BBC BLOGS - Iain Carter

Archives for August 2012

Olazabal has all the players and permutations he needs

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Iain Carter | 15:14 UK time, Monday, 27 August 2012

Rarely has the selection of Ryder Cup wild-cards been so straightforward.

It was no surprise when Jose Maria Olazabal named Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts to complete a line up that has the strength and blend of talent to make a confident defence of the trophy.

The fact is there is no European who can complain at not being in the side. The automatic qualification period accurately identified the top ten and it is impossible to argue against the captain's choices.

Much will be made of Colsaerts being the only rookie in the side that will travel to Medinah at the end of September.

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Garcia all smiles again after Wyndham victory

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Iain Carter | 21:37 UK time, Monday, 20 August 2012

The strop is over and one of the most infectiously influential smiles in golf is back.

Sergio Garcia's victory at the Wyndham Championship was a much needed boost for the player and, according to skipper Jose Maria Olazabal, it should significantly benefit Europe's Ryder Cup defence.

Garcia was a picture of abject misery when he missed the cut for the second major running at the recent US PGA Championship to slip out of the automatic qualifying places for Medinah next month.

Olazabal was moved to seek out his Spanish compatriot and administer a pep talk that appears to have done the trick.

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Magnificent McIlroy casts a huge shadow

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Iain Carter | 17:17 UK time, Monday, 13 August 2012

Golf has been waiting for someone to break from the shadows and with a loping yet triumphant stride Rory McIlroy did exactly that with his second major victory.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland was always the most likely candidate to break a sequence that had produced a four-year run of 16 different major winners.

The moment was there to be seized and in the modern game there is no one better in that regard than the sublimely talented McIlroy.

The 2011 US Open champion was heavily criticised at last year's Open when he admitted he would have to wait for the right conditions to win the one major staged on British soil.

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Poulter stays on course in PGA despite strong winds

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Iain Carter | 06:53 UK time, Saturday, 11 August 2012

At Kiawah Island

Ian Poulter's relatively uneventful season threatens to spring to life this weekend as the Englishman seeks the high US PGA Championship finish he needs to grab an automatic Ryder Cup place.

Currently two places outside the list of those certain to be on duty for Europe at Medinah next month, the 36-year-old Englishman's quest is firmly on course at the halfway stage of the final major of the year.

But after Poulter produced a typically tenacious display in the heavy coastal winds that swept the Ocean Course on the second day at Kiawah Island, he will be more concerned simply with landing his first major than retaining his Ryder Cup place.

He covered the treacherous inward half in 35 strokes and is just one shot behind the leading trio of Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Carl Pettersson.

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Forget London 2012, this is 'Glory's Last Shot'

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Iain Carter | 09:06 UK time, Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Incredulity best describes the Charleston taxi driver's reaction when I told him I had just arrived from London.

"Why would you wanna leave there with those Olympics going on?" he asked as the rain battered his vehicle in the South Carolina state.

Then he pointed in the direction of the marina and tried to identify Tiger Woods's private yacht, starting to sound excited about the US PGA Championship which starts on Thursday.

"Yes, there is sport outside the Games and that's why I'm here," I said, explaining that there was much to look forward to from golf's last major of the year.

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