Europe Dominates US to Win Ryder Cup

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- When Luke Donald rolled in a 3-foot putt at the 17th to win his match against Chad Campbell Sunday, that gave Europe 14 1/2 points, the number needed to win the Ryder Cup -- again.
 
The European side captured the Ryder Cup by a final score of 18 1/2 - 9 1/2, which matched the largest margin of victory by its side that was established the last time around in 2004 at Oakland Hills.
 
European Ryder Cup Team
The victorious European team poses with the Ryder Cup trophy.
All totaled, Europe pounded the Americans in singles, winning 8 1/2 - 3 1/2, the largest margin of victory in singles ever for a European team. The European side captured all five sessions, a feat accomplished for the first time by either team since the inception of the current format in 1979.
 
This was another historic for victory for the Europeans. It was the third straight win for that team, which is the first time that happened for the European side. They won two in a row in 1985 and 1987, then tied to retain the Cup in 1989.
 
'I've been working on this for 18 months now,' said victorious captain Ian Woosnam. 'We had a fantastic team spirit all week. I had a very strong team. To be a captain, is incredible.'
 
For the Americans, it was a dreadful Sunday with the Europeans seemingly holing every putt. The U.S. team only won six matches out of the 28 played this week.
 
'I know our guys played with heart, but it wasn't enough,' acknowledged American captain Tom Lehman.
 
Perhaps the most emotional moment for the European side occurred on the 16th hole Sunday at The K Club.
 
Darren Clarke, playing a little more than a month after the death of his wife, Heather, had a chance to close out his match against Zach Johnson and strode up to the 16th green to a thunderous ovation from the huge gallery at the par-5 hole.
 
Clarke missed his birdie putt and lagged it up to three feet. Johnson's birdie also failed to fall and Johnson conceded Clarke's par putt, giving Clarke a 3-and-2 victory.
 
After a handshake with Johnson, Clarke hugged his caddy as tears streamed down his face. He received hugs from Woosnam, along with several players from both teams, and began to celebrate with his team.
 
'I was trying to keep my emotions in check from midway through the back nine,' admitted Clarke, who went 3-0 this week. 'I had a lucky day and Zach had an unlucky day. Things went for me.
 
'I was trying hard not to get ahead of myself about what all this week means to me. Heather would have wanted me to play here and I feel like I played well. I missed her.'
 
Europe held a 10-6 lead heading into the singles and tried to avoid the debacle of 1999 when the American team overcame that same deficit on Sunday en route to its last victory.
 
That did not happen on Sunday as Colin Montgomerie started things off with a 1-up victory over David Toms in the opening match. That ran Montgomerie's singles record to 6-0-2.
 
Paul Casey continued his strong run as he toppled world No. 3, Jim Furyk, 2 and 1. That was a rematch of last week's HSBC World Match Play Championship first- round battle that saw the same winner.
 
Paul McGinley provided an extremely classy moment in his match against J.J. Henry. With the Cup already decided, he conceded a long birdie putt at the 18th to halve his match after a naked patron caused a disruption.
 
In the middle of the singles, the European team showed its depth.
 
Clarke won the seventh match, rookie Henrik Stenson hammered fellow first- timer Vaughn Taylor, 4 and 3 and David Howell knocked off Brett Wetterich, 5 and 4 in the ninth match.
 
Jose Maria Olazabal compounded what was an awful week for Phil Mickelson. The Spaniard defeated Mickelson, 2 and 1 and went 3-0 for the Ryder Cup. The American went 0-4-1 this week.
 
Lee Westwood, Woosnam's other captain's pick with Clarke, polished off five straight wins for the European side as he bested Chris DiMarco, 2-up in the penultimate match.
 
Westwood completed an undefeated week with a 3-0-2 mark. He has not lost a match in his last two Ryder Cups.
 
There were very few bright spots for the American team, although Stewart Cink did prevent the Americans from putting Sergio Garcia's name in the Ryder Cup history books.
 
Garcia had a chance to become the second player, joining Larry Nelson, to go a perfect 5-0 in a Ryder Cup. Cink, one of Lehman's captain's picks, destroyed the Spaniard Sunday, 4 and 3.
 
Tiger Woods lost his first hole, but took command from there. He dispatched Swedish rookie Robert Karlsson, 4 and 3. Woods finished as the Americans' leading point earner with a 3-2 record, his first winning record at a Ryder Cup in his fifth appearance.
 
On a day when the Europeans holed almost everything they looked at, American Scott Verplank holed the longest shot on Sunday. The captain's pick, who was unhappy Lehman played him in only one session before Sunday, aced the 14th hole en route to a 4 and 3 victory over Padraig Harrington in the anchor match.
 
It was the second ace of the competition after Casey holed a four-iron at the same hole in Saturday's foursomes. Verplank's ace was the sixth in the competition's history, but the first by an American.
 
'It was a perfect yardage for a 3-iron and it dribbled in,' said Verplank.
 
Harrington finished winless in his home country with an 0-4-1 record.
 
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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”