5:52 p.m. The TV at the Golf.com blog headquarters has been changed to Eagles-Steelers. Thanks to everyone who read and commented today. What a great day for the game and for the US of A! Can’t wait for Wales in 2010. As Boo Weekley might say, "It’ll be as crazy as a wild boar on crystal meth in a tee pee."
5:40 p.m. Is it really necessary to finish these matches once the Cup is over? I’d much rather be watching the Americans spray non-alcoholic champagne at each other. Even in defeat I’m betting the Europeans have the better party.
5:26 p.m. Team USA MVP Nick Faldo keeps his sunglasses as he tells NBC: "We’ve come up short, but not in pride." Four matches are still going on, but that sound you heard was 3 million Americans changing the channel at the same time. Golf Mag’s Mike Corcoran thinks it’s worth noting that the guys who played well for the U.S. all have solidly middle-class and working class backgrounds. Holmes, Perry, Furyk, Kim, Weekley: No country-club brats there. Cork adds, "I still think that Faldo made a monumental mistake not putting out Poulter first. None of these American guys still out there would be in these matches if it was close." 5:19 p.m. Jiminez misses his birdie putt and concedes Furyk’s short par putt. U.S. wins the Ryder Cup! 5:15 p.m. Furyk and Jiminez line up huge putts on 17. BTW, these two are the strangest-looking guys. They should be at the Star Wars bar, not the golf course. 5:08 p.m. Holmes cookin’! JB sticks his approach to about 4
feet. Then Hansen, who overshot the green, almost sinks a ridiculous
uphill chip and makes his par. Holmes drains his birdie putt, takes a
point for the U.S. and gets the U.S. thisclose to wining the Ryder Cup. All eyes on Jiminez and Furyk now. Miguel’s got to win 17 and 18 or the U.S. gets the Cup. 4:54 p.m. J.B. Holmes says he first held a golf club when he was 15-months-old. Of course, he was 17-months-old by the time he actually swung it. Ba-da-bum! Holmes has retaken the lead on Hansen, now 1-up with 2 to play. Take all the time you want, J.B. 4:49 p.m. Miguel Angel Jiminez makes a wild 30-footer to put pressure on Furyk’s birdie putt. The taciturn Pennsylvania drains it. Now 3 up with 3 to play, Furyk guarantees Team USA at least a half-point.
Meanwhile, Boo tells Roger Maltbie that he’d rather play Ryder Cup golf than go hunting. Personally I’d rather watch Boo go hunting than 90 percent of the PGA Tour play golf. 4:45 p.m. Boo Weekley wins 4 and 2 over Oliver Wilson and finishes his first Ryder Cup with a 2-0-1 record.4:39 p.m. Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs said all eyes should be on J.B. Holmes-Soren Hansen and Stewart Cink-Graeme McDowell: "Everything else looks like it’s falling into place. Maybe it’ll come down to a Kentucky boy in Kentucky."
Like he was listening Hansen wins the hole and squares match with Holmes. That Hansen is so hot right now! (No, I’m not going to get tired of that joke.) 4:25 p.m. Paul Casey wins 18 to halve his match with Hunter Mahan, and Kenny Perry take No. 16 to beat Henrik Stenson 3 and 2. Surprisingly, Chad Campbell is 2-up through 9 against Padraig Harrington but I hope it doesn’t come down to that.
A happy Kenny Perry tells NBC this Ryder Cup "made my career" and said it was the "greatest experience of his life." Seems like a long time ago that he was considered a villain for skipping the British Open. During the interview, Perry’s dad is seen shooting rabbits in the background. 4:15 p.m. Boo applauds Oliver Wilson’s incredible recovery on 14. Something to remember while you’re enjoying the My Name Is Boo show. Despite the country-bumpkin act, Boo is very smart, self-aware and gracious. And he can play. Wilson survives 14 but Boo is still 4 up with 4 to play.
Meanwhile, Rose puts Phil out of his misery on 16 and wins 3 and 2. 4:08 p.m. Mahan follows the best shot of the tournament with one of the worst, a nasty slice into the hazard at 18. Casey is safe in the fairway. 4:05 p.m. Hunter Mahan drops a long bomb on No. 17, easily the biggest putt at this tournament so far. Casey leaves his birdie putt well short. Mahan now 1 up with 1 to go. Great Johnny Miller line when he waits for Casey to putt: " You can’t say how the sandwich tastes until you take a bite." 3:55 p.m. Europe strikes back when Karlsson closes out Leonard 5 and 3. Meanwhile, Phil stays alive with a birdie on 15, he’s now 3-down with 3 to play. 3:43 p.m. Karlsson’s now 4-up with 4 to play over Justin Leonard as Anthony Kim hangs out with Michael Jordan. For a minute I was wondering if Jordan would make a good U.S. team captain, then I remembered the Wizards and the Bobcats. Still, he’d be great for card games in the clubhouse.
