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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

September 26, 2005

All The President's Men

It’s too bad that the President’s Cup has not been able to draw the interest like that of the Ryder Cup. It was an exciting event, that came down to the last day (as I predicted that it would). The weekend matches were quite exciting, and it was culminated in the singles matches on Sunday. Some of the highlights for me included:

Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk vs. Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby on Saturday was an event for the ages. In the first match (alternate shot) the U.S. squad had to win the final two holes to earn a half. Then, 30 minutes later this same group went out in a best ball match that was not decided until the 18th hole. 36 holes of pressure packed golf that while not always the prettiest, was some of the most compelling that has been seen in years.

Tiger Woods acting like part of a team. This guy had gone through 14 different playing partners in team competition since he turned pro. The pairing with Furyk turned out to be brilliant, and it brought a team energy out of Tiger that I had not seen before.

Fred Couples winning his single’s match. Freddie was a captain’s pick, and during the first three days looked to be a sentimental one at best. However, he managed to gut out a tough match against the international’s best in Vijay Singh. Huge for the U.S. squad.

Chris DiMarco is the gutsiest player on the U.S. squad bar none. Nobody has more energy for these events then Chris, and he should be on every squad until he is named captain in about 10 years. Just money when the chips are on the line.

Phil Mickelson’s expression on Sunday was classic. He though he had earned a tough ½ point for the U.S which secured the cup. However, the President’s Cup has a quirky rule where no match can end as a half when the cup is still up for grabs. His look of disbelief that he had not earned his victory was classic.

Finally, I want to comment on what was the underlying motivator for this team. All of them to a group said that they were playing for Jack Nicklaus as much as they were playing for themselves. As has been mentioned before, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus lost a granchild in a tragic turn of events this past spring, and before the matches started the team presented the Nicklaus family with a portrait of their grandchild, and stated that this was why they wanted to win. Golfers are often considered individualistic and selfish to an extent. They play a solitary game that requires a singular focus on oneself and their abilities. When you can get them to come together and play as a team, sometimes special things can happen. This was one of those weekends.

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