Top Newsmakers No 3 The Ryder Cup

By Randall MellDecember 27, 2010, 6:10 pm

Top 10 Newsmakers

All the fans jammed on the hillside above the 18th green at Celtic Manor in Wales could have testified to the special nature of the Ryder Cup before it even began.

As Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell settled over an approach shot at the end of the event’s final practice round, you could feel goose bumps rise on the back of your neck.

With the Welsh National Anthem rolling across the hillside as Ryder Cup officials prepared for the opening ceremony, the sense that something spectacular was in the making rode the air.

The soul-stirring music touched so many of the folks there.

“I was getting teary,” said Mark Roe, the three-time European Tour winner and Sky Television reporter who walked with McDowell’s group in that practice round.

Thanks to McDowell, there were a lot more tears in the end.

Tears of joy and heartache.

Through a difficult week, through two days of showers, through downpours that ignited an American raingear controversy, this Ryder Cup’s terrific closing act made all the trouble worth enduring.

With rain delays squeezing these matches into four sessions instead of five and pushing the singles over to an extra day, the heart-thumping Monday finish made the trek through the muck more than worth the journey.

Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan battled in a decisive final match that made this Ryder Cup finish among the best in the 83-year history of the competition.

Hunter Mahan addresses the press at the Ryder Cup
Hunter Mahan addresses the press at the Ryder Cup. (Getty images)
McDowell’s heart-thumping 15-foot birdie at the 16th green would prove to be the decisive blow in Europe’s 14½ to 13½ victory. It set up Mahan’s heart-wrenching disappointment. At the 17th, Mahan flailed at his tee shot, then futilely stabbed at a chip, chunking a shot that will be remembered for bringing the curtain down on this drama.

The nature of the aftermath captured just what makes the Ryder Cup golf’s most riveting spectacle.

European fans swarmed McDowell and his teammates and paraded with them to the clubhouse.

It was a day so compelling, nobody in the crowd of 35,000 seemed to want to leave when it was over. They stayed around to celebrate Europe's fourth victory in the last five Ryder Cups. They sang and chanted with their heroes, who sprayed champagne down on them from a clubhouse balcony in a raucous victory party.

“I’ve never felt nerves like it in my life,” McDowell said of the tension surrounding his dramatic putt at the 16th. “The U.S. Open felt like a back nine with my dad back at Portrush compared to that.”

McDowell, winner of this year’s U.S. Open, doused teammates with bottles of champagne. You don’t see scenes like that in major championships. You don’t see the depth of emotions stirring players and fans alike at the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open or PGA Championship. You don’t see so much winning and losing, so much joy and misery packed into one day of golf like the final day of a Ryder Cup.

You also don’t see defeat quite the way you saw it among the Americans.

Mahan was so choked up with tears meeting the media that he could barely speak.

It inspired his teammates to rally around him with Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk defending Mahan.

“I’ve never cried after losing, other than the Ryder Cup,” Furyk said.

The Americans haven’t won a Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993.

“It was one of those Ryder Cups that had everything,” Europe’s Lee Westwood said.

And he meant everything.

The week started with American captain Corey Pavin forgetting to introduce one of his players (Cink) in the opening ceremonies.

“We’re 1-up,” European captain Colin Montgomerie cracked afterward.

It got worse for Pavin on the first day of competition when word spread that some of his players were complaining that the rain gear he and his wife selected was leaking. On the other side, Montgomerie was looking like a genius who was leaving no detail to chance. Frustrated that the electronic scoreboards weren’t sufficiently conveying the impact of Europe’s commanding three-point lead going into Monday’s finish, Montgomerie ordered the boards to be reconfigured overnight. He demanded a board that would more prominently display the Euro advantage with more blue European flags.

In winning five of the six third-session matches and halving the other, Europe strongly tilted momentum its way.

But the unforgettable nature of this Ryder Cup’s finish was set up by an American charge.

Dustin Johnson sparked the American rally, giving the USA its first singles point by routing Germany’s Martin Kaymer, 6 and 4. Moments after Johnson’s point registered, Steve Stricker closed out his match, beating Europe’s best player, Westwood, 2 and 1.

Tiger Woods fueled the American rebound with a 4-and-3 thumping of Francesco Molinari. Woods holed a shot from 133 yards for eagle. He made seven birdies and an eagle in a performance that rivaled any he’s delivered at the height of his powers. He was 9 under over 15 holes.

Jeff “Boom Baby” Overton came from behind to win three consecutive holes and beat Ross Fisher. Phil Mickelson delivered, too. He ended his streak of four consecutive Ryder Cup singles losses by defeating Peter Hanson.

