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2018 Ryder Cup: The perfect player pairings for Paris

Now that the Ryder Cup teams are set, it’s time for captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn to finalize who will pair with whom?

There’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect pairings in these team events. Captains must consider playing styles, personalities and a variety of other factors. And while everyone would be interested to see a Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson pairing, that’s probably not the most effective option for the U.S.

Now, we understand that both Ryder Cup teams have plenty of resources to help them formulate the perfect combinations. But just in case the captains are looking for some extra advice, here’s our recommendations on which players should pair up in Paris, and why.

Brentley Romine

U.S.

Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed: This is probably the easiest decision that Furyk has to make. This duo is 4-1-2 in the past two Ryder Cups, so even though Spieth might want to switch things up and partner with, say, Justin Thomas or Rickie Fowler, it’s best if he keeps his partnership with Reed. They are just too good together.

Tiger Woods-Bryson DeChambeau: While everyone on the U.S. team would love to pair with Woods, it seems as if DeChambeau, a three-time winner this season, will get the honor. The two have developed some chemistry this year through practice rounds and such. If there is anyone on the team as competitive as Woods, it’s DeChambeau, who had an excellent match-play record as an amateur, winning the 2015 U.S. Amateur and playing well for his country at the Walker Cup, Palmer Cup and World Amateur Team Championship.

Dustin Johnson-Brooks Koepka: The two gym buddies didn’t pair up until the final team session at Hazeltine. They lost to Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters in four-ball, 3 and 1, but showed some promise as a pairing. Johnson hasn’t played particularly well in Ryder Cups. Maybe competing alongside Koepka will spark something.

Phil Mickelson-Tony Finau: This will be Mickelson’s 12th straight Ryder Cup and at 48 years old, he doesn’t appear to have many more left as a player. He’s never won overseas, so he’ll be as motivated as ever to finally check that box off. Pairing him with the young and powerful Finau makes a lot of sense. The two played together at the Northern Trust a few weeks ago and Mickelson raved about Finau’s potential. Mickelson is also coming off a strong performance two years ago at Hazeltine, where he went 2-1-1.

Rickie Fowler-Justin Thomas: This is Thomas’ first Ryder Cup, but he isn’t the typical rookie, ranked fourth in the world and the defending PGA Tour Player of the Year. It’s no secret that he and Fowler are close, and their chemistry should produce results, especially in foursomes. They are similar players, possessing all-around games and gaining the most shots with their irons and putter.

Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson: This pairing worked very well in 2012 at Medinah, where the two went 2-1. They lost their opening session in 2014 and Simpson didn’t play again until singles. But Simpson is having his best season since 2012 – by a mile – and Watson, who has won three times this season, has regained some momentum of late. They could surprise in Paris.

EUROPE

Henrik Stenson-Justin Rose: Played three of four sessions together in 2016 – each of them opposite Spieth and Reed – and went 1-2, though their 5-and-4 Friday afternoon four-ball victory was mighty impressive. Also, they went 3-0 together at Gleneagles. This pairing is as safe a bet as any.

Rory McIlroy-Jon Rahm: McIlroy has seemed to embrace the role of taking a rookie under his wing after going 3-0 with Thomas Pieters at Hazeltine. Rahm is similar to Pieters on the course and McIlroy could help Rahm channel that passion into points.

Paul Casey-Tommy Fleetwood: Both players had some fun with the story of Fleetwood wanting to buy Casey’s extra set of Nike irons. And while it doesn’t look like Casey will loan the set to Fleetwood in Paris like he had joked about doing, the two Englishmen would make a nice pairing. Both are great iron players and similar personality types.

Ian Poulter-Tyrrell Hatton: Poulter’s great 2012 Ryder Cup showing came when he paired with Rose and McIlroy. However, after an 0-1-1 team performance in 2014 and not qualifying in 2016, Poulter likely needs a fresh partner. How about the fiery Hatton? The two teamed up to break a world record in a European Tour social video last year, and I could see Poulter as a perfect Ryder Cup role model for the emotional Hatton.

