- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
MOST CURIOUS CAPTAIN'S DECISION: Davis Love III's sitting Bradley and Mickelson in four-balls, a freewheeling format more suited to their strengths. Love kept saying he didn't want any of his guys to get worn down playing five matches, but Phil and Keegan breezed through only 12 holes on Saturday morning. (And a mere 15 holes on Friday morning.) Mickelson would later claim that he told Love on the 10th hole of foursomes that he and Bradley should sit that afternoon because they were burning up so much emotion on the course, but memo to Phil: You're not the captain. If Love was adamant about resting his elder statesman, why not at least send out Bradley with Woods in four-balls instead of a slumping Stricker?
WORTH REPEATING: "F***********ck!!!"—Diane Donald's reaction upon hearing that her hubby, Luke, would again have to go up against the Bradley-Mickelson duo
"Best I don't say anything because it wouldn't be pretty."—Peter Hanson, to golf.se, on being benched for both sessions (Martin Kaymer was too)
"I believe that it's not over. That's what I learned from Seve, and that's what I'm going to try to pass to the players. It's not over until it's over."—Olazábal
IN A NUTSHELL: Stirring the ghosts of Brookline, Europe rallied from a 10--6 deficit to take 8½ points in singles and win the Ryder Cup for the seventh time in the last nine meetings.
MOST-INSPIRED PAIRING: European captain José María Olazábal's sending out Paul Lawrie fifth. Ollie front-loaded with big guns Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, and each won his match, which was a necessity. Lawrie, who in his only other Ryder Cup appearance was on the other side of a historic comeback, at Brookline in 1999, was a surprise to come next; he was winless in team play while looking 103, not 43. But he holed a 30-yard chip on the 4th hole to announce his intentions, was six under without a bogey through 15 holes and never trailed against the Eleven Million Dollar Man, Brandt Snedeker.
WORST PAIRING: U.S. captain Davis Love III's sending out Steve Stricker 11th. The gentle Midwesterner was shaky all week, particularly with his money-maker, the putter. The only way his match was going to count was if Europe was mounting a huge rally, so why add that burden to a captain's pick who was already 0--3? Stricker crumbled under the pressure, bogeying three of the last eight holes and losing 1 up to Martin Kaymer in the match that guaranteed Europe would retain the Cup.
FASHION DO: Maybe the U.S. should have embroidered Seve Ballesteros's silhouette on their sleeves too.
TRAGIC FIGURE: Jim Furyk. The signature image from this U.S. defeat will be the 42-year-old warrior bent over in agony on the final green, after having his heart broken by an old foil, Sergio García. Furyk has suffered a series of high-profile crunch-time failures this season, but he was on his game and 1 up through 16 holes in the crucial eighth match. Then Furyk made two bogeys coming in to let García steal a point, the denouement a missed 12-footer that left him in anguish.