Memory LaneMarch 5, 2020

Paul Casey describes how a bit of Ryder Cup gamesmanship nearly backfired for Europe

David Cannon

The opening tee at the Ryder Cup is unlike anything in golf. It's packed. It's loud. And it's partisan. Not surprisingly, the home team hopes to get an edge from the last part, but Paul Casey shared it was actually part of Europe's strategy in 2006. At least, until it almost backfired.

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As Casey shares during the latest installment of "Ryder Cup Confidential," captain Ian Woosnam instructed his players that week to arrive to the tee after their American opponents. The thinking was to let them feel intimidated by the crowd at the K Club and then to feel even more opposition when the crowd cheered the arriving home team. But Casey and partner Robert Karlsson almost waited so long before a match that they nearly missed their tee time, which would have resulted in an automatic loss of the opening hole. Here's how Casey tells it:

Of course, the mad dash to the tee didn't wind up hurting the Europeans because nothing ever does in this biennial competition. Not even when Rory McIlroy needed a police escort to his Sunday singles match at Medinah in 2012. Casey and Karlsson halved their match and Europe cruised to an 18.5 to 9.5 win to retain the cup. No gamesmanship necessary.

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