RYDER REDUX

September 21, 1997

I'd love to play in another Ryder Cup so that, for once, I might
enjoy the experience. I'll never forget my last one, the 1991
War by the Shore at Kiawah Island, S.C. It was a great event but
not a friendly competition. I was mad at everybody on the
European team, and that's not right. I was bad-mouthing their
guys all week. Things got completely out of hand. I didn't even
care for David Feherty, and who doesn't like him? He came up to
me near the 18th green while Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer
played the last hole of the last final and said, "It's not
supposed to be like this, is it?" Meaning, the Ryder Cup isn't
supposed to be so acrimonious. I replied, "I don't think so."

But then, few of my Ryder Cup memories are pleasant. I was on
the 1987 team that was beaten 15-13 at Muirfield Village. Andy
Bean and I lost one down to Langer and Sandy Lyle on the first
day. The following afternoon, less than 15 minutes before Andy
and I were supposed to tee off in a four-ball match against
Gordon Brand Jr. and Eamonn Darcy, our captain, Jack Nicklaus,
benched me. I was crushed. I had been playing really well that
week and wanted to get back out there. (On the other hand, 14
months earlier I hadn't even been on the Tour, and here I was,
in the Ryder Cup.) I beat Nick Faldo one up in singles on
Sunday, but later in the day I had to watch a shirtless Ian
Woosnam ride around on Sam Torrance's shoulders as the Europeans
celebrated their victory. That was no fun.

Our tie at the Belfry in 1989, which allowed Europe to retain
the Cup, wasn't much fun, either. We never should've been tied
in that match, but four of our guys--including me--hit it in the
water on the last hole on the last day. We did win back the Cup
in '91, our first victory since 1983, but to be honest, I didn't
feel much like a winner. I was still in shock over my singles
match with Colin Montgomerie, which we halved after I lost the
last four holes. Even though there were still several matches to
go that afternoon, I told my wife, Sheryl, "We're going to lose
the Ryder Cup because of me. That half point is going to do us
in, you just watch." It almost did. It came down to the last
putt, which Langer missed. Payne Stewart hugged me and started
hopping up and down. Guys on our team were shouting, "We won! We
won!" But I was like, Yeah, whatever. I didn't feel like
celebrating.

That said, the Ryder Cup remains a terrific event. Although it's
still an intense rivalry, we're more friendly with the European
guys these days. I only wish it had been more fun for me when I
was playing.

Mark Calcavecchia has a 5-5-1 record in three Ryder Cups.

COLOR PHOTO: JACQUELINE DUVOISIN Calcavecchia has unhappy memories. [Mark Calcavecchia golfing]

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)