In Wales, the tweet sound of silence

Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin at a Ryder Cup press conference Monday.


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NEWPORT, Wales – Here at the 38th Ryder Cup, just two hours or so down the M4 from London, where the great Bard himself used to compose such eloquent prose – doing so in passages measuring more than 140 characters at a time – Ryder Cup participants already have been served a deep philosophical question befitting of our times:

To tweet, or not to tweet?

Not, says both captains here at Celtic Manor. Colin Montgomerie, a non-tweeter, and Corey Pavin, a man of tweetdom with nearly 11,000 followers (@RC_CAPTAIN_2010), have asked their respective squads to suspend all Twitter posts until the Ryder Cup matches conclude. If anyone goes into the envelope this week in Wales, it will not be due to overused thumbs.

Team Capsules

Team USA

Team Europe

(However, at the time of this writing, Europe’s Graeme McDowell was still giving updates on Twitter, his last being: @Graeme_McDowell: We have a team meeting at 6 so will keep you posted on the tweeting ban...............let’s hope not!!!! Go Europe!!!!”

So forget about those scenic TwitPics from @ianjamespoulter showing the tremendous view from the European team room overlooking the 18th green at Celtic Manor Resort’s Twenty Ten Course, something his 1 million-plus followers were able to view Sunday.

Never mind the cool matching U.S. team garb Nike sent @stewartcink, who has 1.2 million accounts following him, and his wife, @lisacink. “Won’t be tweeting until we get back,” Stewart Cink tweeted before leaving Atlanta for Wales on Sunday night. “I guess I’ll have to pass the down time (sic) actually reading or something.”

A book? Perish the very thought!

With Twitter on hiatus at the Ryder Cup, how will we know what @McIlroyRory is up to behind the scenes? Or what left-handed zaniness @bubbawatson might be posting on some video downloaded to his popular account? And how else will the U.S. know early Friday morning when @RickieFowlerPGA declares, officially, “It’s Go Time!”

Montgomerie admitted his view on social media changed after cricketer Kevin Pietersen recently let the world in on his frustrations via Twitter after being snubbed by the English national cricket team, terming the decision a “f--- up.” He later apologized. England’s coach, Andy Flower, has given his player the green light to resume tweeting.

“Kevin Pietersen’s error changed my view as to that, yes,” Montgomerie said Monday in the captain’s press conference. Montgomerie declined to call the captains’ unified Twitter edict a true ban, he said, “because if someone does it, well, how can you punish someone for it?”

“I’ve just asked my team not to, and they have said, OK, that’s fine, we’ll start again ‘Tweetering’ or ‘Twittering,’ having never done it, on Monday October the fourth.”

Pavin and his wife, Lisa – well-known in Twitter space as the Captainess – have been very active on Twitter, where fans frequently have rallied to lend the captain support for his team. Pavin’s last tweet was sent as he headed off to bed on Saturday night.

Pavin: “As Colin said, Team USA, whatever they would like to do, tweeting or Facebooking or whatever it may be, they have the opportunity to do that next week and for the rest of their lives.”

The two captains looked at one another, almost sharing a simultaneous bonding notion that this silly subject certainly was nothing Ben Hogan nor Tony Jacklin ever had to endure as captains.

What happened next? They LOL’d.

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