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RYDER CUP BLOG

FROM OUR REPORTERS AT THE K CLUB, IRELAND

Tiger threatens Ryder roar

  • Rob Hodgetts - BBC Sport golf writer
  • 6 Sep 06, 01:00 PM

rob_hodgetts55x55.jpg LONDON - Phew. I’m glad the Thomas Bjorn affair’s over. Now we can get back to talking about the golf.

But that brings us to another worrying issue - if you’re a European fan that is. Not that I’m at all biased, you understand.

And that issue is Tiger Woods.

The world number one has won his last five tournaments in a row and added two more majors this year.

“He is playing rather well,” conceded former European Ryder Cup star Sandy Lyle, one of Ian Woosnam’s assistants at the K Club.

But for a 12-time major winner, Woods’ Ryder Cup record is poor.

Woods made his debut in 1997 and has played in every match in every event since then. But his return of seven wins and two halves from 20 matches does not back up his status as the game’s second best player ever (based on the number of major titles won).

Woods, though, has signalled that he is keen to embrace the tournament and take on a more prominent leadership role at the K Club.

Reports emanating from the American camp suggest they are more united as a team than in recent times. Their bonding trip to Ireland can only have helped, though you wonder just exactly how many beers Tiger and Brett Wetterich sank together while back-slapping and trading high-fives in mutual admiration.

Woods' Ryder Cup record has been tarnished mainly by five losses in eight matches in both foursomes and fourballs, suggesting there is a problem, either with him, or the choice of his partners.

woodsphil203.jpg

But there is no doubt that US captain Tom Lehman will not make the same mistake that skipper Hal Sutton made in 2004 by twice pairing Woods with Phil Mickelson, hardly his best buddy on the world.

“It’s very important to have good pairings and you need an anchorman,” said former Ryder Cup star and BBC golf commentator Peter Alliss.


“That’s what went wrong with Woods and Mickelson. They both went crash, bang, wallop.”

If Lehman can find a partner to suit Woods - Jim Furyk is the word on the street - then Europe beware. But on the other hand, it’s matchplay and, according to the experts, anything can happen.

“Over 72 holes of matchplay you’d be hard pushed to beat Tiger but he’s very vulnerable over 18,” said Lyle. “He’s got everything to lose and not much to gain.

“Players will raise their game because they’re playing an opponent they know is better than them. You can have a freak round and get the better of him on the day.”

Admittedly, many players have come off second best when going head-to-head with Woods in the final round of strokeplay events. Just ask Sergio Garcia at the Open or Luke Donald at the USPGA.

But one-time US Ryder Cup star Jim Gallagher, who pulled off a shock victory over Seve Ballesteros in the singles in 1993, agrees with Lyle on the significance of the format.

“I was twice as motivated to beat Seve as he was to beat me, and that’s the beauty of matchplay,” said Gallagher. “You can beat anybody on any given day. Give Tiger 10 matches and he’ll probably win eight of them, but for that one match a guy gets fired up, Tiger has a cold putter and, boom, they’ve got him.”

All of which is very encouraging (ahem, for European fans). But if Woods goes on to win the World Match Play at Wentworth next week we might have to think again.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 03:04 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

Every individual has to fit in with the team ethos in The Ryder Cup. If they dont, then their contribution will be limited no matter how great the individual - even Tiger Woods. How will he be able to turn his mentality from wanting to dominate these guys one week to cheering them on the next? History suggests he may not be great at it!

  • 2.
  • At 03:12 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Sarah wrote:

Woods is only one player in a team of 12. Even if he wins all his matches (if they can find someone to play with him on the first two days - and you can bet your life it won't be Johnson, Wetterich, Henry or Taylor .. or Mickelson!), that's still only 5 points out of the 14½ they need. And Rob says, Woods' record in the Ryder Cup, for someone supposedly so invincible, is not particularly good.

He's great when he's playing for himself but he's certainly not a good team man, for all the publicity hype over the trip to the K Club recently. Don't forget, he and Mickelson originally said they would't go because they had "other (more important?) things to do". I suspect Captain Lehman had a few strong persuasive words.

And on the subject of captaincy, Woosie doesn't need to be a dynamic captain and get his team together for bonding sessions. They all know one another really well, play together week in and week out and no doubt socialise together.

The US team NEED bonding sessions - we don't!
I'm right behind the team and the Captain and have everything firmly crossed for a fantastic three days and, of course, a European win. I'll have the tissues and the Champagne at the ready.

