President’s Cup Thoughts

I finally finished catching up on the President’s Cup. You can find recaps of the play on every golf site on the net. So I won’t bore you with that. Instead, here are a few general thoughts.
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  • I love match play. It’s immediate and exciting. Every shot, every hole counts in a way that medal play can’t match.
  • I love team play. It injects an element of humanity in what often comes across on television as a cold and passionless game. It’s terrific to see how different personalities and playing styles mesh (or don’t).
  • If the PGA Tour wants to inject some interest and excitement into the game, it should look at replacing a low-end regular season tournament with a team match play event. The Tour also should also look at bringing back a tournament that uses the Stableford format, as was used in The International. I think that changing things up will add excitement to the game.
  • Lots of the major media coverage leads with the notion that Tiger “closed out the Tournament.” Here’s are typical headlines: “Woods Finds Putter, Closes Out President’s Cup” (PGA Tour site) and “Woods and Furyk Lift US Team” (NY Times). The truth is that Woods was 2-3 in this tournament. That’s a failing record. You still can’t argue that he was a better pick than Keegan Bradley.
  • The Woods-Stricker team didn’t continue its previous magic. But it wasn’t the same Tiger. I also think Stricker’s injury was worse than he let on. On a number of occasions, I thought “That’s just not like Stricker to leave a shot like that short.” A 7 and 6 drubbing was evidence that not all is right.
  • Tiger is finding out what all of us already know. Winning golf is hard.
  • The NY Times did have one thing right. The real hero of the tournament was Jim Furyk, who closed out a perfect 5-0. The pairing with Mickelson turned out to be brilliant.
  • If the major media wants another name in their headline, it’s Hunter Mahan, who was 4-1. I’ll rewrite it for them: “Furyk and Mahan Lift US Team.” Mahan’s quality wins are particularly poignant given his (completely undeserved) role as goat in the last Ryder Cup.
  • Webb Simpson continues to impress.
  • Dustin Johnson didn’t impress. But hey, he was saddled with Woods for three matches.
  • Royal Melbourne proves that you don’t have to continually lengthen courses to challenge the world’s best players.
  • I’ve never seen so many balls roll off greens.
  • Given their records, I don’t know why Fred sat Phil and not Tiger for Saturday Four Ball. Was Phil tired? I think it’s possible that he sat himself.
  • Mickelson has turned out to be Mr. Team Play. I wonder how many times he’s going to Captain Ryder and President’s Cups in the future. Lots, I should think.
  • I think the Captains should have been forced to play a match. I’d pay good money to see Couples v Norman mano-a-mano.
  • How about Couples at Ryder Cup captain? He seems to have a good thing going with these guys.
  • KT Kim? Who knew? We’ll see more of him in the future, that’s for sure.
  • This President’s Cup win makes seven out of nine for the United States. That’s a real contrast to recent Ryder’s Cup performances. Here’s the key: in spite of all the talk about chemistry and leadership, it all comes down to player talent. The European in recent years have had more depth than the US, and the US in turn has had more than the Pacific Rim.

5 thoughts on “President’s Cup Thoughts”

  1. Re: Freddie as Ryder Cup captain
    As much as I like Freddie – I still think that the whole loyalty to Tiger thing was stupid, stupid, stupid.  (one stupid for every loss) – I probably agree with putting Tiger on the team, but I don’t think that he deserved to be on the team.  Perhaps there is a paradox there – and perhaps there is no way to adequately answer that, but one way you sure don’t is to announce that 100% no matter what he screws up he is in 6 weeks before the deadline to name the picks. 

    Further, he stressed Tiger needed to get reps in, but did he say anything to Stricker?  Stricker was a question mark until what 3 days before?  And when he did play, he showed clear rust.  If Steve couldn’t be well enough to play before the Cup, then he should have been sat, and not go in so cold. 

    They were saying that Phil did ask to be sat, and that was before the thing even started I believe.  It caught my eye too initially that Mr. 0-2 was playing while Mr. 2-0 was resting, but the announcers did say something about that.

    Can we move past the Steve Williams thing now?  Lets take the cameras off Steve Williams and let it die.  They shook hands, they were both in a couple rounds – it’s done.  Steve Williams says dumb and offensive things, he did it with Tiger, and he continues it now – whether that is an Aussie trait, or whether Stevie is socially idiotic – let him carry a bag and drift into the background as a bag carrier should.

    Tiger is back- what hogwash.  One caveat is that the singles win probably will provide some needed ego stroking to him – and that may finally open the door to him winning something.  But the fact is that he is lucky he was playing #47 in the world, and not Adam Scott or a handfull of the other players.  I have a feeling that if he was playing YE Yang who fell to Stricker, it probably would have been a different outcome for Tiger too.  Excellent move by Couples in naming Tiger to go up against Baddelly, it must have been in Freddies mind also that Tiger’s current mental block would have more trouble with YE also because of what happened in 2008.  But back?  Sorry, he won a 1-1 match with #47, that does not a best in the world ranking for Tiger.

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  2. Yes, a Normal-Couples match would have been awesome.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a match-play tournament say, a day or two before the Masters. I know they have that par-3 game-thingy. But it’d be kinda neat seeing a one-day, match play over nine holes.

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  3. You negativity towards Tiger Woods is getting tiresome.  Tiger could never win another major, never win another tournament, never play another round, and he will still be one of the greatest golfers to play the game.  I feel privileged to have watched him play the last 15 years or so, and if he continues to tee it up, I’ll continue to watch and admire the man for what he has accomplished on the golf course.

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  4. I think the criticism here with Tiger is stronger than you see elsewhere online.  But it is fair criticism of his play and his on course behavior.  The sportscasters and golf channel pump him up so much even when he is playing bad I know I definately come here to get some balance. 

    Thankfully, I hope that we have turned a new page with Tiger and the broadcast coverage will not be so overwhelming regardless of where he is on the leaderboard.  At least for the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup I think we got some pretty great coverage and some pretty balanced coverage among all the golfers.

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  5. Not seeing the negativity toward Tiger here. It’s just an honest assessment of where his game is right now. At this point, he’s just not the great player he used to be.

    Will he get back to being that guy? My sense is that no, he won’t. Age, injuries and a new crop of highly talented players in my mind make it unlikely.

    None of that is to take away from what he was able to accomplish in the past.

    In my mind negativity would be discussing his personal failings.

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