Editors' BlogSeptember 18, 2008

Ryder Cup: The Euro View

Half the fun of the Ryder Cup is reading about it from the European side's point of view. If you're interested, start with the London Times web site's Justin Rose diary. Not earth-shattering stuff, but good stuff on Rose's choice for playing partners.

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Given the importance of rookies in this Cup--four on the European side, six on the American side--a Colin Montgomerie interview with Sky Sports Thursday is worth reading. Montgomerie makes that point that much depends on the rookies.

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"Over the years I look back to 2002 and my first view of it and it (the key to winning the Ryder Cup) is how the rookies do," he told Sky Sports.

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"You tend to forget there was four rookies in our 2002 team of Sam Torrance--and neither one of those rookies lost a singles match."

There's also a video of the Monty interview on the Sky Sports site.

On the same subject, a Paul McGinley interview in the Telegraph a few days ago is also worth a peruse. McGinley, the hero of the 2002 Cup at the Belfry to which Montgomerie refers, makes that corollary point that Captain Faldo is taking a risk by not choosing the experience of Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke but rather relying on youngsters like Poulter. From the Telegraph:

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"It's a lot of experience taken out of the team," McGinley, 41, said. "I've thought about it a lot. But Nick has a view that the young players are ready. He can't be judged on that yet. He wants to create a different atmosphere. He's getting a drum kit in, getting> DJ Spoony in, because it's going to be a younger crowd."

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Yet who is going to beat the drum? The world record holder at beating his own drum is Monty, and he will not be there. "Monty has been our captain in the three Ryder Cups I've played," McGinley said. "The captain--Woosie, Langer, Torrance--was really the manager. Monty's been the on-the-pitch captain.

"There was a great incident at the K Club two years ago. Monty comes to the last green and he has a six-foot putt. The Americans--Chris DiMarco I think it was--had a putt for the match, and they miss. We're three yards from where Monty's standing.

"And Monty turns round to us with a smile on his face and says: 'It always comes down to me doesn't it?' Of course he holes the putt. It was an insight into how much he relishes the situation of it 'coming down to me'."

(One Irish bookmaker apparently agrees, being the lone oddsmaker not making Europe the favorite).

For more on the European view of this event, also check out Peter Dixon and John Hopkins of the (London) TimesOnline, the Irish "Ryder Cup Diary" web site and the Scotsman.

--Bob Carney

(Photo: Skysports.com)

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