- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2008


“The world learned more about China, and China learned more about the rest of the world. And together we shared the excitement and drama of the games.” — IOC president Jacques Rogge

TAKE YOUR PICK: Should European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo use one of his two wild card picks on Colin Montgomerie?

Yes: The Scot might be the greatest Ryder Cup player of all time. Though he’s 45 and in the midst of a pedestrian season, Montgomerie’s 20-9-7 record in eight trips to the biennial event speaks for itself.

No: Please. Monty’s playing career is basically over. He tallied three top-10s on both sides of the Atlantic this season without a victory and missed the cut at the PGA Championship. He stands 20th on the European points list behind more deserving wild card options Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Nick Dougherty and Paul Casey.

Our take: Barring a major shakeup in the standings this week, Faldo has all but said he plans on selecting Poulter and Casey. It’s hard to argue with those picks. But the one thing lacking on an otherwise-loaded European team is veteran leadership. Monty has been the common denominator in Europe’s rise to prominence. The best thing for Europe would be for both Faldo and Monty to put their considerable egos and spotty personal relationship aside and for Faldo to invite Monty to join the team as his vice-captain. That’s probably not going to happen.

TWT FIVE: U.S. Performances in Beijing

1. Michael Phelps — The Baltimore native authored perhaps the greatest Olympic performance in history in China with his eight-gold conquest.

2. Nastia Liukin — The 18-year-old gymnast finished with five medals in Beijing, including gold in the sport’s most coveted event (individual all-around).

3. Redeem Team — Finished 8-0 en route to gold, beating opponents by an average of 26.6 points and proving NBA stars can set aside their egos.

4. Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor — The greatest volleyball pairing in history roared through the bracket to back up their gold medal in Athens.

5. Natalie Coughlin — The 26-year-old swimmer from California finished 6-for-6 on the medal stand in her events, taking gold in the 100-meter backstroke and playing a crucial role in three U.S. relay teams.

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