10 Things We Learned on Day 1 of the Ryder Cup
By Conor Nagle under Ryder Cup

Padraig Harrington catches a snoozes in the team room during the rain delay

It may have been a long, largely boring day of interviews about nothing, weather updates and footage of wet greenkeepers squeegeeing, but Ryder Cup Friday still managed to hold a few surprises. Here are ten things we learned:

  • Padraig Harrington can sleep anywhere!  No sooner were the players off the course than Ian Poulter braved the hazy Twitter ban with this epic photo. [@IanJamesPoulter]

  • That was only the start of Ian Poulter’s behind the scenes wanderings, mind. He also captured an awkward scene on Celtic Manor’s clubhouse balcony, proving, as if there was any real doubt, that it’s impossible for men to serenade each other with dignity. [@IanJamesPoulter]
  • Sun Mountain Sports know how to contain a crisis. Within hours of the embarrassing news regarding their crap wetgear surfacing, they’d suppressed all references to it on their website. The White House called, the want your PR guy. [Facebook]
  • Peter Hanson has the fewest balls. One of Britain’s most *ahem* respectable publications decided to call on Butch Harmon to offer his opinion on the European team. Moving down the list player-by-player, Butch evaluates each with a pithy sentence while The Sun decides on a ‘Has he got balls?’ rating. Unsurprisingly, it was Hanson who came off worst. It’s not science, it’s The Sun. [The Sun]
  • Deciding to hold a golf tournament in Europe in October? That’s a bit of a gamble. Deciding to do so on a course set in the base of a valley in Wales, with tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue, merchandise and television rights resting on its adherence to a tight schedule? Now, that’s foolhardy indeed.
  • There’s such a thing as Playstation etiquette. Martin Kaymer’s talked to Sky Sports about how to waste time during a rain delay. Playing Tiger Woods PGATour proved popular, but some players– like Luke Donald– have been playing as themselves, and that’s just not cool. [The Guardian– 12:55pm]
  • Rory McIlroy has a lot of growing up to do. It wasn’t just the tiddler on eleven that went a’begging (though that didn’t help); the young Irishman spent the day looking around him in saucer-eyed amazement and hitting the ball sideways. Hopefully, tomorrow won’t play such havoc with his rhythm.
  • If your life rested on needing to hole a ten-foot putt, you could do a lot worse than call Martin Kaymer to help out. Less than a year ago, the German was dangerous only when his imperious ball-striking aligned with a spotty short-game. Now, it’s been months since he missed a putt that really mattered. We may well look back on summer 2010 as the beginning of something very special.
  • Okay, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but Dustin Johnson can really hit the ball a long way. Launching the ball week-to-week on the PGA Tour is one thing– hard, running fairways, heat and humidity have a way of conspiring to produce some silly yardages– but doing it in a cold, wet and dreary Wales is quite another. Those two shots to the ninth in particular were immense. Maybe Monty should have done more to DJ and Bubba-proof the course after all? [The Guardian]
  • You can’t be intimidating in a bucket hat. (Ed. note: Ahem! But you can be beating a pair of European veterans while wearing one.)