  • 3.
  • At 03:26 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

How many points can he actually win?

He can get 14 points himself.

He can only play in 5 matches and in four of them he will need a partner.

If that individual does not perform, or play to Tiger's way, the wont win.

Golf normally is an individual game, it is a new discipline to play as a team.

I am not worried about Tiger, we have Monty, Darren Clarke and two great young British bucks in Donald and Howell.

I would love to see Clarke v Woods on the final day, with Clarke winning the match and the Cup.

  • 4.
  • At 03:28 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • dangary wrote:

I think tiger will gain maximum points especially if he is paired with the reliable Furyk.

Tiger has been in great shape during other Ryder Cup years, but his RC performance record isn't stellar because of that.

It is still the team performance that counts and in that regards, I am very hopeful for the european team, in my opinion it is the more compact team, lacking big individual egos like Mickelson and Woods.

Speaking of which, will we see a Mickelson/Woods pairing like in 2004? I'd rather doubt it.

  • 6.
  • At 03:32 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Miles Dowsett wrote:

Well Tiger is in magnigficant form. Shades of 2000! However, you're only as good as your last Ryder Cup(s).

Saying that, Tiger Woods is surely due a great Ryder Cup sooner, rather than later, if not through his form, through the law of averages!

But he is just 1/12th of the US side. He certainly can't win the Ryder Cup on his own, which perhaps frustrates him a little and could explain his poor Ryder Cup record.

  • 7.
  • At 03:36 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Glenn (USA) wrote:

European fans have nothing to worry about winning this event. I still think the Europeans will continue to dominate/win it for years to come. Many people know that Americans just don't place a lot of emphasis on many team events. All you have to do is look at some other sports (American Football & Basketball) and you'll see that many players are more concerned about their own recognition or accomplishment. Tiger Woods and the rest of the team might say that this event means a lot to them, but I wouldn't take what they say too seriously. In my opinion it's just a publicity stunt. Some of us in the USA don't believe them either.

  • 8.
  • At 03:37 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Karl wrote:

Tiger just doesn't seem to care as much when there isn't money involved.

Anyone remember his quote down in Kilkenny before the last Ryder Cup when he said there were 'one million reasons' why winning in the American Express was more important than winning in the Ryder?

The thing abou Tiger is that he's the perfect 72 hole golfer, he grinds it out.

But in matchplay the Europeans will be firing at the pins in the knowledge that a triple bogey is worth the same as a bogey if you lose the hole.

As a European I'm not worried about Tiger in matchplay. It's players like DiMarco I fear.

  • 9.
  • At 03:37 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

The problem with Woods has been finding him a partner. He seemed most comfortable in his first ryder cup in 97 - there, less was expected of him, but he also had a good friend who he played with both days - Mark O' Meara.

Since then, he has been messed around - made to play with several people, including those whose games don't match up with his (Mickleson is the classic case).

With Furyk, Woods would be playing from the fairway more often, and with a guy with a similar tempo. The Americans need to (like Europe) find reliable partnerships if they are going to compete not only in this Ryder Cup, but in future competitions too.

  • 10.
  • At 03:39 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Tom Bell wrote:

Tiger can only win a maximum of 5 points.

  • 11.
  • At 04:06 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Alex wrote:

I wonder if some of Tiger's difficulties in team play result from the fact that when he's playing on the tour, if and when he hits a bad shot he gets angry at himself and nine times out of ten channels that anger into making a good (or great) recovery. In alternate stroke play he doesn't have that chance. Either he hits a bad shot and his team mate is left in a tough spot, or his team mate hits a bad shot and Tiger either gets angry with his team mate (not good for morale) or doesn't, but then doesn't seem to show the same determination as (perhaps) he didn't create the problem in the first place.

Or am I just imagining this?

  • 12.
  • At 04:12 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

"Phew". Is the Bjorn affair over? Might have been worth examining Woosie's captaincy so far, rather than brushing Bjorn's blast aside. Or is the we're-all-in-it-together-for-Europe media coverage starting already?

  • 13.
  • At 04:23 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • chris wrote:

It is clear that this US ryder cup team will be more together than the previous two. Whats worrying is that there has been no sign of any European togetherness whatsoever. Following woosies press conference on sunday,it appears the first time these guys will meet, will be the monday before. Team spirit and trust is not formed overnight and the fact that thomas bjorns comments went along the lines of "no one has heard anything from him (woosnam) for months" suggests Europe will be up against it come the 22nd sept

  • 14.
  • At 04:26 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • TomO wrote:

Tiger's the best golfer in the world right now, yet his Ryder Cup record is average. To be honest, I'm surprised it's even that good.

