BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.



The chips are down...

  • Iain Carter - Radio Five Live golf correspondent
  • 18 Sep 06, 07:19 PM

Iain_carter55x55.jpgK CLUB - So we’re here - at last - and I can’t pretend it’s been easy.

As we drove out of a heaving late Sunday night Dublin airport, the road signs flashed “Welcome to the Ryder Cup”. The next road signs were for roadworks.

For some reason they’ve decided to dig up the Irish capital’s equivalent of the M25. Work started three weeks before the biggest sporting event ever to be staged in this country. I hope Europe’s timing off the tee is a bit better!

Our midnight journey wasn’t too bad, but this morning as we headed back to the airport to greet the Americans, was a nose-to-tail nightmare.

We’d risen at 6.30 am in preparation for the Americans landing at 8.15. We were in danger of being late but we hadn’t made provision for the “tortilla factor.”

The what? Well, skipper Tom Lehman's wife had decided to bring a load of tortilla chips as comfort food for his team and the plane wasn’t ready for the amount of luggage, delaying the flight by more than three hours.

This, you might think, would be dead time. Not for the Five Live team - as producer Graham went into a cold sweat thinking his vital laptop had been nicked from under his nose.

We hunted high and low, and only out of desperation did he phone our hotel to see if he had left it there.

And yes he had, in his room. He hadn’t even picked it up! So we’ve already arrived upon our figure of fun for the week.

Traffic was still heavy as we headed back, this could prove one of the issues of the week.

So might be the weather. We drove through the most torrential storm on the way to the K Club.

By late afternoon a strong wind was sweeping across the course.

Golf pros hate to practice in such conditions, but there was no stopping the out-of-sorts Paul McGinley.

He was the lone European I spied on the range, pounding drivers. For the Americans Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink were having a gentle loosener to get the flight out of their system and - I guess - to work up an appetite for Tom’s tortillas.

I was going to sign off there, but I should tell you Graham has just called on a borrowed phone. He’d left for the hotel and now can’t find his mobile! It could be a long week.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:09 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

Tortilla chips? I thought the Ryder Cup was in Ireland, not the amazonian rainforest. Did they seriously not think there would be any in Ireland?!

  • 2.
  • At 08:12 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • David Brown wrote:

"Nose-to-tale"? I think you mean "nose-to-tail".

  • 3.
  • At 08:41 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • jamie wrote:

why are they putting woods against sergio. i think we should pu the man on form luke donald. aslo i think you should put donald with stenson.

  • 4.
  • At 08:46 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • verney wrote:

I dont suppose the American team had to pay 1.80 on the toll bridge?. For you who dont know of this "wonder", like slapping a meager little booth in the centre of the M25 (nice during rush hour)

  • 5.
  • At 09:07 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Lee wrote:

Actually the M25 has its own toll bridge at Dartford. Yours is more consistently awful though (bitter experience)and ours is 'only' £1

  • 6.
  • At 09:13 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Anne wrote:

Don't get huffy, people, I'd have thought you're a bit more tolerant about different food preferences of people from other countries.

FYI: Tortilla chips and salsa from Arizona are the best and definitely better than many cities in the U.S.A.

Peace :)

  • 7.
  • At 09:22 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Kenny K wrote:

The M50 - Ireland's largest car park.

  • 8.
  • At 09:24 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Jon wrote:

3 bags of tortilla's....3 hour delay, I'm not sure how that works out, must have been gone large on the bag sizes, typical Americans.

Come On Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!

"The biggest sporting event ever to be staged in this country"! Aren't you forgetting the Tour de France?

  • 10.
  • At 09:50 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Dave Jackson wrote:

Actually - the biggest sporting event staged in this country is the Northwest 200

how stupid are americans LOL cmon Britain ( I mean Europe )

Your beloved Sergio better quiet down his pre-Cup talk, Tiger and the USA team are ready for revenge this weekend!!

Ryder Cup News -

  • 13.
  • At 11:28 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Lewis wrote:

Typical American modesty-

...."Your beloved Sergio better quiet down his pre-Cup talk, Tiger and the USA team are ready for revenge this weekend!!"....

Ryder Cup News -

When will the US learn that it is only another country, not THE only country, on the planet and shut up---oh, by the way, I am English and have lived in the US for 10 years---a great nation of kind people---but they never shut up about how great they think they are--
The Brits know that they are crap at most things, and take refuge in our humility---except rowing, triathlons, and throwing an execptional tea parties

  • 14.
  • At 11:28 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • superjimenez wrote:

Actually, actually, the biggest sporting event held in this country was not the Tour de France or the Northwest 200, not even the Special Olympics, nor will it be the Ryder Cup...It was, believe it or not....The Galway Races 2006! Haha..

