Feherty won’t root for Team Europe at Ryder Cup

Feherty Live Ryder Cup Special

Feherty Live Ryder Cup Special

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Golf funny man David Feherty said he’ll be rooting for the USA when the Ryder Cup tees off Friday morning.

It was only last week we posted a guest blog on http://sportsmongeronthegreen.com/ about Rory McIlroy possibly facing a tough decision ahead of him in front of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which sees the reintroduction of golf following an absence of more than a century.  Should the golfer from Holywood play for EIRE, as he played for the Republic in his junior country-representing events?  Or should he play for the UK as, after all, he’s from Ulster, technically making him a UK citizen?

Whereas the popular money’s on Rory switching his historic allegiance and returning to Northern Ireland, hence Team GBR for Brazil and beyond, another Northern Irish golfer and ex-Ryder Cup team member, David Feherty, is thinking of abdicating to Team US for this week’s event in Medinah.  I know, shocking!

But, to be fair, has has lived Stateside for the last decade and a half and, although the European Tour winner and Team Europe golfer quipped that he’d never win the legal batle to become an American proper as his “wife always wanted to marry an Irishman”, it’s clear to see where his loyalties lie ahead of Medinah this weekend, if his latest broadcast on Feherty Live is anything to go by.

The repeat of Monday’s Ryder Cup Special show can be seen on The Golf Channel tonight (Weds 26th, September) and features a host of global sports stars helping the golfer-come-presenter-come-comedian make the decision, Team Europe or Team US.

And although he had strapping Scot Sam Torrence alongside him threatening to ‘smack’ him if he chose the stars ‘n’ stripes over the blue with yellow stars of Europe, his closing line of, “I’ll take plenty of flak for it..But hey, Americans take flak. We take it pretty well.” pretty much says it all.

In hindsight, if Northern Ireland could have the choice of who they want n their team for the Ryder Cup and Brazil, 2016, I think they’ll be happy the switch has worked out this way around and not the other, to be sure…

See on www.usatoday.com

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darrellsuper6 – results week 6

A very brief round-up this week, as I’ve left it a tad late, even for me.

A much better performance all around, in general – all but two of us getting at least one correct score, as well as a few results the right way.  But the star of this week has to be Pat, who got three scores bang on the money and a further correct result to give her a weekly total of ten points, the best performance of the week, month and season to date.

In fact, if she hadn’t had such a poor start to September, picking up a solitary point in each of the first three weeks, she may well be in contention for the league lead, if not Manager of the Month.  Indeed, both have a completely different look this week, everyone taking advantage of the fact that neither Ken nor Jord managed to pick a correct score out of the hat.

Results Week 6

DarrellSuper6 Results and League Tables, end Week 6 (M-o-t-M Sept Week 4)

The league proper has become incredibly tight at the top.  Ken, who started the month five points clear, is now just a solitary point ahead of Jase (22 & 21 points respectively), the only real difference being the fact that he scooped the golden goal today, changing from his usual ‘sixth’ minute to a timely ninth minute prediction, which came good thanks to Steven Fletcher‘s opener for Sunderland at Upton Park, where the Scottish striker came up against a West Ham team that named Matt Jarvis on the bench, both players preferring transfers to the Premier League where they were last season with Wolves, rather than help the Molineux Men win promotion back from the Championship this season.

Matt Jarvis, cropped from Arsenal vs Wolves

Matt Jarvis, cropped from Arsenal vs Wolves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pat’s 10-point haul today has seen her shoot up to third, just a point further back from Jase, taking her total for the season to 20 points – amazing that half of that tally has come from today’s predictions alone.  Jord had as disappointing a week as Ken, only picking up two points to see him slip off the pace; he shares joint fifth with Micky D on 19 points, the difference being that D’s technically ahead virtue of the fact he’s predicted one more correct result.  It could have looked a lot worse for Lesley, too, with her joint-bottom partner Pat having shot up the table.  But a correct score and two other correct results see her keep in touch just two points behind Mick and Jord on 17.

The Manager of the Month table has, at last, a look of definition to it, too, going into the final week.  For the last three weeks Jase and Jord have been inseparable, only Jord’s superior correct result keeping him ahead.  But a poor performance by Jord, with Jase correctly guessing that the Albion would sneak past Reading 1-0 as well as predicting two other correct results, sees that advantage disappear and Jase open up a two point gap to lead the September Manager of the Month with 17 points.

