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멋진스윙.. 장타를 원하십니까? 오랜경력의 윤프로가 확실하게 책임지도 해드립니다. 647.291.2022
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2012-10-05
Cash or country: Ryder Cup records give clear answer

Cash or country: Ryder Cup records give clear answer

 

The Ryder Cup, which pays nothing to the players, pits a country against a continent and gives the world a reason to scream at the TV. In the U.S., people are still screaming.

Never has a golf competition spurred so much debate. By comparison, majors fall flat. Perhaps Americans feel denied the right to brag, or perhaps it뭩 just that, one week removed from the most lavish payout in golf, there is evidence that the best U.S. players play harder for that money than for their country.

The Europeans staged the biggest comeback on foreign soil in Ryder Cup history. That's stunning because it뭩 their seventh victory in the past nine competitions and because they are consistently considered the underdog. Yet they consistently win. Those wins raise questions that challenge our beliefs about the best players in this country when we see them win millions.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, with 130 wins on the PGA Tour, rank 1, 2 and 4 on the Tour's career money list with more than $220 million in combined earnings, have left their mark on the Ryder Cup over the last 15 years. It뭩 a scar. If they can win all those tournaments, why can뭪 they win the Ryder Cup?

They don뭪 choke when they play for money; is it reasonable to suggest they choke when playing for their country? If that's the case, why don뭪 their 뱇esser?opponents choke to the same degree?

Choking can be attributed to caring too much. If that's not the case, then is it the opposite ?caring too little?

The questions are swirling like a dust devil, because we want to believe that players, who are insanely compensated the rest of the year, will play just as hard for free, for their country, one week a year.

Perhaps it뭩 something else: "our" system versus "theirs." It뭩 been suggested that Americans are spoiled by going to college before they begin their pro careers, whereas Europeans, who largely skip college, become blacksmith-hard by struggling through their early years on tour. There is tangible evidence to support this theory, as 12 of the 16 players who have ascended to the No. 1 spot in the world are from outside this country and none of those 12 except Luke Donald went to college for any significant time.

Furthermore, the majority of the players who have been in the top five in the world are from outside this country as well. When the world rankings debuted in April 1986, there was only one player from the U.S. in the top five. In the 25 years since, if one looks at the rankings in the first week of January every year, it is not dominated by Americans. From April 1986 through January 2012, the top five included 51 Americans and 79 from outside this country. But this fact has been obscured by Tiger뭩 dominance and Phil뭩 supporting role.

Still, Tiger and Phil, with their records suggesting they are so much better than the vast majority of the Europeans they have faced, should leave in their wake a disemboweled leadership on the opposing roster. But that never happened and when they were paired together, rather than play to their potential, which was stratospherically higher than their opponents, they were pathetically oblivious to their roles as leaders.

Another theory about the United States?continued caving is that Europeans have the team concept in their DNA, from generations of soccer madness, which, the argument goes, makes American interest in football look laid-back. Of all the reasons people spit out for Europe뭩 dominance, this one makes the least sense, but then so does watching a 90-minute contest that ends 0-0. Maybe Europeans do grow up on soccer and are fervent followers, but no less so than U.S. players follow their alma mater뭩 wins and losses.

Argue this out any way you want because it defies logic. To me, the losses boil down to one simple conclusion: If the Ryder Cup were as important to Tiger, Phil and Furyk as winning titles and money, then their Ryder Cup records would be in step with the rest of their Hall of Fame careers. I뭭e seen enough Ryder Cups to dismiss the idea that it is the randomness of match play that gives us unpredictable winners. Look at Tiger뭩 individual match-play record (33-7 in the WGC Match Play), look at his playoff record in Tour events (11-1), and then look at his Ryder Cup (13-14-2) and Presidents Cup (20-14-1) records and consider the difference between his record when he plays for himself and when he plays for the United States.

That뭩 why people are screaming.

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2012-10-04
What's the one thing Love should have done differently?

What's the one thing Love should have done differently?

 

Everyone second-guesses a losing Ryder Cup captain. Even the captain has to wonder, "Is there one thing I could have done differently?" If U.S. captain Davis Love III has asked himself that question, the GolfChannel.com team has some answers.

