The Reuters global sports blog
My love affair with the Ryder Cup began in 1969 when my first golfing hero, Tony Jacklin, was involved in a memorable halved match with Jack Nicklaus that saw the American great sportingly concede a three-foot putt at the last hole.
The passion grew stronger and stronger until the relationship was consumated when I covered my first Ryder Cup as a journalist at the Belfry in 1985.
If golf is an island of civilisation in a world of sport awash with cheating then the Ryder Cup is the coconut-laden palm tree on top.
Golf’s core values are honesty, self-regulation, absolute and unquestioning observance of even the most archaic rules and its great gift to the world – etiquette.
If any further proof was needed that this has been a golfing year unlike any other for Tiger Woods, simply reflect on the optimism he expressed after he failed to qualify for this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta.
For the first time in 15 years, the American world number one has ended a PGA Tour season without claiming a single victory but he says he has drawn great comfort from the form he has shown over the last month.
European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie could be left with egg on his face if Paul Casey wins the U.S. Tour’s money-spinning FedExCup series on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Briton was flying high at ninth in the world rankings when Montgomerie ignored his claims for a wildcard pick last month, choosing Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari instead.
Tiger Woods’s failure to qualify for the Tour Championship finale in Atlanta next week could spell bad news for Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
The world number one will now have two clear weeks before the biennial team event at Celtic Manor in Wales to polish up his swing with new coach Sean Foley and reinvigorate his mind after a year of turmoil both on and off the course.
Tiger Woods was named as one of four wildcard picks for next month’s Ryder Cup by United States captain Corey Pavin on Tuesday.
The American world number one, who failed to gain automatic selection for the biennial team competition after struggling for form for much of this year, was selected by Pavin to compete in his sixth Ryder Cup.
Could the balance of power in world golf be shifting from the U.S. to Europe at the start of Ryder Cup year? Americans have traditionally dominated the upper echelons of the rankings but German Martin Kaymer and Briton Ian Poulter’s one-two finish in the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday lifted the pair into the world’s top-10 for the first time.
With Kaymer (sixth) and Poulter (10th) joining Lee Westwood (fourth), Padraig Harrington (seventh), Henrik Stenson (eighth) and Paul Casey (ninth), Europe now have a record-equalling six players among the leading 10.