For the remainder of the year, is counting down the Top 10 Newsmakers of 2010. For a list of the complete top 10 and the scheduled release dates, click here.

American rookie Rickie Fowler embodied the resilient nature of the American team. Four down with six holes to play against Edoardo Molinari, Fowler birdied the final four holes to gain an improbable halve. He rolled in 18-foot birdies at the 17th and 18th holes.

When Zach Johnson followed with a victory, this Ryder Cup was tied at 13½ with the outcome down to Mahan vs. McDowell in the anchor match.

“There were a lot of points where I thought we weren’t going to win,” Westwood said.

McDowell wiped the doubt away rolling in his 15-foot birdie at the 16th to go 2-up on Mahan with two holes to play.

The emotional weight of the dramatic finish hit Mahan hard after his chunked chip led to a concession.

Still, it was in Mahan’s tears, in the way his teammates rallied to his defense, that golf fans appreciated just how much both sides care about this event.

“We know what it means to us,” Furyk said. “Whatever you all thought in the past, whatever you've all written in the past, it's your observations, the way you feel. But that judgment . . . we know what it means.”

Follow Randall Mell on Twitter @RandallMell

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2018 NCAA Golf Championships TV Schedule

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:29 pm

Golf Channel will shine a spotlight on college golf across the next two weeks at the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf National Championships. With more than 60 hours of live tournament and news coverage on-site from Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater Oklahoma (Monday-Wednesday May 21-23 and May 28-30), Golf Channel’s coverage connects 18 straight days of live tournament golf.

Watch live coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships beginning Monday, May 21 at 4pm ET on Golf Channel and streaming.

Keep up with the social media conversation by following Golf Channel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join in by using #NCAAGolf 

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 21: Individual National Championship  4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22:Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 23:Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)


Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 28: Individual National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 30: Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

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AT&T Byron Nelson purse payout: Wise a millionaire

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:05 pm

PGA Tour rookie Aaron Wise earned his first Tour title on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Trinity Forest:

1 Aaron Wise -23 $1,386,000
2 Marc Leishman -20 $831,600
T3 Branden Grace -19 $400,400
T3 J.J. Spaun -19 $400,400
T3 Keith Mitchell -19 $400,400
T6 Ryan Blaum -16 $257,950
T6 Kevin Na -16 $257,950
T6 Jimmy Walker -16 $257,950
T9 Adam Scott -15 $207,900
T9 Charles Howell III -15 $207,900
T9 Kevin Tway -15 $207,900
12 Brian Gay -14 $177,100
T13 Rory Sabbatini -13 $148,867
T13 Ethan Tracy -13 $148,867
T13 Matt Jones -13 $148,867
T16 Russell Knox -12 $115,500
T16 Hideki Matsuyama -12 $115,500
T16 Bronson Burgoon -12 $115,500
T16 Derek Fathauer -12 $115,500
T16 Joel Dahmen -12 $115,500
T21 Jordan Spieth -11 $80,080
T21 Billy Horschel -11 $80,080
T21 Robert Garrigus -11 $80,080
T21 Peter Uihlein -11 $80,080
T21 Martin Piller -11 $80,080
T26 Tyler Duncan -10 $55,825
T26 Anirban Lahiri -10 $55,825
T26 Parker McLachlin -10 $55,825
T26 Martin Flores -10 $55,825
T26 J.T. Poston -10 $55,825
T26 Shawn Stefani -10 $55,825
T32 Cody Gribble -9 $39,116
T32 Johnson Wagner -9 $39,116
T32 Geoff Ogilvy -9 $39,116
T32 Nick Taylor -9 $39,116
T32 C.T. Pan -9 $39,116
T32 Scott Piercy -9 $39,116
T32 Nicholas Lindheim -9 $39,116
T32 Fabian Gomez -9 $39,116
T32 Beau Hossler -9 $39,116
T32 Nate Lashley -9 $39,116
T42 Zac Blair -8 $23,184
T42 Abraham Ancer -8 $23,184
T42 Maverick McNealy -8 $23,184
T42 Denny McCarthy -8 $23,184
T42 Jonathan Byrd -8 $23,184
T42 Eric Axley -8 $23,184
T42 Sam Ryder -8 $23,184
T42 Brian Stuard -8 $23,184
T42 J.B. Holmes -8 $23,184
T42 Sung-hoon Kang -8 $23,184
T42 Andrew Putnam -8 $23,184
T53 Ben Crane -7 $17,659
T53 Steve Wheatcroft -7 $17,659
T53 Troy Merritt -7 $17,659
T53 Patrick Rodgers -7 $17,659
T53 Corey Conners -7 $17,659
T53 Robert Streb -7 $17,659
T59 Ryan Armour -6 $16,632
T59 Peter Malnati -6 $16,632
T59 Vaughn Taylor -6 $16,632
T59 Dominic Bozzelli -6 $16,632
T59 Adam Schenk -6 $16,632
T59 Hudson Swafford -6 $16,632
T59 Michael Thompson -6 $16,632
T66 Matt Atkins -5 $15,862
T66 Roberto Diaz -5 $15,862
T66 T.J. Vogel -5 $15,862
69 Sang-Moon Bae -4 $15,554
T70 Tom Lovelady -3 $15,246
T70 Cameron Percy -3 $15,246
T70 Rod Pampling -3 $15,246
73 Brian Davis -1 $14,938
74 Mark Wilson 1 $14,784
75 Robert Allenby 2 $14,630
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Howell, Uihlein qualify for U.S. Open via OWGR

