Mayer's Memos From The Ryder Cup - Day 2
Sept. 29, 2010
NEWPORT, Wales - Indiana University head men's golf coach Mike Mayer made the trip to Wales for the 2010 Ryder Cup, serving as Jeff Overton's instructor for the competition. Coach Mayer will be providing IUHoosiers.com with a daily blog during his entire trip.
Overton played at IU from 2002-05 and is making his Ryder Cup debut, playing for Team USA. Here is the second installment of "Mayer's Memos From the Ryder Cup"...
Hello from the Ryder Cup where the rain came down in buckets this morning at The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. The rain, and yet another long cab ride, bus ride, and walk to the course caused me to be a little tardy for Jeff's starting time this morning. I met up with Captain Corey Pavin at the driving range and he was gracious enough to give me a special ride out to Team USA who started on the back nine for today's practice round. During the 15-minute ride out to Jeff's group, Captain Pavin shared some thoughts with me and was especially pleased with the weather saying that his team needed to get used to the rainy conditions which will, inevitably, play a big role in the competition.
When I got out to Overton's group during their first practice hole, one of the first people I saw was Ryder Cup Assistant Captain Tom Lehman. Lehman had requested an IU/Overton hat, which I gladly presented him. It was a thrill to see Lehman wearing the hat throughout the practice round today and I couldn't resist a picture op with him (picture on the right). Bloomington's Jim Suttner took care of the photography which I sent along for your pleasure. By the way I'm the one with the grin that seems to be a permanent fixture on my face so far during the proceedings here.
The IU/Overton hat phenomina stretched over to the European side as well. Euro Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomery spotted IU Athletic Fields and Golf Course Superintendent Brent Emerick sporting the hat behind the first green and declared with a big smile: "oh, your part of the Overton group." Think we need to put in another order in for the hats, which are in high demand, and send one over to Monty.
No Tiger today for Jeff but there was a Mickelson, a Watson, and a Johnson -- Phil, Bubba and Dustin that is. This long-hitting foursome was simply amazing to watch. To say that Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson are long off the team is an understatement. I've been around awhile and have seen some big hitters, but nothing compares to this duo. Jeff, who is known as a long hitter, says that if Bubba and Dustin hit the ball good that they are 20 to 30 yards past him.
The match today only lasted nine holes because of the weather and media commitments, but it was a very enjoyable round to watch. Mickelson was talking strategy with his teammates throughout the round, Watson never stopped talking period, and Johnson simply hit the ball out of sight off every tee. "Wiggle" is a word being used often by the USA players as well as their caddies during the practice rounds. They are referring to how the golf balls rolls on the putting greens. As I said yesterday the greens here are slow by American standards and the ball seems to "wiggle" back and forth as the putt is rolling toward the hole. Not as much "wiggle" today as yesterday with speculation that either the greens had been rolled, or the heavy rainfall had helped smooth them out.
Oh, there was a little "fun" match today as well as Jeff and Watson took on Mickelson and Johnson. The trash talking between Mickelson and Overton was abundant throughout the match. Those two like to trash talk. A press on the last hole by Mickelson made things very interesting -- I did say that this was a "fun" match -- but Phil lipped out a 10-footer on the final green to give Overton/Watson the win.
After the match Overton and Watson spent some time together on the driving range, but the practice session quickly turned into a trick shot exhibition. Overton couldn't duplicate Watson's trick shot ability. The left-hander was truly phenominal and delighted the large crowds with both his non-stop humor and his ability. Watson pulled a great prank on Overton that I must tell you about tomorrow, but I'm running out of time and space on this blog.
Final practice round and opening ceremonies tomorrow ... I can't wait. VIP bus in the morning should lessen the two hour plus trip to Celtic Manor to around a doable 45 minutes. Until tommorow and a, hopefully sunny Wales, I'm signing off for now.
Check back soon