3:35 p.m. Paul Casey concedes another generous putt to Hunter Mahan. Is Casey feeling guilty about his "I hate the Americans" comments at Oakland Hills in 2004? Whatever the case, Casey sinks his par putt to stay 1-down with 3 to go in what is a "must-win" match for Team USA. 3:27 p.m. Johnny Miller channels Golf Magazine Mike Corcoran and says Kenny Perry might be getting tired, a point Cork just made on the phone with me. "Look out for Kenny Perry to get tired," Cork said. "He’s 48 and he’s played all four rounds. More than anyone he’s probably going on pure adrenalin. He could get to a point where he hits a wall and goes down in flames."
No "USA!" chant, Cork? "Gotta say, I’m feeling pretty flat about the Team USA’s chances right now."
Meanwhile, Kenny takes what looks like a painkiller as he walks up the fairway then loses the hole. He’s now 2-up on Stenson, who hasn’t taken off his sunglasses since 1994. 3:22 p.m. After a birdie miss, Miller says Phil’s putting stroke is "getting a little not good." Exactly. Rose makes his birdie putt to take a 4-up lead with 6 to play. For Team Europe, Rose over Phil will make up for AK over Sergio. 3:15 p.m. Jimmy Roberts interviews Anthony Kim, who says he had "chills" during the match. Kim looks pleased to be on TV next to someone even shorter than he is. 3:10 p.m. "Man of the people" and "Baddest Person on the Planet" Anthony Kim closes out Sergio 5 and 4, but walks to the next tee, not realizing he won the match. Sergio graciously congratulates him. Despite all the aggravating things he does, it’s hard not to like Sergio. On scale of 1-10, Louisville crowd checks in at about a 13. 3:05 p.m. Hansen pulls even with Holmes. He’s so hot right now. 3:02 p.m. Mickelson is now 3-down through 10 against Justin Rose. Golf Magazine’s Mike Corcoran doesn’t like it: "The U.S. needs to win this thing by the end of Furyk’s match or the momentum will swing totally toward Europe. Phil’s match could decide this whole thing." [Furyk-Jiminez is the eighth of 12 matches.]2:55 p.m. Classic Johnny Miller on Sergio at 13: "It’s never a good sign when you take three consecutive shots."
AK wins the hole and goes 5-up, guaranteeing at least a half-point draw and a whiny Sergio press conference. 2:50 p.m. Four birdies and an eagle for Boo as he takes No. 8 to go 3-up. AK is on the green at 13 while Sergio is well over it. Boo and AK are two of American golf’s two most appealing stars and they’re proving it on the biggest stage this weekend. 2:40 p.m. Boo hits it in from the bunker for eagle on No. 7 then wrestles an alligator on the green to the delight of the fans. OK, that second part isn’t true. 2:35 p.m. Poulter birdies No. 4, making Faldo look like a genius for taking him over Darren Clarke and Monty. One question: If Poulter and Faldo are so patriotic, why do they live in Orlando? 2:30 p.m. Just after Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks question why AK doesn’t give Sergio a short putt on No. 11, Serge rams it past the hole. AK up 3!
2:24 p.m. Jim Furyk misses an 8-footer to go to just 1-up in his match versus Miguel Angel Jiminez. Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs calls in to say the older USA guys are making him nervous:
"If the Ryder Cup veterans falter in their matches, I think we’re in trouble. I’m worried that guys who’ve been on the bad side of so many RC losses will start thinking ‘here we go again’ if they get down. The young guys should be OK, but keep an eye on Cink, Mickelson and Furyk. That’s where this thing will be won or lost." 2:13 p.m. All 12 players are out there and despite the Team USA lead, only AK is more than 2-up in his match over Sergio. Johnny Miller describes Louisville’s USA-crazy fans, stoked by Boo and AK, as "completely berserk." 2:04 p.m. Holmes just misses holing a pitch shot for eagle, causing me to knock over my coffee.
Which reminds me, I wanted to address a comment by Scotty, who during my Thursday
live-blog asked, "Geez, what’s with the blatant cheerleading? Aren’t
you ostensibly a journalist?"
Scotty, love the blog or leave it! The idea is to have some fun with
the Ryder Cup. Other things I feel comfortable rooting for without
sacrificing journalist integrity.
1. Michael Phelps (pre-groping-strippers version)
2. Economic recovery
4. Apple pie 1:53 a.m. Mickelson’s putt goes in-and-out and now he’s 1-down against Justin Rose in what could be today’s pivotal match. Ryder Cup monster Ian Poulter takes No. 1 from Steve Stricker to go 1-up. Poulter’s really been backing up that "it’s just me and Tiger and everybody else" talk this week. 1:46 p.m. Looks like Sergio’s finally getting a taste of his own medicine. Now he knows what it feels like to play against an annoying little punk!
