Posted September 30, 2012 on AP on Fox
Gettyimage.ashx_url_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f98909832.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d77bfba49ef878921a343b2c87a49d8f51d042f73e5463c62d42537308eaf8b45c2f4dd925403ef45
Next time the Illinois State Police are looking for donations, their first call should be to Rory McIlroy. The world's No. 1 golfer needed a police escort to make it to the first tee on time Sunday after mixing up his time zones. He made it with 10 minutes to spare, giving him just enough time to eat an energy bar, take a few strokes on the putting green and hustle to the tee. ''I've never been so worried driving to the golf course before,'' McIlroy said. ''Luckily there was a state trooper who gave me the escort to here. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have got here in time.'' McIlroy was reading the Ryder Cup tee times on his phone and saw that he and Bradley were teeing off at 12:25 p.m. One problem: That was Eastern time. Medinah Country Club, outside Chicago, is in the Central time zone. ''All of the sudden we realized Rory was not here, and we started to look for him,'' European captain Jose Maria Olazabal said. ''Nobody knew.'' Finally, at 11, someone called McIlroy. Getting a lift in an unmarked squad car, McIlroy pulled up at the Medinah clubhouse 10 minutes before he and Bradley went off. ''At least I wasn't in the back,'' McIlroy joked. He was on the first tee at 11:22 a.m., a sheepish grin on his face. Fans were well aware of his gaffe, and they serenaded him with chants of ''Central time zone'' and ''What's your tee time?'' ''It's my own fault, but if I let down these 11 other boys and vice captains and captains this week I would never forgive myself,'' McIlroy said. The fashionably late arrival didn't seem to bother him. Though he launched his opening drive well right of the fairway, he quickly recovered and was 1 up on Keegan Bradley after the fourth hole. His 2-and-1 victory delivered the third point in what would be an improbable comeback for the Europeans, who erased a four-point deficit to win the Ryder Cup. --- NO SECOND GUESSES: A lot of people might second-guess U.S. captain Davis Love III for resting his hottest team Saturday afternoon. Phil Mickelson won't be one of them. Mickelson jumped to Love's defense Sunday night when the captain was asked whether he should have played Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in fourballs Saturday. ''You cannot put that on him,'' Mickelson said. ''If anything, it was me.'' Mickelson and Bradley had won their first three matches handily, providing the spark as the Americans piled up the points early. Their 7-and-6 thrashing of Lee Westwood and Luke Donald in Saturday morning's foursome equaled the largest margin of victory in an 18-hole team match. But Love gave them a rest in the afternoon, and Europe managed to snatch wins in the final two matches. That momentum shift fueled Europe's improbable comeback Sunday. ''Keegan and I knew going in that we were not playing in the afternoon and we said on the first tee, `We're going to put everything we have into this one match because we're not playing the afternoon,''' Mickelson said. ''And when we got to 10, I went to Davis and said, `Listen, you're seeing our best. You cannot put us in the afternoon because we emotionally and mentally are not prepared for it.''' --- SNEAKING A PEEK: Englishman Luke Donald did. American Dustin Johnson tried not to. Phil Mickelson didn't like what he saw when he finally got around to doing it. Only the Europeans were glad they did at the end. Scoreboard-watching at the Ryder Cup turned into a competition of its own Sunday. Some players avoided even one glance, admitting they were afraid of the added pressure it might pile on their match. ''I tried not to look all day,'' Johnson said after beating Nicolas Colsaerts 3 and 2. ''I had a tough match as it is.'' ''Now I look up,'' Mickelson said after losing 1-up to Justin Rose at the 18th, ''and I'm obviously a little worried.'' He had good reason. Donald, who went off in the opening match against Bubba Watson, knew he'd be the first one finished and that he'd have plenty of time to get a sense of how things were going for the Europeans. Still, he couldn't resist. ''I had a sneak peek at the board,'' he conceded, ''a couple of times.'' He could afford to. The Englishman built a lead at the second hole that he never relinquished before winning 2 and 1. --- `HOME' WIN: Luke Donald got the best possible outcome, a Europe win in his adopted home. ''I felt very much at home this week,'' he said. ''It was great to have all the cheers I did. I didn't feel so sectioned out as probably some of the other guys on our team would have.'' Though the Englishman wears the European flag on his uniform, Chicago fans consider him one of their own. He went to Northwestern, after all, and he and his wife still make their home in the northern suburbs. Even when he was delivering Europe's first point of the day - and his second in three matches - fans couldn't bring themselves to razz him. Those jeers that sounded like boos? They were actually cheers of ''LUUUUUKE!'' ''It certainly helped,'' Donald said after he beat Bubba Watson 2 and 1. ''I felt a lot of love from the crowd.'' --- WORTH THE WAIT: Paul Lawrie was worth the wait. The 1999 British Open champion went 13 years between Ryder Cup appearances, and looked rusty in losing his first two matches at Medinah. When the Europeans needed to go on a win streak Sunday, however, Lawrie delivered. His 5-and-3 thrashing of FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker was Europe's biggest victory of the day, and was part of a five-win run that swung the momentum firmly in the Europeans' favor. They went on to erase a 10-6 deficit and won the Ryder Cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2. Europe has won five of the last six Ryder Cups. Lawrie's only other Ryder Cup appearance came in 1999, when he was on the other side of a record comeback. He desperately wanted a different experience, and even sat out the U.S. Open to bolster his chances of qualifying for the European team. He clinched his spot with a four-shot victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, his second European Tour win of the year.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
GLAD YOU MADE IT