Golf is possibly one of the most individual sports - it takes a great deal of mental resolve to struggle with one's own game, let alone worry about what the other players are up to. The absolute limit of teamwork on a golf course should be between the player and his caddie.

I wouldn't be surprised if Tiger didn't care about the Ryder Cup and wondered what all the fuss is about. If he got to 19 majors, nobody would be saying 'but ah, he didn't have such a great record at the Ryder Cup'. Europeans against Americans in what should be an individual sport seems very contrived to me, even if the competition has a long and distinguished history.

I feel apathetic rather than patriotic when watching the Ryder Cup (I mean who the hell supports 'Europe'?), whereas I really do care who wins the majors. They're individual players playing for themselves in majors, NOT for europe or the us!

So, will Europe or the US win, and how will Tiger perform with his carefully selected partner at the Ryder Cup? I don't care, I'm waiting for the Masters.

  • 15.
  • At 04:26 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Sean Canavan wrote:

Tiger is in form but hasn't he been in form leading up to the previos cups. 12 man team maximum 5 points each no matter how good he is. For the first time in a while you would fancy Europe man v man and not have to be over reliant on the team ethic and getting far enough ahead in teh first two days to leave a 'mountain' foir the 'superior' American singles palyers.
Pele was good but needed defenders, Wilkinson needed Dawson's pass, Wodds is good but 5 points won't win a Ryder Cup!

  • 16.
  • At 05:26 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Zoe Knight wrote:

Even though Tiger is whipping every one's ...at the moment he is not a team player, not saying he won't give 110% but he rather play from himself then in a team, you can see that by his body language.....

Having watched Tiger first hand at The Open, its worrying to watch him line up for the opposing team. His clinical course management is staggering at the moment. However, for all his focus Tiger can appear to look uneasy in the RC. He often appears affected by the performances of his team mates. Or so it appears! You do have the feeling that Tigers recent performances may lift his team mates this time round. Its going to be close!

  • 18.
  • At 05:33 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Rob Hodgetts - BBC Sport wrote:

Hi Andy, There's been plenty of discussion on the subject of Ian Woosnam's captaincy over the past couple of days with more than 100 comments following my last entry, not to mention the heaps of responses to Iain Carter's original entry when the wildcards were picked.

So the "Phew..." intro was a light-hearted way of moving the subject on. For what it's worth, Woosie has not shown the polish of Bernhard Langer, but everyone's different and time will tell whether that matters or not.

As for "all-in-it-together coverage", as the BBC we will certainly strive to remain impartial at all times, and hopefully present balanced news coverage.

But this blog is supposed to be a less-constrained vehicle to encourage comment and opinion, and you may have noticed my less-than subtle hint about where I'm from.

Hope you keep reading and keep the comments coming!

  • 19.
  • At 05:50 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • degsy wrote:

Woods and Furyk?

Furyk has a pairings record of played 10 won 1 drawn 1, which suggests that he too underperforms in the team format of the game- hardly an ideal match for woods.

Surely pair him (Woods) with a rookie in the fourballs and dare I suggest with straight driving a key in the foursomes (see Garcia's record as the best driver on tour in foursomes) leave him out of the foursomes or take his driver away.

Europe goes into the match with the rare luxury of having twelve players who will rotate in the first two days thereby not tiring our best players and allowing a better than our normally poor performace in the singles with a mix of tired or unplayed players.

Good luck Europe - but let us remember why the ryder cup is played- to foster friendship between our two nations (Now expanded to Europe)and that in wake of Darren Clarke's terrible loss we remember that there are more important things in life than golf

  • 20.
  • At 06:03 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • SJC wrote:

In answer to TomO(point 14 04.26pm), I proudly support Europe. We are not all English xenophobes !!!

