EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published in April 2020, but we’re revisiting now to commemorate Ryder Cup week.
The 2006 Ryder Cup took place at the K Club just outside of Dublin.
Tom Lehman was the U.S. captain that year. And in an effort to get some team bonding done with an American team looking for its first win since a miracle comeback in 1999 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Lehman got the U.S. players and caddies together for a journey over to the Emerald Isle for some golf and relaxation.
The trip got off to a bumpy start… literally.
“We took a trip over to the K Club before the Ryder Cup even started two weeks prior,” Scott Gneiser, caddie for David Toms, said on a recent Caddie Network podcact. “We had Tiger and Phil and I remember the flight over was the roughest flight ever. I’m holding onto the seat with the death grip because I can’t stand turbulence. Then I’m looking around and going, ‘well, if this plane goes down – which I don’t think it will, because there’s Tiger right there, Phil’s right over there, my boss is right in front of me… there’s no way this plane’s going down.’”
Thankfully, the flight landed safely. And then the fun part of the boys’ trip began.
“I think we spent three or four days over there,” Gneiser said. “We took some trips to some bars. There was this place called the Bog Bar, which was up in the middle of nowhere. It was tilted. We show up, police escort, in a bus, in the middle of nowhere.”
“I had never been escorted to a bar, but I’ve been escorted out of a bar,” interjected Ryan Rue, who was also on the trip as Chris DiMarco’s caddie.
Gneiser said once people in the bar realized the U.S. Ryder Cup was descending on their watering hole – which opened in 1778 – they began calling friends to come in.
Woods and Mickelson were the only two U.S. players who didn’t go to the bar with the gang.
“They were the only two players who weren’t there,” Gneiser remembered. “Everybody else was there. Tom Lehman was so much fun as a captain. He was like a little kid in a candy store. We drink this place out of beer. I think we drank them out of beer. We had stacked up glasses and with the tilt in the bar, they all came crashing down. So, we’re like, ‘OK, we should probably get out of here.’ So, Tom goes up to pay the tab, hands them a credit card.”
That didn’t work.
“They go, ‘No credit cards,’” Gneiser laughed. “We’re sitting there going, ‘Oh my God.’ Nobody’s got money with them – money from over there. None of them. This bar… they said, ‘You know what? Don’t worry about it.’ I think Tom might have sent them a bunch of stuff later on down the road. But we had no money to pay the tab. All we had was a credit card, but they didn’t take credit cards, probably because the place went back to the 1700s.”
Perhaps that was an early indication that the U.S. team wasn’t going to be experiencing “the luck of the Irish.”
When the team returned two weeks later, the European side won in dominating fashion, 18 ½-9 ½.
You can listen to the entire podcast below.