Ryder Cup Diary: Lost nine-iron helps Tiger get to grips with that sinking feeling

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The Independent Online

It summed up Tiger's week: Steve Williams, his caddie, cleaning his nine-iron in the water by the 7th green and watching in horror as the club slipped from his hand and sank to the bottom of the lake. Woods simply laughed, shook his head and walked away. The New Zealand bagman, meanwhile, has never looked so sheepish. Woods was forced to complete the round without one of his favourite clubs and as they are especially made for him, his specs being unlike anybody else in the world, he faced the prospect of playing next week's World Golf Championship event in Watford without one of his preferred clubs. But then a frogman was called and the nine-iron was returned. A happy ending to a miserable week.

Like most hotels, the K Club has grown wise to the habit of their embroidered towels hitching a lift to private bathrooms by secreting themselves in suitcases and now charge accordingly whenever they go missing. They were baffled, however, when 20 towels went Awol yesterday - from the store cupboard. Who to blame, who to bill? Er, the greenkeeping staff, themselves, who after becoming exasperated with their squeegies merely moving puddles on the 15th tee and not soaking them up, reverted to more primitive means. The sight of them stamping on big piles of towels and then wringing them out in the nearby rough must have driven the hotel's housekeeper to distraction.

Had Bryn Terfel, who has been an ambassador in Dublin for Ryder Cup Wales - the Celtic cousin that hosts the biennial event in 2010 - been playing against Van Morrison the Welsh baritone would have won 2 and 1. The Voice of the Valleys has been wowing audiences here with impromptu late night performances. A few nights ago there was barely a dry eye in the house when he hit them with a rendition of "Danny Boy" which out-decibelled Morrison's appearance at the competition's gala dinner. Terfel, who weighs in a few stone heavier than Colin Montgomerie, followed that up by singing "Delilah", Tom Jones' favourite, at the City West Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin. He did not have Jones to partner him but the Irish snooker player Dennis Taylor, who took his cue from the audience.

Ian Woosnam, Europe's Ryder Cup captain, has barely put a foot wrong here and his utterly committed team has done him proud. Woosnam's vice-captains were the Irishman Des Smyth and the Englishman Peter Baker but his real soulmate has been his lifelong friend, the former Midlands professional golfer, D J Russell. Russell has been riding shotgun on the golf buggy whizzing from match to match at the K Club and it is D J who has been priming Woosnam not only on tactics and the selection of pairings but the questions he would inevitably be asked at the press conferences. Take a bow D J.

Last night the European players attended the farewell dinner wearing pink jackets, as a gesture towards the campaign against breast cancer, which usually sports pink ribbons. Heather Clarke, wife of Darren, died of the disease last month.

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