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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Hazeltine shines

Wrote about Patrick Reed's gumption for my column. This is an appreciation of what I just experienced.

Spent the early afternoon following Reed and Spieth as they fell behind Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, who played brilliantly after losing to Reed and Spieth in the morning.

Later in the afternoon, Jerry Zgoda and I went to the 16th green to see if J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore could complete a late comeback against Sergio Garcia and Rafael Cabrera Bello. We stayed to see the end of the Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar match against Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters.

McIlroy closed out that match with a slippery eagle putt, then bowed in two directions before pumping his fist and screaming his new trademark slogan: ``Come on!''

The scene reminded me why I love world-class golf, and why Hazeltine is such an ideal place to hold a major event.

There may have been 30,000 people watching that final putt. The stands were filled, the areas near the green were packed, and the fairway was packed as far as I could see. There were a few people chanting attempted insults at McIlroy, but most of the fans were chanting either ``Ole'' or ``USA'' between shots.

The sun was shining, the trees were hinting at fall, and the Ryder Cup was being played at a great Minnesota course. It was quite a day.

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You can find my Ryder Cup Special podcast with Jim Lehman from Jaguar-Land Rover in Golden Valley at MNSPN.COM, along with the You Betcha Basketball Show with Jon Krawczynski, the VikingUpdate Podcast with Tim Yotter, the Russo-Souhan Show with Michael Russo, Roy Smalley's Chin Music and my personal show.

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Souhan: Love earned his shot to return as captain

Davis Love III captained a losing Ryder Cup team, so I'm sure a decade from now Phil Mickelson will blame him for something.

I covered the Ryder Cup at Medinah four years ago. Love was the American captain. His team blew a 10-6 lead on Sunday to lose 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

Should Love be blamed?

I hold the same view as the American Ryder Cup committee: Love did his job well, well enough to justify bringing him back for Hazeltine.

Love paired his players well enough on Friday and Saturday to get them a four-point lead. That's the primary role of a captain. He has been criticized for playing Tiger Woods last on Sunday, meaning that Woods' match wound up not factoring into the outcome. I'll give Love this pass: It was hard to imagine the front side of his lineup playing so poorly that Woods would be rendered irrelevant.

Players can make Ryder Cup captains look foolish, but I think Love was a strong choice.

Of course, Paul Azinger, who captained a 16 1/2-11 1/2 at Valhalla, might have been an even stronger choice.

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Please check out MNSPN.com for podcasts with Michael Russo, Roy Smalley, Jon Krawczynski, Tim Yotter and my Ryder Cup special with Jim Lehman.

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Bottom 4th R H E
Minnesota 57-102 0 1 0
Chicago White Sox 77-82 6 7 0