ESPN’s Bob Harig on the final round of the “playoffs”:
For a tournament that was panned for its lack of excitement, the Tour Championship sure delivered some high drama in the last meaningful PGA Tour event of the year, with Villegas winning his second straight tournament, this time in a sudden-death playoff over Garcia.
And your FedEx Cup “winner”?
Meanwhile, Singh was being congratulated on his $10 million haul despite never breaking 70 during four rounds, never contending for the tournament title and finishing tied for 22nd. With an hour to go in the tournament, Singh was collecting the hardware from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem in a strange, made-for-TV ceremony.
It seems that with all that cash waiting, “the big Fijian” had trouble concentrating.
“It was really weird,” said Singh, 45, who will receive $9 million of the bonus in cash and $1 million in deferred compensation. “You make a bogey, you get congratulated. You make a double-bogey, you get congratulated. It didn’t really matter what I made. It took away the focus of playing this tournament. I tried really hard. When I left to come over here to play, I said I’m going to keep focused. But that’s as far as I got.”
She can see clearly now
Even the Daily Times in Pakistan is hip to the Michelle Wie saga.
Wie advanced easily last week to the final stages of the LPGA’s Q School, which will take place December 3-7 in Daytona Beach, Florida. She will be joined by the top 30 finishers from a second sectional tournament, to be played September 30-October 3 in Venice, Florida. The final qualifying field will also include current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their priority standing, and the 10 players finishing 6th through 15th on the 2008 Duramed FUTURES Tour season-ending money list.
Another golf wonk who feels that the U.S. is better off without Tiger.
Does that extend to the President’s Cup as well? Even when it was in South Africa and Woods was matching Els putt for putt at dusk on Sunday?
What I’ve been getting from all these stories is this. IF indeed the U.S. is a better team sans Woods, it is not because of Tiger per se and his play, but rather the effect he has on everyone else. The points being made about Valhalla talk about how well everyone bonded, and how loose they were, not having to worry about upsetting or more likely upstaging the world’s no. 1.
It’s a fair point, though don’t expect to see Tiger withdraw again from these events, barring injury of course.
The Telegraph’s Kevin Garside sums up the schadenfreude from across the pond:
Faldo’s gamble on the big finish, loading the European tail with alpha muscle, left Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Padraig Hamilton at 10, 11 and 12 thrashing at thin air, their legs amputated by a hopelessly incontinent ego.
Witches were given a fairer hearing in medieval Europe than that coming Faldo’s way in the Valhalla postmortem. He is about to pay the price of a lifetime of self serving, of devotion to the cult of the individual. “Everybody hates Faldo,” claimed an incendiary headline allegedly summarising the position of Captain America, Paul Azinger, before the teams teed up. The sentiment was not without support.
I’m just wondering how he feels by the latest column du jour which suggests that the U.S. squad is a better, more cohesive unit without him.
Once More, With Feeling
Nice story summarizing Anthony Kim’s 5&4 dismantling of Sergio Garcia, a match which kind of summed up the entire weekend in my opinion. Not only did Kim outplay the Ryder Cup wunderkind, who had a 14-5-4 Cup record heading into Sunday, but he also seemed to be in the Spaniard’s head as well. The Guardian also weighs in, concluding that Garcia’s “days as the youthful prodigy known as El Niño must now be consigned to history.”
Speaking of getting into someone’s head, Europe’s other hoss, Lee Westwood, never seemed to find his rhythm all three days, and also was clearly rattled Sunday by what he labeled as “abuse” from the raucous hillbillies patrons at Valhalla. Closed circuit to Westwood: Get over it. Boorish behavior at the Ryder Cup has historically cut both ways, and you’re not the first player, nor will you be the last, to have a grievance.
The Times’ Alyson Rudd pens easily the most entertaining column leading up to the Ryder Cup that I’ve read yet. Kudos. The only thing it was missing was more pictures (Jocelyn Hefner, fiancée of Paul Casey, is pictured right).
The deportment, style and aura of the golfers’ wives and girlfriends [GWAGs] will set the tone for the entire competition and perhaps determine who will win it.
You can tell by the way they smile and their body language as they sit together that the wives and girlfriends of the Europe team are friends. Their lunches are not exactly like scenes from Sex and the City, but they do meet to discuss GOLFAID, the charity established two years ago by players on the European Tour to help to raise money for children in need.
The Americans, by contrast, do not mix often socially, so keep a keen eye out for the fixed rather than natural smile and the flustering effect that it has on their spouses.
Seriously, what would the “run up” to these Ryder Cup matches be without the ever cheeky, ever snide British press? Quite a contrast from America, where the Sobel’s and Van Sickle’s of the world are trying desperately to concoct columns to get an ever-apathetic sporting public into the spirit of yet another Tiger-less golf exhibition championship. But the Brits genuinely seem into this thing, as evidenced by the Poulter-Clarke-Monty soap opera, and an eternal Queeg like obsession with Faldo. You get the sense that the next story in its endless quest to slice and dice poor ‘ol Nick will be a critique of Thursday night’s team supper. What’s that Nick? No sauce with those pork medallions? Tut tut.
Today, for example, the Guardian’s Lawrence Donegan got his knickers all good and twisted when–gasp–Faldo’s crib sheet of possible Friday morning pairings (see above) was snapped up by an opportunistic photographer. MI-5 defections don’t get this much hoopla. Donegan laments:
By any standard it was not an impressive performance. With one day to go before the first ball is struck, Faldo has the option of rejigging his pairings, which have to be publicly declared this afternoon, but if he does that he will then be forced to go into tomorrow’s foursomes with a line-up that was not his first choice.
Good god man, should we just spot the Americans all of the Friday morning matches? On second thought, would that even make a difference?
The AP reports that Woods has “no intention” of showing up at Valhalla this week. Said Tiger:
“I also don’t know who is playing well, who is injured, and have no feel for how the course is playing. But I’ll be happy to offer my opinion. I wish the American team well and hope they can bring back the Cup.”
Translation: No one’s playing well, the course is as rinky dink as it was in 2000, and in my opinion, I never looked forward to this event even when I was healthy. I wish everyone except Phil well, and honestly could not care less about some silly, jingoistic fueled Cup.
The Daily Telegraph’s Lewine Mair is on the record, and I’d say that she has some explaining to do. Wrote Mair on Sunday:
Tiger Woods has said that he will not be attending this week’s Ryder Cup at Valhalla, though Americans in the know think that the injured world No 1 could yet fly in to Louisville to rally the troops.
Americans in the know? About Tiger? Who on earth is “in the know” about Tiger?
The list is short.
Elin. Tida. Mark Steinberg. Steve Williams. Hank Haney. Mark O’Meara. John Cook. Jerry Chang. Brian Bell. Greg Nared. Vencie Glenn. Um, that’s it.