I am back from Valhalla and mostly recovered from a computer failure that struck during the weekend. I have no idea what went wrong, but I had to completely reinstall the operating system to fix it, which by the time you figure in updates and such, took me most of today.
The Ryder Cup was an exhilarating experience which I enjoyed very much. I must say, though, that golf is one of those spectator sports that is much more enjoyable in front of a television. We sat on a hill just off #16 fairway, where we could see #15 green really well and everything but the green on #16, which was just too far away.
Predictably, a couple of the European players, most notably Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, decided that losing so ignominiously required a derisive comment or two about the fans and the American players. Having been there, I can tell you that the fans were loud but polite (except when Sergio Garcia buried his pitching wedge into #10 green after his chip hung on the edge in the Saturday four-ball). The European fans were wonderful -- cheering their team, but unfailingly polite and willing to engage the American fans. I'll never forget when the "Leprechauns" (some guys in green costumes and fake beards who sang Ole! Ole! all the time) drove by us in the rear of a golf cart and congratulated us. We cheered them and wished them a safe voyage home. It was memorable.
It was a pleasure having the European fans here. Westwood and Poulter's whine aside, it was a very enjoyable experience for the spectators, and Valhalla and the PGA did an utterly fantastic job with the tournament. I can scarcely imagine a more enjoyable tournament, especially given the outstanding performance of our players. Kudos to all, congratulations to captain Azinger and the American team, and I can't wait for Wales in 2010.
Moving on to basketball Athlon has its prediction for Kentucky basketball in 2008, and they see it as, "One and done:"
Whether or not the Wildcats can duplicate their improbable 12–4 SEC mark remains to be seen, but Patterson and Meeks are a potent enough 1-2 punch — and their supporting cast is solid enough — that Kentucky should make its 18th straight NCAA Tournament.
What they didn't say in their conclusion was that they think we will win one game in the NCAA tournament, but that is all. That is certainly possible, but personally, I am expecting more. In fact, I am expecting a Sweet 16, or I will be very much less than pleased with the season. Kentucky should not be in a position where it struggles to get that far, and even though UK hardly looks like a juggernaut, I fully expect them to seriously challenge Tennessee for SEC supremacy and play well in the tournament.
So, sorry about the absence, but tomorrow, it's away from golf and back to football. In case you have forgotten in the long layoff, UK has a game this weekend against my alma mater, Western Kentucky.
Treat this as an open thread. Comment on anything Kentucky or Ryder Cup related.