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Brandon TuckerThis Week at Sept. 20, 2006

Tom Lehman's loose approach to the Ryder Cup might make for the worst U.S. loss yet

If you are the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, how do you end the team's slump versus the Europeans?

With a song, of course, and by embarrassing your ace in the hole.

It appears U.S. Captain Tom Lehman hopes by making his players sing their respective college fight songs in front of each other, much to the dismay of Tiger Woods, somehow their best ball and alternate shot game will improve.

The Euros must be snickering, "They've really gotten that desperate?"

What's scary is this embarrassing pre-match bonding is only what the team is telling us. There are anonymous, unconfirmed reports of after-hours tickle fights and truth-or-dare circling around, and rumored photos of a Scott Verplank makeover.

I have a hard time believing the U.S. will become magically cohesive thanks to Lehman's order for grown men to sing to each other - or because the team is copycatting the Europeans in 2004, signing autographs during practice rounds in hopes of currying favor with the K-Club gallery.

The Americans are desperately fishing for a remedy to their struggles, while the Europeans seem content to let their golf speak for themselves. Again.

This whole sideshow by Lehman confirms my belief that Tiger Woods and Tiger Woods only should be the only Ryder Cup Captain for the U.S., if necessary, for the next two decades.

That is, of course, if the U.S. is serious about winning this thing.

Tiger seems to be the only U.S. player uninterested in all the Ryder Cup week functions and hoopla. I know, Europeans throw one heckuva tea party but why not save the bulk of the monkey business until after the tin cup has been handed out?

Woods even took the rookies out for dinner before flying to Ireland. Sounds like a far more civilized approach to bonding compared to hosting some mini American Idol contest while Woods and others would rather prepare their own way.

If the Americans think their antics at the K Club are revolutionary or somehow the key to ending their current slide, they're gravely mistaken.

This could be the worst rout yet.

As always, welcomes your comments.

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They call No. 14 at Scotland's royal Dornoch Golf Club "the most natural hole in golf." But there is so much more to this brilliant Tom Morris course than just one hole, as there are several holes that will make you glad you took up the game in the first place. Because while Royal Dornoch's course has a well-deserved reputation as an old guard bastion of pure links golf, it's not a stoic walk amongst the fescue and gorse.

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