The Other Face of Europe
__"Your are what you pretend to be, so be careful what you pretend to be."
With all of the mail we’ve had about Dan Jenkins’ column on "How I’d Fix the Ryder Cup" (and it’s still coming), it was fun yesterday to listen to Padraig Harrington talk about what it will take for a European to “break through” and win the Masters (none since '98) or the Open. You wonder sometimes, are these actually the same guys who thump us every couple of years in that team competition? What happens to them here? Can you imagine hearing this from the Ryder Cup team: __
__"We need our egos massaged as much as anybody else. We need to be told we can do it, you can win, you’re great. Many a guy would be walking around here this week saying—they will be going to bed saying they are great putters and the best putter and things…. We need to convince ourselves of these things and sometimes we need that convincing to come from an outside agency, and knowing somebody who has won a major, somebody you have played practice rounds with that you have a game with every couple of weeks. If they go on and win a major that makes it in your head so much easier to do." __
At the same time Monty was telling Doug Lowe of the Herald, “if I was a grass court specialist in tennis this would be my clay court surface…” Meanwhile, outside, the aging heroes of Europe’s glory days here continued their appointed rounds, a living Hall of Fame trudging around like old lions at a very comfortable zoo: Woosie, playing by himself. Lyle, looking grayer than you remember but very fit, not bothered by any reporters after his round. Faldo, off to the broadcast booth, resigned that “I’ve had my era.” Seve, doing trick shots for the crowd but unlikely to making any shots over the weekend. And Olazabal and Langer, who still believe they can win, one senses, grinding out practice rounds. Not nearly the spring in those steps there once was, and far less demand for their autographs than the present king of the jungle, Tiger, but the keepers of 11 green jackets nonetheless.
-- Bob Carney