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The Loop

Ryder Cup: Tracking Those Rookies

September 19, 2008

Let's follow the argument made by Colin Montgomerie Thursday that rookies could well be the key to this Ryder Cup: There are ten of them in total, six on the U.S. Side, four on the European Side. Montgomerie pointed out that in 2002 the Euros also had four first-timers and that during those Matches, at the Belfry, the European rookies came up big in the Sunday singles, not losing a single match. Nicolas Fasth, who was 0-2-1 for the weekend, tied his match with Paul Azinger. Pierre Fulke halved his match with Davis Love. Paul McGinley halved his match with Jim Furyk and Phillip Price upset Phil Mickelson.

Overall, the rookies were 1-5-4 for the Matches, but won 2 1/2 points on Sunday, with McGinley holing the clinching put on 18 against Furyk.

(It helped that Monty went 4-0-1 in 2002.

After Friday morning's Foursomes, U.S. rookies (Anthony Kim and Mahan were 1 1/2-0). European rookie Justin Rose was 0-1, having lost with Poulter to Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell. Note that only three rookies made the morning Foursomes, with Kim and Mahan joined by Boo Weekley, Ben Curtis and Steve Stricker on the American side; and Rose joined by Graeme McDowell and Soren Hansen on the European side.

--Bob Carney