  • 21.
  • At 06:06 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • David wrote:

I think it will be very close this year, despite the optimism and "favourites" tag. I feel the Captains decided it the last 3 encounters, Crenshaw raised the team to fist-pumping frenzy to a magnificent comeback, which was overshadowed by the inappropriate celebrations, while James had guys that hadn't even played until the singles....... Torrance was inspirational, but probably couldn't believe his luck with the singles draw when he saw Michelson and Woods going out last........ and Langer got most things right, while Sutton made multiple errors, the biggest was pairing Michelson and Woods together, which had an adverse affect on the whole team! Lehman isn't going to make any mistakes in my opinion, and therefore Woods and Michelson will shine......... but fingers crossed we win it, if only for the Clarke family.

  • 22.
  • At 06:40 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Thomas wrote:

As an American, I believe the Europeans have an inherent advantage in the Ryder Cup. Europeans believe in TEAM. The Americans, on the other hand, are out for individual glory and financial gain. While the Europeans are great golfers, they are also personable, gregarious and fun-loving...they enjoy the game, the atmosphere and the galleries. The Americans, in contrast, are egotistical, selfish and rather boorish. Let's face it, the Americans,as individuals, mostly believe they are bigger than the event. I do hope the Europeans teach the Americans another lesson in humility this year.

  • 23.
  • At 06:55 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • adam wrote:

Wood?five in a row is too much the europeans need to distrupt his winning form. we need to play to our strengths, we don't have the very best players in the world but overall we are much better than the whole of the americans. Also woods will have a shocker

  • 24.
  • At 06:58 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • canarydave wrote:

There's no questioning Tiger's ability or current form and the fact that he'll be playing a nice chunk of matchplay the week before will certainly help.

However, for Tiger, golf just isn't a team sport - you only have to look at him on the course to realise that and I don't think he has the mentality to be able to make the switch.

  • 25.
  • At 07:18 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Woods is awesome in any facet of the game, there is no doubt about it. What Europe need to focus on is who they are going to play against him!

The ideal situation for me would be Woods vs Clarke in the singles, the battle of the titans! Clarke has beaten him before over 36 holes in the World Match Play, I think he can do it again!

  • 26.
  • At 07:34 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • phil wrote:

golf/sport has a funny way of doing things ..... here,s to raising an early glass celebrating Darren Clarke after all that has happened holing the winning putt. phil.

  • 27.
  • At 07:56 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Dave Pell wrote:

OK, Tiger has won the last five competitions in a row. That does not mean he will dominate the Ryder Cup. He can only play in five games, that means five points only that does not win the Ryder Cup, his record isn't the best either. Europe can win the Cup again by play steady calculated golf.

  • 28.
  • At 08:37 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • john wood wrote:

Having looked today at the world ratings, Europe (as a TEAM) have 12 better players than the USA. Adding the ranking numbers together, the USA total 330 so divide by 12 and it equals an average of 27.5 whereas Europes' rankings total 279 for an average of 23.25. So although USA have the top 3 players (Woods, Mickleson & Furyk) they have 3 players at number 57 or worse against Europe who have 10 players inside the top 30.
As I said, as a TEAM we are well ahead of the Yanks!

  • 29.
  • At 09:14 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • James wrote:

Please please please partner Furyk with Tiger Woods.

In Ryder Cup fourballs and foursomes Furyk has played 11, won 1, halved 1, and lost 9.

So, much for Tiger's bad Ryder Cup record?

  • 30.
  • At 10:16 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Steven wrote:

I think Tiger will have a great Ryder cup. 4 out of 5 possible points.

He's shown over the last decade that he's the best player of his era and now his aim is to be the best of all time. He'll do that by winning the most number of majors and the most tournaments.

I think he's very consious of the legacy he wants to leave behind and doesn't want that tarnished by future comments about how he could never perform at the Ryder Cup. He'll be fired up in two weeks time

  • 31.
  • At 10:58 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Tony wrote:

Woods is not interested unless there is $ involved, hence his record. He has said as much in the past. As for Mickleson, his decision to change clubs days before the last Ryder Cup speaks volumes.

Nuff said !

Have you ever played with someone in a team sport who isn't as good as you? Frustrating isn't it? Tiger's better than everyone else but can't do a thing about it. See Steven Gerrard playing for Liverpool, always trying to do everything by himself. I would imagine it drives Tiger mad that he can't affect the outcome of the Ryder Cup beyond his singles match and fourball (foursomes and aside, where he must rely on someone else).

Clarke to beat him in deciding match Sunday!

  • 33.
  • At 12:19 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • twennytree wrote:

What's all this talk of Woods only playing well when there's money involved? POPPYCOCK! Woods is undisputably the worlds best player of his era. With lots of years left to play. Bar injury he WILL go on to shatter" Big Jacks" Majors record. Just enjoy watching the greatest in the world game of golf. As one should enjoy watching the GREATS in any Sport.

