Ryder Cup turning into ‘silly season’
NEWPORT, Wales – August used to be the “silly season” here in the United Kingdom. Judging from two preview days of this Ryder Cup, September is vying hard to claim that title.
So little seems to happen in August in the British Isles that newspapers end up running stories that would never appear at any other time of year. After two days of nothing but hot air here at Celtic Manor, it’s a wonder the authorities don’t move the competition up a day to put us all out of our misery.
European captain Colin Montgomerie is doing his single-handed best to turn September into the silly season. It seems every time he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it.
He told us on Monday that he hadn’t done anything to influence course setup at Celtic Manor. It’s a wonder his nose didn’t grow 6 inches with that statement.
Ian Poulter said the course is set up like a U.S. Open venue. “I’d rather be 260 yards in the fairway than 310 yards in the rough,” Poulter said. “That’s how penal it is around here.”
Of course, Monty’s favorite major is the U.S. Open, the one he’s come closest to winning on three occasions. No surprise, then, that Celtic Manor would be set up U.S. Open style.
There is no question course setup plays into the Europeans’ hands. With the U.S. containing more long-bombers than the Euros, it makes sense to grow the rough to catch the big hitters who hit it off-line. Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jeff Overton, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson might struggle if they don’t put it in the fairway.
When Monty says he’s had no influence on course setup, the Scotsman in me wants to say, “Aye, that’ll be right!”
If you don’t think we’re in the midst of something silly, then consider the whole social-networking issue. Pavin has banned his players from using Twitter or Facebook. Well, we can’t have Ryder Cup secrets leaked, can we?
And if you don’t think Monty sometimes opens his mouth and says the first thing that comes out of it, then consider that on Monday he told us he’d banned his players from using Twitter. Only for Graeme McDowell and Poulter to tweet immediately after Monty made his statement.
Then today Monty tells us that, actually, he hasn’t banned players from social networking. They’re only forbidden from revealing matters discussed in the team room, a rule that has stood only since time immemorial.
Honestly, Friday can’t come soon enough.