European team – although they weren’t even necessary when play eventually resumed.

Woods’ match was approaching the sixth green when Pavin huddled with PGA of America officials to agree on the schedule change.

Once the fourballs matches are completed Saturday morning, the next session will be six alternate-shot matches, followed by a third session of six more matches – two alternate-shot and four better-ball matches. Ideally, those would be wrapped up Sunday morning in time for the decisive 12 singles matches.

Rain is forecast over the weekend, and this could be the first Monday finish in Ryder Cup history. Until then, everyone will be playing until one team hoists the cup. That includes Westwood, in his first competition in six weeks because of a calf injury.

“Well, if they’re not fit, they shouldn’t be here,” Montgomerie said. “And they’re fit, so they are here.”

Montgomerie saved his sympathy for some 45,000 fans, who went from singing and chanting and waving flags in the morning to waiting about seven hours during a delay that seemed would never end. Enough of them returned to line every fairway and fill every grandstand where matches were played.

“They pay a lot of money, and unfortunately, the appalling weather conditions out there today made it very tough for them,” Montgomerie said. “I hope they saw some great golf later on in the day.”

Montgomerie saw enough, especially at the end from Poulter.

Confident as ever, making eye contact with the fans as he stepped on every tee, Poulter made a 30-foot birdie on the third hole to give Europe the lead. Just as Woods and Stricker tag-teamed their way into the lead, the Englishman delivered again on the par-3 10th.

Montgomerie said Poulter considered waiting until Saturday morning to putt.

“He thought, ‘OK, I’ll do this and give the team momentum if I hole it, give the team momentum going into the next day.’ And he definitely did that,” Montgomerie said. “What a roar went up when the putt went in! Fantastic effort. That will give us momentum we need to carry forward into a very, very busy day tomorrow.”

First, the teams have to finish the opening set of matches. Regarding his match, Woods referred to it as an eight-hole “boat race.” Considering the kind of day, it was a good choice of words.

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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

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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.