Golf Buzz

Rory McIlroy
Getty Images
Rory McIlroy's new Nike Vapor Pro driver has a distinctive gold sole color.
It's highly unusual for a player to break out a brand-new piece of equipment at an event as big as the Ryder Cup, but it appears that Rory McIlroy might do just that. In practice this week at Gleneagles, he's been playing a Nike Vapor Pro driver in place of his usual Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 Tour driver.
 
"Everyone saw yesterday it was the only driver I had out there in the bag," McIlroy said Wednesday morning at Gleneagles. "It's looking likely that it's going to be in the bag this week." 
 
McIlroy has been testing the new driver since the summer – as has Tiger Woods – so putting it into play this week wouldn't be as rash a move as it might seem. 
 
 
Nike introduced its Vapor family of irons a few weeks ago but had said nothing official about the drivers and fairway woods, so not much is known about them. One thing that's obvious, though, is the color – in the sunlight, the sole flashes gold, in contrast to the Covert drivers with their distinctive red and white bottoms. And the crown is a more traditional black, as opposed to Nike's recent red-headed drivers. 
 
McIlroy offered no specifics on the club Wednesday, but Golf Digest quoted Tiger Woods as saying that the Vapor Pro contains a compression channel in the sole, something that is absent in the Covert drivers.  
 
"I pushed our team to bring [it] back because sometimes I like to shape shots by teeing the ball down and hitting it lower on the face," Woods said. "with the compression channel, I'm able to do that and not lose as much ball speed." 
 
September 24, 2014 - 7:19am
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T.J. Auclair
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Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky
USA Today Sports Images
Paulina Gretzky, the fiancee of Dustin Johnson, announced that the couple is expecting their first child.

Dustin Johnson has been away from the PGA Tour since announcing a "voluntary leave of absence" to seek help for "personal challenges" on July 31, which put him out of the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

But there is some positive news out of the Johnson camp. His fiancée, Paulina Gretzky (daughter of hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky), announced via her Instagram account that the couple is expecting their first child:

"@djohnsonpga & i are so excited to finally share with you all our amazing news..we're having a baby!"

Here is the accompanying photo:

Johnson and Gretzky were engaged in August 2013. 

September 21, 2014 - 8:55pm
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Team USA charter flight
Julius Mason/PGA of America
Team USA met in Atlanta on Sunday night to board a charter jet bound for Scotland and the 2014 Ryder Cup.

And they're on their way, and they'll be in Scotland before you.

The 12-man United States Ryder Cup Team, led by Captain Tom Watson, gathered in Atlanta on Sunday night before a short trip to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, where they boarded a charter jet bound for the British Isles and a date later this week with Europe's best.

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: Sunday's photos before the Team's departure for Scotland

Here's Tom Watson's post on Twitter:

 

 

Some members of the team got a first-hand look at the seats forward of First Class, like Rickie Fowler:

Bubba Watson then took his turn in the pilot's chair:

 

 

With Fowler and Bubba Watson taking up residence in the jet's cockpit, it's not hard to imagine what was going through Ryder Cup rookie Jordan Spieth's mind at the time:

 
Thankfully, the regular crew arrived and restored order shortly thereafter. Still, if somebody called out "Captain," would it be the pilot or Tom Watson who would respond first?
 
And finally, how about a prediction from PGA of America President Ted Bishop as the U.S. squad prepared for takeoff:
 
 
 
 
 
Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler/Twitter
This is the photo Rickie Fowler posted on Twitter on Sunday evening.

Did Rickie Fowler really get the letters "USA" shaved into his hair just behind his right ear before leaving for the 2014 Ryder Cup matches at Gleneagles?

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: Photos of Sunday's departure from Atlanta

It sure appears so, according to his Twitter post:

 

 

Not sure Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan or Sam Snead would have gone to such lengths (or lack thereof) to show their dedication to the team. But then again, they also didn't get together to take the ice bucket challenge back in the day.

2014 RYDER CUP: Complete coverage

The obvious next question: What did Rickie have shaved into his scalp on the left side? We may have to wait for another selfie to be sure.

 

 

 

Ian Poulter's hotel room
Ian Poulter | Twitter
Ian Poulter shows off his Gleneagles digs.

If you're like us, you can't get enough of the Ryder Cup. We want to get as much behind-the-scenes content possible, and thanks to Ian Poulter, we now know what the hotel accomodations are like for Team Europe. 

Poulter tweeted on Sunday morning a picture of his hotel room at Gleneagles. He also gave us a peek at the unreleased Team Europe uniforms. You can't tell much detail from the picture, but it does give a general idea of what the Europeans will look like on the course. 

Poulter flew to Scotland on Sunday morning, tweeting that he had just landed in London and was about to take off for Scotland. That was about two hours before tweeting the photo.

More Ryder Cup: Course Tour | Videos | Complete Coverage

We still have five days to go before the start of the Ryder Cup, but it definitely looks like Poulter is ready to go. 

Team USA is departing from Atlanta later on Sunday for its overnight flight to Scotland. With at least nine hours in the air, certain golfers (we're looking at you, Rickie Fowler) will find ways to make it fun.

September 21, 2014 - 10:07am
andrew.prezioso's picture
Ryder Cup 2006
PGA of America
Team Europe won its third consecutive Ryder Cup in 2006, the first time it had ever done that.

The names are different, but the setup sounds pretty similar to this year's Ryder Cup.

Team USA arrived at the K Club at Straffon, Ireland, with four rookies on its roster and up against a veteran-heavy European squad. Faced with the task of trying to take down the heavy favorites, the Americans struggled to keep pace. Team Europe held a 5 to 3 advantage after the first day, and pulled away on Sunday with 8 1/2 points to get the 18 1/2 to 9 1/2 victory. 

One of the best Ryder Cup moments happened on Sunday as Darren Clarke, just months after the death of his wife, beat American Zach Johnson and members of both teams came up to him to show their support. 

Here's a breakdown of the 2006 match: