One of America’s biggest stars in Brooks Koepka had been a minor doubt for a couple of days. Having had already qualified for Steve Stricker’s team, he suffered an unfortunate wrist injury which forced him to withdraw from the recent BMW Championship.
But Koepka has now been given the green light to get going. What a blow that would have been for the Americans.
With Koepka’s untimely injury in mind, Express Sport has taken a look at the biggest names that have missed out on selection for the tournament in one way or another.
Forty years ago, Seve Ballesteros was one of the world’s best players. He was the reigning 1980 US Masters champion, adding to his win at The Open Championship in 1979.
However, the Spaniard was left out of the 1981 Ryder Cup team after he had a very public feud with the European Tour regarding appearance money, and a committee of captain John Jacobs, Neil Coles and Bernhard Langer sensationally decided to avoid selecting Ballesteros for Team Europe.
He had played in so few events during the year due to the row that he relied on a pick from captain Jacobs – a pick that never came for the event at Walton Heath – which was won by the United States.
Ballesteros would bounce back two years later and became a key figure in future European outfits, winning the Ryder Cup on five occasions as a player and captain.
Sir Nick Faldo dramatically missed out on selection for the 1999 Ryder Cup held in Brookline, where the USA would win.
After 11 appearances in the tournament – a European record – Faldo was struggling for form and, perhaps more damning, was not favoured by captain Mark James. Faldo re-arranged his schedule to compete in the BMW International in Germany, the last event to improve his chances.
Six-time major winner Faldo asked James, reportedly a dismissive character, if a win at the tournament would secure a place in the European team, to which James replied: “Even if you win, it’s unlikely I’ll pick you.” Faldo did not win the event.
The relationship between the absent star and James was so poor that Faldo sent a letter encouraging the team and supporting them ahead of the match – and the captain allegedly threw it in the bin before losing to the US team.
Faldo was Team Europe captain in 2008, but strategic errors and questionable decisions helped the USA win by their largest margin since 1981.
Bernhard Langer, Team Europe – 1999
It appears the 1999 edition of the Ryder Cup was a tough one for big name European players.
The German, a two-time winner of the Masters, was the favourite to get the second pick but James opted for Andrew Coltart.
The choice was all the more strange as James didn’t play the Scot until the Sunday singles. Coltart was matched up against Tiger Woods, who won the point 3&2. Langer had nine appearances in the Ryder Cup at the time of James’ decision, and he went on to make 10 as he helped Europe to five wins and a tie to retain the title in 1989.
Langer would also lead Team Europe to a 2004 Ryder Cup win as a non-playing captain.
Thomas Bjorn, Team Europe – 2006
What is it with Team Europe and controversial selections?
In 1997, Thomas Bjorn became the first Danish player to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team and helped the team secure a win. He won again in 2002, and expected to play in the 2006 edition of the tournament – but captain Ian Woosnam went in another direction.
Despite stating he wanted to pick players based in Europe, the Welshman picked Lee Westwood who had spent much of the year in America.
The Great Dane was left in the cold by Woosnam and, as he didn’t receive a call to inform him of the skipper’s decision, didn’t learn his fate until he was on TV in Germany.
Tiger’s style upgrade, Morikawa’s engagement and the ultimate golf……
1. Collin Morikawa and Katherine Zhu get engaged
Collin Morikawa may have lost his five-shot lead on Sunday at the Hero World Challenge and pushed back his opportunity to become World No. 1, but it was still a week to remember for the 24-year old. Morikawa got engaged to longtime girlfriend Kat on November 30th and shared the news via Instagram.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kat, here are some fun facts about her:
a) She’s Canadian! Kat is from Vancouver, but will hopefully root for Team USA in the Presidents Cup. Only time will tell.
b) She’s a REALLY good golfer. Kat played golf at Pepperdine University, where she maintained a scoring average of 76.54. Check out her swing:
c) She and Collin have a REALLY cute dog named Koa. They even have an Instagram account for their pup, who appears to be living quite the life.
The guy’s had it all in 2021: a major championship victory, a Ryder Cup win and … someone to personally curate his playlists for him. And a silver lining for the future Mr. and Mrs.: there’s no question what the highlight of young Collin’s week was. Congrats, you two! And shoutout to Keith Pelley for respecting the proposal embargo.
2. The latest TaylorMade shoot post
Attend a major. Play a few top courses. Tee it up overseas. Make an ace. These golf bucket list items are good, but I have set my heart on something even better (and significantly less likely to happen). I want to attend a TaylorMade shoot, and I’m about to convince you why you should, too.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall here! First off, the TaylorMade staff is stacked — Tiger, Rahm, Rory, Morikawa, DJ, the list goes on. Watching these guys yuck it up in a no-pressure situation is the dream of every golf social manager. And if last year’s TaylorMade Christmas card won’t convince you … well then, I don’t know what to tell you.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas, from #TeamTaylorMade! pic.twitter.com/2ec6Z71EVX
I can’t wait to see what Team TaylorMade came up with for this year’s card.