By JAY COFFIN

Difficult to pick just one.

The mistake Davis Love III made that sticks out most is posting Tiger Woods 12th in the Sunday singles lineup. I get it, the dude isn't known for adapting well to the team atmosphere, and he slapped it around suburban Chicago for two days like a man who wasn't engaged. Steve Stricker wasn't much help to Woods but 0-3 was 0-3.

Singles, however, is a different animal, it't where Woods shines brightest. To put him 12th, in a position that was virtually guaranteed to not matter, is reckless. Many believed Woods?match would be irrelevant because the Ryder Cup would be clinched much earlier by the Americans. Turned out it was clinched by the Europeans in the 11th match when Martin Kaymer defeated Stricker.

This generation's best player doesn't play well in team events, but he's still the best match-play competitor of this generation, too. Love said that everyone on his team got what they wanted in singles. So that means Woods wanted the last position? Even if it was true, Love should be known better. Woods needed to be a factor. Sadly for the Americans, and the crazed Chicago fans, he wasn't.


By RANDALL MELL

Phil Mickelson can be a golfing genius, but sometimes he outsmarts himself. He won with two drivers in his bag at the 2006 Masters, but he struggled miserably in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines after deciding not to put a driver in his bag on what was then the longest layout in the championship's history.

It's difficult in this corner to overly scrutinize Davis Love III's Ryder Cup decisions, because his strategies put his players in good position to win on Sunday. Sometimes, in sport, you lose because your field-goal kicker misses a point-blank chance from 25 yards. Love watched something akin to nine kickers missing Sunday at Medinah. In the end, if Jim Furyk doesn't bogey the final two holes, if Steve Stricker makes a putt at the 17th, if Tiger Woods makes more than one birdie in the final round to take some early doubt out of his match, the Americans probably win. This writer will remember the American players beating themselves on Sunday more than the captain bungling anything. Yeah, the Euros were great, but the Americans winning just three of 12 singles matches? It's the lousiest Sunday in American Ryder Cup history.

Still, we뭨e second-guessing here, which is a sport within a sport in the Ryder Cup. If there뭩 one decision Love made that could be undone to try to win that Ryder Cup, it뭩 resting Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in the Saturday afternoon fourballs. They were 3-0 and looked unbeatable as a tandem crushing Luke Donald and Lee Westwood in a record-tying rout in foursomes.

Yeah, Mickelson was insistent with Love that he rest, even citing stats showing that players who competed in all five matches did not historically fare well in Sunday singles. By the way, Americans who play five matches are 17-11-7 since 1979. Mickelson told Love that winning one more point on Saturday was not worth losing two on Sunday, but Love should have persuaded Mickelson otherwise, even though Love liked the idea of resting every player for at least one match. With the luxury of 20/20 hindsight, we can say Love should have scrapped that plan. Mickelson was wrong. One more point on Saturday would have been worth the risk of losing two on Sunday.


By RYAN LAVNER

OK, so Phil Mickelson duped the captain. U.S. Ryder Cuppers who play all five sessions don't actually have a poor singles record. The two Europeans who played all five sessions at Medinah, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, won their singles matches, too.

If there was one player on the U.S. side who could break the trend and play all five, who had boundless enthusiasm and could go another 18 (if not 36), who could resuscitate a lifeless teammate and pull out a victory . . . then it was rookie Keegan Bradley.

Lefty wanted to rest and not play five, and that's his choice.(Though, really, shouldn’t it have been the captain’s?) Bradley, however, was so explosive in the team format and playing so well, how could Love afford not to trot him out again on Saturday afternoon? He's 26 years old. He played only 12 holes in the morning and, really, cut that total in half ?they played alternate shot.

In Saturday afternoon fourballs, Love should have paired Keegan with Tiger, left Stricker (who clearly had lost his putting stroke) on the bench, and watched to see if it worked, to see if it created a spark, to see if Bradley and Tiger chest-bumped and backside-slapped, to see if Bradley's exuberance and Tiger's stoicism created an mesmerizing duo.