Holmes pulls even with Hansen, which makes the Mickelson match loom even larger. Golf Magazine’s Mike Corcoran says: "If Mickelson wins, then Faldo’s made a huge mistake saving Harrington, Westwood and Pouler for last. It could be like 2002 when Europe had already won by the time Woods and Mickelson went out." 1:36 p.m. The crowd cheers so loudly Sergio’s two water shots on No. 7 lyou’d think Tiger Woods had showed up and hit a hole in one. Serge concedes; AK now 3-up. Johnny Miller says if Sergio loses he can’t be "an annoying gnat" to the Americans in later matches. 1:33 p.m. Boo Weekley birdies No. 3 to get back to all square, and gestures to the crowd to make some noise. The white socks are a nice Happy Glimore touch. 1:28 p.m. Anthony Kim goes 2-up on Sergio with a par on No. 6 and rallies the crowd. Kenny Perry has gone 2-up as well. 1:23 p.m. Soren Hansen makes a birdie on No. 1 to win the hole over hometown hero J.B. Holmes.
It’s that Hansen. He’s so hot right now. 1:15 p.m. Sergio’s looking for a ruling on his lie in the rough on a slope by a stairway. He eventually takes an unplayable lie after staring at his ball for about 10 minutes. And people say golf is boring!
1:08 p.m. Boo Weekley gets up and down to halve the first with Oliver Wilson, one of the few whodat? guys out here. Mickelson leaves his birdie putt short, prompting this comment from Golf Magazine’s chief youtube watcher Mike Corcoran: "Mickelson is already choking. These putts are so easy and he can’t get it to the hole. Also, Sergio is taking on that negative body language he has when he loses majors: head down, walking slower." 12:58 p.m. Perry and Stenson both birdie No. 1, which is starting to look like par on this hole. The Valhalla course has proved up to the occasion this week. While no one puts playing it on their bucket list, Valhalla has now hosted two epic golf events, this Ryder Cup and the 2000 PGA Championship, where Tiger Woods famously battled Bob May. If they have a few more great events here, maybe they can tear it down and build an identical course next door with more hospitality tents. 12:48 p.m. Kenny Perry hits his opening drive into the fairway as his father Elmer Fudd looks on. AK matches Sergio’s birdie on 4 to stay 1-up. 12:40 p.m. Golf.com boss Charlie Hanger wonders about Sergio giving AK that birdie putt on No. 1 which was more than a gimme: "What do you think about conceding that first putt on the
first hole? If I’m Sergio, I make him putt it. First-hole jitters
should be a part of the game." It was surprising but Sergio considers himself a gamesmanship master like his countryman Seve. It could be that Sergio is giving AK those short putts early so he can make them putt them later. Whatever the case, you can be sure that it wasn’t out of the goodness of of Sergio’s heart. 12:35 p.m. Big cheer for Phil on the first tee against Justin Rose. More from Corcoran: "This Mickelson match could be huge. Those first few pairs will all be close but Phil should absolutely own Justin Rose. Also, those European fans should chill on the Ole! cheers. Nobody minds when they have something to cheer, but if they do it on every shot all they’ll do is turn the American fans rabidly against the Europeans and it’ll be Brookline 2008 out there." 12:30 p.m. AK birdies No. 2 to go 1 up over Sergio as Golf Magazine deputy editor Mike Corcoran checks in with some thoughts on the Sergio-AK match.
"I noticed Saturday that when Kim and Mickelson were imploding that Kim
was fake-yawning. It’s an involuntary reaction but it’s a clear sign
that you’re choking. If you see that fake yawn, be worried for AK."
"That said, I like Kim against Garcia. It was massively stupid of Faldo
not to put Poulter out first because he’s only guy on Team Europe who
looks like he’s got fire in his belly and he’s playing great.
Traditionally, Sergio does badly when he has expectations on him, and
going out first places those expectations squarely on his shoulders.
Plus, his Ryder Cup singles record isn’t great anyway. If Garcia loses
today, that should be the last we hear of the unbeatable Spaniards in
the Ryder Cup: Sergio, Olazabal and Ballesteros." 12:24 p.m. Hunter Mahan misses a short one for par on No. 1 and Paul Casey gives Europe the day’s first lead. Man, those Ole! chants sound loud for Kentucky. Still about a half-hour until Boo comes out to rally the Louisville faithful.12:15 a.m. Sergio and AK go birdie-birdie on the first hole. At the risk of sounding metrosexual, I’ll say that I like Team USA’s red shirts. Somewhere Tiger is nodding. 11:56 a.m. I think Anthony Kim’s been waiting for this first Ryder Cup match with Sergio since their run-in at Riviera earlier this year. The story goes that Sergio was taking extra putts on 18 during a practice round when an impatient or unaware AK took aim at the green from the 18th fairway. After the dis, Sergio reportedly said he’d like to smash all his clubs over AK’s head.
Of course, they both say the incident has been blown out of proportion and that they’re buds now. I’m not buying it. This’ll be a good one to watch. 11:45 a.m. Welcome to the Ryder Cup Live Blog, Super Sunday edition. I’m taking over for Golf Magazine guys Connell Barrett and Alan Bastable, who did a great job with live updates. Like the teachers at school always told Bozo Jr., I have some pretty big shoes to fill.