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  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

Frequently the natives resent the invasion of the golf pioneer . . . Once an irate farmer emptied a thirty-three at myself and the engineer at a range of only five hundred yards, and he made us take cover too. He was a renter, and knew that we were there for no good. As he took no interest whatever in the Royal and Ancient.




Chris Kirk Taking His Ryder Cup Omission In Stride

I’ve been pondering many deep things in this world, none more profound than, “why didn’t Tom Watson pick Chris Kirk for the 2014 Ryder Cup team?”

I’ve concluded, with some fine Twitter input from friends and followers, that (A) he would have made the team on points if the deadline had been the more natural ending date at the Deutsche Bank Championship, (B) he is not the sole player on the planet who can tolerate Bubba Watson as a partner, and (C) he was the hot hand that the former Captain Watson once suggested was going to be a key to his picks, before that became irrelevant.

It seems Kirk is taking the Webb Simpson decision in stride, reports Adam Schupak from Cherry Hills as the BMW Championship is about to commence.

“He was pretty straight to the point,” said Kirk, adding that Watson “just said, ‘Congratulations on your great play, but we’re going to go in another direction.’ He kind of started to explain his reasoning, and I wasn’t rude at all or anything, but if you’re not the one getting picked, you don’t really – the reason doesn’t really matter a whole lot.”

Many thought that Kirk, who had won the Deutsche Bank Championship on Sept. 1 for his second Tour title of the 2013-14 season, had played well enough to earn one of three captain’s picks.

Kirk told Watson, “Hey don’t worry about it. You got to do what you got to do. I just won the biggest tournament of my career. It’s going to take a lot more than this to put me in a bad mood.”


You Too Can Wear Team USA Ryder Cup Gear If You’re Willing To Refinance Your Mortgage

The seemingly nice folks at Ralph Lauren unveiled the Team USA uniforms for the 2014 Ryder Cup and while they’re mostly pretty decent looking, especially idea of the captain in non-team attire with a tie and coat option, there is a questionable outfit on day two with Scottish plaid and a not-quite matching blue shirt.

Then there is the Dominatrix Collection belt (right), and of course, blatant use of the Polo logo sprinkled throughout the collection.

Best of all though, you can now buy the team uniforms and the prices are good for a chuckle.

There’s the navy and white 3-layer drive jacket, coming in at just $524.95 (because $525 might have been off-putting). And the $259.95 blue windbreaker is a steal if you’re on the Forbes list and need the "concealed zip pocket at the right chest and at each side of the waist” to hide your Caymans keys. And finally, the American flag sweater that is sure to join the many other “what were they thinking” Team USA uniform items from the past, all for just $174.95!

Here are the scripted uniforms for the Ryder Cup competition days, Tweeted by the Team USA account.

Morning Drive hosted the big reveal of the Captain's outfits and the team outfits.


The Olympic Golf Course May Really Be In Jeopardy This Time

Dreadful news to the Olympic golf movement and the Olympics in general as reported by AP's Jenny Barchfield and Stephen Wade, who said a court has decided the Olympic course in Rio should be modified to meet enviromental concerns even though the holes were cleared long ago.

This, even though the course has been shaped and much of it is mostly awaiting seeding. Primary clearing work was completed long ago.

In a raucous, at times chaotic two-hour-long hearing, Klausner heard the concerns of environmentalists, biologists and Rio city hall's top environmental official, as well as attorneys from both sides.

Klausner played the role of mediator, nudging the public prosecutors, who brought the suit, to offer a proposal that would preserve as much of the Atlantic rainforest area as possible while allowing the golf course to continue.

"It is in society's interests that the Olympics take place and it's also in society's interests that the environment be preserved," he said. "What has to be observed is legality, and within legality is respect for the environment."

A forest engineer with the state environment secretariat, Isabela Lobato da Silva, who visited the forested area before construction on the golf course began, said that while some forested areas have already been destroyed, the damage was not irreversible.

I walked through some of these "forested" areas, littered with trash and free of wildlife. And I'll be the first to defend the rights of those who feel a golf course should go forward until all vital environmental issues are resolved, but the current state of the Rio course is the final shaping and seeding stage. That means all of the clearing that was to be done has been done. So this appears to be yet another bogus incident in the sad saga that is the IOC taking the Olympics to Brazil. The next ten days will be huge.


