Olga Fonda is 31. 34-24-34. Russian actress-model.
Reel Steel, Little Fockers, Love Hurts, Nip/Tuck
Moved to the U.S. at age 14. Born Olga Tchakova before adopting the surname Fonda out of admiration for the Fonda acting dynasty, especially Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda. Is 6 years older than Nina Dobrev who played her mother on "The Vampire Diaries".
I realize there are still some Tom Watson supporters saying he should be given a break and that the players simply failed to rise to the occasion. But in this extensive long report by Shane Ryan, its evident Watson failed in many ways to effectively captain his squad.
Mainly its about Watson going with gut feelings and changing them on a whim with lots of false promises and confused team members. Hardly a recipe for a winning plan. Effective management is about assessing and adjusting to maximize returns rather than leading with a dictatorial hammer--especially when you can't fire and retool the entire squad to your liking.
Even as Watson used his players for a shield, he seemed, just like the day before, insistent on following his instincts. "Gut" trumped all. And while some would argue that Watson's unilateral behavior, as well as his stoic, remote quality, was what the team had signed on for and what the "soft" Americans needed after the Medinah collapse, it's hard to imagine that Ted Bishop or anybody else at the PGA of America had anticipated the extent of Watson's distance from his team. Most of the players didn't seem to understand the logic behind his decisions because, as they noted later, he was reluctant to bring them into the fold.
Yet again, Watson sounded like someone for whom the captaincy solely meant making character judgments based on some inner masculine ethos, like John Wayne wearing plus-fours, rather than a two-year marathon of exhaustive preparations for three days of intense pressure and emotional turmoil. It's no wonder he was roundly criticized in the press and on social media; he seemed to have little sense what a modern Ryder Cup actually entails, or the preparation it requires. And when anyone had the temerity to question his decisions, he became defensive and terse, indignant that someone would suggest to know better.
Its quite a worthy read.
Oh, then there's this missive from SI.com's Alan Shipnuck...
A veteran of multiple U.S. teams told me in the aftermath, “A lot of s--- went on behind the scenes that people don’t know about. It will all leak out eventually. People talk about Hal Sutton and Lanny Wadkins, but Watson is going to be remembered as 10 times worse.”
Finally, Euro Cap Paul McGinley's meticulous prep included this genius move.
Because the European Tour is so vested in the Ryder Cup, captain Paul McGinley was given control over the tee times for the opening rounds at tournaments. Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson playing together in the French Open was no accident.
McGinley wanted them for foursomes at Gleneagles, and they wound up winning both their matches.
"I was able to get Victor and Graeme on the same page," he said. "I controlled the draws on the European Tour during the summer, and every time Graeme came to play in Europe, he played with Victor. They didn't know what I was planning, but I had planned that they would be partners."
Again, did it guarantee a Euro win? Obviously not, if the U.S. players could've rose to the occasion. But Watson's heavy out of touch hand certainly didn't give his team the best chance.
Tiger Woods has some time on his hands these days recuperating. So, what to do?
How about opening a restaurant--with a fairly long name: The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club. I may suggest shortening it to something like In The Woods or Hello World. Feel free to offer suggestions.
"I've been watching Harbourside Place's development since it broke ground more than two years ago, and know that it is the perfect location for my sports and dining club," Woods said. "I look forward to enjoying my restaurant as much as I hope the public will."
"I envision a place where people can meet friends, watch sports on TV and enjoy a great meal," Woods said. "I wanted to build it locally where I live and where it could help support the community."
No word yet on the menu items. But he does like his cheeseburgers and sponsored energy drinks.
Crystal Bernard is 53. 34-25-34. American actress-singer-songwriter.
Wings, It's A Living, Slumber Party Massacre II, Happy Days, Welcome To Paradise
Born in Garland, Texas. Despite her Southern Baptist background, she is not a firm believer in marriage. She sang the duet "Forever Tonight" with Peter Cetera. Wrote hit songs for Paula Abdul.
