Sep 29, 2014 | 06:32 AM

Ryder Recriminations

And now comes the worst part of the Ryder Cup, the interminable post-match sniping about what the losing captain did wrong, notably by his own countrymen. Should Captain Watson have rested Phil Mickelson Friday afternoon? Should he have kept the winning team of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth on the course for the first-day foursomes? Why did the U.S. do so poorly (losing six, halving two) foursomes? Was Spieth prepared to be first out in the singles? And on and on and on. Then there were the nasty comments thrown around by others: Colin Montgomerie bemoaning the “hangers on” who get to walk inside the ropes during the matches; Nick Faldo saying Sergio Garcia had been “useless” during the 2008 matches; Phil Mickelson wondering out loud on TV why Paul Azinger’s system of pairing and preparing players (successful in 2008) isn’t still used. Every year, it’s the same old thing: The fiercest competition isn’t between the two teams, but among members of the same teams. Perhaps the next captains should do something about that.

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Sep 26, 2014 | 12:27 PM

Duel In The Sun

Having fought with the Scots and the Irish, Donald Trump may finally be messing with the wrong people: Floridians. Folks living next to Trump National Doral (that’s the old Doral Resort in Miami, for those of you with slightly longer memories) are complaining that a fence of tall trees Trump had planted along the edge of the property are blocking their views. According to the Miami Herald, “Trump says the idea is to give golfers a feeling of isolation from everything but the course. But neighbors say The Donald has taken away something valuable from them—their unobstructed views of the greens and fairways.” The residents are claiming legal rights to the views, and some say they paid extra for their homes because of the scenic vistas. Trump says planting the trees helps make the property better, and “If I can’t make it great, I don’t want to be associated with it in any way.” Having paid a reported $150 million for the resort a few years back, we find it unlikely The Donald will bow—or is it bough?—to pressure.

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Sep 25, 2014 | 12:25 PM

Ryder Cup Victory

In case you missed it, the USA has already won the Ryder Cup this week in Scotland. Okay, so it was the Junior Ryder Cup, but a win is a win. And a dominating one at that, with a final score of 16-8, the fourth consecutive win for the USA. The competition took place on the Rosemount course (pictured above) at Blairgowrie Golf Club, 40 minutes north of Gleneagles. It could be argued that the venue, which is featured in the fall issue of LINKS, was more impressive than the PGA Centenary course hosting the other Ryder Cup, at least when it comes to architectural pedigree; Old Tom Morris, Alister MacKenzie and James Braid all had a hand in the design of Rosemount. The biennial Junior event, which started in 1997, is different in another way: it pits coed teams (six boys and six girls) from Europe and the USA against each other. The latter is comprised of the top two finishers in the Junior PGA Championship, the winners of the Junior Amateur and Girls’ Junior, and four captain’s picks. The teams play foursomes, mixed four-ball and singles over two days. Notable past participants include two of this year’s Ryder Cuppers, Hunter Mahan (who played on a losing USA squad in 1999) and Rory McIlroy (a member of Europe’s victorious 2004 team). If you are stretching to find any kind of positive omen related to this weekend’s competition, keep in mind that the USA won the 2010 Junior Ryder Cup at Gleneagles 13 ½ to 10 ½. So there’s that.

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Sep 24, 2014 | 04:31 PM

Lefty Jab

Phil Mickelson may have lost his game but not his sense of humor. Lefty is playing in his 10th Ryder Cup—more than any other player in history—but he’s not in the best of form, having failed to qualify for the Tour Championship for the first time in his career (he might not have even made the team if not for a late push at the PGA Championship). At today’s press conference, however, it was vintage Mickelson as he taunted the Euros. In response to a question that the Americans don’t play as well as the Europeans because they aren’t as close, Mickelson said, “Well, not only are we able to play together, we also don’t litigate against each other—and that’s a real plus, I feel, heading into this week.” “Ouch,” said the moderator about the clear reference to the suit between Rory McIlroy and his former management company, of which Graeme McDowell is a partner. Maybe Mickelson was just getting back at Rory for saying he was “on the last few holes of his career” a few weeks ago. Either way, the (golf) gloves are off. Let the matches begin!

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