By Bob Denney, The PGA of America
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- USA Captain and PGA Honorary President Jim Remy of Ludlow, Vt., sent his players out in twosomes in a structured practice session, having the 10-member unit play nine holes of foursomes and nine holes in four-ball competition.
"We stayed on task, and I think the team has bought into it," he said. "We know that we will be facing a determined team. I told my team that I was in Ireland (in 2005), when we lost the PGA Cup. I said that winning is a lot more fun."
WE'VE GOT GAME: Scotland's Russell Weir, the Great Britain & Ireland Captain who holds the record for most matches in PGA Cup history (40), said that this year's Great Britain & Ireland Team is "the strongest team that I have seen in the PGA Cup. They are all going to play a key part." Weir, who played in eight PGA Cups between 1986 and 2000, spent the past two seasons evaluating the GB&I talent.
MONTY SENDS A MESSAGE: To spark the GB&I Team, winning 2010 Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie sent a letter that Weir read to the 10-member unit. "I was ecstatic about that," said Weir, who has never played on a winning PGA Cup Team. "It would mean more than anything if we could wrestle the trophy away across the water," he said.
Weir lives in Dunoon, Scotland, and must take a ferry first before he can travel by rail to the next largest city. "I would take a slow ferry home," he said, referring to the chance to bring home the Llandudno International Trophy.
WELCOME TO WINE COUNTRY: The USA and Great Britain & Ireland Teams met for dinner Tuesday at Clos LaChance Winery & Estate Vineyard in San Martin. In addition to home grown wines, the dinner entrees featured Asiago Crusted Chicken Breast and Broiled Salmon.
COMING OF AGE: The Great Britain & Ireland Team makes its bid to capture the PGA Cup for the first time on U.S. soil with a team averaging in age of 39.7, while the USA Team has an average age of 37.8.
DÉJÀ VU CALIFORNIA: The PGA Cup visits California for the first time since 1977, when the match ended in an 8 1/2 to 8 1/2 draw at Mission Hills Country Club in Palm Springs. There have been three draws in Cup history.
DUAL CITIZEN: Scott Erdmann of Tigard, Ore., becomes the second USA player in the history of the PGA Cup to have been born in another country, and the first to carry dual citizenship. A 34-year-old PGA assistant professional at Oswego Lake Country Club in Lake Oswego, Ore., Erdmann was born in New Zealand and moved to the U.S. when he was 2. He follows Craig Shankland of Ormond Beach, Fla., who was born in Leeds, England, and competed in the inaugural PGA Cup in 1973, in Pinehurst, N.C.
MATCHING THE PGAs: The PGA Cup brings together 10-member teams representing The PGA of America and The Professional Golfers' Association, which has headquarters at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. The following are some comparative stats about each:
The PGA: Founded in 1901, with some 7,500 members today. The PGA has members in 70 countries, with 1,600 outside the United Kingdom. Germany alone features 400 PGA members.
The PGA of America: Founded in 1916, with 27,000 men and women professionals, it is the word's largest sports organization. Currently, The PGA of America has 278 PGA Professionals working in more than 20 countries.