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Taming the Ryder Cup rodeo

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Rob Hodgetts | 06:30 UK time, Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour (sponsored by B&W Trailer Hitches, no less) rodeo riding has become essential bedtime viewing for me this week.

It's got it all - excitement, skill, a bit of machismo, checked shirts and massive cowboy hats.

The bulls are real nasty beasts - bucking, kicking, writhing and snorting. And they've got cool names like Slaughter House, War Zone and Hell Fire. No one got gored last night, but the law of averages says it must happen quite a lot.

My only slight problem with the sport is that it seems, to my untrained eye at least, to be a bit of a lottery as to which bull you draw.

For instance, Swamp Donkey might be in one hell of a bad mood and send you instantly skywards one day, or he might just be a bit more chilled out for a competitor.

Nick Faldo holds a list - possibly revealing his pairingsWhat's not a lottery is the pairings that the Ryder Cup captains have been toying with at Valhalla this week.

Everything they have done has been moving towards nailing down the first groups, which will be announced to the public during the opening ceremony at 1730 local time (2230 BST) on Thursday.

The skippers have studied, consulted, sought advice and trusted their instincts. Nothing will be left to chance.

Nick Faldo sent out four threeballs on Wednesday, based largely on national lines. But the same-country pairings are a bit old hat these days and I wouldn't read too much into these.

Far from a knockabout jaunt, though, practice is a serious business and was conducted in an atmosphere of calm concentration, each man trying variations on drives or approaches, before they dispersed to various corners of the green to putt and chip from different spots.

It emerged Faldo's groupings for Thursday were spotted on TV and he was forced to admit that Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are likely to form a dream team, Padraig Harrington will partner Robert Karlsson, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter will continue the good pals' act, Graeme McDowell will play with Paul Casey, with some combination then of Oliver Wilson, Soren Hansen, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Henrik Stenson.

Of course, having been rumbled, Faldo may choose to redo these, but time is running out and he'll need to see them in action if these pairs are how he's thinking.

US skipper Paul Azinger, on the other hand, opted for the same fourball groupings that he sent out on Tuesday.

So, there was Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan in one bunch, Kenny Perry, JB Holmes, Jim Furyk and Boo Weekley in another and Chad Campbell, Steward Cink, Ben Curtis and Steve Stricker in the third.

Over the two days Azinger has jazzed around within the fours, but the pair of Mickelson and the spirited youngster Kim makes sense, the spiky Leonard and Mahan combo also sounds right, locals Perry and Holmes are a natural fit and so on.

Azinger did admit the pattern of his groups was no accident, though the Kentucky angle of Perry and Holmes out first on Friday could just be a bluff because it does have some danger attached. Lose, and cracks will appear in the US's home advantage.

Or should I say, more cracks. Just being on home soil is not enough - the local fans still want to be engaged by their team, and for all their bluster, the Americans are failing on that front.

On Wednesday morning, spotting some players emerging from the clubhouse to tee off, a US fan sniffed the air, narrowed his eyes in a very passable Clint Eastwood impression, and muttered "Euros". He might just as well have said "Navajo" and gobbed on the ground for good measure.

A rodeo cowboy tries to ride a bullBut by the end of the day, Faldo's men had won the hearts and minds by patiently signing everything thrust under their noses. You wouldn't have thought it would be too tough for these US multimillionaires to spend a bit of time with the fans that buy equipment, watch TV, go to tournaments and keep the whole bandwagon rolling. But the Americans as a team came off second best.

And this is not just me saying it. It's the vibe I've got from spending most of the day out and about at Valhalla. Take this tirade from another home supporter who watched Ian Poulter take 20 minutes to walk up the 30-yard slope from the practice putting green to the clubhouse because he was signing autographs and posing for photos.

"Man, that's awesome. These Euro guys are great. They're patient, they're kind, they're into it. They're working the crowd. Our own guys won't even do that. That's sad. I'm going to pull for the Europeans," he lamented loudly.

If you want to check out the authenticity of his quotes, he's the big guy in the shades, baseball hat, polo shirt (tucked in), chino shorts and trainers. You can't miss him.

But back to the pairings. More important than getting them right is not getting them wrong (ie Woods/Mickelson from 2004).

Because in most cases the bottom line will be individuals needing to play well.

Unlike for the cowboys, there will be no raging bull trying to throw them off. Just a stationary ball and a golf course to hit it around.