Ryder Cup Traffic Concerns Increase After Team Europe Adds Three More Cart Drivers

Brian Keogh with news release that Pádraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jiménez and José María Olazábal have been named Ryder Cup vice captain's by European Captain Paul McGinley, adding to the two he already has: Des Smyth and Sam Torrance. A record five!

This means a fleet of at least six Team Europe carts competing for space with America's four team carts, and I'm not even counting the official WAGsmobiles. Calling all traffic cops to the greater Gleneagles area!

The reason for five? It's all about the workload. From the release:

“I know it’s been common in the past to have three or four vice captains but I’ve gone for five because I feel an extra person is justified due to the additional workload which comes from being the home team, in addition to how well I saw such a system working when we ended up having five vice captains under Colin Montgomerie at Celtic Manor in 2010.

Let's hope Captain McGinley doesn't lean too hard on 2012 captain Olazábal for advice on sportsmanship issues considering his desire to play out the last match in conditions that would have had the Euros howling if the situation was reversed. Or in-team communication. Just make sure Sergio and Lee are properly hydrated and have plenty tees.


The 17th At Cherry Hills Finally Looks Like An Island Green

The quick turnaround from Monday's Deutsche Bank Championship means the hype for Cherry Hills will be minimal, but championship golf's return to this iconic American venue should not be downplayed. The BMW this week will, weather permitting, provide another great stage for drama as I discussed with Gary Williams on Morning Drive.

Ticket sales have been great and PGA Tour rules staffer and this week's advance man Stephen Cox says the course is in beautiful shape, with lush three inch rough fed by more summer rains than normal and a few greens they'll be monitoring for pace, all to ensure that the story is about exciting golf.

Cherry Hills always seems to produce something wild and weird, and no hole has more history there than the 555-yard par-5 17th, which will feature a new look since the course last hosted the 2012 U.S. Amateur.

As Tom Kensler of the Denver Post reports, rear trees have come out as have some mounds, leaving the island more exposed.

Since the Palmer Cup, trees that partially surrounded the 17th green have been removed and two sets of cross bunkers were built into the fairway. It will take a drive of about 345 yards to carry over the first set of bunkers and offer the best chance to reach the green in two shots to set up an eagle putt.

"That's too much for me, but I'm sure a lot of guys will go for it," said touring pro Kevin Stadler, who grew up in Denver and now resides in the Phoenix area. "That's going to be a big advantage to the really long hitters."

Cherry Hills head golf professional John Ogden believes No. 17 will yield the most eagles during the BMW Championship. Ogden said the PGA Tour would like to see that.

"In setting up Cherry Hills, one thing that the tour has done a nice job of is with No. 17," Ogden said. "That green was so firm for the (2012) U.S. Amateur, and also because it was closely mowed all around the green, players were hesitant to go for it (with their second shot).

"The PGA Tour is going to have 3-inch rough on the back side (of the island). So shots that do come in long will have a chance to stay dry. It's going to create a lot of excitement."

More fun took place Tuesday at Cherry Hills as organizers left a persimmon driver and balata ball on the 360-yard first tee, which is the site of Arnold Palmer's epic drive in the 1960 U.S. Open final round.

Randall Mell reports that none of today's Hogan's and Snead's were able to replicate the drive.

Speaking of that famous drive, Cliff Schrock of Golf Digest found a photo from another day at Cherry Hills of that first tee scene that has so rarely been seen since Palmer's famous moment.


Rapid Roundup: Watson Picks Bradley, Mahan & Simpson

I couldn't envision see the Webb Simpson selection but maybe it's just that I can't get his shank at the last Ryder Cup out of my mind. But considering that we've heard from Tom Watson about the importance of playing well leading into the Ryder Cup, and that the points list would be important to him, Chris Kirk's ommission seems downright strange.

Mark Lamport Stokes with the Reuters roundup of both announcements from the European and American captains for those of you who were not paying attention Tuesday.

Steve DiMeglio suggests things are looking up for Team USA compared to a month ago and following Tuesday’s selections.

