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We Suck At Golf

Something tells me that's not Ian Woosnam's first drink.What bothers me most about the continual Ryder Cup ass-poundings is not the fact that we keep getting embarrassed… it’s that we never have an answer for it. Tom Lehman can’t explain it, Tiger Woods can’t explain it, and Phil Mickelson for damn sure can’t explain anything.

We keep getting our asses kicked, in our soil, on their soil, when we’re favored, when we’re the underdogs… and no one can ever explain why.

Two theories I’m discounting are that we don’t care as much, or that we don’t want it as much. There’s just no way that’s true. Maybe there are certain individuals who don’t care a lot (and I don’t believe Tiger Woods is one of them, despite that finger always being pointed at him), but there’s no way I’m believing that this isn’t as vitally important to our guys as it as theirs. The way our players talk about it, the way they prepare themselves, the measures they’ve gone to… there’s too much evidence that this is very important to the our side.

And maybe that’s a part of the problem. You never hear about the European team taking a trip together to bond (as the Americans did in Ireland), because they don’t have to. You don’t hear about their coach’s strategy for putting together teams, you don’t see them sweating every little detail… they show up, slap some teams together, play golf, and take their trophy home. We don’t.

I’ll believe that the European team is a little more tightly-knit to begin with, that they like each other, are comfortable with each other, and enjoy spending time with each other. I’ll buy that as a theory. When they travel to American tournaments (which is way more frequent than American golfers traveling to European tournaments), a lot of them stay together, they hang out, they practice together… they like each other. They’re comfortable with each other. That probably makes a big difference.

Other than that… I couldn’t tell you. The European team just goes out and hits better shots. There’s a reason for that somewhere, but no one seems to know what the hell it is. Maybe the Europeans have some kind of a strategy or gameplan that they protect as well as Colonel Sanders protects his chicken recipe. I don’t know.

Or, and this is a theory that I like… maybe we just need to leave Phil Mickelson behind. Ol’ FIGJAM was the worst player in the event (Brett Wetterich gets a pass, because nothing was expected out of him, mainly because he’s Brett Wetterich), getting only ½ of a point in five tries, which puts him at 1-9-1 in his last 11 Ryder Cup matches.

The team selection process will almost certainly be reworked, and that’s fine. But I don’t think we need fewer captain’s selections, I think we need more. And I think we need two optional “captain’s deselections,” where the captain can choose to take someone in the Top 10 in the point standings, and tell them to stay the fuck home. I am looking at you, Phil Mickelson. I hate your insincere smile, no one else on tour likes you, and you suck at being part of a team.

Here’s the breakdown of the American team:

Scott Verplank 2 / 2 1.000
Tiger Woods 3 / 5 .600
Stewart Cink 2½ / 5 .500
J.J. Henry 1½ / 3 .500
Jim Furyk 2 / 5 .400
Zach Johnson 1½ / 4 .375
Chad Campbell 1 / 3 .333
Vaughn Taylor ½ / 2 .250
David Toms ½ / 3 .167
Chris DiMarco 1½ / 4 .125
Phil Mickelson ½ / 5 .100
Brett Wetterich 0 / 2 .000

Matthew J. Darnell

7 Comments

  1. I think Jesus is trying to tell the members of the Ryder Cup team to stop dragging him into golf-related matters. Jesus, as is well-known, only cares about the Colorado Rockies.

  2. I will always like Phil Mickelson for no good reason. I also will always think FIGJAM is the best derogatory nickname in sports today.

  3. I don’t buy them “Europeans like each other” theory. Admittedly, I pay zero attention to golf, but is there any sort of teamwork at the Ryder Cup? If not, than I would say that how the players feel about each other would have no impact. I would lean towards selection and/or maybe the depth of talent as the problems. But again, I know nothing about golf.

  4. I actually do buy the Euro’s like eachother argument. Honestly when it comes down to it, these guys are playing for eachother not for Europe. They are minority (in that there are less euros on the PGA tour than americans) on the PGA tour and they have an us vs them mentality that is necessary to win the ryder cup.

  5. Although I usually disagree with MJD when he goes on his Phil-bashing rants, he does need to stay away from the Ryder Cup.
    Phil is good for a half a dozen matches a year. He zeroes in on the 4 majors and a couple of other bigger tournaments. He spends of all of his time practicing for those 6 or 7 events and typically does very well. Any other events he either doesn’t attend, or barely makes the cut. Now that he’s won a couple of majors, his family has taken the front seat in his life.
    Tiger has flat out admitted he doesn’t care for the Ryder Cup. If his heart and mind aren’t in it, he’s going to be mediocre at best.
    As for the rest of our guys, who knows, maybe the Europeans have better caddies.

  6. Greg P… the Ryder Cup is one of the few golf tournaments that does include team work. 16 of the 28 points available come in events where the golfers play in pairs against the opposition. (Half are where the two golfers on a team both play a ball and the best score counts against the oppositions best score, half are where the two golfers take alternate shots on the same ball.) Tactics are a large part of it – does golfer #1 attack the pin while golfer #2 plays safe, who drives further, which holes suit which player etc. The Europeans appear to work much better together in this type of play than the US golfers.

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