Sunday, October 3, 2010

2010 Ryder Cup - Rickie Fowler and the Rain Delays

Since Justin Leonard hit the 45 foot putt at The Country Club over 11 years ago, the Ryder Cup has always piqued my interest.  It was manufactured nationalism, but but nationalism nonetheless - even though every other match is played at absurdly early hours.  And who on Earth is Rickie Fowler?

The 2010 Ryder Cup is no exception.  Playing at the incredibly long (and increasingly wet) Celtic Manor Golf Club at Newport, Wales, the U.S. Team looks particularly strong.  Although Tiger has done nothing this year since the most famous fender bender in sports history and Phil has struggled, Jim Furyk recently won the FedEx Cup and Stewart Cink, Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar have all been playing lights out recently.  I do have to admit though that the Ryder Cup doesn't have as many of the European's that we love to hate - Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Sergio Garcia and especially Colin Montgomerie (although he's the coach).  Ian Poulter is still in this though, so that is all I need to root hard for the U.S.  And don't forget about the Molinari brothers from Turin. 
The U.S. is winning 6-4 right now after the first two sessions, featuring four man better ball and four man alternating ball, the first that time Europe has lost both of these sessions on its own "home soil" in the Ryder Cup history, but Session 3 is proving to be very difficult for the Americans as they are currently behind in ALL 6 matches.  (Note that Session 3 consists of 6 matches, and not the usual 4 matches - don't ask me why they kept these naming conventions - they're European).  That's actually incredible, Lets go to Wales for the beginning of play (the end of Session 3).  Maybe I can even see the young Rickie Fowler - the third youngest player ever for the U.S. team - even though he's won as many PGA tournaments as I have. 

To mark the occasion, I have set up camp here at 4 in the morning to watch the first 3 or 4 hours of the play. When I first mentioned that I was going to do this, all of the kids wanted to come downstairs with me. Guess how many are with me right now? Zero. They all wanted to woken up "later."
4am.  Home.  Well it's awfully early in the JMR household, and everyone should be glad that they didn't get up with me.  When ever you see the first picture of the broadcast as a far off look at torrential rain and flagsticks flapping in the wind, it's not a good sign.  That's OK, I guess, so long as the coffee is hot.  But how can we hate Johnny Miller if golf is delayed because of rain? Maybe I'll take a little nap.

It is now 6:30am and golf still hasn't begun.  I've watched the afternoon matches with little interest.  The only thing that snapped me out of my half sleep was the test of the emergeny broadcast system at about 6am.  That really freaked me out, actually.  This means that the Ryder Cup will have to finish on Monday for the first time in Ryder Cup history.  Interestingly, the Captain's Agreement signed by Montgomerie and the U.S. captain, Corey Pavin read that if play is not completed by the end of the day on Monday, then all the unfinished matches will be stopped, and these points will be halved.  So if the rain continues into Monday, the U.S. wins by default since they will receive 15 points total.

I'd rather see golf.

photograph courtesy of

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