Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants (Yahoo Sports) - PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Edinson Volquez's renaissance began with a simple game of catch. Hughes overtakes Moore in title race - Richard Hughes passes Ryan Moore in the jockeys' title race after completing a double at Salisbury. Coleman 'doesn't care' about critics - Wales manager Chris Coleman says he will never win over some supporters and is "not bothered" by the criticism. Paceman Mills set to leave Essex - England Lions paceman Tymal Mills is to leave Essex, while spinner Tim Phillips retires after 16 seasons at Chelmsford. 'Pardew can handle Magpies pressure' - Alan Pardew can handle the pressure at Newcastle despite calls for him to leave the club, say two former team-mates. Dettori to ride Ruler in Arc - Frankie Dettori will ride 2013 Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Dettori to ride Ruler at Arc - Frankie Dettori will ride 2013 Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World at Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. McIlroy named PGA Player of Year - World number one Rory McIlroy is voted PGA Tour Player of the Year for a second time after winning two majors in 2014. Charging documents show Phelps DUI tied to alcohol (Yahoo Sports) - Michael Phelps can't seem to break a disturbing pattern. McIlroy wins PGA Tour player of the year (Yahoo Sports) - ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) -- One incredible month of golf was enough for Rory McIlroy to be voted PGA Tour player of the year.

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Tiger Woods to open restaurant in Jupiter, Fla. [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 30, 2014, 9:05 pm]
Tiger Woods found a tougher business than golf-course design: owning a restaurant.  A Jupiter, Fla., development called Harbourside Place and Woods jointly announced Tuesday he'll be the owner of a new restaurant opening in his adopted hometown called the The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club. The 5,900-square-foot restaurant will open in the first quarter of 2015. “I envision a place where people can meet friends, watch sports on TV and enjoy a great meal,” Woods said in a news release. “I wanted to build it locally where I live and where it could help support the community.” Woods has a little time on his hands to be intimiately involved in the development of the restaurant. The 14-time major winner will not compete again until his World Challenge event in Orlando in December.  Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

Three radical suggestions to improve America's Ryder Cup chances [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 30, 2014, 3:32 pm]
You can pin the blame on whoever or whatever you want, but the fact remains the American Ryder Cup team lost its third-straight biennial match against Europe on Sunday in Scotland. That ties the longest American losing streak, matching the stretch from 2002-06 when the Europeans twice beat the U.S. by record, embarrassing 18.5-9.5 counts. Tom Watson didn't work, with the complete picture why still to be revealed. Three captain's picks didn't work, as two (Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan) contributed very little to the overall effort. Something has to change, and it seems toggling the captain and the number of guys he can hand-pick for the team may not be the answer. Let's try something else. Try on these three suggestions for size. 1. Shorten the qualifying period to just eight months: Americans qualify for the Ryder Cup team over a two-year period, earning points weighted toward events in the second year of the cycle (a smart change made by Paul Azinger). However, this approach still doesn't identify the hot hands, so to speak. Throw out the two-year cycle and shorten it from Jan. 1 the year of the competition through the end of the PGA Championship. This way, only players who have stood out when it matters most make the team on points. 2. Name a player in his late 30s captain: Until 65-year-old Tom Watson got the call, the PGA of Amerca's formula for picking Ryder Cup captains sided with modest major winners in their late 40s (Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Corey Pavin, etc.). The PGA wants guys with an impressive-enough CV that are still somewhat in touch with their younger peers. The PGA has it wrong. Majors don't matter and don't decide if a captain will be any good at the job. Ask Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie or Bernard Gallacher. Instead, identify a driven, smart player who sees their best days behind them and the opportunity to mastermind a U.S. victory as their career highlight. 3. Let the players pick the captain: The European Tour has this one right. They'