  • 34.
  • At 05:03 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Dave Flan wrote:

Woods is a great technician, but is he the icon people make him out to be? His on-course antics are surely NOT a great advert for the game. Why does no commentator comment on his club-banging and 'goddams' ? He is no role model for the game as a whole.

  • 35.
  • At 07:41 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Abi wrote:

To suggest Woods doesn't care unless there is money involved is ludicrous. And one I suspect that didn't take a lot of thought process.

He had 40 million before he went on tour!!!

Back to the matter at hand, the main point is he is but one man who can at best win four points. The European team have 12 people to worry about.

  • 36.
  • At 09:36 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Clifford wrote:

Golf is not a team sport. One month from now the Ryder Cup will be forgotten and we will have 23 months of individual. If you ask any of our European players, Monty, Sergio and Luke Donald would the swap Ryder Cup wins for a major. They would all say yes I have been watching Ryder Cups since the days GB & Ireland were getting thrashed and guess what? No one was interested.

But since we have started winning the thing consistantly it has become overhyped but it is also noticable that not many Europeans have won majors in that time. This might explain why it is easier for our players to get fired up for the Ryder Cup (a bit like Wigan wanting the Carling Cup because the premiership or Champions League ain't happening). That said I hope we win but please no ticker tape parade in London.

  • 37.
  • At 09:59 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Davis wrote:

Tiger Woods is a great competitor but when it comes to the Ryder Cup, but I think he lacks motivation.

But going by his form and Tom Lehman's commitment, Woods is surely fired up for this one and that should send shivers among the Europeans.

But again, I think the Europeans will only loose if the Americans put up a much more collective effort even if the Tiger fires on all cylinders.

  • 38.
  • At 10:32 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Cath Bilson wrote:

Tiger has a habit of making wayward drives. He's such a great short-game player he can usually get himself out of trouble, but whoever is paired with him in the foursomes is going to be cursing him under their breath when they have to dig his ball out of the shrubbery. He may get his four-ball and individual match points: foursomes I reckon they'll be lucky to halve.

  • 39.
  • At 11:54 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • TomO wrote:

re: comment 20
SJC - fair enough, if you can honestly say you'd feel as passionately about Europe as a single country.

My family's irish but if Wales were the last British team left in a competition I'd lose my voice cheering them on. But Europe? How can you honestly care as much as you would about your own country or an individual golfer?

Or maybe I'm wrong - maybe the Ashes should be Europe versus Oceania, and the Six Nations should be Great Britain vs The Rest Of Europe... perhaps we could follow the Budweiser advert suggestion and have 'Team Manchester' in the premiership. You can't amalgamate rivalries like that into one team and hope to retain the same intensity of support or feeling.

re: comment 36
Clifford - hear hear. That's exactly what I was saying even if I was less diplomatic. This competition is over-hyped, in a completely individual sport. I agree totally with your Carling Cup analogy.

  • 40.
  • At 11:56 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Karl wrote:

For those saying that Tiger doesn't care about the cash then you should go look up his quotes from before the last Ryder Cup in Europe.

I believe they were made at the American Express at Mount Juliet. The prize money was one million Euros and he was asked if he'd prefer to win the Ryder or the American Express. He chose the Express and when asked for the reason he said:

"I could give you a million reasons."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/othersports.html?in_article_id=402683&in_page_id=1781&in_a_source=

  • 41.
  • At 12:36 PM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Mike M. wrote:

I just hope Tiger is too busy to read some of the comments made on this site about his 'inability' to be a team player!

As well as being one of the greatest players of all time, he is without doubt the most determined of all the players involved in the Ryder Cup & has a fierce pride in his own performance.

The lead up to this Ryder Cup has shown :
1. The USA have a good captain who has learned from their past mistakes
2. Tom Lehman has been working on their team bonding & pairings for the last year (Presidents Cup as evidence).
3. Tiger is the best player in the world by some margin & is likely to want to improve his record in the RC & has arranged his timetable to suit.
4. Lehman's influence has clearly changed Tiger's approach, hence his decision to change his schedule & attend the K Club with his team last week ( a hint of leadership?).

Yes, he can only win five points, but he can also inspire his lesser team mates.

