by Jeff Skinner
1. I think the European Team certainly played like the favorites they were going into the Ryder Cup. They were sharp, motivated and overpowered an outmanned US Team.
3. There were some new stars that introduced themselves to the world and none more so that Frenchman Victor Dubuisson. He played like the old Poulter and acted like Miguel Angel Jimenez. He was a cutup in the team room and looks to be another of the motivated Euros that play for all the right reasons.
4. All hope is not lost for the Americans as there were a few bright spots on the team. Patrick Reed whose boasting during the regular season seemed out of place has found a perfect home at the Ryder Cup. His bold confidence is a perfect fit and his “shushing” moment was one of the few highlights the Americans had.
5. Jordan Spieth at 21 should be around for many more Ryder Cups. He was solid and teaming with Reed the two were unstoppable. Maybe this is the team that could be the heart of future American Teams.
6. Captain Paul McGinley’s cool and meticulously well planned captaincy reaped the highest of rewards this week. He did what a leader needs to do: put his people in the best position to succeed. He did and they won. Simple.
7. In contrast to McGinley, our dear Tom Watson was outdone by a man who idolizes him. His plan, if he had one, was all in his head and it failed. Where McGinley spent two years spending time with the players, caddies, handlers and their families Tom just told his players to go play. No one could have imagined that Watson would be so unprepared for this Ryder Cup.
8. As an avid golf fan who was watching on television I found myself praying for a few less commercials. Please, show more golf shots. The Masters has it right, “limited commercials” and that’s what the PGA of America should strive for.
9. That being said, I tried out the Golf Channel’s Alternate Shot broadcast and found too many talking head and no “shots” at all. How can I say this….it stunk.
10. Talk about career rejuvenation…I will, by the way…Colin Montgomerie has turned into a joy on the set of the Golf Channel/NBC. He was even cheering for shots from both teams! I find Monty very watchable on the set something I couldn’t do when he was on the course. Now if the Golf Channel could just get Peter Alliss.
11. Darren Clarke was not only sounding good on the broadcast he was looking great. The slimmed down Clarke was insightful and funny. I guess we can consider this the official start of his campaign for the 2016 captain’s spot.
12. All season we hear GMac and Rory saying all the right things about their lawsuit but the previously imposing Ryder Cup pairing did not play together all week at Gleneagles. It did work out great for Team Europe as GMac’s mentoring of VDub was critical and Rory paired well with others but actions speak louder than words. There is definitely some friction there.
13. It was the same old outcome for the US but a very different finish…Phil Mickelson saw to that. Philly Mick’s trashing of Watson and the current “process” left a cloud over Team USA. Many agree that something needs to be done with the way things happen at The PGA of America but sitting in the press conference wasn’t the proper forum.
14. That being said…Phil is right on. The PGA of America has no formal, defined way of selecting the captain. It is left to one man, the PGA president. And once the captain is selected it is left up to him to formulate a plan…if he makes one at all. Contrast that with the European team.. They utilize the three past captains, the European Tour, The European PGA and the players to select the captain. The role of assistant captain is critical in evaluating candidates and they don’t care if he ever won a major. It works.
15. We didn’t see much of it on Sunday but the assistants on the European Team kept things real loose on the first tee. Sam Torrance told a few jokes. Jose Maria Olazabal did his victory dance and Miguel Angel Jimenez did his world famous “stretching” routine. And fun was had by all.
16. As usual the crew on The Golf Channel did their usual great job on their Live From the Ryder Cup show. Rich Lerner is great and Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo are the best in the business. Both of them took Phil to the woodshed immediately after watching the press conference. Chamblee’s line on Phil that he “corrupted the experience” was classic.
17. It was strange as we hear Paul Azinger’s name as much as anyone else in the aftermath of this whole thing. Azinger had a winning formula but he faced an unprepared captain in Nick Faldo that performed much like Watson did this year.
18. Is Zinger or his Pod System the answer? I don’t know but we all know the current system is broken. Maybe Phil’s rant will be the spark that lights the fuse to blow this thing up. The system needs change, in a big way. Maybe Zinger is the answer but the first place to look should be at those guys in blue spraying champagne all over the place. Their system works, and they prove it every two years.