Her "Wings" (1990) character of "Helen Chapel", the cello-playing lunch counter waitress at the airport, was supposed to have been of Greek descent and played by actress Peri Gilpin of "Frasier" (1993) fame. Gilpin had to decline the part and it was eventually rewritten as a Texas girl to fit the talents of Crystal.
Paul Azinger, the last U.S. Ryder Cup captain to pop a cork instead of blowing a gasket, is on everyone's list to repeat as captain in 2016.
But, he also wants the PGA of America to unilaterally change its tune.
"It is time for the PGA of America to recognize the great disconnect and formulate the same business model for selecting a captain as it does for selecting its president and officers," Azinger told USA Today Sports.
"I'm not going to rule anything out."
"This year's Europe captain was Paul McGinley, who was a vice captain in 2010 and 2012. The 2012 captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, was a vice captain in 2008 and 2010. This year, Olazabal, Sam Torrance (captain in 2002), Padraig Harrington and Miguel Angel Jimenez were vice captains, with Harrington and Jimenez potential future captains.
"The PGA of America has officers that move up the ranks, getting sage advice along the way. And then many of them stick around and keep offering advice," Azinger said. "I think the PGA of America should recognize their business model is exactly the same as what Europe uses in selecting a captain."
"It is an approach that is comfortable and familiar," Azinger said, "which is in contrast to the U.S. practice that is less comfortable and completely unfamiliar to every repeat player. The U.S. players have to adjust to a completely unique system to the previous two years."
Of the past 10 U.S. captains, only three were previously assistant captains.
"We have lone wolf captains," Azinger said.
"There is a razor-thin line between winning and losing these matches," Azinger said. "Europe has the intangible right now. They give themselves the extra 1% chance to win through its business model and cohesiveness.
"Even if you play blackjack perfectly in a casino, the casino still has a very slight edge against you. Right now Europe is the casino and the U.S. is the guy walking to the blackjack table with a fistful of $50s."
Something tells me after the bloody Mickelson-Watson exchange that the PGA will be forced to listen. And listen hard.
Revealing article by Joe Posnanski about what kind of captain the PGA hired. Meaning, be careful what you ask for. Posnanski knows Tom Watson very well--warts and all--as a sportswriter in Kansas City. Thanks to Craig Rosengarden for the heads up.
I firmly believe if the Americans hadn't screwed the pooch at Medinah blowing a 10-6 lead, Watson would've been the last guy the PGA had in mind. But they panicked and anointed Captain Tom from mothballs to lead a generation of players having little in common with him.
The problem was they did not really want Tom Watson. Sure, they said they wanted Tom Watson, and then they gave him the job, and then they gave all sorts of lip service to how great it would be to have a hard-nosed legend like Tom Watson captaining the U.S. Ryder Cup team again.
But, in truth, they didn’t want Tom Watson at all. Maybe they wanted the idea of Tom Watson. But they didn’t want the flesh and blood version.
I’ve known Watson for 20 or so years, I’m writing a book about his amazing rivalry and relationship with Jack Nicklaus, and so I know a few things about him. First, he’s a perfectionist. Second, he’s tough as nails. Third, he’s opinionated. And fourth, he’s going to do what he believes is the right thing no matter what anybody else thinks.
This is a man who quit Kansas City Country Club when he felt like the club had blackballed H&R Block founder Henry Bloch because he’s Jewish. People will never know just how hard it was for Watson to do that, just what it cost him within his own family, but he did it because he believed it was right.
This is also man who wrote a letter to Augusta National essentially asking them to ban announcer Gary McCord from the broadcasts because, in Watson’s view, he wasn’t respectful enough (he’d referred to the greens looking “bikini-waxed” for instance). When that became public, Watson looked like a joyless old dinosaur without a sense of humor, but he stuck with it because he believed it was right.
This is a man who charged Gary Player with cheating at a Skins Game. This led to a prolonged feud between the two golfing greats (in his autobiography, Player wrote Watson wasn’t “half a man”), but again, Watson said what he believed, even though he knew it was going to create a lot of tension.