Three radicals suggestions to improve America's Ryder Cup chances [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 30, 2014, 3:32 pm]
You can pin the blame on whoever or whatever you want, but the fact remains the American Ryder Cup team lost its third-straight biennial match against Europe on Sunday in Scotland. That ties the longest American losing streak, matching the stretch from 2002-06 when the Europeans twice beat the U.S. by record, embarrassing 18.5-9.5 counts. Tom Watson didn't work, with the complete picture why still to be revealed. Three captain's picks didn't work, as two (Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan) contributed very little to the overall effort. Something has to change, and it seems toggling the captain and the number of guys he can hand-pick for the team may not be the answer. Let's try something else. Try on these three suggestions for size. 1. Shorten the qualifying period to just eight months: Americans qualify for the Ryder Cup team over a two-year period, earning points weighted toward events in the second year of the cycle (a smart change made by Paul Azinger). However, this approach still doesn't identify the hot hands, so to speak. Throw out the two-year cycle and shorten it from Jan. 1 the year of the competition through the end of the PGA Championship. This way, only players who have stood out when it matters most make the team on points. 2. Name a player in his late 30s captain: Until 65-year-old Tom Watson got the call, the PGA of Amerca's formula for picking Ryder Cup captains sided with modest major winners in their late 40s (Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Corey Pavin, etc.). The PGA wants guys with an impressive-enough CV that are still somewhat in touch with their younger peers. The PGA has it wrong. Majors don't matter and don't decide if a captain will be any good at the job. Ask Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie or Bernard Gallacher. Instead, identify a driven, smart player who sees their best days behind them and the opportunity to mastermind a U.S. victory as their career highlight. 3. Let the players pick the captain: The European Tour has this one right. They'

Handicapping the contenders to be 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup captain [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 30, 2014, 1:51 am]
Tom Watson didn't get the job done. The Americans lost their third-consecutive Ryder Cup on Sunday in Scotland, and the defeat had many fans, including PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel, demanding 2008 captain Paul Azinger get the job again. Azinger was the last man to guide the U.S. to a Ryder Cup win, using what he termed the Pod system to group players, build camaraderie and make matchups that ultimately took down the Nick Faldo-led European side after consecutive 18.5-9.5 embarrassments in '04 and '06. While Azinger would probably do a splendid, if not successful, job in the role again, there are others patiently waiting in line to captain the sinking American ship. Without making another Titanic reference, let's assess the other contenders. Steve Stricker: When Tom Watson named the Wisconsin native as an assistant captain, it originally seemed maybe Watson was extending an olive branch to Tiger Woods by putting his good buddy (and occasional putting coach) on the team in a non-playing capacity. However, maybe Watson saw something in Stricker that suggested he might make a great captain sooner than later. David Toms: Before Tom Watson was revealed as 2014 captain, the conventional wisdom had the 2001 PGA champion slotted for the job sooner than later. Watson may have delayed that opportunity by two years, maybe four. Toms should get his day, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The LSU product wouldn't be drastic enough of a change to spur much reaction from fans or Toms' peers. Fred Couples: Boom-Boom wouldn't be a shocking pick in one regard: He's guided the U.S. to three consecutive victories in the Presidents Cup. His tenure was a complete success, and the players love to play for him. However, the Presidents Cup is the PGA Tour's event, and, while the PGA Tour and PGA of America are getting along better than ever, a cross-pollinating captain seems unlikely. Larry Nelson: Nelson is a three-time major champ

High schooler sinks two holes-in-one in a single round [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 5:51 pm]
Samantha Staudt hit a hole-in-one on the fifth hole of her debut round with her high school's varsity golf team. It was one of those moments she'll remember forever, something she figured she'd never repeat. So after hitting a clean shot off the 8th hole tee at the Inniscrone Golf Club in Avondale, Pa., Staudt was confused that she didn't see the ball on the green. The thought that she'd hit a second hole-in-one never even crossed her mind, she told Philly.com. Staudt and her opponent, Avon Grove, apparently walked around looking for the ball for a bit before Grove eventually found it in the hole. A second hole-in-one, only eight holes into her varsity career. Both of the holes were par-3s. Had 2 hole on in ones in one match! Craziest thing I ever did ⛳️😳 pic.twitter.com/B7AgbFLGnu— Sammie Staudt (@SAMwichS_20) September 23, 2014 The 16-year-old had pulled off something few professional golfers will do in their lifetimes. And when you do that, crazier things are in store. ESPN's Sportscenter soon tweeted about it, and two days later, The Ellen Degeneres Show was on the line. SOMEONE FROM THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW CALLED 😳😳— Sammie Staudt (@SAMwichS_20) September 26, 2014 "I didn't even know what to do," Staudt said. "On the first one, we were going crazy, but I've never heard of anyone having two in one round." She finished the round at one shot under par.