A further two points back from Jord come both Les and Pat on 13 each for the month, Pat above Lesley given her correct score tally.  Ken’s a point back on 12 in fifth and Micky D, who picked up his first correct result of September today guessing that the aforementioned West Ham v Sunderland game would end 1-1, brings up the rear on 9.

West Ham United FC's stadium, Upton Park; matc...

Upton Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But all is not lost, for anyone really, this September.  If anyone other than Jase has a ten-pointer like Pat did today, the favourite for this month’s Manager of the Month going into the final week may yet be denied.  And with neither Villa nor Albion featuring in the fixtures next Saturday – they go head-to-head in the local derby at four o’clock on Sunday – no one’s predictions will be swayed by loyalty.  It could make for an interesting finale.

For next week’s Super 6 fixtures, 29th September, click here.

It’s time to face facts: Tiger’s best days are behind him

I remember, ooh, fifteen years ago – no, my maths is dodgy – twenty-five years ago (oh, how I wish my maths oops, sorry: math – keep forgetting where I am – was right first time), my dad had brought me up to follow West Bromwich Albion football club. For those outside the UK, they’re a soccer team whose home ground, The Hawthorns, is just outside Birmingham, inside the borders of The Black Country, and they used to have one of the best soccer teams in the UK.

When I was fifteen, local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, arguably with a more successful past but, at the time, had only just been saved from liquidation and were in the lowest professional English football league, Division Four (now Npower League Two, after the Premiership, the Championship and League One). There were only two stands open in their ground, Molineux, actually in operation, the other two being classed as fire hazards following the Bradford City disaster a couple of years earlier.

English: Wolves, Football League Champions. Mo...

Wolves, Football League Champions.
Molineux, May ’09 (Wikipedia)

As there were only between 6,000-8,000 fans attending the home games at Molineux (a far cry from the 61,315 record in the club’s hay-day), there was still adequate space in those two remaining stands, The South Bank (terrace) and the John Ireland (seated) stands. It was at this point in Wolves previously illustrious history that one of my scooter-riding buddies asked if I wanted to go watch The Wolves one Saturday afternoon after we’d stripped his PX125 down and put it back together again.

Now the golf bit…

…whenever I read The Bleacher Report and how they report on Tiger Woods, I always, always think of that first game at Molineux in late ’87 and what I witnessed as a then impartial spectator from my vantage point, high up on the terraces of The South Bank.

WP Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy, “Tiger, over here!”
(photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, let’s have a look at a Bleacher Report article that turned up in my RSS feed, today, concentrating on the head-to-head the golfing world is waiting for both at Medinah and in the FedEx play-offs: Tiger Woods vs Rory McIlroy.

No harm there – every blogger that is even partially interested in golf has seen the Greg Norman comments about how he believes Woods’ is intimidated by the Ulsterman, how the torch was passed from the The Great Bear himself to Woods and now it’s his turn to pass on the ‘face of the game’ accolade to Rory. And we’ve reported on it accordingly.

Now, back to the Molineux, circa 1987. For ninety minutes, I stood in a crowd that was so biased (totally unintentionally; it was just the fans’ passion for the club that took over their emotions), they called and heckled every decision against them by the ref. Even the opponent’s goal, which was scored right in front of us and was obviously good got called into question. And the one incident that really sticks in my mind: a Wolves defender lost control of the ball and, although he tried desperately to keep it in play, it must have rolled two yards out, over the line. When the linesman flagged and the ref gave the throw-in, the entire South Bank erupted with abject hatred and genuine disbelief, even though the ball had so obviously rolled out of play. As not (yet*) one of that partisan crowd, it was quite intimidating.

About turn again, back to today and The Bleacher Report article. Whilst the guys concede that the former number one is second best to McIlroy (they’d be hard pushed not to) they bemoan the fact that “it seems all anybody wants to talk about is Rory McIlroy.”

A view of Tiger Woods as he walks off the 8th ...

Tiger, looking over his shoulder
(photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bleacher Guys – what do you expect? Pot, kettle, black spring to mind.

Tiger’s had his day in the sun, and boy, was it the summer solstice of them all, or what? The same as Wolves had their day in the late fifties, winning what is now the Premiership back-to-back in the ’57-58 & ’58-59 seasons and then the FA Cup in ’59-’60, a time when the Wolves back four was the England back-four, the first time that had ever happened.

