Ryder Cup 2008: My old Kentucky home!

This past weekend, the Ryder Cup was not just about golf, it was about a group of Americans coming together as one, riding the emotion generated by the flag-waving crowd at the Valhalla Country Club to defeat the Europeans.

The so-called experts gave this Tiger-less United States squad a puncher’s chance of winning the Ryder Cup. The Europeans were expected to continue its dominance over the U.S. that had extended to three straight defeats, five out of six, and eight out of 11 matches prior to this weekend. But the Americans didn’t need a miracle putt or an amazing comeback like their last victory to capture this crown.

Every questionable roster decision made by U.S. Captain Paul Azinger turned into gold this weekend. Two of Kentucky’s native sons light shined the brightest on Sunday. Kenny Perry, whose lifelong dream was to compete in a Ryder Cup event, delivered a 3-and-2 victory in the first single competition on Sunday to swing the momentum back towards the U.S. direction. And it was Campbellsville, Ky. resident J.B. Holmes’ final two birdies in his single match that set up the Americans for victory.

Other memorable scenes from the weekend include Anthony Kim’s youthful exuberance, which was on display all three days in Louisville. His attitude became infectious throughout the team, and brought out some emotional reaction even from cool, calculating Phil Mickelson on the golf course. And the fans cheering as loud as possible, “BOOOO,” as Bo Weekley did his best Happy Gilmore impersonation after a tee shot, galloping like a horse on his driver down the fairway.

The book is closed on European dominance in Ryder Cup play. This event seems to be energized once again and could retake its place as one of the top events in golf.

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Couch Potato Alert: 9/19

37th Ryder Cup
The three-day match-play competition between the United States and Europe has a way of making the world’s elite golfers wilt under the pressure of trying to capture the Ryder Cup. Over the last 25 years, it has become a hotly contested event, with the U.S. record at four wins, seven losses, and a tie, including three straight match defeats to the Europeans (the Ryder Cup takes place every two years). The competition will begin this morning at 7 AM EST on ESPN from the Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky, and continue throughout the weekend on NBC.

Wake Forest vs. Florida State
Neither school has distinguished itself as a contender for securing a spot in the ACC championship game. Wake Forest would love to duplicate their last trip to Tallahassee, when they shutout the Seminoles 30-0 two years ago. Florida State has been playing short-handed due to player suspensions and will welcome back star wide receiver Preston Parker to the lineup on Saturday. Coverage begins at 7 PM EST on ESPN2.

LSU vs. Auburn
There’s no better way to start off the SEC season than with a LSU-Auburn showdown. The “Tiger Bowl” winner could establish itself as the team to beat in the SEC West, though Alabama might have a say in the matter down the road. LSU and Auburn have split their last four meetings, with each game decided by six or fewer points. Coverage begins at 7:45 PM EST on ESPN. Click here for the official LSU-Auburn smack thread.

Georgia vs. Arizona State
The luster has been taken off this game by the Sun Devils’ overtime loss at home to UNLV last week. It’s still a big game, as the Bulldogs are in the national title hunt despite being passed in the polls by USC and Oklahoma. ASU could get back in the BCS bowl picture with an upset in Tempe on Saturday night. Coverage begins at 8 PM EST on ABC.

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees
This Sunday night, the final major league baseball game will be played at historic Yankee Stadium. The House That Ruth Built has been the home office for post-season success come October, as 100 World Series games have been played at the Stadium. This event will be nationally televised on ESPN beginning at 8 PM EST.

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