Donegan On The U.S. Team

Lawrence Donegan in Tuesday's Guardian, writing about Tiger and Phil's absence for next week's U.S. practice rounds at K Club:

As an exercise in preparing his squad for what lies ahead, the trip could not be faulted but as a statement of American team unity it had a fatal flaw: his two best players will not be there.


Lehman said he hoped the Irish public would be allowed into the K Club to watch his team's practice sessions - another savvy public relations move on his part - although it did raise the question of how many would take him up on the kind offer, especially as his squad contains four players whom most casual fans would be hard pressed to pick out of a Garda Siochana line-up.

"These guys all deserve to be here. They all played themselves on to the team and I am extremely happy that they did," the US captain said when asked about the presence of the Ryder Cup rookies JJ Henry, Vaughn Taylor, Brett Wetterich and Zach Johnson.

Nor is there likely to be a rush at Dublin airport to get the autographs of Stewart Cink and Scott Verplank, the two players chosen by Lehman as his captain's picks. "Stewart has played steady golf throughout his career. He hits the ball great, is a strong putter and a great chipper of the ball," he said of Cink.