Luke Kerr-Dineen considers the pros and cons of the picks and includes Phil and Keegan’s bonding moment GIF for the ages.

Michael Walker was at the SNL stage and notes the pomp but also points out Captain Watson's view that match play was critical in selecting Hunter Mahan.

Mahan, who won the Barclays tournament two weeks ago, made the team on the strength of his match-play performances, Watson said. In 2012, Mahan won the Accenture Match Play Championship over Rory McIroy and returned to the finals the following year before losing to Matt Kuchar.

“One of the things you look at is how you play match play -- Hunter Mahan has really shined,” Watson said. “Match play is a little different than medal play, you play the course and you play the man.”

Farrell Evans wonders if Kirk's comments hurt his chances with Captain Watson.

Kirk would have been the fourth rookie on the team if he had been selected. And the former University of Georgia star didn't do himself any favors by saying after his win that he wasn't entitled to a place on the team because he hadn't earned his way through the points race.

That sounds good in theory, but it's a lukewarm attitude to show to a captain who is faced with a difficult decision. Kirk should have been emphatic about his right to be on the U.S. team after his win at the Deutsche Bank.

Scott Michaux isn’t so sure, saying Watson went old school in his thinking instead of going with the hot golfer in Kirk.

Watson was supposed to be an inspired leader who would break the pattern of cyclical thinking that hasn’t worked very well for the United States in losing the cup 10 of the past 14 times and five of the past six. What was the point of waiting three weeks if those performances didn’t really matter?

“I’ve been looking at these statistics for a long time,” Watson said.

What stats? Clearly not performance if he can ignore a guy with two wins in past 12 months, who’s leading FedEx Cup by a lot, ranks No. 5 on the money list and has the most Official World Golf Ranking points gained in 2014 of all candidates as well as eight members of the European team.

This isn’t just about last week for Kirk, though that should have been proof enough. It’s about the last year where he distinguished himself above Simpson.

Tom Watson’s post-announcement chat with Rich Lerner was revealing because (A) he likes Jimmy Fallon (B) knows who Jimmy Fallon is and (C) felt the need to cap his team at three rookies, which sounds like it played into his decision to go with Webb Simpson over someone like Kirk or Ryan Moore.

A slideshow gallery of Team USA.


Tom And Tiger Still Tussling: "He didn't call me. I called him."

This 2014 Ryder Cup desperately needs controversy and sadly it's only on the American side right now following Tom Watson's peculiar choice of shank artists Webb Simpson and the ongoing lovers quarrel between those Cardinal alumbs Watson and Woods.

Rex Hoggard reports the non-throwaway throwaway comment from Tom Watson in announcing his picks that Tiger withdrew from the Ryder Cup consideration publicly and to Watson...once the Captain picked up the phone to his good ole Stanford buddy.

"Tiger told me when I called Tiger. He didn’t call me. I called him,” Watson said."

At the time, a statement released on Woods’ web site was unclear who reached out to whom.

“I have already spoken to Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain's pick, I took myself out of consideration,” Woods said.

Go Cardinal!


Where Does The U.S. Amateur Go From Here?

Golf World's Ryan Herrington rightfully wonders what it says about the state of the U.S. Amateur when a virtual unknown wins and then parlays his newfound status into a leave from college to tour the world playing professional events.

That’s what’s happened with 20-year-old Gunn Yang this year, and when coupled with Matthew Fitzpatrick’s decision to cut his college career short, leaves things in a very odd state for America’s once-prestigious national amateur championship.


Video: Robert Trent Jones Jr. Takes A Shower

It's for ALS Challenge!

And the architect of 2015 U.S. Open venue Chambers Bay challenges his good, good friends at the USGA Mike Davis and Tom O'Toole to continue the fun for a cause (big points to Davis and O'Toole if they decline and make a $100 contribution as this blogger did).

Anyway, fresh out of his pilates class in Hawaii, I give you RTJ Jr. taking the Ice Bucket Challenge:


Millennial Madness As Watson Tabs Hunter, Webb, Keegan

Never again will anyone be able to claim that SNL is the most awkward, tedious thing taped in Rockefeller Center's Studio 8H!

Live television will never be the same again after NBC/Golf Channel's live broadcast of Captain Tom Watson's Ryder Cup picks. Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson were chosen to round out the team of twelve. Interspersed with Omega's hellacious Rory McIlroy "Hall of Fame" ad! What a joy.

Tom Watson's introductory remarks for each pick will be scrutinized, but for now, it sounded like Simpson was picked because of his passion for the Ryder Cup over Chris Kirk, whose comments about keeping his tickets to the Tennessee-Georgia game sounded like a greater priority. Watson gave a speech about golfers for different seasons and that Simpson is a fall golfer. Like I said, let the scrutiny begin!

Incidentally, Simpson placed 5th in the voting here but your first two picks made it.

For Immediate Release, analysis to follow:

NEW YORK (Sept. 2, 2014) – United States Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson selected Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson today to complete the 2014 U.S. Team. The three players join nine other golfers who earned automatic berths on the U.S. Team on Aug. 11, following the 96th PGA Championship.
Watson made his picks at NBC’s Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, the home of “Saturday Night Live.” He will guide the U.S. against Europe, Sept. 26-28, in the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary Course in Perthshire, Scotland.
Bradley, the 2011 PGA Champion, will make his second consecutive Ryder Cup appearance. In 2012, he posted a 3-1-0 record in a 14½ to 13½ loss to Europe at Medinah (Illinois) Country Club. Mahan was a member of the 2008 and 2010 Teams, posting a 3-2-3 record. Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open Champion, also was a member of the 2012 U.S. Team at Medinah, finishing with a 2-2-0 record.
The U.S. Team will bid to regain possession of the Ryder Cup, which it last won in 2008. Those earning automatic berths on the Team through the U.S. Points System were: Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson. Mickelson will be making his 10th consecutive Ryder Cup appearance, a U.S. Team record for most consecutive and most all-time appearances.
European Captain Paul McGinley also announced his three picks earlier today to complete his Team. He selected Stephen Gallacher, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, who join the players who qualified via the Ryder Cup World Points List and the European Ryder Cup Points List: Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.
Begun in 1927, the Ryder Cup is the pre-eminent event in golf. The United States owns a 25-12-2 advantage in the biennial competition, although Europe has won five of the past six Ryder Cups. Europe has not lost a “home” Ryder Cup since 1993, when Tom Watson was the U.S. Captain.


Tiger's Old Teacher: Stop Worrying About Distance!

Tiger's been obsessed with distance ever since John Anselmo first met the pupil and the now-93-year-old first instructor to Woods and the Obi-Wan to Tiger's Luke says it's time to stop worrying about hitting it far.

Ryan Herrington reports.

Anselmo said it's been several years since he saw Woods and the idea of speaking again with him would be gratifying. "Lots of things I'd like to tell him," Anselmo told Golf World. "First, quit trying to kill the ball. And I would ask him what he feels during the swing, because he was a feel player. I don't know if it's possible for him to be the player he was. But I know he hasn't forgotten how to create a swing. There's still some greatness in there."


Rapid Round-up: McGinley Picks Gallacher, Poulter & Westwood

Great minds think alike as the top three in the poll here (thanks for voting) were also selected by Captain Paul McGinley to round out the 2014 European Ryder Cup team. The poll only surprised me by how little you all think of Luke Donald's game, especially since he played well yesterday and, unlike Lee Westwood, played!

The only real shocker from the press conference at Wentworth? Jackets and ties from the inkslingers in attendance. Must be a requirement to be invited to lunch?

Anyway, a quick look at Paul McGinley's selection of Stephen Gallacher, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

Jason Sobel highlights the team-first method McGinley used to announce his picks. Video of the announcement is included with the item.

Ewan Murray focuses on the Luke Donald omission.

“Luke was very, very disappointed and rightly so. My personal relationship with him goes back to the first shot he ever hit in a Ryder Cup because I was his partner.”

Asked about Donald’s response, McGinley replied: “Luke said to me: ‘You know, Paul, I publicly backed you to be captain. Even though you haven’t picked me, I still think you’ll be a great captain.’”

I translated the conversation between McGinley and Donald here at The Loop.