17-year-old wins pro-junior at Pebble Beach with walk-off albatross [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 2:15 am]
Christopher Meyers stood in the fairway at Pebble Beach's iconic par-5 18th hole, needing to get up-and-down for eagle to win the pro-junior competition at the Nature Valley First Tee Open. With partner Lee Janzen looking on, Meyers struck a 4-iron from 204 yards. After a couple of hops, Meyers' second shot found the bottom of the cup for a walk-off, tournament-winning albatross (or double eagle, if you so wish). According to Pebble Beach officials, this is the first time an albatross has been made in a tournament at the last hole. What makes the outcome even more amazing is that Meyers' tee shot nearly went into the Pacific Ocean, caroming off the rocks separating the golf course and water.  Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

Phil Mickelson calls for return of Paul Azinger, or least his Pod system [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 5:10 pm]
Phil Mickelson knows the right man for the job of 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup captain: the man who led the American charge in 2008.  Shortly after the Europeans clinched a third-consecutive Ryder Cup on Sunday at Gleneagles, Mickelson suggested Paul Azinger should get another crack at the job. "We had a great formula in '08," Mickelson said on NBC's coverage. "I don’t know why we strayed. I don’t know why we don’t go back. What Zinger did was great." Azinger guided the American team to a 16.5-11.5 win over captain Nick Faldo and the Europeans six years ago at Valhalla in Kentucky. He employed what he called a Pod system, creating three groups of four players based on personality types that bonded, practiced and played together throughout the matches.  Whether or not Mickelson carries any weight with PGA of America leadership is unclear, but as an almost-certain future captain and five-time major champion, it would seem his words matter. Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

The suggestion from Jack Nicklaus that begat a lost Ryder Cup generation [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 4:26 pm]
You're angry. You're upset. You're looking for a scapegoat for the Americans' eighth loss in the last 10 Ryder Cups. Here's one: Jack Nicklaus. In 1977, Jack Nicklaus met with the Earl of Derby, who, at the time, ran the PGA of Europe and the combined team of Great Britain and Ireland. GB&I had lost nine of the last 10 Ryder Cups. They played to a draw in the 1969 matches at Royal Birkdale, thanks in large part to a putt Nicklaus conceded to Tony Jacklin on the final hole of the final match. It was obvious Americans would lose interest in the biennial matches if they won all the time. So Nicklaus had a suggestion: expand the GB&I team to include continental Europe. The PGA of Europe and PGA of America both loved the idea. It would inject some intrigue. Two years later, Team Europe made its Ryder Cup debut, falling to the U.S. by a 17-9 count. The 1981 matches were worse, with the U.S. winning 18.5-9.5. But in 1983, the Europeans nearly pulled it out, losing by a mere point. Seve Ballesteros, at the peak of his career, urged his teammates not to lament the loss but see it as proof that they could, in fact, beat the Americans. Since 1985, the Ryder Cup has been played 15 teams. With their victory on Sunday at Gleneagles, Europe has won 10 times, halving once. How fitting, then, for the European Tour to award Nicklaus on Sunday with an honorary lifetime membership. “Both organizations (the European Tour and PGA of Europe) would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the vision of one man who, in 1977, recommended to the President of the PGA of America and our President of the British PGA to consider widening the British and Ireland team to all of Europe," said European Tour chief executive George O'Grady on Sunday. Nicklaus never could have imagined expanding the Ryder Cup would have flipped the matches on their head, so dramatically in favor of the Europeans. A look down the all-time list of most Ryder Cup points won shows the importance of Europe to the match

