Worries for Sam

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Worries for Sam
Lee Westwood is the big headache in Sam Torrance's European Ryder Cup camp. He plays it down but he must now be looking at pairing Darren Clarke with someone else - possibly Monty. If you were Torrance would you be worried and what likely pairings might he go for - and why?

Most of 'em!! I am playing the Brab' on Thursday, if I break 80 I could asked back at the end of September!

I'm not worrying at the moment given that it is matchplay. I think this might spur Lee on a bit.

What is the minimum number of games he has to play?

Id go for the following.

Clarke and Harrington,
Faste and Fulke,
Parnevik and Garcia
Langer and Monty

Leaving Bjorn,McGinley,Westwood and Price.

Depending on how those pairings went...Id look to bring in Bjorn should Faste and Fulke not fire... I think the other pairings would be as strong as we get...

If you were going to bring in the other players you'd have to look at the foursomes rather than the fourballs.

Dont forget the US have their problems too. Hal Sutton has form as bad as Westwood.

Doesn't really matter who y'all pair with one another....we're gonna win it again anyways....

:) (yes, alan, i'm fishing)

The US has more problems than Sutton. One David Duval comes to mind. Azinger has health and form problems. Some of the others have been erratic.

But Sutton is a pit bull, and as medal form is not necessarily too indicative of how the matches will go, he could be a menace. So, I keep hoping, could be Westwood, though that might be a bit optimistic. My nominee for Euro star of the RC (as of this writing) is Fulke.

Minimum matches per player: one. (Singles). I hope Torrance uses better strategy on the Sunday than James did.

I think Jon has it just about spot on for the 4balls and as you suggest probably Bjorn with Fasth if 4somes.
Have you noticed over the last few weeks that there has been no real mention of Fulke's return to form - there was even an article in the Times today where he featured in the same headlines with Sutton. Pierre had a respectable Open (I think only about 2 or 3 of our Ryder Cup team finished above him) and counting his last round there and the first 3 rounds of the Dutch, he had 3 = 65s in those 4 rounds !! Then of course his good USPGA, he's taken enuff rap so when will the press leave him alone ? What has Price done ?
Hey Mr Venetian, I'm joining you next week, any good courses out there - watercourses and w/hazards galore I expect !!

Hey Teddy - not only we gonna kick your a** in the Ryder Cup but the ladies will win the Solheim by a mile.

; - )

Fulke's too good a player - as he proved in the Volvo Masters and World Matchplay - not to come good. You watch his face, he's like a poker player - gives nothing away. You can't tell whether he's playing well or rubbish, unless you look at his scorecard. Poker-faced Fasth and Bjorn will do us proud, too. Westwood and Clarke look to be finding a bit of form and I'm beginning to be optimistic about Europe's chances, after all.

the us will obviously win the ryder cup, no arguments needed

I see Sam has changed part of the format from fourballs to foresomes on sunday morning.
Please correct me if I have this the wrong way round.

Sam has taken advantage of a ruling that allows him to change the format of the matches if he desires. Looking at past results, he reckons the Europeans do better in the fourball format so wants to start and finish with them, with the foursomes in between. He thinks that if they do well in the betterball (fourball) format on Saturday afternoon it will give them more momentum going into the Sunday singles. It's all strategy related but basically Sam's taken the opportunity to put his opposite captain on the back foot.

Mr. Courtman: It's not "Mr." Venetian! And I'm not in the US, though you'll no doubt find the courses, unless you choose very carefully, to be over-groomed, full of fake lakes with concrete bottoms, and shallow, meaningless bunkers. Stay away from the PGA Tour courses, which on the whole seem to be selected to make life as easy as possible for the spoiled ones (and as boring as possible for everyone else), and you should find something interesting.

There seems to be some talk going around about Justin Rose or other in-form players stepping in if Monty is sidelined. Can't happen, under the rules: the first ten players are picked srictly on their Order of Merit ranking as of the cut-off day LAST YEAR. That means Poulter is first alternate. Here they are:


Don't see that hoping for a top ten withdrawal gets us much forrarder. If Monty can play at all, his value to the team as a spark is even greater than as a player.

The only way to get an in-form player into the squad is if Parnevik, who should never have been selected in the first place in my view, would do the right thing and "break" a toe. Though it's a toss-up which of the two of him and Garcia made more of a hash of Sahalee, a rare interesting US Tour course.

