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Miller's crossing, Tiger's lair & more on the Ryder Cup

By Tim McDonald, Contributor

Some facts, thoughts and tidbits regarding the upcoming Ryder Cup media frenzy:

The K Club
The K Club will be dyed even greener for your viewing pleasure.
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The K Club
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Johnny Miller will lead NBC's Ryder Cup coverage, and it is a pairing made in heaven.

Miller seldom brooks any nonsense and won't play it soft (read: bland and boring) like most golf announcers do. We already have this shot from him, fired at the U.S. team during a recent press conference in Idaho:

"This is probably on paper the worst Ryder Cup team we've ever fielded."

• How long before we get sick of all the talk about the Americans bonding? Most of it, of course, will come from the USA Network. Yeah, Tiger Woods took the rookies out for dinner. I'm sure they'll all be cruising Dublin's pubs in Tiger's limo looking for girls and cheap pints.

Incidentally, Woods won't exactly be roughing it at the K Club. He'll be lounging in the three-room Viceroy Suite, with its four-poster bed, 60-inch plasma TV and sunken spa bath. The U.S. team is said to have the better rooms in the newest wing while the Euros will be staying in the original wing.

Hey, I've been to the K Club. None of it is exactly subsidized housing.

• There will be 25 and a half hours of coverage from NBC and USA, starting Friday, Sept. 22. The Golf Channel will cover the opening ceremonies Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the closing ceremonies immediately following play on Sunday. It's a good place for the Golf Channel. The ceremonies will be hard to screw up.

• For the Irish who don't get private broadcaster Sky, there will be no coverage. That's right - zippo. Because of a confusing mess of legal technicalities, state-run RTE will not broadcast the matches.

This is incredible. The Irish government has spent a ton of money promoting the event overseas - mainly to the United States - and its own citizens can't watch if they don't pay to get Sky. Where's Bono when you need him?

• Says here this will be the rowdiest Ryder Cup ever. Forget the Battle of Brookline in 1999, when the Euros got all snotty about the Americans' wild celebration after their dramatic, comeback win.

And you can bet the American media will play that to the hilt.

If you'll recall, then-European captain Mark James said Europe may refuse to play in the States again. The European press had a field day, playing up the claim by James' wife that an American fan spit on her.

Irish organizers say they are determined not to let things get out of hand but stopped short of banning alcohol (like all the Euros snootily said the United States should do after Brookline). They have said any fan who swears or chants racist remarks will be evicted. I'm guessing the crowds outside the K Club will outnumber those inside, and will be having a better time.

Colin Montgomerie has already been inciting the Irish crowds, and Irishman Paul McGinley told RTE Sport this Ryder Cup will have a festival atmosphere like none before.

Former Euro captain Peter McEvoy told the Telegraph, "People think the Americans invented hoopin' and hollerin', but they just imported it from Ireland. The Irish are slightly more civilized than the 'bear pit' of Brookline, but I've played in front of enough baying Irish crowds to know what they're like."

• Former presidents and good pals Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr., not to mention Bill Gates, have already been dissed. A group that invited them and a host of other celebrities failed in its High Court bid to avoid being moved from a prime hospitality suite along the 17th fairway to a lesser spot at the 16th.

The U.S.-Ireland Alliance had sought an injunction against the Ryder Cup and Platinum One LTD., which sells hospitality suites on behalf of the event. They take this kind of thing to court in Ireland?

• I predict this will be the highest-rated Ryder Cup Sunday in television history in the United States. And there will still be more Americans watching the NFL.

• Quick, what's the difference between fourball and foursomes?

• Here's yet another demonstration of how the Irish and Americans are cultural buddies: The Irish have dyed the K Club course greener to look better on TV.

• Dublin's airport has set aside 35 spaces for private jets, most from the States and almost half belonging to Tiger Woods.

• The European press will be nasty, win or lose. They're already smugly citing a recent study showing that more Americans can name the Three Stooges than the three branches of government.

Like we're stupid or something. Curly, Moe and Larry, of course. And, let's see ... the executive, the judicious and the Fourth Amendment?

Tim McDonaldTim McDonald, Contributor

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.


 
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