Every Ryder Cup is different & past performances will have little bearing on what happens @ the K Club. As for Furyk, he will also want to do much better than in the past & he has been in very good form this year.

My guess is that the USA will perform much better than last time & Tiger will prove to be their leader on the course. I will be suprised if he does not appear in the 1st match on Day 1 & the 1st match in the final day singles.

Also, at least one of the US rookies will have a good competition (accompanied by Tiger?).

As such, this match will be VERY close & Team Europe will need another inspired performance to retain the Cup.....

  • 42.
  • At 01:46 PM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Dee wrote:

So are there any women interested in the Ryder Cup out there? Correct me if I am wrong but it seems all the posts in this blog are by the menfolk. I will be cheering right along with the guys and I don't care who wins it; for one, I am in Africa and for another, it really is about golf, or isn't it?

  • 43.
  • At 04:04 PM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • dave voley wrote:

Wise words, mate. It's a promise waiting to happen - Woods is due a monster Ryder Cup outing. I predict he'll scoop 4 and a half to 5 points and that this year's contest will be the mist exciting thing seen in British sport since Jens Lehmann's squirrel invaded Highbury during the Arsenal-Juventus match

  • 44.
  • At 04:24 PM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Ken wrote:

I agree with TomO, golf is all about the major championships, period. The Ryder cup is in my opinion just an end of season side show, a very enjoyable one, but just a side show. At the end of a players career it's the number of major championships won that count and nothing else.

Colin Montgomerie has a great Ryder cup record, but unfortunetly he'll more than likely be remembered as one of the best players to never win a major.

So the question is, why does it seem to mean more to the Europeans? Maybe it's due to the fact that in the majors and other big tournaments, since Paul Lawrie won the farce at Carnoustie in '99, the Europeans have fallen well shy. They call the PGA championship, the final major of the year, 'Glorys last shot'. My feeling is that the Ryder cup serves as this for the Europeans. So if the Europeans do win then we'll cheer their success and good luck to them, but Tiger and Phil etc can go home and console themselves by giving their major trophies a quick dusting.

  • 45.
  • At 05:46 PM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

Fair enough, Rob. Forgive me for not reading every entry here. Too many cooks spoiling the broth of BBC golf blogs, perhaps. Keep it tight. And keep grinning.

  • 46.
  • At 10:13 PM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Chris McAvoy wrote:

My concern is not whether USA are good enough with Woods, et al to win it but whether europe will throw it away! Especially with Woosie in charge, after all we seem to place paramount importance on the captains role and up till now he has not excelled ..

  • 47.
  • At 03:20 AM on 08 Sep 2006,
  • Frank N. Stein wrote:

On paper the americans have a mighty team but the Ryder Cup is not a "paper game" its' a team game. Weather is a relevant factor for the players performance and experience, but good coaching, pairing and yes "luck" will be determinant.
If we see putts like Justin Leonard had a few years ago we'll know for which team the ball is rolling.
I believe the american players have had so much luck individually that it is time for the european players as a team to pull out some magic and keep the cup.
Darren Clarke with certainly lead the team and carry the momentum during the whole tournament. We should have an exciting show.

  • 48.
  • At 06:56 AM on 08 Sep 2006,
  • Richard Padayachee wrote:

The Europeans has a better balance team that the US and should be the favourites however the Europeans should not be to confident. I think the US would come out fighting as they have a lot to prove after the hiding they received at the last RC. I would like for Colin Montgomerie to be the Hero of the Ryder Cup as I feel he is undoubtedly the best player never to have won the Ryder Cup and has contributed alot to the game of Golf in Europe. Everyone wants to see Tiger perform well and that would be very good for the Ryder Cup as I think it would keep the Europeans on their toes and not to be over complacent. I am a South African and will be backing the Europeans all the way.

  • 49.
  • At 10:17 AM on 08 Sep 2006,
  • Sarah wrote:

Dee (comment 43) should look at my comment (No. 2) to prove not all the posts are by men. I'm a passionate golf fan - and even met my husband on a golfing holiday!

  • 50.
  • At 01:12 PM on 08 Sep 2006,
  • colin b wrote:

Hay guys, I'm 18 been playing competative golf for 12 months and everyone in my society have said i have an incredible talent for golf, and have a wonderful swing. I've been playing golf for 4 years, and love everyminute of it, i play off 14. I want to persue my dream to be a golfer, i play golf 4-5 times a week,i want to become a pro, but is it too late anyone got any suggestions, and if i do have what it takes, what should i be doign to become a pro??? thanks guys and girls!!