Some heartening signs of form in some of the heel-draggers lately, however. Fulke is coming right. A bit early to get enthusiastic about Westwood, though that was a heady moment on Thursday when he, Clarke and monty were atop the leaderboard!

Fasth is off his oats a bit, but is a good big-event player. Garcia: better have the off-weeks that occasionally afflict all now than a month from now. McGinley and Price continue to be a concern, though I hope the coming events in Europe will sharpen them up -- I expect to see Poulter do well in Germany this week, just to stake his claim, and McGinley had better shape up, too, or he will be getting numb-bum on a Friday and Saturday in a few weeks.

But form is no predictor of Ryder Cups. It's match play, and none of them plays enough of it to have a consistent form line. It will be determined on the day, which makes this year's teams as likely to do well as the ones that would have been chosen if qualifying had continued.

i'd like to think we can win the cup but i think we have more problems than the U.S.

Fulke won one event and enough money to put him in the team - and has done very little since. Mcginley was playing well 12 months ago but it hasn't happened for him this year. Mr "no dress sense" Parnevik couldn't win our monthly medal but i think he would still beat Westwood. Monty will have the crowd on his side so he may even begin to enjoy what he does for a living !!
As for the rest i guess Clark and Garcia are the pick of the bunch which doesn't bode too well for the rest.

roll on Rose, Casey and co coming to the fore.

You bin watchin' too much Star Trek, Venutian ole man.
Them pointy ears don't necessarily mean you got all the answers - what you say about Garcia and Parnevik is all space dust. T
hey're the only decent players we got man.

Erm, I hate to say this Lion but the guy's handle is 'The Venetian' -- as in one from Venice, Italy.

Dunno, can't say I've ever met an Italian golfer Al.

They got pointy ears?

Something about Alan and Lionel reminds me of a ventriloquist (Remember Lenny the Lion and his operator who spoke through gritted teeth? Who was that by the way? Terry someone?). I think Ms Venetian makes some very good points.
Many of us are not suited to medal rounds where every shot counts (too much pressure towards the end), but give us a matchplay format where our inconsistency shines through and on our day we can be a match for anyone.

What are you implying Bob?


Nothing Alan! But you know what they say is the first sign of madness...

It was something about hair wasn't it? In that case Lionel's in trouble by the looks of things.

Bob - It was Terry Hall I believe -
with Lenny the Lion.
That gives our ages away mate.

Oh, and Al doesn't grit his teeth.

I wish he'd cut his nails though :)

I can never remember who all is on the US team, but a number of them have been struggling: Duval, for a year, with a good round here and there; Sutton, all season; Azinger, in part due to health and injury issues. Cink has not lit that many fires that I can recall, and DL III is as streaky as Darren Clarke (when he's good, he's very, very...). Woods, while Woods, does not have the world's best professional match play record. It's not bad, but it's not Monty.

Don't know that I said anything I'd review about Garcia: he has had a pretty impressive year, though he struggled at Sahalee. Better to struggle now than in a month is all I said -- no-one goes 365/7 without some off-rounds.

And perhaps someone could explain to me why Parnevik. He's been useless all year and was not so very dazzling last year that there was not controversy as to whether he or Olazabal should be picked. Torrance may have thought that the pairing of Jessie and the kid was so successful at Brookline that it was worth giving up a better team player, a better match player and a more inspirational player whose form was also shaky at the time.

But it's that kind of thinking, and not the form of Pierre Fulke, that could scupper this Ryder Cup for us. Parnevik and Garcia were Mark James' pairing. James and Torrance being, essentially, Voice and Echo, I fear that far too many decisions being made at the Belfry will reflect James' thinking, despite the fact that the European Ryder Cup committee kicked him off his spot (which just illustrates how joined at the hip these two were that he was there in the first place) as Vice Captain. Torrance has managed to sneak him back in the servants' entrance, proving that James was always going to be an overly influential member of this squad.

He was not, ultimately, a successful one, due in part to some very bad decisions that are rooted in his personality. It will be disastrous if Torrance emulates them.

Bob - old bean - it's been a week and there has been lots of rhetoric about the men - does anyone on GOLFmagic realise there was a SOlheim team announcement last Sunday night?

Just to make it easy for everyone, here's this link!


European Solheim Team 2002