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Let the Blame Begin
RICK REILLY
September 27, 2004
Who's responsible for the most embarrassing, lopsided U.S loss ever? Take your pick
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September 27, 2004

Let The Blame Begin

Who's responsible for the most embarrassing, lopsided U.S loss ever? Take your pick

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There is no point whatsoever in searching for a single scapegoat for America's pie-in-the-face, historically lopsided Ryder Cup loss. � Why not blame them all? � There were enough goats on the American side to hold a Feta Cheese Festival. Every single player left Oakland Hills Country Club looking as if he'd been dipped in tuna oil and dropped in a shark tank. But if there were an award for Worst Performance in a Golfing Role, you'd have to narrow it down to these worthy contenders....

Hal Sutton

Absolutely the funniest captain in Ryder Cup history, and absolutely the worst. Sutton did things that made you want to bite a hole in his 10gallon Stetson.

For one, he paired Phil Mickelson with Tiger Woods, declaring grandly, "History demands this." Meanwhile, history was screaming, "It'll never work!"

Would you have paired Hatfield with McCoy? Britney with Christina? O'Reilly with Franken? Tiger with Phil doesn't work for 1,000 reasons, but a few are 1) Ford versus Buick, 2) "He has inferior equipment" and 3) when a rule change in 2002 forced Tiger to start playing with Mickelson in the World Cup, Tiger stopped playing the World Cup.

The Dynamic Duo went 0--2 last week. Double duh.

Even dumber about Mickelson-Woods was that Mickelson had a perfect partner in David Toms. They were a killer pair at the 2002 Ryder Cup. Does Sutton get cable? When he finally went back to Mickelson-Toms on Saturday afternoon, they delivered an easy win. Duh cubed.

On Friday night Sutton turned in a pairings sheet that included a scratched-out, but easily readable, toms and a scribbled-in furyk instead. That visible rubout was distributed to the world's press, and it rubbed Toms and his wife, Sonya, the wrong way. "If there's one thing I most regret in this whole thing," said Sutton, "it's that." Sutton's sub, Furyk, along with partner Chad Campbell, gagged in that Saturday match, losing the last two holes to two Eurookies, Paul Casey and David Howell, killing any hopes of an American comeback. Fore duh!

Sutton's ways were baffling. Ryder Cup captains zip around in golf carts doling out advice and attaboys, but on Saturday, Hal Suttonly gave his up. "I was on foot today because I wanted to show them how much I cared," he explained. Say what? Then he admitted that there were some places he wanted to show them where to hit shots--like at 17--but "I didn't get there on time. I was on foot." Duh end.

Phil Mickelson

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