Europe Dominates Ryder Cup at Gleneagles PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

Team Europe celebrates another Ryder Cup triumph at Gleneagles.


Perthshire, Scotland - This edition, the 40th in Ryder Cup history didn't quite live up to the hype.

Team Europe took care of business on Sunday, dusting off team USA 16.5 to 11.5. The two very

lopsided foursomes sessions Friday and Saturday destroyed any hope for Sunday drama - the

alternate shot competition favored Team Europe 7 points to 1 - Game Over.


There was to be no Brookline like Miracle on Sunday, trailing 10-6 heading into singles play was too

tall an order for this group of Yanks that didn't have Tiger, Phil, Duval, Payne, Hal Sutton and Furyk

in their prime (Mickelson & Furyk were winless in 2014, and are both 44 years old now). A few Americans

managed to make a game of it Sunday, including Phil who handled native Scotsman Stephen Gallacher in

his match. Patrick Reed edged out Henrik Stenson 1 up, Kuchar took care of Bjorn 4 & 3 and Jimmy

Walker continued his solid play beating Ryder Cup stalwart Lee Westwood 3 & 2 . . . but little else went

the Americans way. Big comebacks by Graeme McDowell over Jordan Spieth, and Justin Rose (who was

Europe's MVP for the week) came from 4 down to earn a halve against Hunter Mahan. World number 1

Rory McIlroy absolutely blitzed Ricky Fowler 5 & 4. It was Welshman Jamie Donaldson who secured

the clincher on the 15th hole, when he routed Keegan Bradley 4 & 3.


Europe's continued dominance in the alternate shot (foursomes) format will continue to be the story.

It seems as if neither side has an answer for Team USA's incompetence in this format. Many have

speculated about the Americans lack of team chemistry as the reason, but that's an intangible that

Team Stars & Stripes haven't found the solution to (with the exception of Paul Azinger in '08 at Valhalla).


Granted, Captain Watson made a few blunders, first leaving Chris Kirk off the squad, then taking

Spieth & Reed out of the foursomes Friday afternoon . . . but when you get drubbed by 5 points,

these are minor reasons to blame. Perhaps a bigger factor was the loss of Tiger Woods (even in sub-

prime form), and being without ball striking dynamo Dustin Johnson (who took a leave of absence

after testing positive for an illegal substance this summer).


Talent is no longer the only element required to be victorious. Once upon a time it was said that the

Euro's needed to win in order for the Ryder Cup to grow, and it was treated as the main focus of the

European Tour - to beat America. It's now reversed, Team USA needs a system - their own template to

make this great event competitive again.




For all of the scores from the 40th Ryder Cup:









The 40th Ryder Cup - Preview PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

Ok, it's almost "Go Time" at Gleneagles for the 40th playing of the Ryder Cup.

The Europeans are big favorites in this edition . . . and understandably so. After

the "Miracle at Medinah", there is a clear sense that the Euro's have figured out

the formula for victory. The European PGA keeps the half dozen past captains in

the loop as consultants and vice captains and often grooms the future team leaders

by having them aboard as assistants or observers. The term being thrown around

by the Euro hierchy is "template", which Captain Paul McGinley has mentioned many

times this week. The PGA of America hasn't embraced such a concept - successful

past captains and their methods are left to be, choosing to turnover regimes without

keeping continuity.

Team Europe, not just top heavy as in years past, has McIlroy, Rose, Garcia,

and Stenson as front runners, but McDowell, Kaymer and Bjorn might be the

backbone. Ryder Cup intensity and pressure is like no other, and Euro 1st

timers: Stephen Gallacher, Jamie Donaldson and young Frenchman Victor

Dubuisson (aka - V Dub) are the wild cards. Westwood and Yankee dominator -

Ian Poulter have been in sub-par form all year, and come in to the event as

perhaps Team Blue's biggest question marks.

Winners of 7 of the last 9 Cup matches, the European contingent appears

loose and confident, and for good reason. The Euro's return 7 of the 12 miracle

makers from Chicago (and Captain Paul McGinley - who was a vice captain at

Medinah in 2012). Can the American's motivation overcome Europe's confidence?

It will be no easy task for Team USA to emerge with Samuel Ryder's trophy.

The venue is Jack Nicklaus' Centenary course at Gleneagles - an American style

parkland course that features tight fairways, heavy rough and softer & slower

greens than the Americans see on a weekly basis on the PGA Tour. . . but for the

most part, the layout favors neither side. If the weather gets ugly, combine that

with a raucous Euro home crowd for two factors that fall heavily in Europe's favor.

Do the Americans and Captain Tom Watson have the horses to make it a dogfight?

