Hot this week? Ryder Cup, Monty, Paddy. Not hot? Casey, backwards hats

Tuesday May 3rd, 2011
Padraig Harrington shot a 64 in his final competitive round before the Ryder Cup.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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HOT
1. The Ryder Cup. It's finally here. Despite all the hype and jingoism the Cup remains, quite simply, the best event in golf.

\n2. U-S-A. The boys in red, white and blue won three of the four FedEx Cup tourneys and roar into Wales with four of the top 5 players in the World Ranking, plus two other major champions. Doesn't sound like an underdog to me.

\n3. Padraig Harrington. The most debatable of all the captain's choices found some form with a 64 in his last tournament round and supposedly made three eagles in his first practice round at Celtic Manor. Paddy better bring it at this Ryder Cup — his rep and Monty's are both potentially on the line.

\n4. Jim Furyk. His Tour Championship triumph was a perfect distillation of his career: gritty, not pretty, highly profitable.

\n5. Colin Montgomerie. A big part of the perception of a Ryder Cup captain is how he handles the endless press conferences. So far a relaxed, chatty, funny Monty is dwarfing his bland, cautious Yankee counterpart. Of course, there's still plenty of time for Montgomerie to continue his career-long habit of sticking his foot in his mouth.

\n \nNOT
\n \n1. Paul Casey. In a summer of heartbreak he was in great position to steal the FedEx Cup — and royally stick it to Monty — but, yet again, Casey couldn't get it done.

\n2. The Viking Classic. Did you know the Fall Series kicks off this week with a low-wattage tourney in Mississippi? Me neither.

\n3. Twitter Some of us consider it a revolution in communication. To the Ryder captains it's the electronic equivalent of a pesky fly. Love that Monty declared he's not a tweeter even though his official account has sent more than 200 tweets. Dude's a fraud and a phony!

\n4. Links courses. Yet another European Ryder Cup will be contested on a boring, American-style venue. The last really memorable Ryder venue was also the last linksy one: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island ... in South Carolina.

\n5. The backward baseball cap. When did this look officially become uncool? The moment Jim Furyk did it.

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