Be bold, Tom, be bold
- 23 Sep 06, 11:53 AM
K CLUB – Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, JFK, Richard Nixon, Mike Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, we are beating them all! George Bush, can you hear me? George Bush, your boys are taking one hell of a beating! One hell of a beating!
I have just returned to the media centre after watching two hours of the worst golf played by Tiger Woods in these islands since the world number one got blown off course at the 2002 Open at Muirfield.
After 27 holes of fourball, the American superstar has carded only three birdies. There have also been at least three bogeys. And that is with matchplay “gimmes”. But he is far from being the only US banker to fail to show up for captain Tom Lehman this weekend. Phil Mickelson has delivered only one birdie in 28 holes with his own ball.
Tom, time to think the unthinkable, old chap. Bench your top two and unleash Vaughn Taylor.
Woods, at least, did have a Tiger-like 45 minutes on Friday that brought him those three birdies around the turn. Lefty, are you there? Fancy coming to the party any time soon?
One of the many nice things the organisers have given us journalists this week (Jo Malone hand wash in the toilets, Valhalla 2008 baseball caps and European Challenge Tour handbooks to name but a few) is an audio feed to the NBC Sports television coverage.
On air Johnny Miller, Dan Hicks, Bob Murphy and co are doing their best to sound positive despite the evidence of what is happening in front of them. Off air, between the advert breaks in the States, they are just ripping into their team.
They started talking about resting Tiger – who has played every game of every Ryder Cup since making his debut in at Valderrama in 1997 - and Phil this afternoon long before any British or Irish commentator dared to suggest it.
And they have just had Arnie Palmer in the studio and to say the great man is trying to find silver linings is an understatement. He also admitted that for all Tom “Together” Lehman’s media pronouncements, this ain’t no Team America.
Meanwhile, I see Lehman’s copper-bottomed pairing of Mickelson and Chris DiMarco – who were unbeaten at last year’s Presidents Cup - are having, as DiMarco might say it if he had to follow the BBC guidelines on offensive language, their behinds handed to them. The Spanish have just gone four up through 12. Lefty could be back in his hotel room with his K Club robe on inside an hour.
Lehman’s best players right now? Zach Johnson (by a mile), Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink.
So Tom, what’s it to be? The afternoon pairings are announced at 1245. Isn’t it time to try something else?
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