The scoreboard at a Ryder Cup is easy to decipher. Blue means Europe. Red means the United States, which makes those lilac sweaters the team wore Saturday even more puzzling. In previous Ryder Cups, the colors made scoreboard watching strangely dramatic, like at the K Club in 2006 when blue ruled the day, or Valhalla in 2008 when it was all-red, but especially during rallies, like a charge by one team would turn the scoreboard from red to blue or vice versa
However, this year’s scoreboards are a little different from previous years. The majority of the screen is dedicated to a live feed of the matches on the course and the score updates come through one-by-one, so you can’t see the status of all the matches at once. That was a problem for Team Europe captain Colin Montgomerie, who is trying to rally a game but waterlogged crowd, so he’s changing the scoreboard for the rest of the event to show more updates and less golf.
“There’s more action [on the scoreboards] than there is scoreboards,” Montgomerie said. “Unfortunately what happens is that they are switched off sometimes in the middle of the putt or in the middle of something and it’s a shame they can’t see that anyway. What I want to have out there is those six blue numbers on that left-hand side of the board shining very bright [Sunday] morning and to continue that way.”
Montgomerie made the scoreboard change to get the fans at Celtic Manor more involved, and earlier in the day he talked to his players about their own lack of passion, one report said Montgomerie gave them a “roasting.”
“I felt there wasn’t enough passion on the golf course,” Montgomerie said. “We have plenty of other ways of winning this, but passion we didn’t have. We didn’t have the passion.”
The lack of passion meant that the European players weren’t rallying the crowd, according to Montgomerie. Not that the crowd was downbeat -- far from it -- but a long soggy day of golf combined with the Americans winning the morning made it quiet by Ryder Cup standards, although assistant captain Sergio Garcia would rally the European fans with an occasional fist-pump as he trotted around the course.
Around the 14th green, American fans dressed in Minnesota Vikings uniforms were even able to get a throaty “USA! USA!” chant going for a minute or two before being drowned out by chants of “Eur-ope! Eur-ope!”
“I just felt the crowd wasn’t involved enough because we weren’t involving them enough,” Montgomerie said. “Obviously the Americans were silencing the crowd through their good play and that’s what happens and that’s what we have done abroad a few times now on American soil.
“The more silenced the crowd are, the better it is for [the Americans] and that’s what was happening in the first couple off sessions,” Montgomerie said. “We had to try and get that crowd as our 13th man back on our side by good play. And I was just trying to inform them of that state, get up early and that’s what we did. But I can repeat what I said.”
(Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)