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Derek Freeman's Ryder Cup Blog, Day 2
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  10/01/2010

Oct. 1, 2010

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Day 2, Sept. 30

One of the great things about hosting our Bruin18 members, is that you get to do some pretty cool things. This morning was no exception. About a thirty-minute ride from the hotel we really got to experience the Welsh golf culture by playing the famous, Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. It is a wonderful links style golf course that sits on the Bristol Channel. The club has held the Amateur Championship more than five times. Interestingly, the last time Tiger Woods played in Wales was at Royal Porthcawl during the 1995 Walker Cup. He got beat in the singles match on the last hole. Let's hope for the USA that he has simply forgotten.

The opening ceremonies were simply magnificent. There was a lot of pride in our team speeches and cordial comments about the other team. However, the underlying tone was ...We came here to win. Our team looks very exciting and is taking everything, including all of the ceremonies, in stride. After watching our guys in the practice round, they look very comfortable and have a quiet confidence about them. They each have been building their game plans on how and when to attack the course.

The golf course is manicured perfectly without a blade of grass out of place. It is not the normal links style golf course. It is what the Welsh call a "parkland" course. It has trees, hills and lots of water on it. I just know it is beautiful and there are some exciting holes out there.

The Ryder Cup is named after Samuel Ryder, a prosperous businessman from England. The match is between United States and Europe (Great Britain and Ireland). This event has been held every other year since 1927, with the exception of the WWII years and 2001. The match is played in Europe and the United States every other year. The best from the golfing world say they have never been as nervous as they were in the Ryder Cup. There is something to be said for playing for your country. On the first two days in the morning, there are fourball matches (each member plays their own ball every hole and low score out of the team counts). On the first two days in the afternoon, there are foursomes matches (alternate shot). The third and final day is the 12 singles matches.

The matches for the morning look very exciting:

Match 1: Mickelson and Johnson vs. Westwood and Kaymer
Match 2: Cink and Kuchar vs. McIlroy and McDowell
Match 3: Stricker and Woods vs. Poulter and Fisher
Match 4: Watson and Overton vs. Donald and Harrington

I think the biggest surprises are having the two rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton play in the anchor match of the morning. I like the Cink and Kuchar pairing. Also, Tiger wants to prove something, which may be a key to his play. Captain Pavin is making some bold decisions early.

It looks to be a great Ryder Cup. They are expecting a heavy downpour in the morning. Difficult conditions for sure.

All the best from Room 222.

I will be back tomorrow.

Go USA, Go Bruins!


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