Phil Casey has the selected player comments and it's interesting that Lee Westwood touted his first round lead at the PGA as part of his case.

Martin Dempster with the Scotland angle on Gallacher's selection to the first Ryder Cup played in Scotland since 1973, back when they went to golf courses of merit.

Bob Harig notes that Donald’s lack of a top 10 since April could not have helped.

A Sky report suggests from McGinley’s comments that a Poulter pick was even more inevitable than first thought.

In case you want to relive the announcement or slept through it like I did, Rob Bagchi covered it as it happened for the Telegraph and Nick Miller did the same for The Guardian.

The Telegraph with the full team in slideshow form.

The full press conference transcript is here.


Biden Says Workers Deserve Fair Share In A Sebonack Shirt

Like something concocted by the writers of HBO's superb Veep, the current Vice President Joe Biden made an impassioned speech on Labor Day, telling Detroit-area union members that they deserve their fair share and stuck "with populist themes" according to this WXYZ report.

Not mentioned in the report? The veep was wearing a golf shirt with the logo of Sebonack, 2013 U.S. Women's Open host, seemingly extra-fine club, but most definitely a club costing upwards of a half-million dollars to join in the early years of its existence. And I'm guessing there hasn't been a reduction in these tough economic times for the down-on-their-luck Hamptons set.

Thanks to reader Todd for noticing this.


PGA Tour Player Bucket List Courses: Situation (Mostly) Normal

Michael Whitmer polled around 100 PGA Tour players about their bucket list courses and for the most part, they named all of the usual suspects.

Naturally, there were some who refused to answer (no Bubba, shocking I know!) and several who understandably said their bucket list spare time would be spent somewhere else other than a golf course.

Those who have never played in the Masters often said Augusta National, and those who have never played in an Open Championship at the Old Course frequently included St. Andrews. Not surprisingly, private clubs that don’t host PGA Tour events were named the most, led by Pine Valley, Cypress Point, Seminole, San Francisco Golf Club, and the exclusive designs on Long Island: National, Shinnecock Hills, Maidstone, Friar’s Head, Sebonack. Two players — Matt Kuchar and J.J. Henry — said The Country Club in Brookline.

“I’d love to do all of Long Island properly, and play them all as the members play them,” said Geoff Ogilvy (his list: National, Crystal Downs, Pasatiempo). “We see these courses in such ridiculous setups.”


Poll: Your Three USA Ryder Cup Captain's Picks

I can't imagine this was the dilemma Tom Watson envisioned he'd have when he signed up to be the USA Ryder Cup Captain. But here goes....

The options listed below for the three captain's picks are in order from the final Ryder Cup points list, not the faux list incorporating the post-PGA Championship events (if the PGA of America feels it's worthwhile to keep making a list after the final list, maybe it's time to have the points decided at the last possible event ala Team Europe?).

The Deutsche Bank Championship win by Chris Kirk certainly would seem to vault him onto the team based on season points and late form. Kirk, however, says he has plans to be watching the Tennessee-Georgia game that weekend and didn't want to make the team as a pick, reported Peter May. Here's guessing he'll have a change of heart.

Captain Tom announces his team Tuesday at 6 pm ET from New York City.

The poll:

Your three USA Ryder Cup captain's picks? free polls


Poll: Your Three European Ryder Cup Captain's Picks

On Tuesday, September 2 at 7 am ET Paul McGinley announces his three choices in the often political and always sensitive European selection race. You can view the final points lists here and see the live announcement from Wentworth on Golf Channel.

Before voting, a few food-for-thought items to check out.

Brandel Chamblee calls Ian Poulter's selection a no-brainer and in the same piece you can hear from the classy Stephen Gallacher kicking off the same Golf Central piece. It's quite interesting to see Poulter's past success has bought him a place on the team considering his season. Ewan Murray in his Observer preview of the captain's picks and the various elements involved also makes the same statement.

Regarding Gallacher, Martin Dempster points this out about the Scotsman's track record at the Gleneagles Centenary course. will not escape his notice surely that, in addition to the fact Gallacher came within a whisker of making the team at Gleneagles, the player has also recorded seven top-ten finishes over the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in his last 12 appearances in events at the Perthshire venue.