Ryder Cup Report Card: Europe passes, USA fails [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 4:04 pm]
The Ryder Cup is over and done with, pencils down. Some players (and captains) performed well under pressure, and some, well, didn't. Let's take a look at each team and size up their performance at this year's Ryder Cup. TEAM EUROPE Paul McGinley (captain): He won the Ryder Cup, so that's an A right there. But the way he structured this team over the last two years, outlining expectations and containing dissent, he set a model for European captains for years to come. His captain's picks didn't work out, but they didn't need to. GRADE: A. Thomas Bjorn (0-2-1): He didn't play particularly well in either the fourball or singles matches. But when you've got such an arsenal around you, you can afford to have a letdown. GRADE: D+. Jamie Donaldson (3-1-0): Great success story, playing his way onto the European team despite setbacks in both personal and professional life. His reward? Striking the winning stroke for Europe. GRADE: A. Victor Dubuisson (2-0-1): Quality performance out of the French rookie, who's just 24 and likely to be around for many more of these. This is exactly the way to build a strong Ryder resume. GRADE: A-. Stephen Gallacher (0-2-0): The captain's pick was one of the few misfires on the European side, unable to get anything going against rookies Spieth and Reed on Friday, unable to hang with Mickelson on Sunday. GRADE: D. Sergio Garcia (2-1-1): One of the most decorated Ryder Cup players in European history remained as steady as ever, winning when he needed to and not causing Europe any worry. GRADE: A-.  Martin Kaymer (1-1-2): Wasn't as dominant here as he was at Pinehurst, but didn't need to be. And he handled Bubba Watson effectively on Sunday, keeping the European avalanche rolling. GRADE: B-. Graeme McDowell (3-0-0): Did exactly what was expected of him, and rallied from well down to take out Jordan Spieth on Sunday. GRADE: A. Rory McIlroy (2-1-2): The world no. 1 was oddly quiet through much of the Ryder Cup, but came through huge when he was m

Phil Mickelson grabs USA a much-needed point [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 3:43 pm]
Phil Mickelson will be a Ryder Cup captain one day, perhaps one day very soon, and he'll take plenty of lessons from this year's tournament. Mickelson certainly wasn't pleased to be sitting all day Saturday, but he rallied and managed a 3&1 win over rookie Stephen Gallacher, who hadn't played since Friday. Gallacher got out to a slight lead, but Mickelson kept pace, reversing a 1-up deficit into a 1-up USA lead in the space of three holes from 4 to 6. Mickelson couldn't post a lead that held up until the 15th, and from there, it was an avalanche. By 17, Mickelson was up 3&1, and that was enough. Mickelson ended the weekend 2-1-0, a respectable record for the USA side. Gallacher, meanwhile, was 0-2-0, and never really had the opportunity to get started for Europe. Not that it mattered very much. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Not again: Mahan screws up critical chip, cedes half-point to Justin Rose [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 3:24 pm]
It happened again: Hunter Mahan misplayed a critical chip shot that may well have cost the Americans their chance at a Ryder Cup comeback. Mahan was 1 up on the par-5 18th hole against Justin Rose, facing an uphill chip for his third shot. If he could get up-and-down for birdie, he would win the match and earn a point crucial to the American charge on Sunday. After overthinking the shot, Mahan decided on a flop. It flopped. The shot went too far, rolling off the other side of the green. Mahan then putted uphill onto the green, still away for a par putt that would've placed modest pressure on Rose to make his birdie putt. Mahan missed the putt and gave Rose the hole for the halve. The situation was reminiscent of Mahan's flubbed chip shot late in his singles match against Graeme McDowell in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. It ultimately made McDowell the clinching hero. However, Mahan would not have found himself in this position if Rose didn't catch fire in the middle of the round, winning four consecutive holes in birdie to square the match. An incredible recovery approach from Rose on the par-4 13th hole put Rose stunted Mahan's momentum after winning the 12th to regain the lead after the initial Rose flurry. With these two chips shots, Mahan may have too much scar tissue to be able to make substantive contributions to future U.S. Ryder Cup teams. Mahan was on the right side of the ledger once all week, going 1-2-1 in four matches. Rose was the European MVP. It wasn't even close. He went 3-0-2, earning four huge points for the Europeans. He's the new Ian Poulter. Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

Kaymer steamrolls Bubba Watson, finishes with chip-in exclamation point [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 3:09 pm]
Coming into his Sunday match against Martin Kaymer, Masters champion Bubba Watson was 0-3 all-time in Ryder Cup singles matches. His record did not improve against the German. Watson was never competitive against Kaymer, losing four of the first six holes, including four in a row after a pair of opening halves. Watson appeared to mope his way through the match at that point, mustering just two wins in the match. After a win on the seventh hole with par, Watson then lost the eighth to give up any momentum he had and any chance of a comeback. The match lingered for several more holes until the par-5 16th hole, when Kaymer chipped in for a match-ending eagle to spark the partisan crowd. Bubba Watson did not play well this week, but ran into Europe's hottest player in Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer playing his best golf of the week. Kaymer went 1-1-2 this week, largely playing mediocre to poor golf. However, when it mattered most, he saddled up well with Justin Rose to sub in for an injured Henrik Stenson and took a full point in his singles match. Good enough. Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

