via press release:


“You could be a good captain with a blindfold on and a dartboard.” – NBC Sports’ Johnny Miller

“I don’t think we can overemphasize enough…just how big a home-crowd advantage the Europeans are going to have.” – NBC Sports’ Mark Rolfing

NEW YORK – September 29, 2010 – World No. 1 Tiger Woods, No. 2 Phil Mickelson and 2010 FedExCup champion Jim Furyk (No. 5) lead Team USA against No. 3 Lee Westwood, No. 6 Martin Kaymer, No. 9 Rory McIlroy and the rest of Team Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup from The Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, South Wales this Saturday and Sunday on NBC.

NBC Sports will broadcast 16 hours of coverage over two days, the most weekend golf coverage of any tournament by any network in 2010. Saturday’s 10 hours of four-ball and foursome coverage airs from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET/5 a.m.-3 p.m. PT (tape delay). Sunday’s six hours of singles matches air from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. ET/4 a.m.-10 a.m. PT (live).

Host Dan Hicks and analyst Johnny Miller, in their 11th season together as NBC Sports’ lead golf team, anchor coverage and are joined by tower reporter Gary Koch; on-course reporters Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Dottie Pepper; interviewer/essayist Jimmy Roberts and Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte.

Team USA is the reigning Ryder Cup champion having defeated Team Europe 16 ½ to 11 ½ in 2008 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Team Europe won the three previous Ryder Cups. Team USA has not won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil since 1993 when they defeated Team Europe, 15-13, at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England.

EMBED NBC SPORTS VIDEO: Ryder Cup video is available on NBCSPORTS.COM to watch or embed on media websites. Current highlights include press conferences, previous Ryder Cup highlights and TOUR Championship recaps. Click here to watch or embed: HTTP://NBCSPORTS.MSNBC.COM/ID/22825103/VP/21428026#39408396


Miller: “Ryder Cuppers are rare breeds…The Ryder Cup is pretty much about who can make pressure putts. If you look at the run by the Europeans, they’ve had such great success and they’re the guys who hole the putts. The U.S. guys didn’t, and that includes Tiger and Phil and everybody else. The last Ryder Cup both sides played really good golf tee-to-green but it was the U.S. that made the putts and Europe that didn’t. Under pressure, it always goes to the putter.”

Koch: “It’s been 17 years since the United States team last won on foreign soil.”

Rolfing: “I don’t think we can overemphasize enough or overestimate too much just how big a home-crowd advantage the Europeans are going to have.”

Rolfing: “He’s never had to play his way through the swing changes like he has this time. It’s going to help him to have (THE TOUR Championship) week off to get ready for the Ryder Cup. There’s a good chance he wouldn’t play all five matches.”

Maltbie: “It will probably have everything to do with how he’s playing at the moment. Corey will probably monitor that and, if Tiger is getting the ball in play off the tee well, then you have to play him in the foursome match. If he’s struggling … I would think that would be determined as they go along.”

Miller: “Bottom line is if Tiger wins his first match and his second match, he’s playing every match. If he’s losing them, then we’ll talk about it.”

Miller: “They’ve just not played well…(Tiger) just hasn’t led the team and Phil really hasn’t either. Furyk, who you think would be a good Ryder Cupper, has played so-so or less than so-so.”

Koch: “I will disagree with Johnny a little bit there because if you look at their individual records, Furyk is 4-1-1 in singles and Tiger is 3-1-1. Sometimes when you get paired up with a guy that’s not playing that well or you don’t mesh as a team, then it brings your game down…These guys have proven that they can handle the pressure when they play in the singles.”

Rolfing: “I’d be highly surprised if the two of them weren’t paired together. I think Pavin has some tougher choices in terms of his pairing than (Colin) Montgomerie has. I think a few of them should be fairly well said and one of those teams would be Woods and Stricker. I think you’ll see (Dustin) Johnson and Mickelson. You’ll probably see Stuart Cink and Zach Johnson. After that, one of the dilemmas is who do you pair with Ricky Fowler with or who do you pair Jeff Overton with? There are more logical pairings in Montgomerie’s stash.”


Miller: “He reminds me of a Freddy Couples type, but Freddy was pretty fired up at Ryder Cup, probably the most fired up he ever showed.”

Rolfing: “I sort of see him emerging a little bit like what we saw with Hunter Mahan. Dustin Johnson is going to end up being a spark plug for the U.S. He’s going to play a lot of golf with Phil Mickelson. In a lot of ways, those two could become the core of the American team depending on the Woods-Stricker situation or maybe even another combination. But I really think the core of that American team could be Mickelson and Johnson in a lot of ways.”


Miller: “Ricky Fowler obviously is a little bit on the hot seat, a really controversial pick in some ways. He’s got a lot of vigor and youth and he’s a cool pick. He’s got to prove himself. I really like Dustin Johnson. He might be in two years the best player in the world. He’s got a putter, power and pretty good accuracy. Kuchar, he could just wear the guys out…I don’t know what to think of Jeff Overton. He’s the first player to make the team unmerited without having won a tour event. He’s got three seconds and two thirds. He is sort of a question mark and he’s going to be nervous as can be. Bubba Watson is going to be nervous and it will be interesting to see how he does.”


Maltbie: “At times, I certainly question if we don’t overanalyze and make more important than maybe it really is the role of captain of getting your squad to win. I agree with Johnny when it comes down to who’s making the putts. That’s been my experience. I’ve been doing this just as long as Johnny since [1991]. It’s just held that formula each and every time out so I just question sometimes that we don’t make more out of the captains role then is there.”

Miller: “I think you could be a good captain with a blindfold on and a dartboard.”


Maltbie: “He will captain and be leader from example, from his Ryder Cup play, his Ryder Cup demeanor. He won and achieved the success that he did by being mentally tough. He’s been there, done that. And that will be a strength. I don’t think he’s going to analyze this thing to the point that (Paul) Azinger did. He will be more old school type of management.”

Koch: “Look at his pick of Ricky Fowler. He admitted it was just a gut feeling. He thought that Fowler would be able to handle the pressure and hopefully provide a spark. He was a young guy that he had confidence in. He’s a small guy like Corey. He probably sees a lot of himself in Ricky Fowler. He’ll lead more by instinct and guts than analyzing.”

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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