The Europeans were buoyed by the fact that they split fourballs, that they trailed only 10-6 heading into Sunday. In hindsight, the Americans probably wished they had that extra point Saturday night ?and their dynamo, Bradley, on the course in each session.


By REX HOGGARD

Let the nitpicking begin, although these types of postmortems always seem to ignore the fact that neither Davis Love III nor 'sose Maria Olazabal hit a putt that mattered last week. But if we must identify a goat it뭩 best to begin, and end, our search with the captain's picks ? specifically Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker.

With Furyk and Stricker, Love opted for known commodities, let뭩 call them comfort picks. In Stricker the American side had the yin to Tiger Woods?yang, a partner who he enjoyed a 2-1-0 Ryder Cup record with, while Furyk was viewed in team circles as the U.S. quarterback.

Neither, however, produced. Furyk was 1-2-0 and bogeyed his final two holes on Sunday to cough up a 1-up advantage to Sergio Garcia and swing the momentum back in the Europeans favor.

Stricker was no better, posting a 0-4-0 week and finishing bogey-par to drop the decisive point to Martin Kaymer, who didn't exactly set Medinah ablaze on Sunday. The German was 1 over par on Sunday yet clenched the cup for Europe with his 1-up victory.

Love's biggest mistake may have come a month before the matches. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, it's natural to wonder if Hunter Mahan, who was ahead of Furyk and Stricker on the U.S. points list yet was passed over for a pick, could have delivered on Sunday? One thing is for certain, he couldn't have performed any worse.


By JASON SOBEL

I don't have a problem with many of the decisions made by Davis Love III. If just one player had turned his L into a W on Sunday, the captain would be hailed as a conquering hero and we'd instead be second-guessing his European counterpart right now.

The truth is, I thought Love did a very good job from a tactical and managerial standpoint. The only major issue I had relates to advice.

One by one Sunday afternoon, players approached the 17th and 18th holes for either the first time or one of the first times all week. And one by one, they went long and/or left approaching each green.

In a regular PGA Tour event, competitors are limited to advice only from their own caddies. At the Ryder Cup, the captains are free to dole out warnings anytime they wish.

Love should have taken advantage of that. By the time such decisive matches as the ones involving Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker reached the final hole, he should have been walking down the fairway with them saying, "Everyone's gone long here all day. Keep in mind your adrenaline and take one club less." Or once they were in such a predicament, Love could have offered, "Yes, that putt from the back of the green is very quick, but it doesn't break nearly as much as you think."

There is a difference between individual tournaments and team competition. Love had an opportunity to take advantage of that difference, but didn't.

Just think: His advice could have contributed to one more shot or one more putt being so much better. If he had, we might not be second-guessing him right now. We might be hailing him as a conquering hero.


By WILL GRAY

The writing was on the wall.

In a year full of top finishes and solid play, Jim Furyk's season was highlighted by the ones that got away. Whether it was an errant tee shot on the 70th hole at Olympic or a double bogey on the final hole at Firestone to hand the trophy to Keegan Bradley, doubts ran rampant about the former U.S. Open champ and his ability to seal the deal.

When Furyk saw his singles match with Sergio Garcia slip away on Sunday ?allowing the Spaniard to turn a 1-down deficit on the 17th tee into a 1-up victory with a pair of pars ?those lingering doubts were confirmed in a way no American fan had hoped to see.

Even with the revised format for compiling the American squad, captain's picks are a precious commodity. In using one on Furyk, captain Davis Love III chose a player whose career fourball record (still stuck at 1-8-1) essentially took him out of the mix during the afternoon sessions and whose ability to handle the pressure cooker of singles play was suspect at best. Weeks or months down the line, perhaps the question Love will ponder most is whether a player like Bo Van Pelt, a steady ball-striker with a penchant for birdies, could have been more useful ?or productive ?in the slot given to Furyk.

