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September 26, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-26

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12 -The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 2006

U.S. needs youth in
Ryder Cup, Woods says

(AP) - Tiger Woods believes "And all three guys I just
curing America's Ryder Cup mentioned have won numerous
ills requires an infusion of tournaments around the world;
good young players, getting off most of our guys in our 20s
to better starts in the matches, haven't won tournaments yet."
a true home-course advantage Former British Open cham-
- and making timely putts. pion Ben Curtis, 29, is the
After he and his teammates only American player currently
joined the triumphant Euro- under 30 to have won a tourna-
pean players in their celebra- ment on the PGA Tour.
tion party the previous evening, "Hopefully we'll have a new
Woods dissected the latest lop- crop of guys that will come up
sided loss by the Americans. from college and start produc-
"They have a younger crop ing, and the guys right now in
of players that are playing well. their 20s will start winning
When our youngest player is 30 tournaments and get on these
years old, that's not a positive teams," Woods said. "Dealing
thing," the 30-year-old Woods with pressure-packed situations
said Monday in a conference in regular tour events, that's one
call from London. "They have of the reasons why I think they
Luke (Donald) and Sergio (Gar- (the young Europeans) are able
cia), Paul Casey, all in their 20s. to win tournaments around the
We don't have anybody in their world as well."
20s on the team. The Europeans kept the Cup

Tiger Woods went 3-2 in this year's Ryder Cup play, notching his first winning record at a Ryder Cup.

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with an 18 1/2 - 9 1/2 victory,
identical to their one-sided
margin in 2004.
The Americans got off to a
bad start, and it didn't get any
better. At the end, the Euro-
peans had won 8 1/2 points
from the 12 singles matches to
become the first team to win all
five sessions since that format
began in 1979.
"We were in two record Ryder
Cups, and unfortunately, we
were on the losing side," said
Woods, the world's No. 1 player
who went 3-2-0 in his matches.
"I've always felt that it's impor-
tant to get off to quick starts in
matches.
"We were down one or two in
the first six or seven holes and
always had to fight to get up.
When you see that blue on the
board and you're European, it
sends a positive feeling through
the entire team. Their guys were
up in every match, so we were
never able to get that feeling."
Then there was the putting.
"We hit about the same, but
they holed so many more putts,"
Woods said. "Time and again
we were in position to make
momentum-building putts and
we didn't. If you can't change
momentum, it fuels the other
side.
"Those greens weren't really
that hard to learn. They actu-
ally were very simple. They just
outputted us. I had numerous
opportunities to make putts and
I didn't. Unfortunately, the rest
of the team didn't as well."
He noted that when the
matches are in Europe, they are
generally held on courses the
players there play each year,
and that when the United States
hosts the event, it's often on a
course the Americans aren't
familiar with.
"We have chosen venues that
are fantastic venues, difficult
golf courses, but courses we
don't play," Woods said.
The 2008 Ryder Cup will be
at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky.,
and although Woods won the
PGA title there in 2000, he said
the site essentially will be neu-
tral because it will have been
eight years "since any of us
have seen the golf course."
After Sunday's final match-
es, the players spent some time
together that evening.
"Both teams hung out with
each other last night, which is
the way the spirit of the Ryder
Cup is supposed to be," Woods
said. "We were all having a
great time and singing and
dancing, so I think it was a true
celebration of golf.
"Unfortunately we got beat
pretty bad."
Eleven players from the Ryder
Cup, including Ireland's Dar-
ren Clarke, will join Woods in
December's Target World Chal-
lenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Woods stages the annual event,
which benefits the Tiger Woods
Foundation for youth.
Clarke, whose wife died of
breast cancer six weeks ago,
inspired his European team-
mates simply by playing, and he
won all three of his matches.
"From what he's had to
endure, his family, his immedi-

ate family and his kids, we can
all sympathize for him," Woods
said. "I personally invited him.
I just wanted him to understand
that he always has a home with
us.
"He's always been a wonder-
ful supporter of our event. It's
our turn to reach out a helping
hand (in) any way possible."

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