Alex Noren-Thorbjorn Olesen: I initially had Noren and Molinari teaming up, but felt that Sergio Garcia needed Molinari the most. Noren is a guy who could play with anyone. You never have to question his work ethic and though he and Olesen are rookies, they aren’t strangers to big moments. They also have similar games – Noren is a better driver of the golf ball, but they are pr…
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It’s not too late! Register Today

Our 2018 Member / Guest will be held on Friday, Sept. 28th & Saturday, Sept. 29th.

Field is limited to the first 32 teams who register with the Pro Shop by Sept. 21st.

So, don’t delay — reserve your spot today!

Contact us at 910-483-0359
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Join us for the “NEW” Fall League!

You must play your match and turn in your scorecard into League Scorecard Box by end of business Thursday each week.

You are responsible for contacting your opponent, coordinating your match and making tee times each week.

Please play your match each week and any unplayed matches will be handled and scored on a case by case basis by league administration.

All matches will be 9 holes worth 9 points.

1 point for each hole won, ½  point for each hole tied.

There will be flights for ALL levels of golfers.

Once you are placed in your flight, there will be no handicaps used.

All matches will be straight up.

We will have a special (9 hole) league rate.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Play to double bogey (then MUST pick up)

You must make bogey or better to win hole

You may touch the ball in your fairway only

Balls in the rough or the woods MUST be played as it lies

BOOK YOUR TEE TIME TODAY

click here for tee times
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Tony Finau named the final captain’s pick for United States Ryder Cup team https://www.cypresslakesnc.com/tony-finau-named-the-final-captains-pick-for-united-states-ryder-cup-team/

A week ago, Tony Finau said his recent play was making it tough for Jim Furyk not to pick him to be on this year’s Ryder Cup team.

He proved to be right.

On Monday, Furyk made it official, using the last of his four captain’s picks on the 28-year old to finalize the 12-man U.S. team that will head to Paris later this month. It will be Finau’s first Ryder Cup appearance.

“He has an unbelievable body of work this year,” Furyk said in a statement. “All those top-10 finishes, the play in big championships and the majors, and then his current form, a second, a fourth and an eighth in the playoffs. He checked a lot of boxes and made it impossible not to pick him.”

Indeed he did.

The final pick is in!

Tony Finau has been selected for the final spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. https://t.co/frP8EXUx8P pic.twitter.com/bO2JnemJzH

— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) September 10, 2018

Over the last two years, Finau has made 50 starts, racking up 18 top 10s along the way. Three of those were runner-up finishes, one of them two weeks ago in the FedEx Cup Playoffs opener, the Northern Trust. Three more of them came in major championships, all this year.

Then there was his performance over the last few weeks. Knowing a Ryder Cup spot was at stake, Finau finished second, fourth and eighth in the first three legs of the postseason, capping it with a final-round 65 on Monday at the BMW Championship. During that span, he recorded a dozen rounds in the 60s and was a combined 42-under par, second only to fellow Ryder Cup rookie and captain’s pick Bryson DeChambeau, who won the first two events in the playoffs.

“I never thought I was on that team until I got that call,” Finau said. “I made sure I played that way. I played like I always had something to prove. And I let the guys on the team know that I’d be a great pick and I’d be ready to go. It’s definitely cool to accomplish something like this and to be able to play as well as I have under the circumstances. It’s something I’m extremely proud of.”

Of course if not for a change, he might not have even gotten the chance.

Following a disastrous 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the PGA of America, the organization that runs the event for the U.S., created a task force in an effort to end a string of bad losses and chart a course for the future. One of the changes implemented was when the captain’s picks would be made. It was a move informally and somewhat dubiously dubbed the “Horschel rule” after Billy Horschel had won twice during the 2014 playoffs but wasn’t on the team because the team had already been finalized.

So in 2016 three of the four picks came after the BMW Championship, with the final one coming at the conclusion of the Tour Championship. The problem with that, however, was the season finale finished just a few days before the first matches were scheduled to be played. Fast forward to this year and the first three picks — Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and DeChambeau — were made after the Dell Technologies Championship, with the final one coming after the BMW.

Like Ryan Moore two years ago, Xander Schauffele had a chance potentially to force Furyk’s hand with a win at Aronimink. He entered the final round a stroke off the lead before shooting 67 to tie for third. It was a good result but not good enough. He also hadn’t been quite as consistent as Finau, especially over the course of the year.