Clearly on the top half of the squad - they do. Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk,

Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker have been solid all year. Players like Bubba Watson,

Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson and Patrick Reed have been up and down throughout

2014 and may end up deciding the final tally. Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan and Phil

Mickelson have had down years and have only shown short glimpses of brilliance this

year. It will all depend on the chemistry of each pairing, and how the team gels as a


Likely we'll see Phil/Keegan, Bubba/Webb and Spieth/Kuchar, with the other pairings

still unknown. For certain the European Team will toss out combinations of Rory/Sergio,

Rory/Poulter, and Rose/Poulter. If McIlroy and Ian Poulter gain momentum early on, it

could ease the nerves of rookies - Gallacher, Donaldson, and Dubuisson - pulling them

along for the ride. If that's the case, the matches could get lopsided quick.

Here's to hoping the singles matches on Sunday are as compelling as Brookline

and Medinah.

Prediction: In the end it comes down to who hits the best golf shots and holes

putts, but it'll take a huge week from new comers Spieth, Walker, and Patrick Reed

for Team USA to have a punchers chance. The two middle aged vets Furyk and

Mickelson will probably need to have a winning record for the Cup to make its way

back to America . . . Europe 15 - USA 13








Horschel Wins at East Lake, Takes Fedex Cup PDF Print E-mail


Horshel poses with his new vintage Coke machine after winning it all at East Lake


Atlanta, Georgia - The hottest player in Golf went mano a mano versus the World No.1 on

Sunday, and chalk one up for form and momentum. Billy Horschel took on Rory McIlroy for

all the cash and prestige . . . and came out on top.


Coming into Sunday's final round of the Playoffs, McIlroy and Horschel shared the lead at

9 under par . . . but it was Horschel's steady final round 68 that beat McIlroy and Jim Furyk

by 3 strokes, finishing at 11 under par to capture both the Tour Championship by Coca cola

and the Fedex Cup.


Horschel collected the hardware - winning both titles at East Lake

Horschel has always been known as a blue collar type player, he was a walk on at the

University of Florida and became a college All-American. After suffering a severe wrist

injury shortly after turning pro, he had to regain his card by going to Q-school.

“I don’t think anybody’s given him anything,” Horschel’s coach Todd Anderson said. “He

had to earn everything since junior golf. “He’s always had a little chip on his shoulder and

he always wants to show people that if you have desire and believe in yourself and talent,

you can get where you want to go. If you tell him he can’t do something, he’s going to try

to figure out how to do it.”

Horschel had previously dreamed of hoisting the hardware and reflected afterward:

“There's certain things throughout my life that have come true, and I've sort of seen it

beforehand,” Horschel said. “I woke up and I wasn't sure if it was real or not because it

was very faint, but I remember holding up the FedExCup trophy, and as the season went

along, I never thought about it, but I just said, 'Well, maybe it was just a dream that

wasn't real.'”

Real it was Billy Ho, all $11.8 million of them.

Ironically, the hottest American players Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk will not part of

Captain Watson's squad at Gleneagles (Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan struggled

all week at East Lake finishing tied for 23rd at +8).






Rory Prevails - Out Duels Mickelson, Fowler PDF Print E-mail



Rory McIlroy celebrates his second straight major victory

Louisville, Kentucky - As if you didn't already know, we are now officially in the Rory era.

In the most thrilling major of 2015, Rory out dueled Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson

on the back nine at Valhalla to win back to back majors - and his 3rd PGA Tour victory in a row.

After giving up his 3 shot lead to start the round, the Ulsterman's eagle at the par 5 tenth jump

started his round.

McIlroy's back nine 32 also included a birdie at the par 4 -13th, but it was four holes later where it

may have been won . . .  after driving it into the fairway bunker at the 17th, his approach to 7 feet

set up the putt that proved to be the margin of difference. With daylight down to nearly zero, a

bizarre sequence of events had the final groups scrambling to finish as the sun hit below the horizon.

Rory somehow managed to two putt the last to shoot 68 (-16) and edge out Mickelson by a stroke

(but not before Mickelson nearly holed his eagle chip to force a playoff). Mickelson's final round 66

(-15) produced another runner up, the ninth of his career. Ricky Fowler led early, but struggles on

the back nine ended his hopes finishing with a 68 (tied for 3rd with Henrik Stenson at -14).

The win now puts McIlroy at 4 major victories, trailing only Seve at 5, and Nick Faldo at 6 for

European major victories all-time."I didn't think in my wildest dreams I'd have a summer like

this" said McIlroy. "I played the best golf of my life. I really gutted it out today."

For a golf course that took criticism all week for not being a great design, it sure has provided

amazing drama, and certainly the two best players of their eras.














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