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My Shot
Melissa Lehman
October 25, 1999
Memo to those relentless whiners across the pond: Get over it
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October 25, 1999

My Shot

Memo to those relentless whiners across the pond: Get over it

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The Ryder cup has been over for almost a month, but my husband, Tom, continues to get scorched in the European press for inciting the crowd and celebrating excessively, and then not showing enough regret for those actions. Mark James, the European captain, still seems to want to talk about it as if it were yesterday, and I don't understand why. His harping just seems to be getting worse. The press over there isn't helping, either, but the more you read, the more it sounds like sour grapes.

I know Tom, along with everybody else, feels bad about what happened on the 17th green. We've apologized for that ill-timed burst of exuberance with all sincerity, but a few outspoken individuals across the pond just can't seem to accept it. Tom has written to James, Sam Torrance, who was the Europeans' assistant coach, and Jos� Mar�a Olaz�bal. Torrance and Olaz�bal accepted; Jose Maria came to Tom and said, with a pat on the back, "Your apology is accepted by me."

But it's not just the fallout from that incident that is upsetting. Some people have said that Tom "strutted" to the 1st tee on Sunday, then incited the crowd. Tom was in the first match. We were down 10-6. Why would he strut? As for inciting the crowd, European fans were singing the soccer song Ole, ole, so when Rudy Gatlin countered with the national anthem, Tom, standing on the tee, played along and made as if he were conducting.

Hollywood couldn't have written a better script for what unfolded on Sept. 26 at the Country Club. What I'd like to remember is not all of this bickering but the day for what it was: one of the most outstanding days of golf ever. I'm proud of what our team did. So no more criticism over how our team lacked unity or, now, has too much unity. Let's appreciate the job our players did and celebrate being Americans.

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