'How would you feel if you had him on your team? Pretty good? It's great.'– Scott Verplank, American player in Ryder Cup on Tiger Woods

Ryder Cup tees off

Tiger Woods had a million reasons to want to win the World Golf Championship. He came up with another one to explain why he caused such a fuss. "I was just trying to be funny," Woods said earlier this week, backing off from his comments in Ireland, where he earned $1 million for winning the American Express Championship Sept. 22. "Obviously, things were taken way out of context." He compared the Ryder Cup to the final round in a major – even though he joked last week there were "a million reasons why" he would rather win the American Express Championship than the team competition.

This week is no laughing matter.

The Americans are favored to win the Ryder Cup, which is somewhat of a mystery since Europe has won five of the last eight times. The Ryder Cup has not been particularly kind to Tiger Woods, either.

One of the most glaring holes in an otherwise awesome record is his Ryder Cup mark. Woods is 3-6-1 in two Ryder Cups, splitting his singles matches and taking on five partners in eight team matches.

Woods is the No. 1 golfer in the world, the man everyone tries to beat. At the Ryder Cup, he is just 1 of 12 players on the US team. "Anybody would be hard-pressed to say that man is not trying to win every time he puts a tee in the ground," teammate Hal Sutton said. "I'm pretty sure his juices will be flowing this week."

First in baseball history

The first black team president in major league history likes his chances with the struggling Milwaukee Brewers. "Sure, we're in last place," Ulice Payne said Wednesday after taking over the team. "You might as well take a picture because that's probably the last time you're going to see that."

Payne is a former state securities commissioner, and a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. He's also on the board of directors of Journal Communications Inc., which publishes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I'm going to take this challenge quite seriously," Payne said.

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