The reason you hire Watson – the only reason – is if you want him to be blunt with the players, you want him to try and instill some of his competitive fury into them. Watson was 10-4-1 as a Ryder Cup player – he and Jack Nicklaus never lost as a team. You don’t hire Watson to pamper the players or to make them a part of the process or to be warm and fuzzy. If you want that, hire nice guys like Fred Couples or Jay Haas.
There was a generational gap. The players are too young to have seen him play – even Mickelson and Jim Furyk were only 7 when Watson and Nicklaus had their famous Duel in the Sun. The players do not know him from playing the Tour or from seeing him on television. Watson is also not an easy man to know. And the players are used to being empowered.
If you've been wondering what Dustin Johnson has been up to, the picture of fiance Paulina Gretzky gives a pretty good clue.
Paulina announced via Instagram that they are expecting.
“@djohnsonpga & i are so excited to finally share with you all our amazing news..we’re having a baby!!”
Paulina and Dustin started dating in 2013 and got engaged last August, according to Us Weekly. Just another important reason for DJ to get well soon.
Now ya know.
Catherine Zeta-Jones turns 45. 34-25-36. Welsh actress/dancer.
Chicago, Ocean's Twelve, The Terminal, Entrapment, The Mask of Zorro, High Fidelity
Shares same birthday as husband Michael Douglas. Speaks English, French, Spanish and Welsh. The British press gave her the nickname "Catherine Zeta, The Maneater" due to her busy love life at the time.
"I like women who look like women. I hated grunge. No one's more feminist than me, but you don't have to look as if you don't give a - you know. You can be smart, bright, and attractive aesthetically to others - and to yourself."
All along, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson sounded combative, out of touch and hardly the motivating leader his undermanned team needed. His old school, aloof, know it all persona was hardly a beacon of illumination and obviously didn't resonate with the players.
He didn't demand a longer period before making his captain picks (Paul Azinger demanded three extra weeks when his 2008 team won) and then only asked for three picks instead of the offered four.
Watson then sent a confidence-shaken Webb Simpson (who no doubt read the outrage of his selection) with the neurotic Bubba Watson out in the very first match. Simpson promptly popped-up his first drive a mere 200-yards and they were pummeled 5 and 4.
The wardrobe selection was a supreme fail. Big flags and Ryder Cup trophies on the chest? Red pants on Sunday? The only thing missing was a propeller on the players' heads. Ghastly. I know he was cow-towing to sponsor Ralph Lauren but those were the best choices? There are going to be a huge surplus of outfits available for a large discount at your local retailers. Otherwise, some lucky third world countries will be getting a shipment soon. Meanwhile, the Euros looked fashion-sharp all three days. Look good, play good.
Watson was crotchety and defensive in press conferences. Like it was the last thing he wanted to do. Euro captain Paul McGinley embraced the event and it showed. We're in a media-driven age and Watson sounded old and bewildered--especially when lamely trying to defend benching his hottest players Spieth and Reed on Friday afternoon for Mickelson and Bradley. Players pick up on a leader's motivational qualities. Watson rarely sounded robust or confident.
Which leads us to the outragious USA press conference following the loss. With all attending, Phil Mickelson went on a scorched earth throw-our-captain-under-the-bus rant. There's a reason he earned the nickname FIGJAM (Google it) where he believes he's the smartest guy in the room.
The uncomfortable look on Hunter Mahan's face is priceless. He'd be the perfect spokeman for the next Southwest Airlines' "Need to Get Away?" promos.
One ironic note is that Phil flew to and from Scotland separate from the team. Probably was a good idea at least on the return flight. Guess the pod system is necessary unless you own a private jet.
So, while Phil stated some pertinent points, he chose the worst possible time--or did he? Watson may have been a terrible captain, but Lefty made him out to be martyr rather than facing deservedly pointed questions.
GolfChannel's Brandel Chamblee roasts Mickelson...
Jim Furyk was put in a squirming position when asked his opinion after Mickelson's tirade.
“I think that I have a lot of respect for both gentlemen,” he said. “I've known Phil my entire life. Since I was 16, I've competed against him. He's one of my dearest friends on the PGA Tour. And I have a lot of respect for our captain. I know he put his heart and soul in it for two years. He worked his ass off to try to provide what he thought would be the best opportunity for us.
