What I learned in Ireland 

October, 3, 2006
Just back from a week on holiday -- er, vacation -- in Ireland after the Ryder Cup. Here's what I learned in two weeks away from home:

• Think Tiger Woods was a bit perturbed at his own Ryder Cup performance? That eight-stroke victory at the AmEx Championship proved he was hardly out of form at The K Club. This is hardly the stuff of genius, but I'll say it again, folks: Tiger just plays better in individual events than in team competitions. It doesn't mean he cares any more or less; that's just the way it is.

• I'm not even going to pretend to know the entire history of the animosity between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but certainly any dissension has eroded in recent years. That was on display for three enlightening days as the Irish crowds cheered on Darren Clarke as if he'd been born and raised on Grafton Street in the heart of Dublin. I'm sure such a reaction could be put more eloquently by those with greater knowledge of the situation's history than myself, but I thought it spoke volumes.

Jason Sobel | email

ESPN Senior Writer