European Report Cards

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupNick Faldos European team performed below expectations so his C grade is indicitive of that. The six-time major champion always did things his way, regardless of what anyone else thought, and perhaps that cost him in the long run. Without Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke and without Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington winning a match, Europe had no chance. Here is how GolfChannel.com graded Faldo's team for the matches played at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.:
 

 

Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington

Its impossible to believe that the best player in golf over the past three months went winless in four matches. Without Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke, Harrington (0-3-1) was the one expected to step up and take the leadership role. It never happened.


 

 

 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia

Garcia (0-2-2) easily had the worst Ryder Cup in his career, going winless and gaining a total of just 1 point. And perhaps more shocking was his benching on Day 2 ' the first time he had sat out a session in his five Ryder Cup appearances. This not to mention his 5-and-4 loss to Kim in singles.


 

 

 
Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood

Got rattled early by Boo Weekley and just never showed form that hes had this whole year and in past Ryder Cups. Just unfathomable to think that the Englishman (0-2-2) could play in four matches and not win one of them.


 

 

 
Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson

Stenson (1-2-1) had a rather lackluster Ryder Cup, earning just 1 points. Lone bright spot was rallying in the Saturday foursomes match to edge Mickelson-Kim. Had a tough draw in Sunday singles, going up against crowd favorite Kenny Perry and losing 3 and 2.


 

 

 
Robert Karlsson
Robert Karlsson

Karlsson (1-1-2) came into the matches hot after a victory on the European Tour and remained that way. Drubbed Leonard in singles. His play in the afternoon fourball on Day 2 was exceptional, draining seven birdies in one 10-hole stretch.


 

 

 
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Miguel Angel Jimenez

Expected more from one of the few true veterans on the squad, who usually is a strong protagonist in this event. If Jimenez (0-2-1) had been playing better perhaps Faldo would have played him in four matches instead of only three.


 

 

 
Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

A pleasant surprise for Faldo, the Ryder Cup rookie gained appreciation for the event from being an inside-the-ropes television reporter at the 2006 Cup. McDowell (2-1-1) paired with three different teammates in the first two days, then dropped Cink in singles.


 

 

 
Justin Rose
Justin Rose

Joins Poulter as the only two stars for Europe. The young, English duo was 2-1 together the first two days, then Rose (3-1-0) smoked Mickelson in the singles match that wasnt as close as the score indicated.


 

 

 
Soren Hansen
Soren Hansen

Hansen's (0-2-1)only real bright spot was in a Day 1 fourball match with Westwood where Team Europe made birdie on the 18th hole to squeak out a halve with Holmes and Weekley. Fought hard in singles match against Holmes but just didnt have the firepower.


 

 

 
Oliver Wilson
Oliver Wilson

Wilson's (1-1-0) grade really could be an incomplete because he was the only player on either squad that sat out the entire first day and only played in two total matches. The young, Cup rookie showed emotion though and could become more of a factor in the future.


 

 

 
Ian Poulter (captain's pick)
Ian Poulter

Poulter (4-1-0) ended up making Faldo look pretty smart as far as a captain's choice. He was the Euro team's emotional leader as well and the player making all the big putts to keep his team in the mix up until the outcome was decided.


 

 

 
Paul Casey (captain's pick)
Paul Casey

Casey (0-1-2) was one of Faldos two captain's picks and was unable to muster much of anything, gaining only two half points during the competition. His half point in the Sunday singles match was a gift from Mahan, who put his ball in the water on 18.


 

 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Report Cards
  • U.S. Team and Records
  • European Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.