Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kuchar U.S. team leader -- in table tennis

  The first official golf balls won't be in the air at the Ryder Cup until 8:20 a.m. Charlotte time Friday but ping pong balls have been clattering around the U.S. team room as usual.
   There are three tables, part of what has become an American Ryder Cup tradition, and it sounds as if there's a clear winner among the U.S. players.
   Matt Kuchar.
   "I think it's clear that Matt Kuchar is the best," Webb Simpson said. "Phil Mickelson is not quite ready to admit it. I think he's in denial. But he's pretty good."
   Kuchar proclaimed himself the best.  He called himself a "one or two handicap" in table tennis. That doesn't make him world class but it makes him good enough at Medinah.
   "On our team, I'd be the best player," Kuchar said.
   Here's Simpson's take on his teammates' ping-pong talents:
   "I think I've seen about everybody play now and everybody is really good. Zach (Johnson) is really good. Tiger is good. Bubba (Watson) thinks he's good but he just plays defense. He doesn't hit any winners or anything and once he starts hitting those defensive shots, I start laughing and he beats me."
   Simpson said his table tennis claim to fame is beating Mickelson at the Presidents Cup in Australia last year.
  "After I beat him, he said my serve was illegal," Simpson said. "Then he beat me the next five times."