Ryder Cup: European domination continues in Tiger Woods era

mulligan, 24 September 2006, Comments Off on Ryder Cup: European domination continues in Tiger Woods era
Categories: Uncategorized

It used to be the conventional wisdom that the Europen team was better at the team play format in the Ryder Cup, but were much weaker in the singles format — where the U.S. team typically dominated. After today’s routing of the U.S. team in singles, that is no longer the case.

The Europeans went 8-3-1, and it should have been 9-3, but Paul McGinley graciously conceded JJ Henry a 30 footer for birdie. Frankly, the European team appeared to have no weaknesses this past week, while the U.S. team had plenty. Just as in world basketball play, the tide has shifted to where the U.S. is no longer the perennial favorite to win the Ryder Cup.

Validating the record-setting victory of 18 1/2 to 9 1/2 at Oakland Hills two years ago, the Europeans equalled that “beat down” of the U.S. team. It wasn’t even close. The European players played better, and more passionately and relaxed, in the Ryder Cup. They deserve all the credit in the world for figuring out a way to consistently beat the U.S. team, even when the U.S. has probably the greatest golfer that ever played in Tiger Woods. That is perhaps the most baffling part about this all. The Ryder Cup is the one thing that Tiger Woods has failed to leave his imprint on.

So where does this leave the U.S. team? Well, it’s back to the drawing board. Captain Tom Lehman put together a good blue print for the Ryder Cup, but it didn’t work. Nor did Hal Sutton’s plan two years ago, nor Curtis Strange’s, five years ago. Something needs to change, either in the selection of U.S. players or the preparation of U.S. players. Perhaps the Captain should select all the players on the team except for the top 2 point getters, and the previous Ryder Cup records of each player should be taken into account in the selection process. Call me crazy, but maybe the U.S. team should hold tryouts in team and match play format to determine the Ryder Cup players.

If all else fails, the U.S. should figure out a way to change the rules so that Geoff Ogilvy and Ernie Els can play for the U.S. squad.


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