Celtic/Wolves Tattoo, circa 1989

*My Celtic/Wolves
Tattoo, circa 1989

Tiger’s had three great wins this season, defeating the OWGR top three and coming from nowhere to occupy second place in the world rankings. Wolves have just come to the end of three monumental campaigns in the top flight of English football, picking up wins against record-holding champions Man Utd, conquerors of Europe, Chelsea, local rivals West Brom and added many other famous (and unlikely) scalps along the way – but for both Tiger and the men in Old Gold and Black, those days are something for the fans to celebrate singularly when they come around and not a sign of things to come; they are not the norm and although successes will surely happen, neither entities will ever truly emulate their Glory Days of yore.

So when The Bleacher Report accepts that Tiger is no longer the best in the world, accepts that, for all their doubt earlier in the season, Rory McIlroy has become the successor to Tiger’s throne, perhaps they can stop revelling in the past and offer praise where praise is due, instead of underpinning every article with this lingering incredulity that their hero came, saw and conquered, but won’t quite accept that the empire has fallen.

Maybe, just maybe, not everything’s wrapped up for RoMac Just yet

 

Would you believe that there are only nine events left on the European Tour this term?

Okay, there’s a little thing called the Ryder Cup in between now and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews the first weekend of October (note to self – select Fantasy Race to Dubai Team before jetting off to Lanzarote on the 6th), but the season’s well and truly entering its final stages as we enter autumn officially on Saturday, when both daylight and nighttime last twelve hours apiece.

European Tour 2012 - Oct & Nov Schedule

European Tour 2012 – Oct & Nov Schedule
(opens as pdf with active links on click-thru)

Here’s a quick run-down of the remaining 2012 European Tour events, with all but the aforementioned trip to Scotland and the following week’s trip to Vilamoura for the Portuguese Masters taking place in the southern hemisphere. The guys and gals at the European Tour know how to get themselves out of the cool run up to winter, don’t they?

In my article for Sports Monger on the Green this weekend, I alluded to the fact that RoMac had just about got everything wrapped up for the season. But if you look at the Race to Dubai rankings, below left, there’s still a Rose that could be a thorn in McIlroy’s side, Justin time for Dubai.

If you’re taking recent form into consideration, you’d say that the Holywood man will go on to win the FedEx Cup and both money lists either side of The Atlantic. But Rose, who was Europe’s top home soil earner for the majority of the early part of the season, is only half a million Euro behind Rory. The money left on offer on the European Tour, worked out at today’s Dollar/Euro rate of $1.00/€0.69 where the purse is offered in dollar$, means that a couple of wins for Justin in the last nine events could see the lead swap again.

Of course, swapping leads will be no alien concept for McIlroy, whose pass the parcel with Luke this season for the OWGR number one spot has been well documented. But Rose will at least want to finish the season on the same number of Tour events as Rory to put him on an even footing, having currently played ten to the Northern Irishman’s eleven, before they head to Dubai for the season’s showcase finale, where a whopping £8M is up for grabs in total.

Race to Dubai - End September 2012 Rankings

Race to Dubai – End September 2012 Rankings

But the Alfred Dunhill’s three weeks away and there’s that small matter of Medinah CC in Illinois in a little over ten days time to get our heads around first before we start contemplating the OWGR, FedEx and Race to Dubai final standings. For that, at least, Luke, Rory and Justin will all be batting for the same team as Team Europe look to defend the Ryder Cup won so valiantly at Celtic Manor two autumns hence.

More on the RtD rankings later this week – Luke and Lee at tenth and eleventh respectively? Surely that’s a typo, innit? Mm, when you consider their joint lack of top twenty penetration since mid-season and Tiger’s usurping them both for the world number two spot, maybe not…

 

Homeless families in B&B accommodation up by 44% | Society | The Guardian

Homeless families in B&B accommodation up by 44% | Society | The Guardian.

The National Housing Federation found that between January and March 2012 there were 3,960 families nationwide living in B&Bs, up from 2,750 over the same period in 2011. Photograph: Tony Watson/Alamy

Homeless families in B&B accommodation up by 44% | Society | The Guardian

Homelessness up 25% since we were Con-Dem-ed

I promised a bit of social commentary on this blog, but it’s been pretty much dominated by golf and soccer.  This is the type of thing I mean by social commentary.

For all of the suckers who fell for that smarmy git in the elections two years ago and for Nick Clegg who, once he leaves #10 will likely never get re-elected as a quiz team captain let alone as a serious political candidate: this is what the Tories do!

They shaft the working class, line their own pockets first and then those of the captains of industry who got them there on the back of a promise that they would in turn be looked after once the blue flag was flying in Downing Street, again.

Any thought of that blue turning just a little green with the Lib Dem‘s splash of yellow has long since been whitewashed as Cameron’s given Clegg what he wanted, knowing full well that it would never get through the House.

