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Captain, My Captain

by Mike Purkey

It’s 19 months, give or take, until the next Ryder Cup and you’ll notice what we’re talking about most. That the biennial dustup commands our minimally divided attention so far away from the actual competition speaks to the enormity of the thing.

Darren Clarke will be the European captain and everyone couldn’t be more delighted. Davis Love III is expected to be officially named U.S. captain on Tuesday and everyone couldn’t be more puzzled. Why not Paul Azinger or Fred Couples and why would you form a task force to bring back a retread captain whose team spit the bit on a fourpoint lead going into the Sunday singles two Cups ago?

Until a Ryder Cup is staged where the captains play each other, the whole deal will once again be determined by those who hit the shots rather than those who make the pairings. Still, we place the credit and blame mostly where it doesn’t actually belong.

And it will continue to upstage news like Lydia Ko winning for the sixth time on the LPGA Tour at age 17, solidifying her hold on the No. 1 ranking in the women’s game. After she won the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open over Royal Melbourne, no adjective is adequate enough to describe the level of maturity that this teenager brings to the golf course every day.

On the outskirts of Los Angeles, after a half dozen players took turns kicking away the Northern Trust Open, James Hahn – No. 297 in the world – won for the first time, beating the likes of Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey – past Ryder Cuppers – in a playoff. It’s news to Hahn.

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