Matt Kuchar gets a win at last over Thomas Bjorn [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 3:08 pm]
It was almost an academic exercise, but it was necessary nonetheless: Matt Kuchar topped Thomas Bjorn in their Ryder Cup singles match in one of the few matches never really in doubt. Kuchar first took the lead on the second hole, then grabbed it again on the fifth and never relinquished it. He ended up winning 4&3, closing it out by the 15th hole. The win marked a much-needed victory for Kuchar, who had lost his three previous matches. Bjorn, meanwhile, was one of the few faltering European players, going 0-2-1 on the weekend. That didn't much matter, though, as this match was being played in the midst of a European onslaught. Kuchar's win held off the inevitable by a few minutes, but not much more than that. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Jordan Spieth surrenders 4 up lead, loses to Graeme McDowell [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 2:30 pm]
Jordan Spieth didn't lose to Graeme McDowell in his Sunday singles Ryder Cup match. Jordan Spieth beat Jordan Spieth. The 21-year-old had a 3-up lead over the Ulsterman through five holes, carrying early American momentum that had fans believing in a possible comeback on social media. Then the back nine happened.  Spieth let the round get away from him, losing four consecutive holes to McDowell to start the second side. McDowell went from 3 down to 1 up. The killer hole in that stretch, however, was the 12th, when Spieth could not get up-and-down for par from a fairly innocuous lie. He left the green mumbling to himself and couldn't shake the feeling.  As has happened several times this season on the PGA Tour, Spieth's temper cost him a chance to come through huge. McDowell took advantage and closed out Spieth with a sandy on the 17th. McDowell was huge this week, going 2-0 in foursomes with Victor Dubuisson and winning this match. Behind Justin Rose, he could well be the second-best European player this week. Spieth was excellent all week, but let a point-and-a-half slip away between ceding this huge lead on Sunday and the afternoon foursomes session on Saturday. If he can learn to combat his temper and remain focused when the momentum changes, he can become a great Ryder Cup player. Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

Graeme McDowell comes back to defeat Jordan Spieth in singles match [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 2:29 pm]
Jordan Spieth had him. He had Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, on the ropes. Spieth had gone out first on Sunday during the singles matches at the Ryder Cup, a high honor for a rookie but one that Spieth had absolutely earned over the course of this Ryder Cup. And for nine holes, it seemed the future of American golf had already arrived. And then, like a teenager's car, Spieth flat-out ran out of gas. From the 10th hole to the 15th, Spieth rattled, shuddered, and faltered, going from three up to two down. Two holes later and it was over, McDowell winning 2&1 and securing Europe's second point on the day and 12th of the tournament. "It was my wedding anniversary, and so I want to say sorry to my wife for not being home," McDowell said. "We were saying as a team, it doesn't matter if you're four up or four down, try to win the next hole, send a message." Like so many other matches, and indeed like the Ryder Cup as a whole, the American side started fast but couldn't sustain, and Europe used simple, constant pressure to run down, catch, and pass for the lead. McDowell proved a canny choice for Paul McGinley to lead off Europe, as he didn't let even a seemingly insurmountable lead rattle him in any way. McDowell thus stands as one of the top performers on the European side, going 3-0-0. Spieth, meanwhile, has established himself as one of America's brightest hopes for the future. He went 2-1-1 this Ryder Cup, and considering how he played on Friday morning, many thought captain Tom Watson should have played him on Friday afternoon as well. How he rebounds from this bitter loss will help define his career as both an individual and as part of Team USA going forward. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Rory McIlroy throttles Rickie Fowler to land Europe's first Ryder Cup singles points [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 2:02 pm]
Rickie Fowler once again finished runner-up on one of golf's biggest stages. But while that's more than respectable when we're talking about majors, when it's a Sunday singles match at the Ryder Cup, well ... it's not quite as impressive. What was impressive was the way Rory McIlroy, the best golfer in the world with no close second, took care of Fowler and firmly set the tone for Europe in its bid to hold off any Sunday USA charge. "I was obviously excited to play Rickie," McIlroy said after the round. "We've become pals this year, and I was happy to get on the right side of this one." He was on the right side from the very first hole, birdieing five of the first six and establishing a 5-up lead by the sixth hole. Fowler would never get closer than 4 down, and by the 14th hole, it was all over, the first match to end even though it was the third to begin. McIlroy went 2-1-2 in his five matches, a reliable and solid partner across the board and money in the bank while on his own. Fowler, meanwhile, continued a hard-luck streak that left him 0-2-3 even though he was one of the United States' strongest players. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Justin Rose hits amazing recovery from behind a bush [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 2:00 pm]
Justin Rose fell 4 down early to Hunter Mahan in their Sunday singles match at the Ryder Cup, but slowly made the comeback to pull level. Mahan had regained the advantage on No. 12. Then Rose's tee shot at the par-4 13th landed behind a bush with a tight lie. It was no matter for the 2013 U.S. Open champion and European team MVP, however, as he ran up his second shot to within gimme range. When Mahan couldn't chip in from short of the green to match Rose, the match was again all square. Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

