more ideas for the U.S. team

mulligan, 21 September 2004, Comments Off on more ideas for the U.S. team
Categories: Uncategorized

In order to make things competitive again, the U.S. Ryder Cup team needs to do things differently. No, we don’t need to draft Mike Weir or Vijay Singh (although that would be very nice if we could). Here are a few more ideas:

1. Selection process: as some have already suggested (see below), we need to change the selection process to focus on a 1 year period, during the year of the Ryder Cup. Under such a system, Todd Hamilton would have qualified this year — having won 2 tournaments, including the British Open. Also, perhaps some weight should be added to how the players do in the Match Play Championship. Having a team tryout would be an interesting idea, but given the tour schedule, probably not workable.

2. Course selection: Oakland Hills looked like a fabulous golf course, but it did not play to the strengths of the U.S. team. Let’s see your top players are Tiger, Phil, and Davis, who can bomb it 310 plus yards on a regular basis. So what does the PGA do? Selects a course that has only 2 par 5s. When you have home course advantage, you’ve got to select a course that will advantage your players. BethPage Black could have been a very good site. That’s where Tiger and Phil finished 1 and 2 at the 2002 U.S. Open. And also where Sergio Garcia had a near melt-down, when he waggled the club 25 plus times before each shot — just think of the bad memories the course would have brought back for Sergio. And don’t forget how rowdy the NY fans can be. That’s key, too. And if the site were BethPage Black, John Daly should have been on the team this year. JD can bring fire back to the U.S. team.

3. Practice: Practice should be TEAM practice, in the same format as the players will play. That means Phil Mickelson should not be out on another course away from his team during practice rounds. Since most of the players are familiar with singles matches, I’d have them focus on better ball and alternate shot during practices. And, if I were captain, I’d pair them up in the probable pairings and have them play some mock matches against each other. Bring the guys in a little early and have them run through a dress rehearsal.


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