Ryder Cup Different Strokes: Will Lefty get left behind if envelope rule is required?

Brian O’Driscoll and Niall Horan are part of the Europe team in the celebrity match

Will we see the envelope rule used at this Ryder Cup? Only time will tell, but there have been a couple of occasions the rule – first introduced back in 1979 – has been needed due to injured players.

The captains' agreement allows for Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk to enter the name of one of their teams into an envelope in the case of any player suffering an injury or illness which would not allow him play in the singles, the only time when all 12 players are used in a session.

The names are kept secret, and only revealed should an opposing player be ruled out on medical grounds in which case that singles is deemed to be a halved match. If not required, the envelope is disposed off . . . and the name of the nominated player is not made public.

There have been two incidents when the rule was used, however. In 1991, Steve Pate – who was involved in a car accident on the Wednesday before the match started – was declared unfit to play in the singles, his only play coming in a losing fourballs on the Saturday. David Gilford was the man in the European envelope and didn't get to play.


Rather more bizarre was the fate which befell Sam Torrance in the 1993 match at The Belfry. Believing there was an intruder in his hotel room, Torrance got out of his bed and stubbed his toe on a plant pot which ruled him out of the singles when Lanny Wadkins was the man in the US envelope and had to sit out the final day's play, with their match counting as a half.

Captains have to hand in their envelope prior to the line-up for the singles being declared. Any bets on Lefty being one of them?

Irish involvement

You know, Rory McIlroy is not alone in being the only Irish player competing on the Le Golf National course this week . . . in fact, three of our finest – from the sporting and entertainment world – will get to mark their scorecards ahead of him.

Rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll, singer Niall Horan and actor Jamie Dornan are all part of the Europe team competing against the USA in the Ryder Cup celebrity match which takes place on Tuesday, although the format will be rather different from the real thing: the 10-hole scramble will see the teams playing holes one to five and then 14 to 18.

Other members of the Europe team include footballers David Ginola and Luis Figo and tennis player Yannick Noah.

The American team contains some heavy hitters, among them swimmer Michael Phelps – the all-time Olympic medal record holder, who won 23 gold medals among his overall haul of 28 medals – tennis player John McEnroe, actor Samuel L Jackson and former US secretary of state Dr Condoleezza Rice.

Twitter Twaddle

Mondays don't get any better than this. When you work hard and have big dreams they do come true. Live life with no regrets set big goals and NEVER GIVE UP. I love team @RyderCupEurope more than you can imagine. Dig deeper at times it's amazing what happens – Ian Poulter giving all a dose of motivation.

My congratulations to @TigerWoods on winning the @playofffinale! I am very happy for him and extremely proud of him. Tiger has worked very hard to get to this place, and has played very well all season – Jack Nicklaus recognising greatness.

Massive congrats @JustinRose99 for winning the #FedExCup and of course @TigerWoods for winning #80 on @PGATOUR. So well deserved for both. Such a cool experience walking down the last hole with all that excitement! Onwards and upwards – Rory McIlroy trying to adopt the glass half-full philosophy after playing the role of onlooker to Woods's majesty.

What can I say! It was awesome to see Tiger back in the winners circle. I've never seen anything like the 18th hole. Was pretty insane. Congrats my man on overcoming so much to get back to the top of that mountain! Golf is in an awesome awesome place right now! – Billy Horschel (and every other PGA Tour player) glad that the Woods factor is back on full steam.

Star putter

The most important club in the bag for any player at the Ryder Cup is the putter . . . and Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed have gone the extra mile by getting custom made putters with messages of their own.

In Garcia's case, he is using a Toulon Design Rose Gold Atlanta model, which was in play for the first time at the Portugal Masters, where he dumped his poor form for a top-10 finish. The flat stick has yellow and gold stars to mark each year he has played as a player or acted as a vice-captain at the match.

Reed, of course, couldn’t resist getting the moniker “Captain America” stamped on the heel of his Tour Only Rat model designed by Scotty Cameron.

Word of Mouth

"A lot of times they equated golf to pain because every time I did it, I would hurt, and it would cause me more pain. And so now they're seeing a little bit of joy and seeing how much fun it is for me to be able to do this again" – Tiger Woods on what it means for his two children to see him fit, healthy and winning at golf again.

By the numbers - $10,372,000

Justin Rose may have lost his briefly held world number one ranking . . . but the Englishman was the one walking away with a wheelbarrow full of greenbacks from the Tour Championship after scooping the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup and another $372,000 for his tied-fourth finish in the tournament.

What’s in the bag

Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (9.5 degrees)

3-wood: TaylorMade M3 (13 degrees)

5-wood: TaylorMace M3 (19 degrees)

Irons: TaylorMade TW Phase 1 (3-iron-Pitching Wedge)

Sand wedge: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (56 degrees)

Lob wedge: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (60 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2

Ball: Bridgestone Tour BXS