PGA Tour Notebook: Feeling empty, Mahan to vacation during Ryder Cup

Hunter Mahan
Getty Images
Hunter Mahan missed qualifying by one spot and then was overlooked as one of the four captain's picks.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

CARMEL, Ind. -- Hunter Mahan won't be playing in the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2006. He might not be watching it, either.

"I don't think so," Mahan said when asked if he would watch the matches on television. "Being there, having gone through it ... it's tough to say that, too. You have so many friends on the team and you want them to do well. I don't feel good saying that, but I think it would be hard to sit and watch it. I'll watch the match results each game, at the end of each day."

Mahan, a two-time winner this year, missed qualifying by one spot and then was overlooked as one of the four captain's picks. He has played in the last two Ryder Cups, holing one of the most crucial putts at Valhalla and losing to Graeme McDowell in the final, decisive match at Wales.

He had talked about the empty feeling at Crooked Stick after not getting picked, and it showed. He closed with an 80-77 weekend to finish in last place at 12-over 300. He was 32 shots behind Rory McIlroy.

"It was hard -- harder than I thought," Mahan said. "Golf is hard right now. I just can't deal with it all. It doesn't have much appeal. It feels empty. I tried to patch things together, change putters, a quick fix, but at the end of the day, I'm out of will. ... You need to be mentally and emotionally invested in each round. And if you're not, then it's hard to compete out here. I'm not even technically good right now."

Mahan said he would go to Orlando at some point this week to work with swing coach Sean Foley and get ready for the Tour Championship. After that, he and wife Kandi have talked about a vacation to get away from golf during the one event he wanted so badly to play.

"Haven't figured it out yet," he said. "It's hard to watch something like that when you've been through it a few times, you know how much fun it is and you want to be there. Once you go to one, you don't want to miss it because you know how much fun they are."

FEELING IT AT THE RYDER CUP: Three of the players involved refer to it as the highest level of play in a match -- Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell took down Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry on the final hole at Valhalla in a fourballs match in the 2008 Ryder Cup.

"Both teams had to be 10 under," Furyk said.

Close. Poulter made one last birdie on the 18th as Europe was 9 under. Furyk rolled in clutch putts to the very end and the U.S. side was 8 under.

"Greatest game I've even been involved in," McDowell said. "Poulter didn't hit a shot for six holes and then he birdied the last two holes. Phenomenal."

McDowell best remembers the game not by how many birdies were made, but by a strange sensation the following day.

"I remember waking up the next morning and my arm was sore," he said. "I couldn't work out why it was sore, and then I remembered. We were high-fiving each other so hard because it was so emotional. Great game."

DIVOTS: A private service is planned Friday for Maria Floyd, the wife of four-time major champion Raymond Floyd, who died last week at age 69 at their home in Southampton, New York. She had bladder cancer. ... Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan are the only players to reach the Tour Championship all six years of the FedExCup. ... The European Tour released the international portion of its schedule, which included one new event that has been around for years. The 2013 season starts with the Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa, an official event for the first time. The Middle East swing concludes with Dubai on Feb. 3, two weeks before the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

STAT OF THE WEEK: A PGA Tour rookie has made it to the Tour Championship every year but one (2010) since the FedExCup began.

FINAL WORD: "Unfortunately, the Americans are slightly better than us at table tennis. I think the Europeans have the edge on the drinking." -- Lee Westwood, on the teams getting together after the Ryder Cup.