Stat attack!: Ryder Cup review

By John AntoniniSeptember 29, 2014, 12:38 am

With some time to reflect on the 40th Ryder Cup, which ended with a third-straight European victory before churchgoers on the West Coast had time to pray for an American victory at their morning services, the most important stat from the week might be the fact that European captain Paul McGinley is now 12-1 in team matches. In leading Europe to a dominant 161/2-111/2 victory at Gleneagles, McGinley outshined his American counterpart, Tom Watson. Perhaps it’s time we looked at the 47-year-old Dubliner as a key reason for Europe's dominance of this event in recent years. The only Cup McGinley wasn’t a part of since 2002? You’re right. It was 2008, the only American win in that span.

Paul McGinley’s career record as a member of European team competition

 Year Event Role Won/Lost
 2014 Ryder Cup Captain Won
 2012 Ryder Cup Assistant captain Won
 2011 Seve Trophy Captain Won
 2010 Ryder Cup Assistant captain Won
 2009 Seve Trophy Captain Won
 2009 Royal Trophy Player Lost
 2007 Royal Trophy Player Won
 2006 Ryder Cup Player Won
 2006 Royal Trophy Player Won
 2005 Seve Trophy Player Won
 2004 Ryder Cup Player Won
 2002 Ryder Cup Player Won
 2002 Seve Trophy Player Won

No majors, no mystery for McGinley

This is the fourth time since 1995 that the winning captain had never won a major, and the seventh time in 30 years that the winning captain had fewer major titles than the losing captain. The only American on that list is Paul Azinger, who led the U.S. to victory in 2008 over a Nick Faldo-led European squad at Valhalla.

Ryder Cup winning captains with fewer major titles than the losing captain: 1985-2014

 Year Winning captain (majors) Losing captain (majors)
 2014 Paul McGinley, Europe (0) Tom Watson, U.S. (8)
 2010 Colin Montgomerie, Europe (0) Corey Pavin, U.S. (1)
 2008 Paul Azinger, U.S. (1)            Nick Faldo, Europe (6)
 2002 Sam Torrance, Europe (0) Curtis Strange, U.S. (2)
 1995 Bernard Gallacher, Europe (0) Lanny Wadkins, U.S. (1)
 1987 Tony Jacklin, Europe (2) Jack Nicklaus, U.S. (18)
 1985 Tony Jacklin, Europe (2) Lee Trevino, U.S. (6)

The U.S. flops in foursomes

The American’s loss was primarily the result of abysmal play in foursomes, in which the U.S. failed to win any of the eight matches. Their 0-6-2 record was the worst in that discipline since a 1-3-4 mark in 2006. In the previous three Ryder Cups the Americans had a winning record in foursomes, combining for a 11-9-4 record.

This was the first time since 1967 that a team failed to win at least one match in a style of play in the Ryder Cup. That year the Europeans were 0-7-1 in four-ball play.

U.S. record in foursomes since 2002

 Year Record
 2014 0-6-2
 2012 5-3-0
 2010 3-4-1
 2006 3-2-3
 2006 1-3-4
 2004 2-6-9
 2002 4-3-1

McDowell’s perfect performance

Individually, Graeme McDowell was the only player who was unbeaten and untied in the matches, posting a 3-0-0 mark, including a 2-and-1 win over Jordan Spieth in singles. Justin Rose (3-0-2) and Victor Dubuisson (2-0-1) were also unbeaten for Europe, while Patrick Reed (3-0-1) never lost for the U.S.

One the other hand, American Bubba Waston and Europe’s Stephen Gallacher were the only players to fail to earn any points. Watson was 0-3-0 and Gallacher was 0-2-0 in limited play.

Players who were unbeaten and untied in the Ryder Cup since 2004

 Year Player Team Record
 2014 Graeme McDowell Europe 3-0-0
 2012 Ian Poulter Europe 4-0-0
 2012 Dustin Johnson U.S. 3-0-0
 2006 Scott Verplank U.S. 2-0-0
 2006 Darren Clarke Europe 3-0-0
 2006 Luke Donald Europe 3-0-0
 2006 Jose Maria Olazabal Europe 3-0-0

Players who failed to earn any points in the Ryder Cup since 2004

 Year Player Team Record
 2014 Bubba Watson  U.S.  0-3-0
 2014 Stephen Gallacher Europe 0-2-0
 2012 Steve Stricker U.S.  0-4-0
 2012 Peter Hanson Europe 0-2-0
 2006 Brett Wetterich U.S.  0-2-0
 2004 Kenny Perry U.S.  0-2-0
 2004 Fred Funk U.S.  0-3-0

Westwood reaches milestone

Lee Westwood, playing on his ninth Ryder Cup team (his squad has won seven times), became the eighth player to win at least 20 individual matches. Westwood’s milestone win came in Saturday’s foursomes, when he and Jamie Donaldson beat Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, 2 and 1. Westwood is tied for third among Europeans with 20 wins and his 23 points is fourth in team history.