How much more damage will Cameron and his silver-spoon cabinet cause before the UK’s the next European country to take arms and stage a modern-day version of the Peasant’s Revolt?  This latest study by the National Housing Federation is another nail on a coffin-lid almost closed on Cameron and his cosseted cronies, showing just how many families are being forced into B&Bs because of Housing Benefit Capping under emergency temporary accommodation.

On top of that, add a 25% increase in the number of households classed as homeless since we were Con-Dem-ed at the polls, now over fifty thousand, and the dawn of a second wave of Thatcherite Britain has not only penetrated the cloud on the eastern horizon but, before we know it, will be blinding us in the intensity of its midday heat.

Nobody voted for a coalition; we want it even less.

The Tories are using austerity as a weapon to crush the working man’s resolve, allowing foreign investors to buy homes in London, forcing the average price up making its historical residents homeless, sending them to Coventry, or just up the road to Stoke, and will let those investors living in the Capital plunder the vaults of the city of London and shift those monies back out of the UK before the Inland Revenue can say “income tax”.  Let a working class bloke miss a penny payment in tax and he’s got a letter on the welcome mat the very next morning from the Inland Revenue demanding recompense.

Cameron – your time is up.  Do the honourable thing, step down and let the country vote on who it wants to see in the Cabinet and not let you, who lost eight points to Clegg on the live debates you were insistent upon, seat your university chums in a cosy orifice where the light from the real world no longer shines.

Thank you.

Fernandez-Castano denies Mulroy at Italian Open

Zeb's Tee Totallers 2012 Fantasy Race to Dubai team

Zeb’s Tee Totallers 2012 Fantasy Race to Dubai team

See on Scoop.itUK Golf

“It felt like match play out there and I’m delighted to have come out on top,” – Fernandez-Castaño, upon winning the Italian Open at Royal Park I Roveri.

Where I picked him frm this weekend, I don’t know, only that his name was screaming at me when I was choosing my Fantasy Race to Dubai Team, this week.

On the same day that I had a reminder frm the European Tour about choosing my team, I had an e-mail from Ben at PaddyPower, asking me if I fancied a free bet on the Italian Open.

Had I only the same conviction after I’d picked my team  when Ben’s offer came through I could well have made myself a few bob from Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño’s win. Always in hindsight, eh?

Had I done my research and known that the 31-year old Spaniard had won here before, I may well have been even more tempted.

With Simon Dyson winning a hat-trick of titles at the KLM this year, Lee Westwood retaining the Indonesian Masters and Luke Donald repeating his heroics at Wentworth in Spring, it’s been a year of golfers winning championships they’ve already got under their belt at some time in the past.

Fernandez-Castaño left it until late to finally get the win by two shots after going into the weekend session having headed the leaderboard, but surrenedered it to valint runner up Garth Mulroy going into the final day.

You can understand where Gonzalo was coming from when he made the match-play statement, with the lead passing between the final pairing all the way along the final eighteen holes.

It was four consecutive birdies at the half way point that really put the Spaniard in the driving seat, but even then Mulroy fought back to level the score on the 70th hole of the competition weekend.

English: Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgian golfprofes...

Nicolas Colsaerts, golf-pro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Even though Nicolas Colsaerts had held the lead early in the day, he made heavy work of the back nine and it was a two horse race on the last two holes of the weekend that decided the 2012 Italian Open.

With Gonzalo’s final score of -24 under for the tourney, you’d think that a par and a birdie on the last two may have jeopardised the Spaniard’s chances.

However, it was the South African Mulroy who found trouble on both the 71st and 72nd holes that allowed those scores to be enough for Gonzalo to pick up his sixth Euroean tour title.

Mulroy found the sandtraps on both of the last two holes, bogeying seventeen and parring eighteen, gifting Gonzalo the title by two clear shots.

It was just the tonic Gonzalo needed after being pipped to Team Europe’s Ryder cup team by the aforementioned Colsaerts.

Rather than arriving in Italy on his usual Tuesday to get acclimatised for a Tour event, Gonzalo stayed back a day to see his children start the new term at school.

Perhaps this is a new beginning for Gonzalo, too. He’s spoken to Olly about not making the team for Medinah and fully understands why he’s not been included.

He knows himself, his performances have not been polished and consistent enough throughout the season.  It was that simple.

But that was set aside in Italy as he took his first title since last November and, more importantly, scored Zeb’s Tee Totallers maximum points in the Fantasy Race to Dubai – Go, Go, Go, Gonzalo!

darrelldoo4golf #golf

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