Monday Singles Breakdown

By Randall MellOctober 3, 2010, 11:50 pm

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – European captain Colin Montgomerie wants this over quickly.

He is going for the early knockout in Monday’s singles finale at the Ryder Cup.

Even with his 9½-6½ lead, Montgomerie is stacking his singles lineup with his best players going out first. He’s leading off with Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter. What about Graeme McDowell? Yeah, the U.S. Open winner is definitely one of Montgomerie’s best players, but he’s saving him for last as his anchor man. It looks like a “just-in-case” decision, just in case the Americans mount a run and Montgomerie needs a good closer. 

“It's been noted that we are three points ahead,” Montgomerie said. “And if you notice by the first three names, especially, on the American team sheet, and how strong they are, we had to counteract that with our own strength.

Singles Match-ups (Europe vs. U.S.)

Lee Westwood vs. Steve Stricker
Rory McIlroy vs. Stewart Cink
Luke Donald vs. Jim Furyk
Martin Kaymer vs. Dustin Johnson
Ian Poulter vs. Matt Kuchar
Ross Fisher vs. Jeff Overton
Migeul Angel Jimenez vs. Bubba Watson
Francesco Molinari vs. Tiger Woods
Edoardo Molinari vs. Rickie Fowler
Peter Hanson vs. Phil Mickelson
Padraig Harrington vs. Zach Johnson
Graeme McDowell vs. Hunter Mahan

The four highest ranked European players on this Ryder Cup team are among the first four he’s sending off in singles.

Westwood will lead off against Steve Stricker, McIlroy meets Stewart Cink, Donald draws Jim Furyk and Kaymer gets Dustin Johnson.

“I can only control what I put forward there, and I feel that team lineup has strength everywhere in it,' Montgomerie said. 'I'm very, very happy and delighted that I can put a team sheet out there knowing that I have strength everywhere.”

The Kaymer-Johnson matchup is an intriguing battle of young guns. Notably, Kaymer went on to win the PGA Championship in a playoff after Johnson was penalized for grounding his club in a bunker in a controversial ending at Whistling Straits. Johnson would have faced Kaymer and Bubba Watson in that playoff had Johnson not been penalized.

Also notable in the lineups is that the Americans’ two highest ranked players are deep down in the order, where they'll both meet Ryder Cup rookies. World No. 1 Tiger Woods goes off in the eighth slot against Francesco Molinari, No. 2 Mickelson in the 10th slot against Peter Hanson.

There was much hope that Woods and McIlroy would meet given McIlroy’s comments the past month or so. McIlroy said he wanted to play Woods and that all the European players would “fancy” their chances against Woods, given his current form.

Instead, Woods meets a player who outplayed him in their pairing together at the last major championship. Woods and Molinari were paired together in the third round of the PGA Championship. Molinari shot 1-under-par 71 to Woods’ 72. Woods may not have a great overall Ryder Cup record (12-14-2), but he's 3-1-1 in singles.

Mickelson has lost his last four Ryder Cup singles matches.

Pavin was reminded of Americans captain Ben Crenshaw pointing his finger at reporters in 1999 at The Country Club at Brookline on the eve of the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history. Crensaw famously said he had a feeling about the Americans’ chances.

“Ben's Ben and I'm me,” Pavin said. “ You know, I'm going to put the guys out in the order that I think gives us the best chance to win. They have to go out and perform and play, and if they do, I think we have a chance.”

 

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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:

View this post on Instagram

Finally got it down lol

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

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

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

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: 

FILM 1

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. 


FILM 2

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. 


FILM 3

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.