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2012-10-03
Monty: Tiger needs youthful spark at Ryder Cup

Monty: Tiger needs youthful spark at Ryder Cup

Tiger Woods

In a column penned Wednesday for The Telgraph (UK), Colin Montgomerie opined that if Tiger Woods is to be part of a winning Ryder Cup team for the first time this century, then 밿t is time for Woods to be entrusted to take a young player under his wing.?/P>

Forty-two-year-old Phil Mickelson, who was just 3-12-3 in his last four Ryder Cups entering last week뭩 matches at Medinah, seemed rejuvenated by the emotional play of rookie Keegan Bradley. The duo went 3-0 together in team play, and their chemistry was so apparent, captain Davis Love III drew criticism for sitting them in Saturday afternoon fourballs.

Monty, the European team뭩 winning captain in 2010, thinks that Woods, 36, could use a similarly youthful, exuberant partner in the biennial matches ?even suggesting a player such as Rickie Fowler. With partner Steve Stricker, Woods went 0-3 in team play at Medinah.

밫he only time America have won this century is when Woods has been injured (in 2008 at Valhalla),?he wrote. 밯oods has a big losing individual record. These are the facts and you can뭪 hide from them. It is a dilemma for the next captain. But Mickelson뭩 example shows it can be addressed.

밠y god, if someone had told you beforehand that Woods would score half-a-point out of four and that his side would lose by the narrowest margin, you wouldn뭪 have believed it.

밫iger뭩 negative effect on the American team did amaze me, because I thought the new Tiger would be a huge benefit to his team. Well, he was in one sense. His aura and intimidating effect is gone in the team-room. The youngsters weren뭪 overawed; they were prepared to shine for themselves whatever Tiger뭩 results. That was great for Davis Love. The U.S. unearthed a few superstars.?/P>

Now, the attention turns to Gleneagles in Scotland, which will host the Ryder Cup in 2014.

밒 keep being asked by people if I뭠l return as captain for Scotland뭩 first Ryder Cup in 41 years,?he wrote. 밠y answer is always the same ?멗뭠l do it if I was asked.?But I won뭪 be asked. It뭩 a one-shot gig, and we뭭e got some great candidates: Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn. That뭩 where the next captain is coming from. Whoever it is will feel very honored.?/P>

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2012-10-03
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2012-10-02
U.S. Ryder Cup defeat: Who, how, why? (51:43)
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2012-10-02
Azinger's take on the 2012 Ryder Cup
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2012-10-02
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2012-10-01
Closing thoughts from Love, U.S. squad
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2012-10-01
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2012-10-01
Inspired and confident, Europe shocks U.S. to win Ryder Cup

Inspired and confident, Europe shocks U.S. to win Ryder Cup

MEDINAH, Ill. ?Conventional wisdom in the dark recesses of Saturday뭩 twilight suggested that at 12th in Sunday뭩 singles batting order the Ryder Cup would be over by the time Tiger Woods?match reached a crescendo. They were right.

With America뭩 Achilles?heel in the 18th fairway sheepishly kicking at the Medinah turf, much-maligned Martin Kaymer charged in a 6-footer 150 yards away to match the largest comeback in Ryder Cup history and return Samuel Ryder뭩 golden chalice back to the far side of the Atlantic Ocean.

On a surreal Sunday in this leafy Chicagoland enclave there was no Ben Crenshaw, no Justin Leonard, no ugly brawl in victory. This wasn뭪 Brookline, this was better ?an away game in front of a hostile crowd with 12 angry men and the ghost of Seve Ballesteros gutting the United States?cup chances one clutch putt at a time.


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Kaymer뭩 par putt at the last put the finishing touches on a pitched match with Steve Stricker and completed an inspired European rally from a 10-6 hole few in this time zone figured possible, particularly with their star Rory McIlroy starting the day with a near-catastrophic time zone snafu.

On Saturday night, U.S. captain Davis Love III figured he didn뭪 have to remind any of his players about Brookline in 1999, the last time a team on the wrong end of a 10-6 Sunday start clawed its way to cup glory.

On Sunday, the Americans endured a crushing sequel, with the Europeans winning the day뭩 first five matches and closing the comeback with clutch victories by stalwarts Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood. The late Ballesteros would have been proud.

On the eve of Sunday뭩 singles frame, European captain Jose Maria Olazabal, whose understated style was in sharp contrast to his Spanish mentor, gathered his team and offered a simple message.