Most individual points in Ryder Cup history

 Player Team Points
 Nick Faldo Europe 25
 Bernhard Langer Europe 24
 Billy Casper U.S. 23.5
 Colin Montgomerie Europe 23.5
 Lee Westwood Europe 23
 Arnold Palmer U.S. 23

Most individual wins in Ryder Cup history

 Player Team Wins
 Nick Faldo Europe 23
 Arnold Palmer U.S. 22
 Bernhard Langer Europe 21
 Billy Casper U.S. 20
 Lanny Wadkins U.S. 20
 Colin Montgomerie Europe 20
 Lee Westwood Europe 20
 Seve Ballesteros Europe 20

On the other hand, Jim Furyk lost his 20th match during 2014, finishing with a 1-3-0 record to fall to 10-20-4 all time. He is one loss ahead of Phil Mickelson on the all-time list for Americans, and one shy of the all-time Cup record held by Europeans Christy O’Connor Sr., and Neil Coles.

Most individual losses in Ryder Cup history

 Player Team Losses
Neil Coles* Europe 21
 Christy O’Connor, Sr* Europe 21
 Jim Furyk U.S. 20
 Nick Faldo Europe 19
 Phil Mickelson U.S. 19
 Tiger Woods U.S. 18

*Played as Great Britain-Ireland

First-timers shine for the U.S.

If there was a bright spot for the American team is was the play of rookies Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker. The trio combined for a 6-2-5 record, including a 4-0-2 mark in four-ball play. Reed was the only player without a loss for the U.S.

European rookies also had a wining record, led by Jamie Donaldson (3-1-0), who clinched the Cup for Europe with his singles win over Keegan Bradley, and Victor Dubuisson (2-0-1), who didn’t lost a match. 

Points breakdown at the Ryder Cup

 U.S. Four-ball Foursomes Singles Total
 Veterans 4-4-2 0-11-1 2-4-3 6-19-6
 Rookies 4-0-2 0-1-3 2-1-0 6-2-5
 Captain's picks 2-1-0 0-3-0 0-1-2 3-5-2
 Europe Four-ball Foursomes Singles Total
 Veterans 4-6-4 8-0-4 4-3-2 15-9-10
 Rookies 0-2-0 4-0-0 1-1-1 5-3-1
 Captain's picks 0-3-1 3-0-0 0-2-1 3-5-2

Individual rookie performances at the Ryder Cup

 Player Four-balls Foursomes Singles Total
 Patrick Reed 2-0-0 0-0-1 1-0-0 3-0-1
 Jordan Spieth 2-0-0 0-0-1 0-1-0 2-1-1
 Jimmy Walker 0-0-2 0-1-1 1-0-0 1-1-3
 Jamie Donaldson 0-1-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 3-1-0
 Victor Dubuisson 0-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-1 2-0-1
 Stephen Gallacher 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-2-0

Note: All stats and historic numbers are from the PGA of America Media Guide.

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Davies leads Inkster after Day 1 of Senior LPGA Champ.

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2018, 1:10 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies opened with a 4-under 68 despite finishing with two bogeys Monday, giving her a one-shot lead over Juli Inkster after Round 1 of the Senior LPGA Championship.

Davies, who earlier this year won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open, had a lost ball on the par-5 18th hole on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. She still salvaged a bogey in chilly, windy weather that had the 55-year-old from England bundled up in a blanket between shots.

Inkster, runner-up to Davies at the Senior Women's Open, made eagle on the closing hole for a 69.

Jane Crafter was at 70. Defending champion Trish Johnson opened with a 73.

Temperatures were in the high 40s, but the damp air and wind made it feel even colder.

Inkster made a bogey on the 17th hole by missing the green with a 9-iron.

''As old as I am, I still get made and I crushed that drive on 18,'' said Inkster, who followed with a 3-wood to 15 feet to set up her eagle.

The 54-hole event concludes Wednesday.

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Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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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's 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.