October 10, 2006

I’m still catching up on vacation-time happenings, and I just couldn’t let this one go…

This year’s Ryder Cup was another disaster for the American team. Can’t say I’m surprised – there’s no question that pound for pound, the Europeans are younger, less spoiled, hungrier, and therefore far more creative with their games and less likely to fold under pressure. For the life of me, I can’t understand why Sergio Garcia plays so well at these events, yet can’t win a freakin’ major. Can anyone out there explain that?

I can’t help but the think the use of a 2-year points system instead of simply letting the Ryder Cup captain pick the players he wants has a lot to do with it. Why not let the captain pick the most competitive players? We couldn’t do any worse, right? Maybe The Golf Blog’s Mulligan is right – let’s find a way to get Ernie Els and Geoff Ogilvy on the squad!

Or maybe the Americans would have won if teen phenom-turned-potential has-been Michelle Wie had been one of the players chosen. (Just kidding, folks…)

SI.com’s Gary van Sickle thinks one of the reasons why the Europeans have so many good younger players than the Americans in the Ryder Cup is that the Euros have time between tournaments to cultivate and improve their games while their American counterparts play the Nationwide tour and spend their time focusing on making cuts. He may have a point there.

And the ESPN golf commentators are all over the place, agreeing only that something’s gotta be done.

A couple of final thoughts:

Is there a player whose star has fallen so precipitously as Phil Mickelson‘s? He starts the year by winning his second Masters and he’s on top of the golfing world. Then, he gets stupid at the U.S. Open and blows a golden opportunity to win there. The guy could have done the obligatory press conference and simply say, ‘I screwed up’, but no, he pulls a Brian Wilson and heads for his bed for a week (blowing off a charity event he had committed to), is a non-factor in the remaining majors, totally stinks the joint up at the Ryder Cup, and has now quit golf for the rest of the year.

Mulligan thinks the U.S. Open fiasco zapped the Mick’s mojo. Abso-f’nlutely. And ridiculous. Not to mention ill-advised.

On the other hand, prayers and condolences to the family of the legendary Byron Nelson, who passed away while we were gone. Is there any greater example of how money has corrupted the game of golf by the class with which Lord Byron played, represented, and exemplified the game, and Mickelson’s poor performance on the field and sportsmanship and behavior off it this year?

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:18 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. The Ryder Cup is lame. I don’t care for the idea of turning a individual sport into a team concept. Also, why is such a big deal made about who gets to be the captain? Anybody who like golf can do it. How do those in the media analyze what makes for a good captain?

    Comment by ck — November 6, 2006 @ 12:42 pm


  2. Hey, CK – welcome to the ‘Nation! I completely agree with you – I can’t figure out the purpose of having a “captain” if he can’t pick his own players. Would a Tony LaRussa or a Bill Belichick allow their rosters to be picked by some system? Of course not, and neither should the Ryder Cup. Thanks for your comment.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 6, 2006 @ 1:37 pm


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