After winning twice in 2017, including becoming the first rookie to capture the Tour Championship, and earning Rookie of the Year honors, Schauffele slowed down some in 2018, especially when it mattered most. In 23 starts, the 24-year-old had five top 10s, including runner-up finishes at the Open Championship and the Players, as well as a tie for sixth at the U.S. Open. But he also struggled since that runner-up at Carnoustie, with just one finish in the top 30 over his last five starts. He also missed five cuts this season, compared to just three by Finau.

Though Finau has just one career victory, in 2016 at the Puerto Rico Open, his 10 top-10 finishes this season trail only Dustin Johnson for the most on the PGA Tour. Among them was a tie for 10th at the Masters on an injured ankle, a fifth-place finish at the U.S. Open and a ninth-place finish at the Open Championship.

At the PGA Championship, Finau stumbled with an opening-round 74 playing alongside Furyk but rallied with a record-tying 10 birdies the next day to shoot 66 to make the cut on the number at Bellerive.

Then there are the various elements of Finau’s game that stand out. Going into the BMW, he ranked in the top 30 on tour in strokes gained off the tee, approach and around the green. Though he was 82nd in putting, he was 11th on tour in birdies and 10th in scoring average. It’s no wonder that Mickelson had lobbied long ago for the …
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Have your Signed-Up for our NEW FALL LEAGUE?

Matches will begin the week of Sept. 21st – 27th and end the week of Oct. 26th – Nov. 1

Standings will be updated and new matches will be posted every Friday

$20 Registration Fee – must be paid and registered by 9/19/18

You must play your match and turn in your scorecard into League Scorecard Box by end of business Thursday each week.

You are responsible for contacting your opponent, coordinating your match and making tee times each week.

Please play your match each week and any unplayed matches will be handled and scored on a case by case basis by league administration.

All matches will be 9 holes worth 9 points.

1 point for each hole won, ½  point for each hole tied.

There will be flights for ALL levels of golfers.

Once you are placed in your flight, there will be no handicaps used.

All matches will be straight up.

We will have a special (9 hole) league rate.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Play to double bogey (then MUST pick up)

You must make bogey or better to win hole

You may touch the ball in your fairway only

Balls in the rough or the woods MUST be played as it lies

 NEED A TEE TIME?  BOOK NOW

BOOK YOUR TEE TIME NOW
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THERE ARE REASONS TO LOVE ALL 3 OF JIM FURYK’S RYDER CUP CAPTAIN’S PICKS https://www.cypresslakesnc.com/there-are-reasons-to-love-all-3-of-jim-furyks-ryder-cup-captains-picks/

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – Naming three of his four captain’s selections to round out his 2018 Ryder Cup squad, U.S. Captain Jim Furyk early Tuesday evening called upon the game’s hottest performer, the No. 2 putter on the PGA Tour this season and a 14-time major winner who has been the most dominant golfer of his generation.

Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods were selected by Furyk as additions to the U.S. team that will compete in the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National outside Paris Sept. 28-30.

Woods, 42, didn’t know if he’d even compete again a year ago at this time, and now he’s headed to Paris to play in the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2012. It will be his eighth Ryder Cup (he is 13-17-3 overall). Woods was asked if this could potentially be his most memorable of all.

“Absolutely,” Woods said. “To have an opportunity to go to Europe and to have an opportunity to win a Ryder Cup, and we haven’t done it in 25 years over there, and to be part of this group of guys to have that opportunity to go there, it’s exciting, it really is.”

With his three newest team members, Furyk added 126 PGA Tour victories to his team. Mickelson may be playing in his 12th Ryder Cup, but this was the first time he needed a captain’s pick to be part of it. DeChambeau and Thomas, the 2017 PGA champion and last season’s PGA Tour Player of the Year, are the lone rookies on the U.S. team.

“I would have to say I’m extremely happy with the 11 players we have,” Furyk said. “(I’ve) got a lot of confidence in those players. I think we have some great chemistry. I think we have some great pairing opportunities. We’ve got some great veteran leadership and we’ve got some youth. It’s a well-rounded team, and we’ll go to work, get set to go.”

