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RYDER CUP BLOG

FROM OUR REPORTERS AT THE K CLUB, IRELAND

Pouring, but with passion

  • Rob Hodgetts - BBC Sport golf writer
  • 24 Sep 06, 12:34 PM

rob_hodgetts55x55.jpgK CLUB - Rain alternating between heavy and torrential is not enough to douse the smouldering fires inside every single spectator at the K Club on Sunday.

The first tee grandstand is already packed and they huddle five deep behind the practice ground, waiting, hoping, dreaming. Soaking.

It’s 1020 BST, less than an hour to go before the first singles match tees off and there’s not a player in sight. Not on the range, the chipping area or the putting green.

Colin Montgomerie is set to lead off Europe’s bid to win from 10-6 up overnight. But he faces a tough task against underrated American David Toms.

The two players eventually pitch up more or less together. Montgomerie, to resounding cheers, heads for the left edge of the range. Toms goes right.

It’s a picturesque scene, despite the deluge. A rolling green sward dotted by distance markers and bunkers and framed by giant oaks.

The backdrop is the lavish K Club hotel a little over 500 yards away. One day they might have to move the driving range back a bit.

Montgomerie, in black trousers with red piping and a red tank top, is impervious to the rain.

He pounds his driver, the balls flying in quick succession with a touch of fade high into the gunmetal grey sky.

The Scot, virtually a Ryder Cup legend, looks relaxed and shares a few laughs with caddie and coach. But only he will know what sort of emotions are churning inside.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who faces Stewart Cink in match two, arrives and gets to work. His short, fast swing is a contrast to the unique languid rhythm of Montgomerie.

Cheers ring out from the far end. It’s Ian Woosnam. He wanders over towards Monty but keeps his distance, loitering in the background.

Cink joins Toms in the American sector, and lanky Swede Robert Karlsson swells European numbers. He faces Tiger Woods. There's one shout of "Good luck Robert" but you sense many more are silently wishing him well.

Woods and Jim Furyk are putting – solemnly, quietly, slowly.

A volley of “C’mon Paul”s punctures the air as McGinley pitches up in a golf cart, beaming as he has all week.

Hole-in-one hero Paul Casey follows shortly afterwards. He is greeted by American captain Tom Lehman. The skipper looks pensive but signs a few autographs.

The gentle murmurings are shattered by a mass rendition of “Ole, ole, ole....”. The crowd in the first tee grandstand are amusing themselves before the off.

It’s still pouring, but there’s more important things to worry about here.

Everyone’s favourite, Darren Clarke, wanders into view and is greeted by his umpteenth roar this week. He looks slightly bemused and mouths a “thank you” before wandering off again.

At 1100 Montgomerie packs up and strides off, giving Garcia and Casey a big thumbs-up. Both men respond in kind. There’s no words, they’ve all been said.

Monty heads for a final putt. Only he and Toms are there now.

The American heads for the tee first. They're off in five minutes. But Montgomerie stays, putting under an umbrella held by his caddie.

A soggy Woosie ambles onto the green but again remains detached. The rain is at its heaviest now.

At 1110 Monty looks at his watch and says “Let’s go”. European vice-captain Peter Baker clasps his arm and pats him on the back. The pair exchange a few quiet words and then Montgomerie breaks cover.

After a stride the first roars go up, and a tidal wave of noise carries Montgomerie towards the waiting cauldron of the tee.

It’s on. Heroes will be made today.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:05 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Mark A wrote:

Just in case I forget (the first of many glasses of Guinness has just been poured), many thanks to the Beeb's team for some great pieces on here this week.
For me, they have offered a sense of what it's like to be there, combining humour, insight and occasionally, contention.
Glad to have had the chance to share the craic with you all.
Have a good day and an even better night!

  • 2.
  • At 01:06 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Mike O'Shea wrote:

Shame on the BBC and those who dole out golfing rights.
The K Club is 100 miles down the road from where I live - Co. Down - but because I refuse to pay Sky extortinate charges (I am a pensioner) I cannot watch one of the greatest golf competitions in the world.
I am not well pleased ...

  • 3.
  • At 01:53 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Andy Kerr wrote:

If things stay this way, the fairytale will be complete for Darren Clarke - Europe would have 13.5pts, leaving him to win or draw to clinch it for Europe. Now that really would be a wonderful finish!

  • 4.
  • At 02:04 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • michael kennefick wrote:

As one of the many Irish looking on from distant shores the blog is top quality. really well written informative and funny all at the same time. It seems so very natural and effortless.

top job

Heroes will definitely be made today; but it's 2.15pm and I'm just feeling a little uneasy at the increasing snugness of the FiveLive commentators (even though I love them all!).

  • 6.
  • At 02:44 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Mark A wrote:

Pouring, but with Guinness.

Cink picks up the first point of the afternoon after demolishing Europe's best player of the last 2 days.
David Toms is fighting hard for a half.
Get the feeling that there's still some life in Who-S-A yet, regardless of what the scoreboard looks like right now.

  • 7.
  • At 02:53 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

I hear Steve Williams is feeling a bit tired after so many rounds of golf over the last 3 days, so he is trying to lower the weight of Tiger's bag.. Ah well, giving the club a deep soak should get it a lot cleaner than a quick rub, eh Steve?

  • 8.
  • At 02:57 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Paul Harrison wrote:

I can not even begin to imagine the size of the cigar that Darren Clarke is going to smoke tonight!

  • 9.
  • At 03:25 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Andrew O'Sullivan wrote:

Can I just echo the concerns about the usurping of this prime sporting heritage event by a commercial satellite broadcaster. It is not right that the people of the host country cannot view this major sporting contest on their public broadcast television network.

I had to put up with early hours we are seven hours behind bst so nissed the early matches and had to here american commentators who for once were ate lost for words about their plavers

  • 11.
  • At 04:29 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

Just managed to finally see some coverage (it's not shown in Central America) live on NBC on the internet ,I downloaded a " TVU " player in time to see Howell putting the winner.
And incredibly emotional scenes for Darren Clarke, hats off to the man for the courage he's shown this week. And also to the American players and fans alike for the spirit in which the the competition has been played, from what I've read anyway.And well done to Ireland for putting on a great show despite the traffic and weather , you have to wonder why it's taken 79 years to reach the Emerald Isle when you look at the standard of courses there.Here's hoping there'll be many more in the future.

Finally, it's great to slaughter the Yanks but if the next 1 or 2 continue in a similar vein then it could lose some of it's gloss . So c'mon America and give us a game next time.

Ok, the apparent smugness of the FiveLive commentators (my comment of 2.15pm refers) was completely justified afterall! Friday and Saturday were really encouraging days, but what an amazing Sunday! I haven't got any Guinness in the house but I'm just off to buy some! Thanks for the brilliant commentaries and great blogs.... do we really have to go to work tomorrow?

  • 13.
  • At 05:14 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • sandra wrote:

Thanks for the blogs - fantastic stuff. I'm in Italy and haven;t got Sky so I've had to cope with the Ryder Cup site commentary - you really don't want to know what I thought about it! Enough said that I miss the beeb expertise and humour and was glad to get the "minute by minute" updates as well as the blogs and fantastic comments. My late mother knew nothing about golf but loved the Ryder Cup on the BBC - can we see it there again please? Mr Clark gave me plenty of tears and the Europeans plenty of pride - as someone said earlier - c'mon America, give us a bit of a match next time.

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