밪eve will always be present,?the emotional captain said. 밐e was a big factor for this event, for the European side, and last night when we were having that meeting, I think the boys understood that believing was the most important thing, and I think they did.?/P>

The September swoon seemed about right for the Chicago fans who are used to disappointment after more than a century of Cubs futility.

With the celebration in full bloom, Woods and Francesco Molinari finished their match with the American conceding a 4-footer to the Italian to halve his match and give the Europeans a 14 ?to 13 ?victory. That gives the Continent wins in eight of the last 10 biennial meetings.

It was a victory that six hours earlier seemed like wishful thinking, but from the outset of Sunday뭩 proceedings the vibe, and momentum, built exponentially for the Europeans.

Ian Poulter began his round with a chip-in for birdie and never let up, beating Webb Simpson, 2 up, to finish the week with a perfect 4-0-0 mark.

Channeling Seve, and Marilyn Manson, the wild-eyed Poulter improved to 3-0 in singles play. If the Englishman played the Ryder Cup every week he뭗 have 19 majors, and an ulcer.

Whatever life remained in the European team room late Saturday was courtesy of Poulter, who birdied his last five holes ?including 37 feet of birdie putts on his last three holes ?in his fourball match against Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson for a 1-up victory.

밚ast night we took such a lot from those last two wins,?said Poulter, this Ryder Cup뭩 man of the match. 밒t was amazing to see the atmosphere change in that team room. You know what, guys were pumped up; for the first time this week we'd been beaten quite clearly, and we just felt there was that little glimmer of hope.?/P>

It was a theme that built in Love뭩 ear throughout a cool, clear fall afternoon, with reports pouring in and none of them going the Americans?way.

Paul Lawrie dropped a pitch into the hole at the fourth to take a 1-up lead on Brandt Snedeker and extended that advantage a hole later with an eagle putt. Luke Donald, in the day뭩 leadoff match, quickly pulled away from Bubba Watson, whose antics kept the raucous galleries on the edge of bedlam all week, and was 4 up through 12 holes.

By the time McIlroy closed out Keegan Bradley, 2 and 1, the rout was on. The world No. 1뭩 victory over the American rookie was compounded by the Ulsterman뭩 late arrival. With 10 minutes to spare and thanks to a police escort, that some could say led to Europe뭩 grand larceny of the Ryder Cup, McIlroy arrived at Medinah after he mistakenly thought Chicago was in the Eastern Time Zone. Had he missed that tee time the point would have gone to the Americans.

밒f I let down these 11 other boys and vice captains and captain this week I would never forgive myself,?McIlroy said.

For Bradley the loss was the lone blemish on an otherwise stellar Ryder Cup card following a 3-0-0 start paired with Phil Mickelson in team play, and when the handwringing begins Monday morning it will likely be labeled one of Love뭩 missteps.

밣hil뭩 always got a plan,?said Love late Saturday when asked about his decision to sit Mickelson in Saturday뭩 fourball session despite a perfect start with Bradley. 밐e wanted to play two or three times the first two days and that뭩 his plan.?/P>

Love뭩 밹aptain by committee?approach staked the U.S. to a four-point advantage heading into Sunday singles, but it also sent three rookies out in the final day뭩 first five matches which allowed the Europeans to quiet the crowd and pushed the Americans back on their heels for the first time all week.

But then captain criticizing ignores how well the Europeans played on Sunday, a truth embodied by the fact that Jason Dufner ?who beat Peter Hanson, 2 up, in the fourth-to-last-match ?was the only American to go the distance (18 holes) and come away with a victory.

밒 wouldn't have done anything different,?Love figured in fading light.

On Sunday, however, the plan ran into a hot-putting group of Europeans with something to prove. Replete in navy blue and white, Ballesteros?signature uniform, they played golf like the Spaniard, with passion and purpose.

밫o be honest with you I was thinking about (Seve) on the 18th,?Kaymer said. 밒 was also thinking about Olazabal and how much that trophy means to him. We had to win that trophy for him.?/P>

On Friday as foursome play got underway a team of skywriters carved a message into the fall sky, 밆o it for Seve.?With an epic Sunday rally, they did.


Relive Day 2 matches Monday at 8 p.m. ET and the singles matches Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

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