MORE: A look back at Tiger’s journey to captain’s pick

Woods already had been part of this team as a vice-captain, and though he won’t be shy to offer advice on the team and its pairings, he will relinquish that role now that he will be competing. Furyk named his final three assistants to join Davis Love III and Steve Stricker, adding David Duval, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Furyk will round out his team by naming a 12th player on Monday morning, following the final round of the BMW Championship.

DeChambeau, who turns 25 on Sept. 16, captured The Memorial in June, but missed the cut at last month’s PGA Championship and finished ninth in the final Ryder Cup points standings. Faced with a challenge of showing his captain something special, DeChambeau rebounded with victories at The Northern Trust and Dell Technologies the last two weeks.

“Even after I won at Ridgewood, I still thought, ‘Man, I’ve got to play well at Boston just to show them that, yeah, I’m a contender and I’m going to keep doing the right things to be a valuable asset to the team,’ ” DeChambeau said. “This is about the team, and I wanted to be part of this experience so badly that I worked twice as hard. It showed, and it paid off.”

Team USA Captain, @JimFuryk has selected @TigerWoods, @B_DeChambeau and @PhilMickelson as three of his four Captain's Picks for the 2018 Ryder Cup. pic.twitter.com/i1RsOOMZt8

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 4, 2018

MORE: Social media reacts to Furyk’s picks

DeChambeau attended the Ryder Cup two years ago at Hazeltine as a spectator, leading then-U.S. Captain Davis Love III to do a double-take when he saw him in the gallery. This year’s captain, Furyk, said he was impressed not only that DeChambeau won back-to-back titles, but by the method in which he won.

“He took control and seized control of those tournaments and took big leads and was able to finish out tournaments,” Furyk said. “So I have to say, I guess, ‘Thanks’ –  you made it really easy on the captain.”

As did the others, really. Woods was second at the PGA Championship, shooting 64 on Sunday. Mickelson, 48, won for the first time since the 2013 Open Championship when he outdueled Thomas in a playoff at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship in early March. He hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since the Wells Fargo Championship in May, but his play has been pretty consistent through the year. He has 11 finishes of T-15 or better in his 22 starts. His victory in Mexico was the 43rd of his career.

MORE: 9 final-day comebacks in Ryder Cup history

In addition to an incredible body of experience and his ability to lead, Mickelson can deliver something else this U.S. team could use: Quality putting. Mickelson ranks behind only Australian Jason Day this season in strokes gained: putting. In Monday’s final round of the Dell Technologies Championship, Mickelson holed 129 feet of putts.

Mickelson said he aims to accomplish something he never before has done in this event: Win away from the U.S.

“It’s going to be a great challenge because we know…
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Great Rates at Cypress Lakes!

Have you tried the new greens yet?  You Should!

We invite you to try the “NEW” Champion Bermuda Grass.  It is Amazing!  This is the same grass that is used at many of Pinehurst’s finest courses.  We couldn’t be happier and we think you will agree!

BOOK YOUR TEE TIME NOW

Special Pricing for Active Military, First Responders and Educators

We appreciate all you do for our country and our community!

Must show ID at check-in for your discounted rate.
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New 6 week Fall League – Join Now!

Matches will begin the week of Sept. 21st – 27th and end the week of Oct. 26th – Nov. 1

Standings will be updated and new matches will be posted every Friday

$20 Registration Fee – must be paid and registered by 9/19/18

You must play your match and turn in your scorecard into League Scorecard Box by end of business Thursday each week.

You are responsible for contacting your opponent, coordinating your match and making tee times each week.

Please play your match each week and any unplayed matches will be handled and scored on a case by case basis by league administration.

All matches will be 9 holes worth 9 points.

1 point for each hole won, ½  point for each hole tied.

There will be flights for ALL levels of golfers.

Once you are placed in your flight, there will be no handicaps used.

All matches will be straight up.

We will have a special (9 hole) league rate.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Play to double bogey (then MUST pick up)

You must make bogey or better to win hole

You may touch the ball in your fairway only

Balls in the rough or the woods MUST be played as it lies

 NEED A TEE TIME?  BOOK NOW

BOOK YOUR TEE TIME NOW
Add a comment...

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Spots are filling fast! Don’t forget to register!