Europe wins Ryder Cup as USA fades once again [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 1:52 pm]
For a brief moment, there was hope. For a brief moment on Sunday morning at Gleneagles, the United States held the lead in six matches at the Ryder Cup, with four more all square. If everything had continued on that trend, the United States would have had a fair chance of capturing the cup it had fumbled away two years ago. But if there was a theme to the 2014 Ryder Cup, it was this: Europe does not quit. (We'd make some French-surrender joke here, but Frenchman Victor Dubuisson won his two matches.) Virtually every time the United States would establish an advantage, Europe would grind back with a series of relentless drives, pitches, and putts. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the first singles match of the final day, pitting white-hot American rookie Jordan Spieth against veteran U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell. Spieth blazed out to a three-hole lead by the turn, but slowly let McDowell back into the match and would end up taking it in relatively easy fashion, 2&1. Combine that with Rory McIlroy's earlier hammering of Rickie Fowler, and Europe, needing just four points on the day, had two points before the United States could post even one. Patrick Reed, the pro wrestler in golfer's clothes, managed a big win against Henrik Stenson. But just a few minutes later, Martin Kaymer won the battle of two-major winners against Bubba Watson. Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson managed to win their matches, but by then, the finish line was already in sight. Hunter Mahan let Europe's best player, Justin Rose, back into their match and eventually halved, leaving Europe just half a point away from victory. In the end, it fell to rookie Jamie Donaldson to hole the winning putt, defeating Keegan Bradley with five matches still on the course. Donaldson had two putts to win; he lipped the first, and tapped in the second. That guaranteed a tie, which meant Europe retained the cup, but the European team wanted to win it outright. As a result, Donaldson wasn't aware of the victory

Matt Kuchar holes out for eagle to win hole against Thomas Bjorn [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 1:34 pm]
Matt Kuchar apparently didn't want to waste much time on the eighth hole in his Sunday singles match against Thomas Bjorn.  Kuchar hit his second shot close to a tight pin on the front left of the hole, with the ball then spinning into the hole for an unexpected eagle 2. That put Bjorn in the uncomfortable position of having to hole out from a litlle closer to the hole simply to halve it. He didn't, giving the hole to Kuchar. When Kuchar retrieved his ball from the hole, he found an American fan greenside and gave the memento to her. Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee

Jimmy Walker filmed his awesome walk to the Ryder Cup's first tee [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 12:57 pm]
The walk to the first tee of any Ryder Cup match has to be filled with emotion. There's the nerves, the excitement, the dread of letting your team down and a thousand other thoughts. Jimmy Walker tried to share the atmosphere of that walk on Sunday as he made his way to the first tee for his Sunday singles match against Lee Westwood. Walker-Westwood is the 11th of 12 matches on Sunday, with the U.S. needing 8.5 points to tie the biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history and win on foreign soil for the first time since 1993. Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @RyanBallengee





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