By John Strege
Even on a day the U.S. opened a commanding lead, 8-4, in the Ryder Cup, American captain Davis Love III was unable to dodge criticism, most of it on Twitter, for his decision to sit the suddenly dynamic team of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in the afternoon fourball on Saturday.
Love was following on his intention of providing every player a rest for the purpose of having him fresh for Sunday singles. Yet Mickelson and Bradley dispatched Luke Donald and Lee Westwood in only 12 holes Saturday morning, in an alternate-shot format.
"Just saw the afternoon draw. Don't like that Phil and Keegan are sitting. They only played 12 holes earlier. They bring so much passion!" former U.S. Ryder Cup player Chris DiMarco said.
PGA Tour player Bob Estes replied with this: "@ChrisDiMarco Good point! 12 holes hitting every other shot. How tired can they be?!"
From PGA Tour player Joe Ogilvie, who is never shy about offering an opinion: "Herb Brooks decides not to play Mike Eruzione against Finland for the gold medal game...sorry I meant to say Davis not playing Phil/Keegan."
The inimitable Dan Jenkins summed it up this way: "So to recap: Davis is benching a 3-0 team (Phil & Keegan) and is trying again with an 0-2 team (Tiger & Stricker)."
Finally, NBC's Johnny Miller weighed in: "They can get tired next week, OK?"
It did nothing to support Love's case that the team of Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker lost again to go 0-3 in this Ryder Cup.
Good call, Johnny
Miller questioned the wisdom of Zach Johnson hitting driver at the short par-4 15th, when he possesses one of the best wedge games in golf. Indeed, Johnson proceeded to drive it into the water right of the fairway and green, leaving partner Jason Dufner to lay up.
They would up losing the hole to Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, who evened their match there.
NBC's Gary Koch might have run afoul of Ian Poulter, as Johnny Miller once did, and Miller was there to warn him.
"Look at statistically, his ball striking by tour standards, pretty average," Koch said of Poulter.
"You're going to be tweeted for that one, Gary," Miller said.
"Statistics don't lie, Johnny," Koch replied.
Two years ago, Miller was critical of Poulter's ball-striking and Poulter responded via Twitter:
"Johnny miller saying today I wasn't a good ball striker. I guess I do alright for a duffer then. He talks such bollocks at times," Poulter wrote.
Stanford teammates? No
When discussing Luke Donald it was noted that he considered attending Stanford before settling on Northwestern.
"And had he gone to Stanford, maybe he would have played on the golf team with Tiger Woods," NBC's Peter Jacobsen said. "What a team that would have been with Notah Begay and Casey Martin."
Well, no. Donald was a Northwestern freshman in the fall of 1997. Woods left Stanford in 1996, Martin and Begay in 1995.
Arron Oberholser: "If Ian Poulter played this way every week he'd be #1 in the world"
David Feherty: "Bubba and Poulter are what the Ryder Cup is all about! Magic on grass, joy in sport, love to the fans. You've got to love them."