For some players, the crowd could prove to be their own personal "Hell Fire". But the Europeans have already gone some way to dousing those flames.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    why does it matter what the pairs are?

  • Comment number 2.

    Beats me...it's getting treated in some quarters as if he left the keys to the Crown Jewels lying around, but that seems drastically overstated to me. Hoping for a massive tactical advantage or disadvantage from this seems foolish, you play to win whoever you're with.

  • Comment number 3.

    Of course it matters. Each player has their strength and weakness, which is not always obvious at first glance but becomes evident in a fourball/some. For example, why pitch two big drivers together when neither are the strongest of putters. Additionally, do you blood the rookies in the fourballs/somes, gambling that the experience will help them in the singles, or leave them out for a more certain win, then suffer in the singles when the rookies are exposed to nerves?

  • Comment number 4.

    Of course the pairings matter, mickelson and woods in 2004 springs to mind !!!

  • Comment number 5.

    it matters because the margin between victory and defeat can be miniscule at this level and putting the right pairings together can create the right chemistry - both in technical terms as mentioned by #3, but more importantly (to me) in confidence terms, to create that difference.

    it's also fascinating for the observer in terms of the relationships, politics, human dynamics, psychology involved. (which is why the Ryder Cup is so great - the pairings being a minor element of that)

    well i think it is anyway.

  • Comment number 6.

    Surely, if Faldo's as canny a Captain as he was player, hew knew that he would get spotted holding that piece of paper? I wouldn't be surprised if he's laughing at how gullable everyone is.

    Expect his real pairings to bear only a passing resemblance to that paper!

  • Comment number 7.

    Whilst obviously the pairings themselves are very important as mentioned above for technical/chemistry reasons, I can't quite understand why such a fuss has been made over Faldo revealing his pairings. Surely the element of suprise is lost anyway as the pairings will be announced on thursday night, and the Americans will already know who they will face up against. Any thoughts as to why Faldo's gaffe is anything more than the most minor of issues?

  • Comment number 8.

    "Robin Hodgetts" - ooh la la!

  • Comment number 9.

    > why does it matter what the pairs are?

    Why does it matter who wins the Ryder Cupat all?

    A bit glib I know, but for me, golf is not a team sport. Can someone enlighten me as to why I should get emotionally invested in this competition?

  • Comment number 10.

    To clear things up for you Robin. The scores are done based on the Bull's performance as well as the riders performance. Therefore if the bull doesn't do much bucking and twisting then he won't score very high, and therefore won't add much to the riders score. Of course the better the bull performs the higher the riders mark, provided of course, he can stay on.

    There you go Bull Riding 101 complete.

    As for the notes and headlines, he's doing a classic Mourinho and keeping all the attention away from the players, hardly anyone has continued sniping at Poulter about his inclusion since the boys flew out so that's got to be a good thing.

    You can be sure that when the first European ball is struck off the tee on Friday I'll be shouting "Get in the hole!"

    Go Team Europe.

  • Comment number 11.

    Did anyone else see the hilarious performance from some Daily Express hack on Sky Sports News this morning, bleating away about how Faldo was 'disgraceful, and an embarrassment to the country' in yesterday's press conference, simply because he didn't treat the 'professional journalists' with the respect they deserved???

    Well there are few journalists that I would describe as professional, but to hear someone from that dreadful rag moaning and whinging about being treated unfairly was particularly ironic!

  • Comment number 12.

    Buster_boy, he must be one of the journalists whose feelings were hurt when Faldo famously thanked the press "from the heart of my bottom" after winning the Open for the third time in 1992 :)

  • Comment number 13.

    DermotOLogical,

    You should get invested in this competition because it is probably the pinnacle of golf as a spectator sport. Rooting for one guy in a major is nothing compared to rooting for a team to beat America. The Ryder Cup carries drama, skill, sportsmanship (bar Brookline '99) pressure on the players etc. etc. It is a great spectacle and something that with emotional investment yields more pleasure than any othe golf tournament in the world.

    Any other questions?

  • Comment number 14.

    Nick Faldo in "unfriendly towards the press" scandal!!!!

    Press in "unfriendly towards Nick Faldo" scandal!!!!

    They hate him - he hates them - did we expect anything else?

    The Captain's role is to motivate the team and unfortunately (for Nick) it also involves a degree of PR to the press.

    He cracked a joke! it went flat but was "scrappapergate" really trade secrets?

    Sergio and Lee - hmm didn't see that coming.

    Justin and Ian - good friends so would put each other at ease.

