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Changing Places
John Garrity
October 02, 2006
The U.S. took time amid the buildup to assure its new status as underdog
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October 02, 2006

Changing Places

The U.S. took time amid the buildup to assure its new status as underdog

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"He's kind of buying into this having 11 buddies with him for a week instead of just, you know, me against the world." --VERPLANK ON WOODS

"I spent six months working on the rain suits because I know what the weather can be like here. I've tried to get the very best out of the waterproofs."
-- EUROPEAN CAPTAIN IAN WOOSNAM

" Probably likes watching my swing, I would think."
--FURYK, WHEN ASKED WHY WOODS FAVORED HIM AS A PARTNER

"The Americans, I know they were cringing when the plane landed yesterday in Dublin airport and it was blowing an absolute gale and lashing rain."
-- PAUL MCGINLEY

CAPTAINS WATCH

Lehman (left, with Woods) is so exceptionally prepared that one Irish paper dubs him "St. Tom." Woosnam, on the other hand, stammers when he reads his prepared remarks and seems to be making his decisions on the fly. When a journalist points out that all the par-5s are on even-numbered holes, encouraging the pairing of a long hitter with a shorter hitter in the foursomes, Woosnam acts surprised. "That's a good point," he says. "I haven't thought of that." Really?

Slights & Grievances

ASKED IF the U.S. team had any bulletin-board material posted in its team room, Chris DiMarco said, "Yeah. Unfortunately it's from Johnny Miller and some of our own sportswriters." DiMarco added, "I never agree with anything Johnny writes or says, so it doesn't matter."

Last Tuesday's wild weather produced the only criticism of Lehman. "With Hurricane Gordon showing its teeth," wrote Lewine Mair in The Daily Telegraph, "both the European and American teams had looked out of their hotel windows at first light and thought to themselves that this was no day for golf. Woosnam encouraged his players to go out just the same. Lehman sent his back to bed."

Swing coach Butch Harmon, doubling as a Sky Sports analyst, roasted Brett Wetterich for his careless play at the PGA Championship, at which the Ryder Cup rookie casually swatted at some balls in the rough on his way to missing the cut. "I was appalled with what I saw," said Harmon. "I don't want the guy on my team if that's the way he acts. You want a guy who hangs in there and fights."

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