10 Things I Think, Ryder Cup Style

by Jeff Skinner

1.  Both Ryder Cup Captains displayed class, dignity and sportsmanship all week.  Davis and Ollie should be commended for trying to take the “War at the Shore” attitude out of the proceedings.  But Ollie missed a chance at another “Concession” moment.  He should have had Molinari concede Tiger’s putt on the eighteenth and settle for a 14-14 tie.

2.  Credit Molinari with wanting to give Tiger the hole on the eighteenth fairway.  Unfortunately, he was told to continue to play on.  A bad call by the European team.

3.  In the spirit of sportsmanship and just appreciating good play, Phil Mickelson applauded his opponent, Justin Rose, as Rose made some amazing shots on Sunday.  However, I think Phil thought the U.S. was in a can’t lose situation.  We know how that turned out.

4.  The American rookies made a big splash early on.  The four of them earned eight points during the team matches but on Sunday they spit the bit.  Only Jason Dufner won his singles match as Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson folded under the Sunday pressure.

5.  Take all the shots you want at Davis Love but this was the captain that put his team out on Sunday with a four point lead.  The players blew it, not Love.

6.  Ian Poulter is the most exciting Ryder Cup player of this generation.  Since the merging of Europe with the Great Britain and Ireland squad Colin Montgomerie crafted an amazing record cup record and Seve Ballesteros single-handedly made the Ryder Cup relevant but Ian Poulter is the heart of the present day Ryder Cup.  No one is as exciting as Poults when it comes to the Ryder Cup.

7.  We were all witness to a cultural change in the world of golf.  Bubba Watson may have ushered in a new era in golf as he revved up the fans and teed off with them yelling at full throttle.  Poulter followed his lead the next day and it probably won’t be the last we see if it.  And as a positive side-effect we won’t be able to hear that brainless “In the hole” scream every time.

8.  Yes, Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of his generation.  But as we know he’s not perfect.  And one of his golfing faults is Foursomes.  He can’t play alternate shot, never can, never will.  His record is a dismal 4-8-1 in the Ryder Cup and the next captain should sit him during foursomes.

9.  We may have seen the end of an era this past week.  Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk needed two captains picks to be on this year’s team.  It’s going to take some great play over the next two years to get back on the team in 2014.  It will be a shame if these two fine sportsman finish their Ryder Cup career with such a poor finish.

10.  The American Team looked unstoppable until late Saturday afternoon.  It was a difficult day for the Americans on Sunday and one word describes it, a la Johnny Miller, “Choke.”

11.   While the European Team made their great run early on Sunday as they claimed the first five singles matches the seeds of their comeback were planted on Saturday afternoon when Luke Donald and Ian Poulter single handedly put a beat down on the Americans.

12.   If the CSI units from Chicago are looking for the scene of the crime at Medinah they need to start at the 17th and 18th holes.  Webb Simpson and Phil Mickelson went into 17 all square and lost both holes.  Jim Furyk went into 17 with a 1 up lead and lost both holes.  Steve Stricker had it to all square at 17 and then lost 17 and his tie on 18 gave Europe the match.  There’s plenty of American blood spilled over those two holes.

13.  So Rory McIlroy shows up ten minutes before his tee time and waxes Keegan Bradley 2&1.  Rory looked like he was playing a round with his mates with a pint on the line while Keegan looked like a dear in the headlights.  So much for all that warm up stuff.

14.  The American team had four rookies and for the most part they carried the day early on.  Some veteran players failed to carry their weight.  The next captain should take a lesson: it’s time for a younger team at the cup.

15.  It was a an amazing week at the Ryder Cup and while many American fans will cry about the loss we should all revel in the fact that this competition was just that, competitive.  We saw two teams putting it all out there in a dignified way.  Since 1979 when all of Europe was included on the team, the Americans have won seven times, Europe has nine wins and there was  one tie.  That’s pretty competitive.



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