McIlroy nearly misses tee time

Rory McIlroy arrived at Medinah a mere 11 minutes before his final round tee time at the Ryder Cup. The reason he was late is classic.

Rory McIlroy Wears Clock Around His Neck at Ryder Cup Celebration After Time Zone Mix-Up (Photo)

Rory McIlroy had some issues with time zones on Sunday morning, and it almost cost the golfer dearly. Luckily for him -- and the rest of the European Ryder Cup team -- McIlroy was able to get to Medinah Country Club with just a few minutes to spare on Sunday morning. From there, he helped the Euros to a historic comeback, winning his match in the team's successful attempt to...

Rory McIlroy Gets Time Zones Mixed Up, Nearly Misses Tee Time at Ryder Cup

MEDINAH, Ill. -- This wasn't the start Europe planned. Already facing a big deficit at the Ryder Cup, Rory McIlroy needed a police escort to the first tee after mixing up his time zones. Watching TV, he saw the tee time for his singles match against Keegan Bradley listed at 12:25 p.m. One problem: That was Eastern time. Medinah Country Club, outside Chicago, is in the Central...

Rory McIlroy wears giant clock around his neck after nearly missing Ryder Cup tee time (Picture)

Rory McIlroy gave European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal and the rest of his Ryder Cup teammates a heck of a scare at the start of the final day of the event when he nearly missed his tee time. As we told you on Sunday, McIlroy supposedly got his time zones mixed up when watching TV and thought his tee time was an hour later than it actually was. He arrived just 11 minutes before...

Illinois St. 34, South Dakota 31

Darrelynn Dunn ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns and Illinois State won its fifth straight game, defeating South Dakota 34-31 on Saturday. Matt Brown threw for 336 yards and a TD, and ran for another score. The Redbirds (5-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley) are off to their best start since the 1967 team began 6-0. Donovan Harden and Tyrone Walker each surpassed 100 yards receiving for...

Column: Losing the Ryder Cup? Unthinkable

The Europeans had just begun to celebrate their improbable and delightfully sweet Ryder Cup win when Rory McIlroy and U.S. captain Davis Love III ran into each other amid the boisterous scene just off the 18th green. ''Glad you could make it on time,'' Love said, drawing a laugh from McIlroy. Getting there on time wasn't a problem for the Americans. They were...

Ryder Cup ratings best since 1999

The Ryder Cup delivered for NBC on Sunday with its best overnight rating since the miracle comeback by the United States at Brookline in 1999.  Ratings were up a whopping 71% versus 2010, when the competition was held in Wales and 21% versus the last American Ryder Cup in 2008. Sunday #RyderCup on NBC draws 4.1/9 overnight. Up 71% from '10 (2.4/7), up 21% from...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.