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Day Three Features
Europeans disgusted by American antics
Chaos reigns with Leonard's 45' putt
Sandelin & Mickelson make friends again
Europe leads in personalities
Last day comeback earns US narrow Ryder Cup win

US fighting back in the singles

Sandelin & Mickelson make friends again

The Ryder Cup singles matchup everyone wanted to see was between golf's hottest young superstars, Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.

But for those who like fireworks, a better combination might have been Jarmo Sandelin and Phil Mickelson. The two have a history of friction, dating to the 1996 Dunhill Cup when Sandelin pretended to shoot at his ball in the hole and Mickelson thought he was being insulted.

On the fourth hole today, Sandelin appeared to replace his ball slightly closer to the hole than where he had marked it. He realized his mistake and looked up at Mickelson.

Mickelson did nothing, which made the Swede even more uncomfortable. Finally, a rules official stepped in and said Sandelin did nothing wrong.

Mickelson has said he's put the 1996 incident behind him. And he tried to put it to rest finally when he said, without being asked, "I was expecting gamesmanship and he showed nothing but class and sportsmanship."

Sandelin had also had problems with Mark O'Meara in the 1997 Lancome Trophy, when he accused the American he dubbed "Mark-it-nearer" of moving his ball closer to the hole. But this time the accuser became the accused.

Sandelin, who lost 4 and 3 in his only Ryder Cup action, has said that he got a negative reputation because the media and some players don't understand his fun-loving personality. So he began the European team's news conference by saying, "I love you all. Thank you. I love you there, I love you everywhere."

HEY ANDREW, OVER HERE: Andrew Coltart, playing in his first Ryder Cup, had a little trouble on the ninth hole when a marshal told him his shot had gone into the woods. In fact, it was in the rough, just a few feet from the fairway.

Coltart had to hit again, but then found his first ball in the rough -- about 30 seconds after the 5-minute time limit was up.

"That's tough," he said. "You just got to get on with it, and you've just got to try and play. ... It didn't have a huge bearing on the game."

Coltart lost 3 and 2 to Tiger Woods.

SHIRT OFF MY BACK: U.S. captain Ben Crenshaw has gone on and on about the history of the Ryder Cup and of The Country Club, which has been called the birthplace of American golf.

The U.S. team's shirts for the final were maroon and decorated with pictures of Cup-winning teams of the past.

The European team wore more traditional, checked shirts. Asked about his opponent's choice, European captain Mark James deadpanned, "I guess we missed out on that."

The Country Club played host to the 1913 U.S. Open, where local caddie Francis Ouimet won a playoff against English professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. The event led to a golf boom in the United States.

"The Country Club has been good to American golf," said Crenshaw, who first played here in the 1968 U.S. Junior Amateur.

IT'S A DOG'S LIFE: Roaming among the 35,000 humans at The Country Club was "Walker," a black Labrador retriever in the employ of the Massachusetts State Fire Marshall's office.

The dog was called upon three times over the weekend to sniff out suspicious packages -- a backpack, a brown paper bag and a cooler -- none of which turned out to be a threat, according to his handler, Paul Kastrinakis.

"We're just here in case something comes up ... because of past occurrences," he said, alluding to the bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Kastrinakis said he and his partner had to go through a seven-week training period with the Connecticut State Police. The two have to be certified as a team, and a chemist must also certify the dog's nose.

Kastrinakis said he's been on the bomb squad for two years, and hasn't had a real one yet.

"I'm hoping it stays that way for the rest of my career," he said.

The only other canine spotted at the tournament was Emma, a border collie used to chase geese off the course.

NEXT STOP, THE PRESIDENT'S CUP?: With his team struggling to stay afloat in the Ryder Cup golf tournament, U.S. captain Ben Crenshaw needed some encouragement. Enter Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush.

The Texas governor is a longtime friend of Crenshaw, and was in town to root for the U.S. team on Saturday -- along with his parents, former President George Bush and first lady Barbara Bush, and his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

"We're close buddies," Bush told the Boston Herald. "We're from the same town. We go to church together. We play golf together. I'm looking to say hi, to pick him up. He's a good guy. He'll get a handle on it."

Bush said he tried to encourage Crenshaw, and expressed confidence that the U.S. team would rebound. He also spoke to the team on Saturday night, reading them a quote from an Alamo veteran who fought against overwhelming odds.

Although it was a strange choice -- the United States lost the battle at the Alamo -- it did the trick. Crenshaw's team rallied from four points down to beat the Europeans 14 1/2-13 1/2 and win the Cup.

DIVOTS: Colin Montgomerie has still never lost a singles match. For all his heroics, Justin Leonard has yet to win a match; he halved three and was 0-2-2 in 1997. ... The Ryder Cup marked the last assignment of Boston Globe reporter Joe Concannon, who has been covering golf for 34 years. A party was held in the press tent before the start of matches, and he was toasted with champagne. ... NBC earned a 4.9 rating and a 14 share for Saturday's telecast, the highest overnight ratings since the network began telecasting the event in 1991.

 

 

 

 


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