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What They Said, What They Meant: Luke Donald Ryder Cup Edition

By Geoff Shackelford

We’ve been fine-tuning the "What They Said, What They Meant" algorithm for the busy Ryder Cup season, when parsing comments is most urgently needed.

European Captain Paul McGinley’s phone call to the last man not picked to the 2014 Ryder Cup team, Luke Donald, was apparently quite the somber affair.

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Here’s what the captain said to the European press gathered at Wentworth:

Q. What did Luke Donald actually say to you when you told him the news? 

PAUL McGINLEY: He was very, very disappointed, and rightly so. He's a former world No. 1. His record in the Ryder Cup stands with anybody in the game.

As I say, my personal relationship goes right back to the first ever shot he hit in the Ryder Cup; I was his partner. He said: "You know, Paul, I publicly backed you to be the captain. Even though you have not picked me, I still believe you'll be a great captain." His last few words were, "Go Europe." I think that says a lot about Luke.”

And here’s what our completely trademarked and fully-licensed machine spit out to clarify McGinley and Donald's responses:

Q. What did Luke Donald actually say to you when you told him the news? 

PAUL McGINLEY: He was very, very disappointed, and rightly so since he actually played last week while Lee Westwood had his feet up in the air sipping an adult beverage watching the Italian Open. He's a former world No. 1. Emphasis on the former. His record in the Ryder Cup stands with anybody in the game, well, except maybe Ian Poulter’s.

As I say, my personal relationship goes right back to the first ever shot he hit in the Ryder Cup; I was his partner and he had to carry my hiney that day. He said: "You know, Paul, I publicly backed you to be the captain, have you already forgotten what that did to my reputation with Monty? With Darren Clarke’s fan? Even though you have not picked me, I still believe you'll be a great captain, I guess." His last few words were, "I’m going to Europe for a much-needed holiday. I hear Turin is lovely this time of year. Maybe I’ll call Lee to find out. Oh wait, he took last week off." I think that says a lot about Luke.

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