3. Viktor Hovland at the airport.
There are a handful of things in this life I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand: fax machines, trigonometry and, most pressingly, Viktor Hovland’s social media presence. He’s not on Twitter, but his Instagram is equal parts confusing and hilarious.
Anyway, I stumbled across this tweet last week and didn’t think much of it… until he won the Hero World Challenge on Sunday.
It’s incredible how down to earth Twitterless Victor is. Just saw him at Nassau airport. The girl behind hm asked what he did.
Hovland: ‘I live in Oklahoma and play a bit of golf’.
Come on! You are actually the world No9!!!#HeroWorldChallenge
Viktor Hovland, four-time PGA Tour winner, plays “a bit of golf!” I love it. He’s now the No. 7 player in the world. That’d be like Taylor Swift saying she writes “a bit of music.” Or Leo DeCaprio saying he “does a little bit of acting.”
The fact Viktor went out and won the event a few days after this happened makes it even better.
4. Kisner and JT’s college football bet
I love when pro golfers get into sports rivalries on Twitter. Alabama played Georgia on Saturday, which meant one thing: Justin Thomas and Kevin Kisner would have some type of bet going on. When Georgia lost in 2018, Kisner had to wear an Alabama jersey during the Sony Open. This year’s bet was a little more tame, but still entertaining:
The pros are just like us when it comes to college football! (Well, not like me because I don’t really follow it, but lots of other people do.)
5. Tiger (duh!)
More Eldrick content! After months of silence from him, it’s a treat to see (and hear!) so much of him over the last week. From his press conference to his driving range exploits, Golf Twitter has exploded over his every move. Dissecting a golf swing isn’t my forte, so I’ll stick to what I know best: social media posts.
First, let’s take a look at these photos from Long Drive pro Martin Borgmeier earlier in the week and then Tiger on Sunday.
He’s jacked! The man has come a LONG way in terms of recovery. He went from being unable to walk to being able to swing in a matter of months, but he’s also come a long way in terms of style and I’d like to highlight that here.
Now, I’m no fashionista (particularly not after working from home for the last 20-something months), but I do think it’s safe to say there’s been a lot of growth here. He’s gone from the ultimate baggy dad-fit (nothing wrong with that!) to a trimmer, more tailored fit, which makes him look younger and more stylish. Bravo.
And finally, I’ll leave you with this post. I have no idea what to make of it, but it feels worth sharing. I’d love to know what DJ and Usain discussed at this event. Anyways, I’ll see you all next week.
Tiger Woods One Piece of Advice to his Son ‘Charlie’ That Could Help all…….
Ahead of Saturday’s PNC Championship, Tiger Woods’ son, Charlie Woods, received some putting pointers from legendary golfer Gary Player on Friday.
While Tiger and Charlie were getting warmed up on the putting green, Player gave Charlie some words of wisdom and encouragement:
The PNC Championship, which was created in 1995 and originally called the Father/Son challenge, is an annual tournament that features 20 major champions playing with a partner—usually a family member.
While the partners have traditionally been the sons of the major champions, it has expanded over the years to see daughters, grandchildren and even fathers, as Justin Thomas’ dad will be his partner this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, all eyes at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, will be on Tiger and his 11-year-old son since it will represent Charlie’s first true taste of the spotlight.
While Charlie is developing and enjoying success as a junior golfer in Florida, taking part in the PNC Championship means he will be competing alongside some of the best golfers in the world.
His father is among them, and while he figures to pick up plenty of knowledge from teaming up with Tiger, he could potentially learn just as much from the other golfers who will be in attendance, such as Player.
Player is among the all-time greats with nine major titles to his credit, and other multi-time major champions like Greg Norman, Nick Price and Bubba Watson will be there too.
There won’t necessarily be a ton of pressure on Charlie to perform since the PNC Championship uses a best-ball format, but if he can use some of the advice he has gotten to hit some strong shots and even outperform his dad a time or two, it will undoubtedly capture the attention of the viewing audience.
So Sad: The Power is not there, but i can….says tigerwoods
According to Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio, who’s on the ground at Albany in the Bahamas, Woods hit balls on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. He also joined the television broadcast on Saturday for 30 minutes and discussed how his practice is going.
“I can hit it. It just doesn’t go as far,” Woods said about hitting driver. “The power is not there, but I can hit drivers. I can hit any club in the bag. I’m not at the point where I can hear it land, OK?”
Next week Woods is expected to announce whether he will play in the PNC Championship alongside his son, Charlie, or not. Woods would be allowed to use a cart.