My Shot Memo to those relentless whiners across the pond: Get over it

October 24, 1999

The Ryder Cup has been over for almost a month, but my husband,
Tom, continues to get scorched in the European press for
inciting the crowd and celebrating excessively, and then not
showing enough regret for those actions. Mark James, the
European captain, still seems to want to talk about it as if it
were yesterday, and I don't understand why. His harping just
seems to be getting worse. The press over there isn't helping,
either, but the more you read, the more it sounds like sour
grapes.

I know Tom, along with everybody else, feels bad about what
happened on the 17th green. We've apologized for that ill-timed
burst of exuberance with all sincerity, but a few outspoken
individuals across the pond just can't seem to accept it. Tom
has written to James, Sam Torrance, who was the Europeans'
assistant coach, and Jose Maria Olazabal. Torrance and Olazabal
accepted; Jose Maria came to Tom and said, with a pat on the
back, "Your apology is accepted by me."

But it's not just the fallout from that incident that is
upsetting. Some people have said that Tom "strutted" to the 1st
tee on Sunday, then incited the crowd. Tom was in the first
match. We were down 10-6. Why would he strut? As for inciting
the crowd, European fans were singing the soccer song Ole, ole,
so when Rudy Gatlin countered with the national anthem, Tom,
standing on the tee, played along and made as if he were
conducting.

Hollywood couldn't have written a better script for what
unfolded on Sept. 26 at the Country Club. What I'd like to
remember is not all of this bickering but the day for what it
was: one of the most outstanding days of golf ever. I'm proud of
what our team did. So no more criticism over how our team lacked
unity or, now, has too much unity. Let's appreciate the job our
players did and celebrate being Americans.

COLOR PHOTO: SIMON BRUTY Melissa and Tom (top) had a wild ride at the Country Club.

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)