    If Azinger didn't guess these then he isn't half the captain I think he is.

    I feel that Faldo is on a hiding to nothing as we come to expect a European victory these days and if we don't he will be crucified and if we do he will probably still be crucified. We will lose the thing one time and I hope it won't be this year and looking at the teams I don't think it will.

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with Beethoven's left ear (a claim which, out of context, may raise eyebrows!).

    How do we know for sure that Faldo hasn't done that deliberately? A couple of the pairings are pretty obvious anyway so why not make up some others and strut round in the glare of the media with it?

    He may just have been stupid of course but until the golf starts idle speculation is apparently the best we have!

  • Comment number 16.

    Faldo's 1st gaffe was selecting Poulter over Clarke.

    This is his second. There will be more!

    The notion that he did this intentionally is fanciful.

    Of course the pairings matter. Be interesting to see if he does play Poulter/Casey. Recipe for disaster.

    As for the performance with the Journalists. Faldo doesn't respect anyone so dont be surprised.



  • Comment number 17.

    Another bland diatribe - Is this Hodgetts bloke getting paid by the yawn?

  • Comment number 18.

    Of course, it won't have any effect on our Ryder cup team, England football team, or any other team trying to achieve sporting greatness. It seems only fair that our press should use every tool at their disposal to undermine the team's stability. In this case, the victim is Nick Faldo, whose only crime appears to have been trying to pick the best pairs to retain the Ryder Cup! Wouldn't it be good if we could just watch what is one of the world's best sporting events without all this nonsense, and get behind our lads instead of trying to find fault, and then blowing it all out of proportion?

  • Comment number 19.

    On his management form so far you wouldn't be too surprised if our Captain Uncredible was to pair Harrington with Garcia...

  • Comment number 20.

    I really am confused as to why people appear to hate Nick Faldo so much.

    OK, so he's not the most approachable of people but so what. He deserves respect for what he's done for European Golf over the years and he deserves to be Captain of the Ryder Cup Team.

    I fear he is on a hiding to nothing as win and it was 'expected' and lose it will be because he 'didn't pick Clarke'. One player does not make a Ryder Cup team and Poulter seems genuinely liked by most, so will not cause anyone any harm either.

    After Harrington won the Open, and Poulter runner up, this year he said something like "at least Ian and I know what we're doing in September now".

    Harrington has subsequently said that he thought Darren Clarke would be in the side. Therefore, it is Paul Casey who is the surprise pick in Harrington's eyes and not Poulter!

    The team is what it is and if they play to the best of their ability, they should win.

    Personally, I think it was a gaffe from Faldo but does it really matter? As someone rightfully pointed out. The pairings are announced 10 hours in advance anyway!

    Here's to a good spectacle :o) CHEERS

  • Comment number 21.

    If you look at the video clip, the page shown is different to that shown in the picture. Meaning - he probably has loads of permutations going around in his head, and they just happened to catch him with this one. Its not worth getting worked up over. Much as I have issues with Faldo and would rather have seen Clarke there than Poulter, you can't argue that he was the World's most successful golfer in the pre-Woods, post-Nicklaus era.
    We have no choice but to trust him. As fans of Europe, we really should be rubbing our hands at the prospect of the Ryder Cup's record points scorer taking us into battle against an easily riled, knee jerk hothead like Azinger. Also, we have the strongest team we've ever put out, Stenson, Garcia, Westwood, Casey, Harrington could play with anyone, even Rose, Jimenez, Poulter and Karlsson would have been considered major strengths in previous teams which we're hamstrung by the inclusion of Sandelin, Haegmann, Richardson, Baker, Gilford etc. We've never had it so good!

  • Comment number 22.

    Listening to Faldo in the new conference after the Radio 4 sport chappy said he had been reported as an embarrassment it was absolutely hilarious.

    Faldo was toying with the news pack who as people have said were making the photo and revelation to be equal to losing the crown jewels.

    He's shown that although the Ryder Cup and winning is important there's still fun to have at the medias expense especially when the media are really making themselves look like idiots with their 'big scoop'.

    Let's hope Faldo continues.

  • Comment number 23.

    Aah Roddy your description of the American you saw on the course - is oh so true an s spot on though you forgot the cell phone clipped to the chinos.
    Anyway looking forward to watching over the next week - as a Brit exiled in New York this is one of the few sports where we compete on a fairly even playing field with the americans - so there are very important bragging rights at stake!!.
    Hope you are well enjoy your time in the US of stateside and and watch out for any gun toting moose hunting V.P nominees

  • Comment number 24.

