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Golf Tidbits: Storylines abound following Presidents Cup
Kevin Currie, Golf Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
There were many storylines for each team exiting the Presidents Cup, but days later, the focus remains on Robert Allenby's verbal attack on Anthony Kim.
Kim routed Allenby, 5 & 3, in their singles match on Sunday and afterward Allenby compared Kim to John Daly.
Allenby was quoted as saying Kim was "the loosest canon on the team," and revealed that player was out until 4:00 a.m. the night before their match.
The Australian was playing on his fifth Presidents Cup team, and his loss to Kim dropped in to 2-2-1 on the week. Maybe it was the disappointment of the tough week that led to Allenby throwing Kim under the bus, but three days later, both parties kissed and made up.
In a statement released by the PGA Tour Allenby said, "While I feel like the comments published were taken out of context, I did call Anthony to apologize for anything that I said or inferred that could possibly portray Anthony as anything less than a professional of the highest caliber. He was a key member of the U.S. Team last week and a formidable opponent on Sunday when we faced each other in singles competition. I am glad we had the chance to speak and clear the air."
For his part, Kim took the high road saying, "Robert and I have spoken about the comments he made after the final day of competition, and I've accepted his apology. We are both moving on, and I don't have anything more to say about the issue."
In all honesty, who cares what Allenby said about Kim? The 24-year-old Kim did his talking on the course as he trounced the 38-year-old Aussie in their head-to-head match, and Allenby let Kim have it in the heat of the moment.
This isn't the first time someone has bad-mouthed an opponent after a tough loss, though going forward, it will be interesting to see what happens between the two on the course. The pair have both committed to the European Tour's Volvo World Match Play Championship in two weeks, and that will mark the next time they play the same event.
The focus exiting the event should have been on one of the many other storylines coming from the United States' big win.
The Internationals and in particular the Europeans, on the verge of next year's Ryder Cup, have to be worried that Tiger Woods finally found a teammate that he is comfortable with.
Woods and Steve Stricker posted a 4-0 record on the week, while Woods went on to win his singles match to close out a 5-0 mark. Woods' singles win also clinched the Presidents Cup, marking the first time in 11 international team competitions that Woods earned the clinching point.
If that wasn't enough to focus on, maybe a better storyline is that Woods, Stricker and Phil Mickelson - the top three players in the world - combined to go 13-1-1 and earned 9 1/2 of the U.S. teams 19 1/2 points.
The U.S. also saw the breakthrough of Sean O'Hair. After losing his first two matches, O'Hair teamed with Mickelson for a big 5 & 3 win over Camilo Villegas and Retief Goosen in foursomes action, then the pair halved their four balls match with Vijay Singh and Tim Clark. Finally, O'Hair trounced Ernie Els, 6 & 4, in their singles match.
For the International team, Clark had a solid week, posting a 2-2-1 record. He drained eight birdies in 15 holes of his Sunday's singles match as he took down Zach Johnson, 4 & 3. Maybe the confidence he gained at Harding Park will help Clark collect that long-awaited first PGA Tour title.
Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa proved International team captain Greg Norman didn't make a mistake with his surprise selection. Ishikawa went 3-2-0 and bettered Kenny Perry in all three of his wins.
"He sent me right into retirement, that kid," Perry joked about Ishikawa.
PGA Champ Y.E. Yang paired with Ishikawa in three matches and they went 2-1, losing only to the buzzsaw that was the Woods/Stricker pairing. Yang, despite getting crushed by Woods in their singles match, has a solid week.
Outside of Allenby's comments on Kim, the biggest downer for either side was the continued poor play of Camilo Villegas and Adam Scott.
Villegas has posted just two top-fives and four top-10s in 21 starts this season. His struggles continued last week as he went 0-4-0.
Scott did garner a win while paired with Ernie Els in his first match, but went 0-4-0 the rest of the way. Scott, at one point the third-ranked player in the world, has plummeted to No. 69 in part because he has missed 10 cuts in 19 starts on the PGA Tour this season.
Anyway, let's focus on the positives for the Americans, and the naysayers can remember the silly stuff.
EUROPEAN TOUR TIDBITS
The European Tour is trying to raise the minimum number of events it requires players to participate in, making it harder for players to keep dual membership on the PGA Tour and European Tour.
The heart of the matter is the tour feels that many of its best players are competing more often in the United States as opposed to in Europe, and the tour is worried this will lead to losing sponsors.
The tour's players committee was to meet at this week's Portugal Masters to discuss this matter, and they were to do so without the committee's chairman.
Thomas Bjorn stepped down from that position this week, in part because his overall game is struggling.
"This is something that has been on my mind for a while and I have to look after myself when it comes down to it," said Bjorn, who has fallen out of the top 200 in the world since taking the job.
"I don't have that many years left out here as an active player and it has taken its toll on me. I feel to be fair to myself, I need to take a back seat at the moment."
- Continued best wishes to Seve Ballesteros, who is recovering from multiple surgeries to treat a brain a tumor. He made a public appearance this week, and stated that he hopes to play in the 2010 British Open, which is slated for the Old Course at St. Andrews.
- Rickie Fowler, the former top-ranked amateur from Oklahoma State, is making his professional debut this week at the PGA Tour's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.