Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times updates on the Ryder Cup and other golf happenings.

June 2012 Archives

Davis Love III, the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, is thrilled with the strong play of American players. Currently, the automatic eight on the U.S. team are: Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson. The next three players in the U.S. Ryder Cup rankings are Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson.

Once the automatic eight are set, Love will "plug some holes." 

While he would welcome younger players, Love seemed partial to two Ryder Cup veterans. 

"You could go with some rookies," he said, "but what jumps out at me is, 'You don't have Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk.' If you look at recent teams, where is your stability? Where's Furyk? How can you play without Steve Stricker?"

Currently, Stricker is ranked 12th and Furyk is 13th.

Love knows better than most the pressure the Ryder Cup places on players, which is why he places an emphasis on experience. So beyond just prodigious potential, a younger player trying to wrest a spot from Stricker or Furyk will probably have to show an ability to win, make clutch putts and thrive in the face of pressure. 

That's what makes Johnson such an intriguing player. 

He was out for a while with a back injury, but he won the St. Jude Classic. He'll need to have some more strong showings to earn a spot.

Bradley, meanwhile, had his best finishes earlier this season and has struggled in recent months. After finishing fourth at the Houston Open in late March, Bradley's missed three cuts and his best finish was a tie for 24th at the Byron Nelson.

Father's Day gift guide for golf-crazed man

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Father's Day - not to mention my birthday - are coming up. And with the Ryder Cup in Chicago, the golf bug has stung many men throughout the Midwest this summer.

Well, companies that cater to golfers have also stepped up their game, with plenty of innovation and style in an assortment of products. With the exception of a driver, I don't own any of these items, but I'll make sure to send my wife this list.

Moms and children thank me later... Here's a gift guide for your golf-obsessed husband/ father.

GIVE HIM JUICE - What golfer doesn't want more distance off the tee box?

There's plenty of solid options. But, based on my own fitting, I would recommend two: the Taylor Made R11S and the Callaway RAZR Fit.

Bubba Watson's pink, PING G20 is also hot right now but that club didn't make my personal cut, although I'm not averse to pink.

The R11S is very forgiving and there are numerous ways to adjust it, depending on your swing. I like the look but, more important, I like the extra 18 yards I get, on average. 

The RAZR is not only powerful and adjustable, Callaway has also made it customizable. In fact, there are 70,000 unique versions of the RAZR Fit Driver.

Does it get any better than this in June, football fans? 

Former and current players from the Bears and Green Bay Packers will tee it up at Medinah Country Club June 18 for the first ever Rivalry Cup, which will be a Ryder Cup style event.

Yes, they'll play Course No. 3, the host of the 2012 Ryder Cup, and they'll raise money for the Bears and Packers charities. Also important, though, there will be bragging rights.

There will be four-ball and singles play, as well as a special reception and program featuring a Q&A with the competitors.

Limited tickets are available to public online.
Representing the Bears are Kevin Butler, Richard Dent, Mike Ditka, Robbie Gould, Patrick Mannelly and Adam Podlesh.

Representing the Packers are Mason Crosby, Lynn Dickey, John Kuhn, Tim Masthay, Bill Schroeder, Ryan Taylor and Randy Wright.

Medinah starts construction Tuesday

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On Tuesday, Medinah Country Club will begin construction in preparation for the 2012 Ryder Cup, tournament director Michael Belot told the Sun-Times.

"This could be the biggest build we've ever done," Belot said. "We're a couple months out, so it's go time." 

That's, in part, because they've already sold 76 of the 77 hospitality chalets. The previous high was in the low 60s, Belot said.

The Ryder Cup is Sept. 25-30.

On Saturday, more than 100 junior golfers from the Chicago Park District and The First Tee of Greater Chicago golf programs competed in the Ryder Cup Youth Skills Challenge, a free, summer-long skills competition that will culminates in a final showdown at the Ryder Cup.

The event was hosted by Taylor Made and Adidas.

Every registered junior participant receives one practice round ticket for themselves and a guardian. The male and female champions in each age group will receive VIP treatment at the Ryder Cup, as well as additional prizes.

We've had wonderful weather and today has been good. The preparations are absolutely ramping up. 

It's just going to get busier from here on out. 

We're going to have a press announcement soon, on June 18, with the Bears and Packers. Ryder Cup style event at Medinah. Prelim event, to see what those guys are made of. 

"The event went well," said Bill Ibrahim, of Illinois PGA. "Everyone in Illinois is so excited about us hosting the first Ryder Cup in the state. It's going to be the largest attended event, ever in the world. So it says a lot about Chicago and the citizens, and how well everyone is embracing the event."

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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