    The pairings may or may not matter as faldo pointed out he didnt attribute any order in which they might play, which is where the real game of cat and mouse is played, especially on the sunday in singles. Its the captains job to try and figure out who his opposite number is putting out together yes and faldo may have helped the us on this front but it would be all in vain if they were to have a wild guess at order and send out the team they thought would beat pairing number 1 but were up against 2 different guys which they thought would be pairing 3 etc etc. All is not lost and it could just be a mind game of nicks so.......... CUT HIM SOME SLACK UNTIL SUNDAY NIGHT>>!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    No way faldo would slip up with that- it's the mind games of a multi major champ! He's gettin inside the yanks heads it's gamesmanship...

  • Comment number 26.

    #21 - A certain Spaniard called Seve might want to lay a claim to the Pre-Woods, Post Nicklaus era.

    Just taking a look at the US team - what exactly are they going to do with this information... You can imagine Azinger looking to find some weakness in the European side and trying to imaging pairings that NF might come up with and how to combat those pairings. Unless NF totally takes pity on Azinger and starts putting silly pairings like Wilson/McDowell or Hansen/Rose to help them out, he can basically choose almost anyone and they would feel confident of taking 2.5 points from each 4 available.

    Europe to win 17-11 unless the US side somehow find some sense of comradeship and togetherness that collectively raises their game. If the do then it will be close if not then I might put myself and my 25 handicap forward to play in the singles on Sunday.

    G_U_F

  • Comment number 27.

    Do you think all the unemployed bankers are now looking to earn some extra money spread betting on the Ryder Cup result?

    Perhaps someone could give them a loan so they have a stake to play with? We are still lending money to people who can't pay it back for high risk investments aren't we?

    .......oh no that was last week.....

    G_U_F

  • Comment number 28.

    To all those people on this blog who are sticking up for Faldo - WELL DONE!

    I fail to understand people's problem with a guy who is the greatest British golfer in living memory, and as someone has mentioned the world's best in between Nicklaus and Tiger? Anyone remember who handed Tiger his first green jacket? Exactly!

    Rest assured Faldo is man enough to take the jibes, he's had to live with press, media and commentators on his back forever, and as a previous blogger mentioned, he is serving to deflect all the media idiocy away from his team, which is actually good captaincy/management for all you detractors out there; but can we not just get behind the guy and his team?

    Look behind the hugely hyped "note scandal" and disgruntled members of the press to see the 12 players love the guy, to most of them he was probably their hero growing up.

    Faldo is no more "grumpy" or "unapproachable" than others can be, and let's face it he has an odd sense of humour, and golf is mostly a sport about one man and that kind of single-minded focus is what separates the greats, like Nick, Tiger, etc., from those who don't win majors. And now he's the leader of the team he is stepping up and taking the knocks.

    I am astounded at Iain Carter's comments on Radio 5 Live! Cracks in the captaincy? It all just smacks of stoking this up in preparation to put the boot in should Europe fail to win, probably also if they fail to win convincingly as they have the last two.

    It's pretty sad what a scrap of paper and trying to make light of it with some throwaway remarks are leading to.....at the end of the day, I don;t think Nick really cares about this rubbish and was just trying to make light of a ridiculously persistant line of questioning in the press conference.

    Come on boys and here's to Faldo leading them to another memorable win!

  • Comment number 29.

    Lets not get too sentimental.... Harrington isn't too far behind now.

    It's just typical that the press who know nothing about sport are just trying to make something out of nothing.

    Europe have got a better side- FACT, America have the Home advantage- Fact. Europe have won the slast few so are bug favourites- but a beting man would say that America are long due a win.. which would'nt do any harm to The Ryder Cup?! Thoughts?...

  • Comment number 30.

    My first ever post on a blog, so I'll probably expect a pasting being a Faldo fan.

    I've been reading and watching the events unfold over the last few days and cannot wait for battle to commence.
    I do think Europe will win, but never under estimate an underdog.

    The question of Poulter being included shouldn't be an issue. He stayed in America to play an event if he came top 4
    He would have qualified outright (only top 3 at Gleneagles), percentages say play America, he plays more in America
    And also has accumulated more world cup points. Although would have been great if Clarke was there, so would
    Have been nice to have 3 picks, but water under the bridge and all that.

