Picked for a reason, U.S. veterans don't deliver
TribLIVE Sports Videos
MEDINAH, Ill. — Steve Stricker stared blankly across the fairway, his hand on his face, as the celebration went on around him.
Jim Furyk had his moment of despair a few minutes earlier, leaning over with his hands on his knees as if he were trying to keep from getting sick after his final putt on the 18th green slid by the hole.
They were supposed to be the backbone of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, the veteran players captain Davis Love III could count on when things got tough.
Love picked them both to do just that after they didn't qualify for the team on their own.
But the stifling pressure of the Ryder Cup was simply too much.
Both had great chances to give the U.S. the point — or even half-point — the home team desperately needed to win the Cup when everything started to go bad. Both failed, leading to a home-team collapse unlike any in Ryder Cup history.
All Furyk needed to do was par one of the last two holes to get a half-point, and he couldn't. Stricker needed pars on the final two holes and didn't make them.
In the end, all they could do was watch as Martin Kaymer made a 6-foot par putt that sealed their fate.
“We put a lot of expectations on ourselves to perform,” Stricker said. “And sometimes it's good and bad.”
For Stricker, it was a terrible ending to what had already been a lousy week.
He was sent out three times with Tiger Woods to win points on the first two days, only to come back empty each time.
Had he and Woods been able to contribute even something, a big U.S. lead going into the last day might have been insurmountable. But they were beaten each time, twice in better ball and once in alternate shot.
That didn't keep Love from following his plan to send Stricker and Woods off in the final two pairings Sunday. It hardly looked as if they would be needed with the U.S. leading, 10-6, going into singles play, but Love felt better having them there just in case.
“We put who we thought was our hot players up front,” Love said, “and we put who we thought was our steady players in the back that would get us points.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ligonier Township police officer killed in wrong-way crash; K-9 injured
- Starkey: Pirates’ trade of Snider still reeks
- Rostraver man arraigned on murder charge
- 2015 Allegheny County Summer Concert Series announced
- Ellen Albertini Dow, ‘Wedding Singer’ rapper, dies at 101
- Teen killed when car strikes Monongahela building
- Vehicle strikes pedestrian near UPMC McKeesport
- 7 arrested in Greensburg street argument
- Pitt joins Giant Eagle, sets goal to put more disabled on payroll
- Missing girl found safe in her Pittsburgh Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood
- Dispute over iconic McKeesport lounge headed back to court