“What's the winning formula? What's the difference year-in, year-out? If I could put my finger on it, I would have changed this s--- a long time ago. But we haven't and we are going to keep searching.”
Good takes delivered by GolfChannel's Jason Sobel and SI's Gary Van Sickle.
Yet remember nearly everyone predicted a 16-11 like American loss--no matter who was leading the team. The U.S. missed three top-flight players due to injury or addiction; the Euros were at full strength. Once upon a time captain Seve Ballesteros' big motivational speech was "don't hit into bunkers, don't three-putt and don't hit behind the tree on 16." Thus, the captain gets too much credit and blame. When the golfers play well, everyone looks like a genius.
Ultimately, there's plenty of blame all around. Watson was in hindsight the wrong choice. Lefty had questionable timing. Most of the U.S. players failed to bring much game except the rookies. However, the surreal press conference mutiny was quite possibly just what the outclassed and disorganized U.S. team needed to right a teetering embarrassed ship.
I'll guarantee you that future captain's picks will be at the very last moment. Vice captains will be groomed like their Euro counterparts to be ready as future lead captains.
Okay, that's what should happen. One never knows if or when the PGA of America will wake up. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Lets hope the PGA escapes the looney bin soon. For everyone's sake...
Wow. Even though most had already buried any chance for the U.S. squad winning prior to play, the ensuing drama and aftermath was still fairly shocking in this latest Ryder Cup.
So many fun facts to peruse...
The U.S. was fairly even in Fourballs (5-3) and Singles (5.5-6.5). They got drummed in Foursomes 7-1.
Rookie Patrick Reed was the top U.S. points leader at 3-0-1 (3.5). He had the longest odds at 20-1 to be high man. Webb Simpson was next at 10-1. Reed was also the first rookie to win three+ matches without loss since Phil Mickelson in 1995.
Reed became an immediate lightning rod for revenge-taunting the crowd after a gallery oaf heckled him on the first tee about his putting. See video here.
Rickie Fowler is the fifth player in last 10 Ryder Cups to play five matches without a win. (Others: Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Paul Azinger and Fred Couples.) He's also the 1st player since 2006 to compete in all 5 matches in a Ryder Cup and not win any of them.
If Jordan Spieth (3-up thru nine) and Hunter Mahan 4-up thru seven) had held on to win, the score would've been a much closer 12-11 at the time. Not saying the U.S. would've won, but the remaining Euro players surely would've felt it.
U.S. rookies Reed, Spieth and Jimmy Walker earned 8.5 points.
Tom Watson's captain picks (Keegan Bradley, Simpson and Mahan) earned three combined points. The three highest ranked U.S. players (Jim Furyk, Watson and Matt Kuchar) earned only two points.
The Euro's top-3 (Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia & Henrik Stenson) had eight.
Bubba Watson is now a combined 0-4 in Ryder/Presidents Cup singles matches. Also said, "I am too nice for this event." Whatever...
Watson, Simpson, Zach Johnson and Fowler didn't win a match.
Graeme McDowell (3-0), Victor Dubuisson (2-0-1), Justin Rose (3-0-2) were unbeaten for the Euros. Patrick Reed was the only U.S. player not to lose a match U.S.
Rose was the overall top point earner with 4.
The Euros beat the U.S. by 30 shots over three days.
Interesting that no one was over-par during the Sunday singles matches.
The U.S. hasn't won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil since 1993 (Watson captained the team) and have lost 8 of the last 10 no matter the venue.
Top 3 U.S. players in last 20 years, Tiger Woods, Mickelson and Furyk are combined 33-56-10. Didn't matter who the captain was... The average difference per event since 1995 was 3.5 points. You can figure out the math.
Finally, nearly all of the Euro players did not attend college (McDowell attended and played at Alabama-Birmingham for a bit). All the U.S. players went to college. Not sure what to make of it except maybe that the Euros started out on the pro tours at a young age traveling together. But an interesting coincidental stat anyway.
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