Monty says Gallacher should make the team. That and many other thoughts from the former Captain in Kevin Garside's reporting.

James Corrigan suggests Luke Donald may be the odd man out because of Gallacher's great run, and says this about passing on Gallacher:

Believe it, McGinley would be the golfing equivalent of the man who shot Bambi if he snubbed the local hero, particularly after the events at Circolo Golf Turin.

Cameron Morfit makes one final case for Bernhard Langer and includes Captain McGinley's quote all but ruling out the former captain and now-Champions Tour player. But note what McGinley says about the basis for his feelings.

“It's very hard for me to evaluate Bernhard because he's not playing in World Ranking points,” McGinley said recently. As captain, he added, he makes up his team based on World Ranking points and European Order of Merit points. “Now, Bernhard doesn't count in either of those,” McGinley said. “The only event he's played in that has World Ranking points or European Order of Merit points is the Masters.” (Langer tied for eighth place with, among others, Rory McIlroy.)

And Lee Westwood and Luke Donald and Ian Poulter!

Based on McGinley's view that the world points will factor most in his decision, I've listed the players below in approximate order related to their 2014 points.

Please, just three votes...

Your three European Ryder Cup captain's picks? free polls


Mickelson Part Of Group Buying Fairbanks Ranch

The well-located by pretty dreadful design in San Diego that also hosted equestrian events in the 1984 Olympics has been purchased by Union-Tribune publisher Doug Manchester and Phil Mickelson, reports Roger Showley of the Union Tribune.

The group outbid a proposal from Club Corporation of America.

But a former board president, Louis Ferrero, said the Manchester-Mickelson bid came out of an earlier proposal to sell to ClubCorp, operator of the University Club in downtown San Diego, Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe and the Shadowridge Golf Club in Vista.

While ClubCorp offered top management credentials, Manchester offered a more ambitious improvement plan and a link to his Grand Del Mar property in Carmel Valley, Ferrero said.


Gallacher Misses By One But He Better Be Ryder Pick Now!

Scotland's Stephen Gallacher needed to win or finish second in the Italian Open. He finished third after a final round 65, but as Ryan Lavner spells out in this case for Gallacher as a Ryder Cup pick, Paul McGinley will have a hard time showing his face in Scotland if he denies Gallacher.

Lavner writes:

It’s not just that Gallacher rose to the challenge and contended for the title in Italy – his eight top 10s this season are the most of any European Tour player. Plus, he has an intriguing history at Gleneagles, residing only 40 kilometers from the club and losing in a playoff there last year.

With Gallacher seemingly a no-brainer wild-card pick, Paul McGinley will have to decide between veterans Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald for the final two spots.


Landslide: Portrush Members Vote 235-2 To Hold The Open

Even though R&A Chief Executive Architect Peter Dawson has all sorts of changes in mind for perennial world top 15 Royal Portrush, the members of the Northern Irish course were not deterred, voting overwhelmingly to join The Open Championship rota and allow major changes to the course, including two new holes and moving another green 60 yards.

Brian Keogh with the full report and details of the renovation work planned. It still sounds tight to have the new holes finished and mature enough for a possible 2019, which the R&A has made clear is not set in stone as the year of Portrush's long awaited Open Championship.

With planning permission now being sought, it is likely that work will not begin on the new holes proposed for the Valley Course until the winter of 2015 which means that the two new holes proposed for the Dunluce Links will almost certainly not be built until the winter of 2016 for play in the spring of 2017.


MJ (Unsuccessfully) Heckled Ian Poulter At Medinah

I'm not sure this will bode well for Michael Jordan getting an inside-the-ropes badge at future Cups after fessing up to heckling Ian Poulter down the stretch in the 2012 Ryder Cupi.

In the first of three "Road To The Ryder Cup" shows airing on NBC Sunday at 2:30 PM ET and Golf Channel Wednestday at 6:30 ET, Mark Rolfing sheds light on the little known battle between Poulter and Jordan. Tune in for the first episode of 'Road to the Ryder Cup' on NBC Sunday 8/31 at 2:30PM ET and Golf Channel Wednesday 9/3 at 6:30PM ET.

The preview:
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