September 27, 2012
Ryder notes: Wide-open course suits big-hitter Bubba
By TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency
CHICAGO - U.S. captain Davis Love III's course setup this week at Medinah Country Club will guarantee one thing: Bubba Golf.
With almost no rough, shots will be hittable from anywhere on the big golf course.
U.S. slugger Bubba Watson eluded to what the fans would be treated to when play starts Friday morning.
"You're talking about no rough, some of the trees are missing, so you're looking at great golf out of the trees when you hit one wayward," said the man who hit one of the best shots out of the trees in golf history this year to win the Masters.
"Everybody has the ability to hit the shot out of the trees. (We're going to) see the big hook, the big cuts, over trees, under trees, around bunkers to make birdies."
While it seems this setup plays right into Watson's crafty hands, he says everyone will benefit from it, including the fans.
"I think it is just made for a spectacular game of golf, no matter what team you're pulling for," he said. "These great shots that you're going to see from all parts of the course, it's going to be great."
The U.S. team has been all about ping pong this week.
Captain Davis Love has brought in numerous tables and there have been some heated battles in the race for No. 2.
By all accounts, Matt Kuchar is far and away the best table tennis player for the U.S., and everyone else is fighting for bragging rights to see who can put up the most points against him.
"I took to it young," Kuchar said of his prowess on the table. "I remember going out to the garage and playing nightly with dad. Dad was really good."
Kuchar says he's maybe a "one or two handicap," in ping pong and while he can't hold a candle to the sport's top-level players, "yeah, on our team, I'd be the best player."
For the rest of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, the games in the team room are more about trash talk. Bubba Watson said some guys take it too seriously.
"The Ryder Cup is all about ping pong, everybody," Watson said Thursday. "When you bring your own paddles in cases, a briefcase with a paddle in it, then obviously it's about ping pong. Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar have their own cases for their paddles.
POULTER WANTS TO 'KILL'
Perhaps Ian Poulter was just looking for a nickname better than "Poults."
Should he improve on his 8-3-0 Ryder Cup record this week at Medinah, he may earn the handle "Killer."
Ian Poulter said this week he wanted to "kill" his American competitors and, while we're sure he didn't mean it literally, some tried to fan the flames by goading the U.S. players into responding to the European player's comment, the expanded version of which was: "You can be great mates with somebody, but, boy, do you want to kill them in Ryder Cup."
But the Americans weren't taking the bait.
"I understand where Poults is coming from," Bubba Watson said Thursday. "I love it. I love watching his passion. The guy is great for the game of golf."
Even teammate Rory McIlroy admitted Poulter's term may have been a tad overblown.
"I think it's a little strong," McIlroy said. "I'd like to beat them."