Europe All The Way!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 15.
  • At 11:31 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • rhumbles wrote:

tortilla chips dont hail from Brazil or Columbia(depending whether which side of the amazon your talking about) they come from Mexico

  • 16.
  • At 11:36 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Colin Coyle wrote:

There's been roadworks on that road (M1) for the past 3 years, its called the Port Tunnel. And, yes, the residents of Dublin KNEW that the traffic would be a problem, not only that, but that the public transport would be a problem too. Welcome to the Dublin we live in...enjoy the Ryder Cup.

  • 17.
  • At 11:39 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Kathleen wrote:

To our European friends, let me just say that Tommy is probably fully aware of what passes for tortilla chips in Ireland.

That's why he brought his own. :-)

C'mon America. Bring the Cup home.

  • 18.
  • At 12:41 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Bob wrote:

1. Dublin's M50 is nothing like the M25. Its tiny, has 2 lanes and is organised like the rest of Ireland. i.e with absolutley no common sense and foresight.

2. Why do the call it the M50. There are only about 60 miles of motorway in the whole country. And that is the M1.

3. The Irish have this inate characteristic to try and blow everything out of proportion. They like to be on a par with the rest of Europe but the infrastructure is non-existant.

  • 19.
  • At 04:31 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Robert Salter wrote:

What's the Northwest 200?

  • 20.
  • At 07:16 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Hafiz Sayuti wrote:

I suspect the Americans tried, but can't take to a Guinness. So its tortilla for them.

It will come down to the singles on Sunday. Luke vs Tiger - that's what I want to see.

  • 21.
  • At 08:33 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Arlic wrote:

Clarkie is the only guy capable of eyeballing Tiger for 18. He is our present day Cuchullian.

  • 22.
  • At 08:34 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • charles wrote:

1. I am sure Jose is deeply touched by Captain Colin's concern that he could jepordise his precarious no.10 team position at not making it doubly sure by turning up in Munich. Go get them, fellows.
2. 3 hours for 3 bags of chips? Tot those highly sophiscated security machines can scan real fast ? hehe..
3. By the sound of things, looks like your team is even more worked up than the players ! lost laptop. misplaced handphone, and what have u ....

  • 23.
  • At 08:45 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • charles wrote:

Guess what Woosie's last word might be after breakfast on Thursday : Count your clubs !

  • 24.
  • At 08:57 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Stuart wrote:

Can't wait for it to start. I live in Japan so the timing is perfect. 3.30pm on Friday and Saturday and 7pm on Sunday. So a lot of time spent in the pub with a couple of American friends.Sure there will be plenty of gloating as the beer flows. It will be closer than last time but think we'll do it. It would be great if Darren Clarke sinks the winning putt. Come on Europe!!

  • 25.
  • At 08:58 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Andrew Tuite wrote:

Stop whinging. This is what we always have to put up with every day.

  • 26.
  • At 09:02 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • charles wrote:

I thought i read somewhere that, on that sunday afternoon years ago, Lehmann was watching it on TV in the club house as Tiger walked up to the 18th green at St Andrews in triumph. In Lehmann's own words, he dashed down to the green, to watch it live, history in the making, the completion of the tiger slam. That's Lehmann, a sense of occasion.
Wonder if he did get his team to send a note to Micheel b4 the Wentworth final,'Go finish the good work, boy. We sure could use you over here.'

  • 27.
  • At 09:08 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • anon wrote:

firstly the irish lads are usually the ones who finish off the americans, next the weather at this time of year is going to be awful for golf, third the roads are at their best state they have ever been in 15 years, oh and lets not forget the taxi drivers are sort of striking at the moment which means they will be charging crazy rates to people who wont know the currency, and last but not least golf is an awful GAME, and at no time should it be considered a sport

  • 28.
  • At 09:15 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • ray wrote:

The team is 3 Irish, 2 Swedes, 2 Spaniards, 5 Britons, Hardly Come on Britain!!!!

  • 29.
  • At 09:23 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Ashok wrote:

Either Sergio or Colin should be playing Tiger on Sunday. Sergio is will be very driven and passionate for a win - it shows through clearly during Ryder cup week but he will be adventurous with his shots. Colin, provided he keeps cool, has a wealth of experience which he can count on to give Tiger a hard game.

I don't think the traffic chaos will affect the teams at all, after all they are closeted in the K.Club, and even if they weren't they would just call up their helicopters or jets ! The real sufferers are going to be the spectators, as usual. It will be chaos for them for sure and a disgrace. Imagine the picture that we are transmitting to the rest of the world when we cannot even organise a proper road for a massive sporting event such as this. !!! AND then decide to dig up the road just before the event starts. !! The answer ? A complete boycott of the event in protest. "The ryder cup without a single spectator". !

  • 31.
  • At 09:53 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • nick wrote:

Why were the Americans wearing silly outfits? Did they lose a bet? Was it a forfeit in a game of Truth or Dare? Was it to draw attention away from their wives? - if so, it succeeded.