  • 51.
  • At 02:26 PM on 08 Sep 2006,
  • verney wrote:

It will be very interesting the RC this year. I have a feeling that TeamUS will mount a performance not seen before. With the influx of rookies on the US team you have to believe the team really was picked on present performance. I think the european team is a little more "load the teams with big names/average performances" and rely on past performances. The US has had much success on european soil this year and are no strangers to the KClub.

Can tiger make a big difference, your kidding. I can see him reeling in 90%+ of his points and the mental boost of having "points in the bag" before the first ball is struck helps. I wonder will Woosie choose a lamb to throw at Tiger and attempt a reverse match up situation. Paul McGin is worringly off the game at the moment and could be a candidate. I will be cheering for Europe for obvious reanson but I am expecting a US win and anticipating a convincing win/slaughtering. Does the USPGA offer more better players...

  • 52.
  • At 01:38 PM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • Kenny S wrote:

A lot of people are saying that Tiger can only win 5 points but that would be 5 points that the US don't normally get in the RC.

I think with Tiger's amazing form in the run up to the RC (won all of the last 5 tournaments entered) and talk of a pairing with Furyk gives the US team every chance of taking the RC back across the pond with them and I think that's exactly what they'll do.

Sorry lads of Europe but remember that's just 1 person's opinion.

  • 53.
  • At 08:02 PM on 10 Sep 2006,
  • Richard Clarke wrote:

In my eyes, Tiger Woods is easily the greatest player of all time. The opposition argue that Nicklaus had to compete against the likes of Palmer, Player and Trevino, but Nicklaus lacked the killer edge of Tiger.

When Tiger decides he wants to win, he does, it is that simple, and this is exactly why he will flourish in this years Ryder Cup. His 100% belief in what he is trying to achieve and his complete confidence, that is often said to be 'arrogance' is simply stunning to watch.

Also, his new combination with Jim Furyk seems to have clicked and I believe, finally, we will get to see the best out of Tiger at the Ryder Cup.

  • 54.
  • At 05:24 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • McDermott wrote:

Tiger's record in the Ryder Cup is a winning record for the match plays. The rest of it (the fourball and foursomes) is not golf. Golf is an individual sport not a team sport. Tiger's personal match play record is phenomenal (U.S. Junior AMs, U.S. AMs, Accenture etc etc).

For that matter Monty though said to be a good Ryder Cupper can not seem to win the big ones. Eight order of Merit titles does not obscure the fact that he can not win the big one.

"Woods made his debut in 1997 and has played in every match in every event since then. But his return of seven wins and two halves from 20 matches does not back up his status as the game’s second best player ever (based on the number of major titles won)."

It seems that everyone takes joy in knocking in his Ryder Cup record but the partner rounds are at least partly attributable to his "partners" as well as some poor captains choices.

Tiger is actually the number one golfer of all time if we base it on number of majors.

At age 30 he has 12 majors (including three open Championships). At the same age Jack had only 8. Give Tiger the next sixteen years until age 46 (the age Jack won his last major) and if Tiger still has only 12 majors then and only then would a reasonable person begin to evaluate Tiger's position in the pantheon of golf. Oh by the way Tiger has won 53 PGATOUR tournaments overall. At age 30 Jack had only amassed 33. To date Tiger is 4 majors and 20 tournaments ahead of Jack at a comparable age.

Taking 12 majors, 11 sanctioned (non team) WGC events, 3 Deutsche Bank SAP wins, 2 Johnnie Walker wins and a Dubai Desert Classic win Tiger at age 30 has the equivalent of 29 European Tour wins. Now how many wins does the aged Monty have on the European Tour? My recollection is that it is 30. One more major or WGC win and Tiger equals Monty's career win total on the European Tour.

Admittedly the Ryder Cup is an interesting diversion but it is not serious golf and as our author quotes Sandy Lyle above:
“Over 72 holes of matchplay you’d be hard pushed to beat Tiger but he’s very vulnerable over 18,” said Lyle. “He’s got everything to lose and not much to gain."

Which brings me to another interesting point, before Tiger Woods turned professional that consummate wit, Sandy Lyle, asked What is a Tiger Woods? Is that the name of new golf course? Tiger biographer Tim Rosaforte suggested a more modern inquiry would be - Sandy Lyle: Is that something you get in bunker?

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