Report Lehman Next Ryder Cup Captain

By Sports NetworkNovember 2, 2004, 5:00 pm
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Tom Lehman will be named the United States Ryder Cup captain for the 2006 matches, according to The Palm Beach Post.
 
Lehman's captaincy is expected to be announced at a press conference on Wednesday at the PGA of America's annual meeting. He will lead the team at the K Club in Kildare, Ireland.
 
Lehman, a three-time Ryder Cupper, was not considered a favorite for the post.
 
Larry Nelson, 57, had been passed over in the late '90s, but past captains met at this year's matches and recommended the Champions Tour player to the PGA of America. Nelson went against type because for the past several years, the Ryder Cup captain has been a PGA Tour player in his late 40s with a major championship.
 
Paul Azinger fit the mold and was considered a favorite, but recently said he wanted the job when the matches return to the U.S. in 2008. Azinger, 44, also reportedly accepted an offer to work for ABC.
 
Lehman and Azinger both supported Nelson for the job, but Lehman said he would accept the captaincy if asked.
 
'I think Larry Nelson deserves to be captain at some point, and I think he would be a great captain,' Lehman said two weeks ago at the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World. 'If the chance came I'd jump on it.'
 
Another name that surfaced was Mark O'Meara. O'Meara, a former Masters champion and British Open winner, is 47 and a five-time Ryder Cup player. He is Tiger Woods' close friend and some thought he could motivate the former No. 1 player in the world. O'Meara's chances were hindered because of his stance in 1999 that players in the Ryder Cup should receive some revenue from the event that would go to charity.
 
But the job belongs to Lehman, who played in three consecutive Ryder Cups from 1995-1999. He led off the Sunday charge in the '99 Matches at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts and did not lose a singles match. Lehman, 45, was favored for one of Curtis Strange's two captain's picks in 2002, but Strange went with Azinger and Scott Verplank.
 
Lehman, who has amassed a 5-3-2 record in his Ryder Cup career, has won five times on the PGA Tour, including the 1996 British Open. He was in the final group on Sunday at three consecutive U.S. Opens from 1995-97, but did not win any of them. Lehman also held the 54-hole lead at the 1994 Masters, but Jose Maria Olazabal overtook him on Sunday.
 
Lehman is in the middle of a career rebound as he has not visited the winner's circle since the 2000 Phoenix Open. He had at least a piece of the 54-hole lead in his last three starts (Michelin Championship at Las Vegas, Chrysler Classic and the event in Disney World), but did not hoist the trophy in any of those tournaments.
 
Lehman will have a difficult job ahead of him as the U.S. has lost two Ryder Cups in a row, including the worst loss in history. The American side lost 18 1/2 - 9 1/2 in September at Oakland Hills Country Club.
 
The European Tour does not name its captain until next year. The 2006 matches are scheduled for September 22-24.
 
Related Links:
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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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    First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

    By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

    It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

    Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.