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Snap happy

  • Rob Hodgetts - BBC Sport golf writer
  • 21 Sep 06, 11:48 AM

rob_hodgetts55x55.jpgK CLUB – Nine more practice holes, a two-hour opening ceremony, a night’s kip and then it all begins. Hooray.

All this speculating, postulating, ruminating and mischief-making is all very well.

But when the first shots are hit and the scoreboard begins to tick, the electricity already running through the K Club will surge off the scale. And that’s nothing to do with Friday’s forecast thunderstorms.

Before then, though, there’s just time to squeeze in a bit more cogitating on the outcome.

Which brings me to the two teams’ official photo shoots this morning, and whether we learnt anything which can be cleverly spun into cast-iron proof of who will win.

Well, what we did learn is that the European caddies are more juvenile than their American counterparts. And it confirmed the Americans’ fascination with the colour brown.

Europe lined up for their photo shoot indoors, all looking fresh faced from last night’s gala dinner, and sporting smart blue golf shirts in place of the white tuxedos and red bow ties of 12 hours earlier when they’d been toe-tapping to Van Morrison.

But the first photo was interrupted by a rampaging bull peering over the backdrop.

Turns out, Paul Casey’s caddie Craig Connelly, aka “Wee Man”, had borrowed Sergio Garcia’s "bull" head cover and slipped into his Sooty and Sweep impression.

After much hilarity, the official photographer asked the phalanx of other snappers to hold off firing their flashes until he had got the money shot.

“Ok, flash at will now guys,” he said when done, and this appealed greatly to those on the team brought up on toilet humour and innuendo. Maybe Henrik Stenson just didn’t hear it.

A variety of photos followed – waterproofs on, K Club owner Michael Smurfit in, vice-captains Des Smyth and Peter Baker in, and assistants Sandy Lyle and DJ Russell in (“you’ll need a wide angle for this one” piped up numerous caddies in unison.)

When it was the caddies’ turn they kneeled on the floor in front of the players and spent the entire session trying to knock each other over, with caddie king pin Martin Rowley providing a good line in mock injuries.

The Americans opted for their photo shoot outside on the 10th fairway, and turned up in the sort of brown tank tops so cherished by students rifling through charity shops for a killer bad-taste party item.

There wasn't quite so much “Carry On…” film-style banter between them or interaction with the media hordes but this may have been due to the gale blowing any chat straight down the fairway.

Tiger Woods was sandwiched between new best buddies Brett Wetterich and JJ "plump Sergio Garcia" Henry.

If it was like anything else the Americans have touched this week, it will have been a "bunch of fun", though judging by his face, Tiger's fun looked like it came as a small sprig rather than a whole bunch.

With photos over, and a team huddle (which possibly attracted more snappers than the official poses), the Americans went off to practise foursomes. And we retired to muse on our findings.

So did anything there suggest who will win the Ryder Cup? Nope. But it's chewed up another "bunch" of time before the off, and added another layer of intrigue. Just think, tomorrow there could even be golf to write about.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:42 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • ronny wrote:

ryder cup predictions - europe

i think it will be a tight contest. Based on outfits so far, the Europeans have it. Tweed eh. not good.

Thanks for allowing me to comment on this.


  • 2.
  • At 12:47 PM on 21 Sep 2006,

Superb.. hilarious.. Tiger seems to have the demeanor of a grumpy teenager being forced to go round his aunties for afternoon tea. As for the US team they are talking about having fun, but the EU team are showing it. US team are going to get a pasting again.. nothing has changed since last time.

  • 3.
  • At 12:57 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

The "buddie bunch" mean business this time, the "euro chumps" are gonna get stuffed. Bring on Faldo!

  • 4.
  • At 01:29 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Josh wrote:

I think Woosie's decision to change pairings a third time will tell over the competition as he will have much more info on how his players interact.


  • 5.
  • At 01:58 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

I'm concerned about Darren Clarke's unnatural looking tan which looks like the result of an unfortunate sunbed accident. Phil Mickelson must be freezing in that short-sleeved shirt but shedding the awful Sylvester McCoy tank top must be worth any amount of dicomfort.

  • 6.
  • At 02:11 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Hildon wrote:

This is superb - these blogs are ticking away the hours at work before i fly out tomorrow....

PS Im looking forward to Ghostbusters in The Porterhouse!!

  • 7.
  • At 03:15 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Thomas wrote:

Thank you for the great blogs! I have a question. Since there is no prize money do the players pay their caddies?

  • 8.
  • At 05:12 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

Matt H, glad you're enjoying our blog splutterings. Word to the wise about The Porterhouse, though, 80s night is Wednesday, not sure what they do they on Friday. Probably just serve ale. And for God's sake when is somebody from the aforementioned establishment going to invite us down there for a night of free sample trays? Either that or VIP entry to Lilly Bordellos. Make it happen or we'll say something nasty about your beer.

And Thomas, good question. Apparently the organisers and players came to an agreement about this a few years back and now the caddies get some kind of compensation (plus a nice watch, piece of Waterford crystal, lots of cheese from the Irish Food Board, loads of kit, five jumpers and a front row ticket for the best event in golf).

Who won the blonde wives contest? By my reckoning Europe did, by a hair.

  • 10.
  • At 06:34 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Brett Will wrote:

Nothing quite as hilarious as Englishmen giving fashion judgments (bring on Ian Poulter); kind of like if they gave dental advice.

  • 11.
  • At 10:21 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • steve cook wrote:

"Ireland has just opened its arms to both sides and that's truly wonderful. It's great for Ireland and great for the game of golf."
Former President George Bush Senior speaking on Five Live."

Why can't he go back and sort out his s**t in Iraq instead of giving us the old bulls**t???

  • 12.
  • At 12:04 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Chris Welton wrote:

I cannot believe the BBC -- highlights only on all days of the most important match of the year.

Bad show!

  • 13.
  • At 12:46 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Stephen Martin wrote:

im golf crazy and have been looking forward to this ryder cup for months but ive got a bad feeling about this one for some reason. i just dont think woosie is up to the task, i mean i dont really see the logic in not playing luke donald. he is undoubtably one of if not thee strongest player on our team. anyone else think so? thanks for the updates bbc..... come on europe!!

  • 14.
  • At 12:57 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • steve cook wrote:

"1241: Colin Montgomerie gets away with one when his drive at the 17th claws its way over the water hazard."
This reminds me of Gary Player - 'the more I practice, the luckier I get'.

  • 15.
  • At 01:07 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • JohnnyBigClaws wrote:

I just wanted to say... What a fantastic draw for the afternoon. The two best Europeans and the two men most likely to end our Major dearth, up against Woods and octopus arms Furyk. Garcia simply loves this event (and the event loves him), and the game has an extra edge after Sergio apparently perhaps vaguely slightly insulted Woods this week. That is the sort of match that makes history...and gets me excited...even from Japan. Bring it on.

  • 16.
  • At 01:19 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • steve cook wrote:

"1241: Colin Montgomerie gets away with one when his drive at the 17th claws its way over the water hazard."
This reminds me of Gary Player - 'the more I practice, the luckier I get'.

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