Hype bombs riddle Celtic Manor at Ryder Cup
NEWPORT, Wales – After U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin mentioned that Major Dan Rooney gave an inspirational talk to his team Tuesday night, several United Kingdom publications criticized the American side for mixing golf with war yet again.
You might say the gross overreaction was amusing.
Richard Williams of the Guardian wrote, “Bombs away! So now the 38th Ryder Cup is, officially, war, thanks to the revelation that Corey Pavin . . . has called in the military to stiffen his team’s spine.”
Tom English of the Scotsman wrote, “What’s this American fascination with golf and war? America turned Kiawah into the War on the Shore. An air commander of some vintage spoke at the opening ceremony at Oakland Hills in 2004. Paul Azinger got his now famous “pod” system for the 2008 matches from watching a documentary about the U.S. Navy SEALs on the Discovery Channel and now Major Dan is addressing the troops.”
There was more, of course. That’s the way the Ryder Cup hype goes sometimes during these days of drawn-out buildup. To use an appropos combat verb, sometimes stuff gets blown out of proportion.
So as long as we’re imagining things and playing along and laughing it off ...
Pavin is said to be “fighting mad” over these British newspaper reports.
But overall he’s upbeat because he believes he has 12 players who would “fall on a grenade” for him.
My understanding is that Pavin told Jim Gray that it’s important for the U.S. to “draw first blood” at this Ryder Cup.
European leader Colin Montgomerie has vice captains. Pavin has lieutenants.
The Europeans are wearing wigs. The Americans are wearing helmets.
According to an unconfirmed report out of Hollywood, Tom Hanks will star in the new flick, Saving Captain Pavin.
Pavin, of course, doesn’t make pairings. He plots strategy.
The war thing has gone so far that supposedly Pavin told Jim Gray that the U.S. would skip the pre-tournament concert and even stop playing pingpong for a minute to watch the movie Patton.
Supposedly when a Ryder Cup official asked whether the captain wanted bottled water, Pavin shot back, “The U.S. team drinks out of canteens!”
But that wasn’t his best quote. When discussing the Cup and the man depicted on the hardware, Pavin said, “I want Abe Mitchell’s head on a trophy!”
Forget about Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood. This Ryder Cup is about Captain Pavin, General Montgomerie and Major Rooney.
Pavin also supposedly told Jim Gray he’s more interested in Celtic manner than Celtic Manor. Something about the warrior spirit.
A PGA official leaked me Pavin's Friday morning speech to the team. It begins with, "Off with their heads!''
Because General Petraeus was unavailable, Pavin reportedly flew in Frank Lickliter on Air Force One to address the team Thursday night.
In light of all this swirl, the question now is, Who will win the epic battle known as the Ryder Cup?
Do you like the Warmongers? Or do you like the Coalition of Countries America Has Either Beaten or Bailed Out?
It’s a tough call, really.
Given the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jeff Overton, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, it’s clear the U.S. has more bombers than Europe.
But despite that and the fact every American player is packing more than the usual 14 weapons, one obstacle might be insurmountable:
How will the Yanks ever get past the metal detector?