    Faldo's supposed error on showing his pairs, he knows better so it probably a set up and no doubt will come to light in a book
    after the competition, but We know the bulk of Europe's pairings and if I'm a betting so does Azinger so no real
    surprises I wouldn't have thought to anyone. What made me laugh was the Hack on Sky Sports news this morning,
    'treating the press with disrespect', don't make me laugh 99% of the time its the press don't show respect.

    Faldo's only real problem I think is the number of assistants, but am sure he will cope, once a couple of games finish
    early doors he can concentrate on the last two with Ollie.

    A GREAT plan would be to bring in Clarke and Monty as a surprise last minute assistants what a boost that would
    give the side and watch the Americans run for the hills, not to mention a genius PR move.

    Come on NICK COME ON EUROPE.

  • Comment number 31.

    without trying to be rude, it seems a lot of people posting here may well be golfers, but haven't played a lot of team golf.

    I'm from Jersey and every year we have a ryder cup style event against rival island Guernsey, playing foursomes, fourballs and singles.

    we also get the chance to play a lot of inter club matches involving foursomes and singles match play.

    It is massively significant if you know the opposition pairings and their order because it means that you can send your guys out in an order that you think can counteract the opposition's pairs.

    For example, if 'Zinger knew Europe were loading the front with Westy and Garcia....Harrington and Karlsson would be the first two groups he can choose to fight fire with fire, or maybe put a slightly weaker pairing out as a sort of sacrifice so that Europe don't take a point off one of their stronger pairings!!

    Granted its more important in the singles, but little decisions like that can mean all the difference

  • Comment number 32.

    Good explanation andyjgray.
    However, I am just a tad nonplussed that anyone who knows golf should need it explaining to them? And if you don't know about golf, why are you on this particular Blog?
    On another note, I am so excited by the prospect of the next few days' golf. Which is why I am on this Blog - my feeling is rather like a kid on Christmas Eve picking up the presents under the tree and trying to guess what is in them. Lovely.

  • Comment number 33.

    How can Faldo even think about leaving out Stenson from his opening pairings? The guy is ranked seven in the world...

  • Comment number 34.

    I agree with comment 6.

    Not only is the writing in a giant magic marker on really thin paper, but it's not being held in a natural way that is conducive to writing while standing up. He's also looking almost straight at the camera.

    My final point is the clincher for me: Why would he need to write the names down anyway?

    He knows who's on his team, and it's not like you're going to 'forget' your prefered partnerships, is it?

  • Comment number 35.

    Faldo's the captain, that means he's not playing.
    Does that mean we wont see Fanny?

  • Comment number 36.

    the hacks deserve the rough treatment from faldo - it makes me laugh. go on faldo

  • Comment number 37.

    Harrino - I've just been out to check the cell phone on belt thing and you're right. Love it.

    The Voice of Reason and everyone else who thinks "Listgate" is a storm in a thimble - totally true.

    As for the captaincy, I disagree with those who think there are cracks. All the evidence suggests this is a tight team with respect for the boss.

    Love him or hate him, Faldo knows a thing or two about Ryder Cups and will put out intelligent pairings. Then it's up to the players anyway.

  • Comment number 38.

    Quency - Fanny hasn't been with Faldo for a few years now. A short stint with Garcia - then Stenson. I don't know if she is with Stenson for the Ryder Cup though

  • Comment number 39.

    GirlieRyderFan,

    Yes she is. She even gave an interview the other day, which is very rare. But apparently she told the reporter she didn't want to talk about herself or caddieing, so not entirely sure what they chatted about!

  • Comment number 40.

    Like many others I think this has been way overexaggerated. If this was a definite list with an order then it would matter more but its not. Im surprised he got frustrated at the news conference however, everything seems to be going great for him and europe so far

  • Comment number 41.

    The photo above says it all, Faldo is grinning like a chesire cat, as the press lap it up..

  • Comment number 42.

    What a bruhaha over nothing. Surely the notations in Faldo's hand do no more than confirm the pairungs that most of us had already concluded for ourselves and that being the case, they will have come as no surprise to Zinger and the Yanks.

    Faldo's crack about the list being the sarnie order was also very funny and typically Faldo. It has been reported on the BBC Sports bit behind the red button that his crack 'fell flat'. If it did it only did so coz the room was full of Meeja people who a) take their jobs (and Faldo's pairings) dead serious like and b) were predominantly yanks,who collectively are a considerable distance from locating a sense of humour.
    Faldo's final, mildly irritated response which amounted to, 'Well done, Sherlock youze are too good for me. Youze have cracked it' was no more than was deserved.

