Saturday, September 23, 2006

My trip to Ireland

Ireland and the Ryder Cup are great, but this is the most expensive place I've ever been.

Hotel room: $400 a night
Cup of bad coffee in the lobby about the size of a small Dixie cup: $3.10
Diet Coke: $3.10
Snickers: $2.50
Small muffin: $2.50
Breakfast/lunch in the media center: $12.80
Pint of Guiness: $5.10

On and on it goes. Fortunately, it's not my money, but I still feel guilty about spending it.

I've also never seen anything like the weather here. In the span of a half hour, it goes from bright and sunny to black as night and raining sideways to back to bright and sunny. It goes through that cycle about four times a day. The Irish people are quite apologetic about it. They worry that the Ryder Cup will never return because of the weather.

I was thumbing through one of the papers the other day, the Irish Examiner, when I came across a 20-page special section on the upcoming National and World Ploughing Championships. I'm telling you, it rivaled any Eagles season preview section the Inqurier puts out. I had no idea there were 17 categories of ploughing (or plowing, as we spell it).

A word about the Guiness over here. It is so superior to anything I have ever had back home, it's not funny. Thick, rich, dark as motor oil, goes down so smoothly I almost had a tear running down my cheek.

If you don't like potatoes, don't bother coming to Ireland. Potatoes for breakfast, two or three different kinds of pototoes for lunch, more potatoes for dinner. Order a pint of Guiness and you half-expect them to ask, "Want a side of potatoes with that?"

TV sucks. It's 20 years behind the U.S.

I'm staying in one of the official media hotels, the Green Isle. So is Rick Reilly from Sports Illustrated, who sits directly behind me in the media center. He keepings calling it the "Green Mile," from the prison movie of the same name.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday practice pairings

The Americans are already on the course for their final practice this morning. Captain Tom Lehman has sent out the following pairings, which he'll surely stick with for at least tomorrow:

Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk
Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco

David Toms and Brett Wetterich
Chad Campbell and Zach Johnson

Stewart Cink and Vaughn Taylor
J.J. Henry and Scott Verplank