Because the Ryder Cup only happens every two years and it’s a battle between the United States and Europe, emotions and passions run high. Between a controversial European captain and American captain’s pick Tiger Woods, there’s tons of news coming out of Wales this year. To keep track of the tabloid drama and the actual golf, here’s a summary to make your life easier. As Bubba Watson would tweet (if it weren’t prohibited by Captain Corey), [sic] #yourwelcome.
THE PAIRINGS ARE IN! But don’t let that distract you from the important stuff like Seve, rookies feeling sick and the horror of Katherine Jenkins:
- Captain Pavin forgot Stewart Cink. Monty’s response? “He read the wrong name, but that was just unfortunate. I think he was very, very good in covering his tracks in the manner that he had missed the British Open winner out. But at the same time, I think that was okay. It was a first class show up there, and yes we are 1-up.” [AFP]
- While Corey Pavin yesterday turned to the military to boost team morale ahead of Friday morning’s golfing extravaganza, Team Europe looked to a Ryder Cup legend to offer advice and that all-important spark of inspiration. Too ill to make the journey to address the team in person, Seve Ballesteros had to make do with a conference call. Peter Hanson, bending Monty’s privacy rules a little in an interview with the Swedish Golfing Federation, made it clear that a dodgy phone-line did little to dampen the Spaniard’s legendarily fiery rhetoric: ‘[He told us to] Go get them so hard that they’ll all be caddies in the future… I was impressed with how positive and how much energy there still was in that voice. He said a few things that maybe we shouldn’t say here, but still a lot of energy, a lot of charisma, and a lot of dedication… Seve was really on the ball.’ The great man’s call was perfectly-timed, given that a British poll has just named him Europe’s most popular player of all-time! Who came second? Eh, Nick Faldo. [The Telegraph]
- Corey Pavin’s decision to pair to rookies at the tail-end of Friday’s foursomes matches has come as a bit of surprise to many. But how big a deal is it, really? It’s not like the first tee can be that intimidating, right? The Guardian’s Lawrence Donegan has been talking to six former rookies about their first tee jitters and while a couple claim to have had ice blood in their veins, stories like Andrew Coltart’s seem pretty common: ‘The main thing you tell yourself is, “Please don’t top it”. The good news was that I didn’t. The bad news was that I skied it, went right under the ball. I hit it about 220 yards into the rough. My caddy said to me: “At least you got it up in the air, mate.”‘ [The Guardian]
- Picture it: You are a Ryder Cup WAG. Not only are you expected to spend the entire week looking cheerful and glamorous, but to accomplish that feat while standing alongside somewhere between twelve and fifteen women who are dressed in exactly the same clothes you are. Everything from your accent to your poise will be dissected and critiqued in the tabloids. On the eve of the opening ceremony you’re asked to attend a gala dinner. For hours and hours you sit in formal attire and listen to long, platitudinous speeches. Finally, you’re forced to listen to: this crap. Truly, pity the WAGs– when one of your week’s ‘highlights’ is a Katherine Jenkins concert, it’s going to be a long slog.
- Expect Tiger to dominate and regain his aura, says Michael Bamberger. Mike Walker disagrees. [Golf.com]