The American sure got smoked by those pesky Europeans at Gleneagles, didn’t they. I didn’t have a good feeling about the prospects of the American team going in – after all, there were only a handful who were playing consistently-solid golf over the past few months, but I thought they’d put up a better fight than they did. It was still great golf to watch, and here are ten things I think we all learned from this year’s Ryder Cup:
10. Watching Golf Channel’s “Alternate Shot” while waiting for the late-night NBC coverage to begin on Friday night was disappointing. For all the hoopla leading up to it, there was really nothing edgy about the coverage at all, and watching four guys talk and reminisce about their Ryder Cup exploits in the past next to a smaller screen showing the European feed didn’t really add anything to the coverage.
9. On the American side of things, there should be more captain’s picks and less automatic picks. Just because you can rack up a bunch of points by playing well on the Tour doesn’t mean you’re necessarily cut out for the rigors of Ryder Cup play. Right, Hunter Mahan? Right, Jim Furyk? Right, Bubba Watson?
8. Before anyone starts christening Patrick Reed as lock for the next great Ryder Cup player, it would be good to recall the same was being said about Keegan Bradley after his performance in 2012. Two years is a lifetime in golf, and there are plenty of good young players out there just waiting to make their own splash.
7. I love watching Victor Dubuisson play golf. That dude could be a real superstar in the making.
6. Ditto Graeme McDowell and how he kept fighting and finally took down Jordan Spieth. Spieth played as good as anyone could expect, and he’s no dummy. I’ll bet Graeme taught him some valuable lessons in terms of dogged determination, patience, and perseverance that he’ll put to good use down the line.
5. By and large, the Europeans dressed sharper and looked snappier than their American counterparts did. Those blue tops with the big American flag in the center looked totally stupid – like something you’d see in the bargain aisle at Kohl’s leading up to the Fourth of July.
4. Golf Channel’s “Live From The Ryder Cup” was extremely well done and provided awesome viewing from the get-go. Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo in particular never disappoint, and the guest rotation throughout the weekend kept things fresh and entertaining.
3. I agree with the overwhelming consensus that Phil Mickelson should have kept his mouth shut instead of tossing captain Tom Watson under the bus at the post ceremony press conference. When you’ve been soundly beaten discretion is always the better part of valor.
2. No offense to Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, but when the next Ryder Cup comes around I hope they’ll all be joining me watching the proceedings on TV. They may be very good golfers and equally as good human beings, but watching them play is the golf equivalent to watching paint dry. I would have much rather seen the likes of Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, and Billy Horschel in their place. More youth and exuberance, please!
1. Is there any doubt anymore that Rory McIlroy is by far the best player on the planet right now? Watching him surgically take apart Rickie Fowler in their Sunday match was a thing a beauty.