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 11:02 am

Charles Howell III and Peter Uihlein both used strong play at the AT&T Byron Nelson to maintain their positions inside the top 60 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking, thereby ensuring exemptions to next month's U.S. Open.

Howell moved up three spots to No. 56 in the world thanks to a T-9 finish at Trinity Forest. He'll make his 10th career U.S. Open appearance, but just his second since 2009. Howell missed the cut at Olympic in 2012.

Uihlein finished T-21 in Dallas, which was barely enough to hold onto a top-60 spot as he actually fell two positions to No. 59. The former U.S. Amateur champ will make his third U.S. Open appearance and second in as many years.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

The drama for the final spot came down to the wire on Sunday, where Adam Scott's bid to unseat Chesson Hadley at No. 60 came up just short. Needing a solo ninth-place finish, Scott ended up in a three-way tie for ninth to begin the new week at No. 61. Hadley, who didn't play the Nelson, remained No. 60 and will make his U.S. Open debut.

Others to punch tickets to Shinnecock Hills include No. 52 Luke List, No. 53 Chez Reavie and No. 57 Dylan Frittelli. A second and final top-60 cutoff will be done based off the June 11 world rankings following the FedEx St. Jude Classic, with U.S. Open sectional qualifying conducted in England and the U.S. on June 4.

The only change among the top 10 in the rankings this week came at No. 10, where Paul Casey moved past Tommy Fleetwood despite an off week for both players. Justin Thomas remains world No. 1 for a second week, followed by Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6, with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Casey rounding out the top 10.

Taking the week off following a T-11 finish at The Players Championship, Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 82.

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After Further Review: Nelson lost in the shuffle?

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 3:40 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the Nelson's future ...

If the goal was “different” by bringing the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest, consider it achieved. But bringing a world-class field south of Dallas could still be tricky.

Yes, the tournament can always rely on local resident and AT&T spokesman Jordan Spieth to throw his hat in the ring. But even with Spieth strolling the fairways this week, the field strength was among the worst all season for a full-point event.

The debut of the sprawling, links-like layout likely did little to sway the undecideds, with only the third round offering the challenging conditions that course co-designer Ben Crenshaw had envisioned. And the schedule won’t do them any favors next year, as a revamped itinerary likely puts the Nelson right before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

The course will inevitably get better with age, and Spieth expects positive word of mouth to spread. But it might be a while before the stars truly align for an event that, for the moment, feels lost in the shuffle of a hectic schedule. – Will Gray

On Jordan Spieth's putting ...

Jordan Spieth’s putting is plainly bad right now, but it isn’t going to stay this bad forever.

He is the second ranked player on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, just like he was last year. This putting slump has lingered, but it’s unfathomable to think this guy just forgot how to putt.

Sooner rather than later he’s going to remember he’s Jordan Spieth and the 40-footers are going to start pouring in. He’ll be telling Greller to go get the ball because he’s too far away and the tee is in the other direction.

Bottom line, the ball striking is for real and the putting slump will pass. He’ll win soon – maybe even as soon as this week. – Nick Menta

On golf and gambling ...

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court over tuned a federal ban on sports betting in most states, a move the PGA Tour and many professional sports leagues embraced as a tool to both build fan interest and grow revenue.

Experts estimate sports betting could become a $150-$200 billion annual industry, and even a small piece of that could be significant for golf, but there will be risks.

Unlike any other sport, golf is played on multiple fields simultaneously, which inherently creates risks when gambling is introduced to the equation. Although the Tour has gone to great pains to head off any potential problems, like all bets gambling comes with great rewards, and great risks. – Rex Hoggard