As unlikely connections go, the one between Rickie Fowler and Sweden’s world record-holder pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis takes some beating.
It turns out that Duplantis — the current Olympic and two-time world champion — got his pole vault pit from the Fowlers.
“It was a few years back. My wife [Allison], she pole vaulted and has kept up with Mondo’s career ... we actually had a pole vault pit at our house in Florida and Mondo and his brother, Andreas, came to pick that up. We didn’t need it anymore. So that’s now his practice pit back in Louisiana!”
Fowler, quite rightly you suspect, was never tempted into having a go at the old pole vaulting himself.
“It’s not something that you just pick up and go run and try and plant the pole and make a jump. There’s a few months of work that go into getting to that point. One, I don’t necessarily have that time, and two, I don’t think it’s worth the risk with what else I have going on,” said Fowler.
Wise man, far less risks of injury playing golf.
Europe’s youngsters close on success
Stephen Gallacher’s young charges are on course to end the near 20-year drought since Europe last won the Junior Ryder Cup after whitewashing the Americans in the second day’s mixed fourballs.
A 6-0 win in the fourballs — with Ireland’s only representative Seán Keeling partnering Sweden’s Nora Sundberg to a 3 and 1 win over Will Hartmann and Gianna Clemente in the anchor match — gave Europe a 12-6 advantage heading into the final day’s 12 singles, to be played at Marco Simone and which will be televised live on Sky Sports for the first time.
Gallacher, who played in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, still plays on the DP World Tour and agreed to take on the role of captain for this year’s match as Europe seek to win the event for the first time since 2004 when a certain Rory McIlroy was on the winning team.
By the numbers: 4
There are more Irish caddies (four) at the Ryder Cup than there are players (two): Rickie Elliott is on Brooks Koepka’s bag; Harry Diamond is on Rory McIlroy’s; Darren Reynolds is on Shane Lowry’s; and Greg Milne is on Bob MacIntyre’s.