Compiled by PHILIP REID
Gala Dinner: Chicago, Lopez, Justin . . . but no Wozniacki
NO PRIZES for guessing the musical entertainment at tonight’s Gala Dinner where the USA and European teams will be given the red-carpet treatment at the Akoo Theatre in the Chicagoan suburbs.
Award-winning rock band Chicago – who have 22 gold, 18 platinum and eight multi-platinum albums to their credit – will provide the schmaltz to go with comedian George Lopez throwing the one-liners and gags to a crowd that is also set to include singer Justin Timberlake, who is serving as the first “ambassador” for the US Ryder Cup team.
Of course, the star attractions are the two teams, who traditionally are accompanied by their partners. Unfortunately for Rory McIlroy, his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki – who won her first tournament of the year, the Korea Open at the weekend – won’t be by his side. McIlroy is not the only player going solo at the gala. Nicolas Colsaerts, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer will also be on their own.
Model figure: Abe Mitchell honoured
The figure atop the Ryder Cup is modelled on the English golfer, Abe Mitchell – who experienced quite contrasting fortunes in his singles matches (played over 36-holes in the old days) back in 1929 and 1933.
In the 1929 match at Moortown in England, Mitchell was on the wrong end of a 9 and 8 defeat to Leo Diegel as the British team earned victory. Four years later, at Southport, Mitchell made amends with a 9 and 8 victory over Olin Dutrn when the home team again secured the victory.
Average age: Europeans slightly younger
Does age matter? The average age of the European team at Medinah this week is 32.8 years, compared to the American spread of 34.6.
Steve Stricker – at 46 – is the oldest player in action on either team, followed by Paul Lawrie (43), Jim Furyk (42), Phil Mickelson (42, but a month younger than Furyk). Rory McIlroy, at 23, is the youngest player competing.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“This is not a war, and it won’t be that.”
– Davis Love III when asked to explain the military connotations that have been associated with past Ryder Cups, most notably the “War on the Shore” at Kiawah Island in 1991 and the air force flyovers at opening ceremonies.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
“The future is bright . . . the future is .! #SUFTUM”
– The European vice-captain posted a picture of the three Northern Irishmen – resplendent in orange sweaters – at the 2012 Ryder Cup.