    When the golf starts will somebody please wake me up.

  • Comment number 43.

    How sad that the press had to make an issue out of this.

  • Comment number 44.

    Interesting that on the Guardian and Telegraph websites recently I've read articles slagging off Faldo, both of which got bombarded with responses defending him.

    The guy at the Torygraph even said that we are a nation of Faldo sceptics. The natural reply to this is that the nation has always thought he's the mutt's nuts; it's only the bruised egos in the press tent that can't stand him, probably because of the now-legendary 1992 Open speech.

    Although I must admit, it's intriguing that his third ex-wife (or is she his fourth? Fifth?) is going to partner him at all the functions. Surely that's just begging to get the tabloids on his back?

  • Comment number 45.

    What was so bad about the Woods/ Mickleson pairing in 2004?

  • Comment number 46.

    Should be enough motivation to have seen the Union Flag sent up the flagpole upside down! Bring it on

  • Comment number 47.

    I looked at the pairings and in my mind it could be 4 - 0 Europe.

    Bring it on!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    just to put golfEnigma66 #30 straight...the US tournament that Poulter chose to play (the Deutsche Bank) would not have helped his Ryder Cup qualification cause. He could have won that tournament and still not qualified. It finished on the Monday (being Labor Day holiday) - the day after the wild cards were announced. His only chance of automatic qualification was to play the Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles. Simple as that.

    i am NOT wanting to reignite the Poulter debate...that has been done to death on other threads...merely wanting to correct a pretty fundamental error in a posting.

    C'mon Europe.

  • Comment number 49.

    Re. Number 45:

    It was widely believed at the time that Mr Woods and Mr Mickelson were not the best of friends, disliked being in each others' company and seldom missed an opportunity to do each other down. The fact that they were Numbers 1 and 2 in the world at the time was irrelevant; they were never likely to play together effectively as a team, which is essential in a four-man game of golf.

    A half-decent captain would have been fully aware of this and planned his campaign accordingly. Instead he effectively handed the opposition a one-game advantage. As all the best cliché-mongers (especially snooker commentators) say, if you go one-up, it means the opponent has to win two games to take the lead.

    Part of the equipment that a Ryder Cup captain should carry with him is an extensive knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of every player; which of his team-mates he gets on with, and which he would rather avoid. If the captain does not know personally, that is why he has assistants. The assumption must be that Nick Faldo has sufficient personal experience not to need assistants.

    This compatibility question even extends to left/right-hander pairings: to what extent does a left-hander affect the shots his partner will probably be called on to play?

    The main problem for Faldo is to ensure all twelve of his men have a meaningful game over the first two days. They need to experience the course an the ambience. Part of this is to identify pairings which will bring the best out of each other. This will help every man in the head-to-head on Sunday. The cup has been lost in the past by expecting players to debut on the Sunday against players they know insufficient about, but who are not necessarily stronger. A captain is unlikely to be stronger than his "people skills" - this has been a question-mark over Faldo thus far in his career, but it is unlikely to come into question unless Europe does badly in the first three sessions.

  • Comment number 50.

    Nick Faldo has been a consumate professional golfer and conducted himself with great dignity throughout his career. It seems he is constantly criticised for being focussed and uncommunicative however paradoxically he is a very good commentator and it appears friendly towards anybody interested in his beloved sport of golf. The fact he is careful about talking to the press is not surprising. He doesn't need them to make a living and they constantly try to drag him down, probably just because he is not friendly towards them.
    The press in particular have the power to positively influence the outcome of this event so I would suggest they try to do just that and not try to undermine Faldo at every opportunity lest they be criticised for beng supporters of the American team.

  • Comment number 51.

    Who cares about the list. That is the order they went out in practice. Case closed.
    Poulter deserves to play.
    Clarke deserves to play. Unfortunately there's a limit. Clarke genuinely wants Poulter to succeed because he is a good man. End of that argument.
    Faldo was the best in the world at one point, probably aided by the same ego that irks the press. Has anyone watched Tiger Woods in front of the press. Is he all that different from Faldo. No, but it is sacreligious to deride Tiger!
    I agree with #50 that Faldo is fun to watch as a commentator and especially because he will deliver quips (however cringeworthy they are) and not sit on the fence.
    Good for him to be taking any heat away from the players.

    Goodluck Europe!


 

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