To some American golf fans, he’s the dour Scot who bristles at fans who move or even dare whisper while he’s trying to play a shot, but to the Europeans, he’s the quick-witted icon who now holds their international golf aspirations in his hands.
Colin Montgomerie, sometimes referred to derisively as Mrs. Doubtfire and heckled extensively during the boisterous 1999 Ryder Cup in Brookline, Mass., on Wednesday was named captain of the European team for the 2010 Ryder Cup, to be played in Wales.
Montgomerie has the second-best career record for a European Cup player and was on the winning team in five of his eight appearances as a player but did not play when the U.S. won the Cup last summer.
“I want to put a smile back on faces,” Montgomerie said. “... I can say that everyone who plays for me will have fun.”
Chances are, the heckling will be at a minimum in Wales.
What NFL quarterback completed only 13 of 32 passes, with four interceptions and no touchdowns in four Super Bowls, yet was on the winning team in three?
Bully for the NFL
The worldwide economic gloom hasn’t hit the NFL — at least in England.
The 70,000 tickets put on sale for next October’s regular-season game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at London’s Wembley Stadium were sold out in 24 hours. About 20,000 of the tickets went in the first seven minutes Tuesday.
Sales were more brisk than the previous two games in London — between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins in 2007 and New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers in 2008.
Serena and Venus Williams decided against playing for the United States in the first round of the Fed Cup against Argentina, leaving the U.S. team with this star-studded roster:
Bethanie Mattek, Jill Craybas, Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber. Mattek is more known for her wild attire — a leopard print outfit, a striped cowboy hat, low-slung top — than her game.
Total WTA Tour career tournament victories for that group: one.
Earl Morrall, who played for the Colts in their loss to the Jets in 1969, and won with the Colts in 1971 and Miami Dolphins in 1973 and ’74, though he didn’t play in the Dolphins’ victories.
Shaquille O’Neal, the man of a million self-imposed nicknames, has another one, now that so many of the league’s long-range shooters are European, according to Phoenix Suns Coach Terry Porter: “He was calling himself Peja Shaqovic the other day.”
-- Mike James
Credit: Colin Montgomerie. Credit: Kamran Jebreili / Associated Press