Our 2018 Member / Guest will be held on Friday, Sept. 28th & Saturday, Sept. 29th.  Field is limited to the first 32 teams who register with the Pro Shop by Sept. 21st.  So, don’t delay — reserve your spot today!

Contact us at 910-483-0359
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Cypress Lakes celebrates 50 years with new greens

Cypress Lakes Golf Club has turned 50 years old but it has a fresh look.

The course just completed a renovation of its greens, sowing them with Champion Bermuda grass that is now used at many area courses, including the famed Pinehurst No. 2. The new surface replaces bent grass that was installed in 1994.

“These new strains of Bermuda are just as good as bent grass, especially for dealing with the summer heat that we get in the Carolinas,” said Cypress Lakes superintendent Ed Drake. “These Bermuda strains were not an option in ’94. We experimented with them on our nursery greens for two or three years prior to actually putting it in.”

The club just reopened its back nine Saturday after finishing the job. The greens on the front nine were done last summer to avoid having to close the course entirely for one summer.

“We now have 18 wonderful greens,” said Drake, who has been the superintendent since 2002. “The members have loved the greens on the front nine. They are just really coming into their own. It takes about a year to totally grow them in.”

Drake and his crew completed the work on the back nine quickly. They began taking the old grass off the greens on June 28. The new grass was planted July 13 and just five weeks later, the greens were ready for play.

“It takes water, sun and fertilizer,” Drake said. “Nature does the rest. You just can’t let them dry out. It’s water, water, water every 30 minutes around the clock until the roots take hold.”

Taking care of the new greens requires an adjustment for Drake.

“Bent grass required a lot of babysitting in the summer with hand watering,” he said. “This Bermuda grass loves the sun and the heat, so it’s kind of like re-learning my job. It’s almost the polar opposite of what we were doing. When we had one side of each kind of grass this past year, it was kind of stressful.

“With bent grass, we were just trying to keep it alive through the summer. Now, we’re actually thriving in the summer. That’s a big difference for us.”

The sub surface of the greens also breaks down over time, making it more difficult for bent grass to stay alive.

“When that sub surfaces ages 15 to 20 years, it doesn’t move the water through like it should,” Drake said. “Bent grass can’t sit there in water without killing it off. This Bermuda grass likes the messed up sub surface. It likes the water being held there.”

Cypress Lakes pro Robert Wilson said updating greens is inevitable for golf courses.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of grass you have, every 25 or 30 years you have to change it,” he said. “It was time to do it again.”

Wilson has been the pro at Cypress Lakes for 15 years but his association with the course goes back to his days as a youth. Wilson received one of his first golf lessons from Cypress Lakes co-founder L.B. Floyd when he was about 10 years old.

Floyd, the late golf pro at several Cumberland County courses, opened Cypress Lakes in 1968 with the Prewitt family. When Floyd retired many years later, the Prewitt family bought him out and still own the course 50 years later.

“They’ve been committed since Day 1,” Wilson said of the Prewitts. “Doing the greens shows how much they are committed to it for the future.”

Cypress Lakes became known as the “Home of the Floyds” after L.B. Floyd’s children became famous golfers. Raymond Floyd had a Hall of Fame career on the PGA Tour and Marlene Floyd had a career on the LPGA Tour. Both are retired from competitive golf but Marlene still has a home on the 11th hole at Cypress Lakes. She can often be seen walking her dog or tooling around the course in a golf cart. She still plays an occasional round.

“She still can hit it,” Wilson said. “She hasn’t lost a ball in 30 years, always right down the middle.”

Wilson said one adjustment golfers will have to make is figuring out the break on the new greens.

“It took a little bit to get used to the breaks on the front nine,” he said. “They don’t break quite as much as the old greens. But they putt good with good speed. It will be good to hear the feedback from the golfers after they play the back nine.”

The club plans a 50th anniversary tournament next spring to celebrate the milestone after the back nine greens have more time to grow in. In the meantime, Wilson expects things to be busy.

“Everybody is excited,” he said. “People keep calling wanting to know when we’ll be off the temporary greens on the back nine. Please come check ’em out but call and make a tee time. We’re going to have a very good product to give to the golfers.”

SOURCE:  Fayetteville Observer
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