  • 32.
  • At 10:12 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • jon C wrote:

"tortilla chips dont hail from Brazil or Columbia(depending whether which side of the amazon your talking about) they come from Mexico"

Duh... he just meant that they are not being held somewhere where there are no shops, e.g. in a rainforest, implying that the lardy Yanks could buy their tortillas when they get there.

  • 33.
  • At 10:12 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Chris Long wrote:

The 'Northwest 200' - is real motorcycle racing, on real roads with no safety net! Although this type of racing is staged all over the country the Northwest is the biggest, usually drawing in excess of 100,000 spectators.

  • 34.
  • At 10:17 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Stephen wrote:

The traffic, the tortillas, and the weather won't matter come Sunday afternoon. Chill out and enjoy the golf. Go Europe!

  • 35.
  • At 10:24 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • finius wrote:

Put Big D up against Tiger - Darren beat Tiger 4 & 3 in the 2000 Accenture World Matchplay !!!

This year will be close - it will depend on who can cope with our irish weather better - the forecast is for a lot of rain till fri/sat and some strong winds.

Personally speaking I think this is far from the strongest team Europe has fielded. I know I will be shot at dawn for this but Harrington is only just starting to find form, McGinley and Westwood are not at the the top of their game.

I think that Woosnam should have given his last wildcard to either Jimenez or Bjorn not Westwood.

  • 36.
  • At 10:26 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • ant4lfc wrote:

Good job John Daly isnt in the Yanks team otherwise the 'luggage' delay may have postponed the Ryder Cup !

  • 37.
  • At 10:37 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • fmk wrote:

You claim that the Ryder Cup is "the biggest sporting event ever to be staged in this country" - I'm not sure this is true. we have hosted the start of the Tour de France, which is a substantially larger event than this game of golf being played this week.

  • 38.
  • At 10:45 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Josh wrote:

Nick - they heard there was going to be a Cluedo evening but they all decided to dress as Col. Mustard!

  • 39.
  • At 10:49 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

In response to Bob:

"1. Dublin's M50 is nothing like the M25. Its tiny, has two lanes and is organised like the rest of Ireland. i.e with absolutely no common sense and foresight."

100% Agree.

"2. Why do they call it the M50? There are only about 60 miles of motorway in the whole country. And that is the M1."

I'm not sure how they came up with the name either, but you are wrong regarding your claim. There are other motorways apart from the M1 and they stretch for far more than 60 miles.

"3. The Irish have this inate characteristic to try and blow everything out of proportion. They like to be on a par with the rest of Europe but the infrastructure is non-existant."

Rubbish. Overlooking the insult to the Irish people, you're ill informed at best with regards to your point. Yes, the infrastructure has struggled to keep up with an economy that has been one of the fastest growing in the world for 10 years, and the resultant population growth around the urban centres, but to call it non-existant just shows a level of ignorance. I'm presuming this is linked to the fact that you seem to think we only have one motorway.

  • 40.
  • At 11:18 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • From 40 yards wrote:

tortillas on there own with no dip make the mouth dry....

  • 41.
  • At 12:10 PM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Bob wrote:

It takes years of experience to hold a major sporting event and unfortunately Ireland has been concentrating on the hype rather than the detail. (Its a national characteristic by the way)

Anyway, I've been logging onto The Principals Nose that everybody seems to be talking about. Brilliant and one of the funniest sports columns I've ever read.

Its great to read the truth with some humour.

  • 42.
  • At 04:18 PM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Anne wrote:

It's amusing to read some of the dissing that Euros or whoever who hate Americans for sport.

You all jump on one person who has the "nerve" to be critical of Sergio Garcia. I'm sure the comment didn't rip out Mr. Garcia's heart out so why the over-reaction? Why is it that you all can sneer or ridicule "all Americans" without realizing that you too are generalizing and badmouthing the entire 50 states?

Before you pounce on me, I grew up partly in Europe.


  • 43.
  • At 06:28 PM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Aengus O'Hanlon wrote:

Warning all yanks - those superior tortillas of yours are making you fat!!!! C'mon Europe. PS Matt Slater can't say "sixth" properly!

  • 44.
  • At 11:34 AM on 20 Sep 2006,
  • Andrew Jackson wrote:

Who are all these people saying who they think should play against Tiger? Don't they know that nobody can decide that? The captains each put a numbered list in a sealed envelope. The envelopes are opened Sunday morning. If Lehman has put Tiger at no. 8 on his list, then Tiger plays whoever Woosnam has put at no. 8. And so on. It doesn't really matter who that is anyway, they all have a chance in matchplay. Four years ago dear old Jesper Parnevik, who was more out of form than McGinley is now, halved with Woods. While Philip Price was thrashing Mickelson 3 & 2.

  • 45.
  • At 03:24 PM on 27 Sep 2006,
  • Vicky wrote:

Hey, think i met u in a dublin nightclub when u guys were over... would i be right??

Post a comment

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

Required (not displayed)

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites