NEWPORT, Wales -- Bring in snow and locusts and we'll have just about run the gamut on adversities foisted upon this 38th Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
Monday morning it was fog that rolled in and dealt a slight delay to the proceedings in the early singles matches. Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood, playing in the first match, traversed the first three holes in a fairly heavy mist. On the par-3 third hole, just 189 yards, neither player could see the flagstick in the front right portion of the green. "I just chipped a 5-iron down there and hoped," Stricker said to U.S. assistant captain Davis Love III.
Two groups behind, the third pairing of Jim Furyk and Luke Donald was delayed slightly by the fog.
This should not have been a surprise, really. If not for so much rain this week (nearly three inches, half of the average annual rainfall for Wales in October -- the country's wettest month, traditionally, by the way) fog could well have been more of an issue.
Said one U.S. team member, "I heard from several European players a while back who said if rain wasn't going to be a problem, the fog will be. The place sits in a bowl. We actually got lucky."
Not lucky enough, however, to avoid the first Monday finish in Ryder Cup history.
*-- Dave Shedloski