Did Monty make the right picks

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 30, 2010, 6:20 pm

Did Colin Montgomerie make the right picks for the Ryder Cup? Senior writer Rex Hoggard and editorial director Jay Coffin offer their takes.


In the history of captain’s picks no skipper has ever had so many round pegs to fill so few holes, but that only partially explains how Colin Montgomerie got it wrong on Sunday.

Many a “Monday morning quarterback” will lament the selection of Edoardo Molinari, far too easily dismissing his birdie-birdie-birdie finish at Gleneagles, his second victory in Scotland in just over a month, and a natural pairing with brother Francesco.

The bigger concern is with Monty’s selection of Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald.

Harrington is a European staple with plenty of Ryder Cup experience, although his 0-7-2 record likely doesn’t strike fear in any American. But if we learned anything from Paul Azinger’s Valhalla masterpiece it is take the hot hand, not the resume.

This is the Ryder Cup, not an all-star game, and since April Harrington has just two top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and he hasn’t won a sanctioned event since 2008. Ditto for Donald, who has just a single top 10 in his last seven Tour starts.

Paul Casey, ninth in the World Ranking and a match play machine, and Justin Rose, a two-time Tour winner this year who paired superbly with Ian Poulter in ’08, are in better form, and would have been better picks.


Simply, yes. Not because I believe he selected the three best players, but because there were five players, all equally deserving and the arithmetic says two were going to be disappointed. In this case it was Englishmen Justin Rose and Paul Casey left on the outside looking in.

Edoardo Molinari sealed the deal with three consecutive birdies to win the Johnnie Walker and the pairing with brother Francesco is a natural fit. You want hot players on a Ryder Cup team and this qualifies. Padraig Harrington is, well, Padraig Harrington and is the ultimate teammate. For those saying Harrington isn’t in top form, he’s not in his typical form, but he has recorded seven top-10 finishes since March, a record that is much more impressive than Casey’s.

Rose is the one who has the biggest argument for not being on the squad. But although he has two victories on the PGA Tour he also only played in two major championships this year and missed the cut in both. Donald has eight top-10s this year, a victory at the Madrid Masters and a third-place finish at the Wales Open, which was played at Celtic Manor, host of the Ryder Cup.

It’s not often I agree with Montgomerie but in this case I do. Any combination of the five players would have been justified. For those unhappy, blame the system, not the captain.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.