Published 12:00 am Monday, September 26, 2011
The golf notebook …
MEDINAH, Ill. ó Ryder Cup captains Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal liked what they saw at Medinah Country Club, including the shortened No. 15.
Rain kept Love and Olazabal from playing the famed No. 3 on Monday, as they marked the one-year countdown to next year’s Ryder Cup. But they did get out to look at some holes, and said they don’t envision many changes being needed.
“I cannot imagine a better host for this event,” Olazabal said. “It’s a traditional, tree-lined course, and I think the changes you’ve done to the15th hole, I think last four holes are going to be very exciting for the matches in the year to come. … The last four holes are perfect for match play. You have a combination of two tough holes, 16 and 18, and two exciting holes, 15 and 17.”
Since the PGA Championship was at Medinah in 2006, No. 15 has been shortened 100 yards and is now a drivable par-4. A lake was also added on the right side of the fairway and green.
“I can see a lot of things going on in that hole, guys going for the green, guys being safe,” Olazabal said. “With that little change on 15, those last few holes are going to be very, very interesting. That’s what you need in match play. You have to have holes where risk-reward can be part of it.”
Europe has won six of the last eight Ryder Cups, including last year’s dramatic finish in Wales. The Ryder Cup was decided by the final singles match for the first time since 1991 after the Americans rallied from a three-point deficit on the last day.
As the host, the Americans will get a say in how the course is set up for the Ryder Cup, to be played next Sept. 25-30. But Love said he doubts he’ll need to have much input. Medinah has hosted three U.S. Opens (1949, 1975 and 1990) along with two PGA Championships (1999 and 2006). It also hosted the 1988 U.S. Senior Open.
ATLANTA ó Tiger Woods has hired Joe LaCava to be his third full-time caddie.
LaCava decided to leave Dustin Johnson, one of the most talented young Americans, to go to work for the former world No. 1 who hasn’t won in the last two years.
“Joe is an outstanding caddie, and I have known him for many years. I’ve personally seen the great job he did for Freddie (Couples). I’m anxious for us to be working together,” Woods said.