Nice try: Big gamble fails


CELTIC MANOR DIARY:A Ryder Cup miscellany

IN another case of ambush marketing by Paddy Power the Irish bookmaker was forced to bow down to the law and dismantle a 270ft promotional sign erected in a field and overlooking the Twenty Ten venue.

As the self-proclaimed “biggest freestanding sign in the world” was put in place, Paddy Power – the firm’s PR man – was himself booked in for a high noon date at Cardiff County Court to fight an injunction by Monmouthshire County Council to have the sign removed.

“We are clearly the victims of bureaucratic bullies and rich golf course owners, but we will respect the verdict of the court,” said Power after the court ruled in favour of the council.

“Monmouthshire County Council’s tactic of parking a bulldozer beside the sign this morning was quite threatening, but we’re happy that the court has let common sense prevail and allowed us three days to remove the sign safely. I guess it’s a textbook case of – we fought the law and the law won!”

To Tweet: or not to Tweet

 IT appears Colin Montgomerie’s ban on tweeting has fallen on deaf ears, for Ian Poulter felt compelled to share with over one million of his followers that he and playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez were fleeced by the Molinari brothers.

Wednesday’s tweet from IanJamesPoulter: “Practice went well again today. The Italian brothers took Miguel and my cash today. I feel like a cash machine this week.”

Looks like the Englishman will need a wallet like a pan loaf to pay his dues this week. It’s hard to feel sorry for him, though: he’s hardly short of a bob at this stage.

It’s also going to be a memorable anniversary in the Poulter household if tweet number two of the day was anything to go by. “On bus on the way to Cardiff castle, meeting HRH which will be great. Then millennium stadium for Gala opening. All on our wed Anniversary.”

American captain Corey Pavin has been unequivocal on the subject of his players twittering, asking them not to update their accounts until the Ryder Cup is over. Bubba Watson informed his 36,341 followers last Sunday that there would be no tweets until he returned from Wales, before leaving them with the exhortation to “cheer hard for the USA”.

The American team’s youngest player and twitter – no, wait, that should be twitterer – is Rickie Fowler (30,999), whose parting tweet was to post a picture of him and team-mates Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson aboard the plane transporting the Americans to Wales on Monday.

But there’s no doubt whose tweets will be missed most in terms of the American team based on simple arithmetic. Stewart Cink (1,201,506 followers) signed off for his enforced sabbatical with the following message: “Okay I Lied. Go USA y’all pull hard for us thanks!!!!! . . . . see you in a week.”

By the numbers


20,000:Fish & Chips

15,000:Quarter-pounder burgers

7,000:Jones Organic Pies

5,000:Steak baguettes

40,000:Sandwiches, wraps, paninis

55,000:Breakfast rolls

35,000:Bottles of mineral water

5,000:Bottles of champagne

132,000:Pints of beer

10,000:Bottles of wine

1,500kg:Welsh cheeses

30,000:Toilet rolls

Who’s your caddie?: The ties that bind

IRELAND’S Christy O’Connor Jnr and Paul McGinley will be forever linked by their singles’ tour de forces in two Ryder Cups at the Belfry.

O’Connor Jnr defied Fred Couples (1989) with a wondrous two-iron to ensure Europe earned a 14-14 tie and retained the trophy, while McGinley halved with Jim Furyk (2002).

However, another tie between the matches is that Fluff Cowan caddied for Couples (1989) and Furyk (2002).

Building up the Europeans: Kuchar claims underdog tag

GOING into the Ryder Cup as underdogs will be an extra driving force for the US this week, according to rookie Matt Kuchar.

“I think we do take some motivation from being the underdogs,” the 32-year-old said yesterday. “We know Europe are a strong team, no doubt about that. The guys on their team are fantastic players and you just look at the guys they left out and you think, ‘My God, they must be stacked (with top golfers).”

Kuchar has plenty of belief in his own team too.

“Phil (Mickelson) and Tiger (Woods) are arguably the two best players in the world,” said the American. “You have Dustin Johnson, who on any given day can beat anybody.”

Pavin doesn’t know score

AS IF Corey Pavin doesn’t have enough on his plate, yesterday he was asked if he has been keeping tabs on the “ping-pong” standings in the American team room. By all accounts, Matt Kuchar is a demon with bat in hand.

“Obviously being American we have a couple of ping-pong, or table tennis tables in the team room,” offered Pavin. “I don’t know if there’s a (scoring) tally but I know Matt’s pretty good. Tiger (Woods) and Phil (Mickelson) have had a few matches but you’ll have to ask them how it turned out as I for one haven’t been keeping score.”

What not to wear: Hack knew he’d forgot something

AN unnamed colleague pitched up at Celtic Manor with all the kit required to work – well, except for a pair of golf shoes. Rather than question why this essential piece of attire was omitted from final packing, he was accompanied to the tented village in search of new footwear.

To our great surprise, among the reams of stock and leading brands in the main shop not a solitary pair of golf shoes could be found. Further investigation around the village was no better. The loafers appear destined to stay.

As the rains continue, negotiating hilly, muddy on-course terrain – not to mention the descent from altitude and camel-ride hike to and from the Twenty Ten course – will make for interesting observation later in the week.

“I think that being a leader on the golf course really requires your golf clubs to do the talking.”

– Pádraig Harrington on one aspect of the responsibility of being a senior player on the European team