Random Golf Thoughts: Presidents Cup, Tiger, Phil

The Wiggle WaggleA few random thoughts, in no particular order.

I was really pulling for the International Team in this event. While I love the good ol’ US of A, I thought that an International victory would be good for the game. As I have said many times before, sporting events are more interesting when the outcome is uncertain. For many years, the outcome of the Ryder Cup was known before it began: the US would win. From 1947 to 1983, the US won all but two matches (1947, and the tie in 1969). It was, in fact, boring.

Then the European team began to win. A European run from 1985 to 1985, followed by two consecutive US victories, brought interest to a fever pitch. Now, however, I think that the Ryder Cup in danger of again becoming uninteresting. If the US team can’t win next year at Hazeltine, I think the event will have trouble finding American fans. It takes a special kind of masochist (like Cubs and Lions fans) to continue to cheer year after year for a team that can’t win a Championship.

Tiger seems resigned to the idea that he is no longer in the top echelon of players.  According to Golf Digest, he called Davis Love during the Presidents Cup in Korea and volunteered to serve as an assistant Captain.

During the second day of four-ball matches Friday in the Presidents Cup at Jack Nicklaus GC, as the U.S. team was struggling to scrounge up points against a rejuvenated International squad, Woods dialed up Fred Couples, who was serving as an assistant to Jay Haas after being the captain for winning U.S. teams in 2009, ’11 and ’13. They talked for a few minutes, and then he asked to speak to Davis Love III, another Haas assistant and the U.S. captain for next year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn. …

“He [Woods] was watching at home and he just had to call,” Love said. “He was talking about all the things he thought we needed to do, and he had a lot of ideas. We’re already doing a lot of planning for next year, and it’s great. It’s part of the whole process that started after Gleneagles. Everybody is thinking about it, which is great.”

Love said the next task for him is naming assistant captains. Woods is a candidate, among many, if he doesn’t qualify for the U.S. team. “But we’re not waiting around for that. We’ve already been doing a lot of planning,” Love said. “And Tiger is just as interested as the rest of us to get going.”

I can’t imagine the Tiger Woods of even five years ago mentally accepting the idea that he might be an observer and not a player.

I was amazed to see flashes of the old Phil Mickelson magic this past week at the Presidents Cup. As much as I’m a fan of Lefty, over the past two years, I thought he’d finally run out of pixie dust on the course. The Presidents Cup is a completely different setting than a Major, but I think Phil to feel good about his play, and prospects for the coming season. I don’t think he will ever get that US Open, but I would love to see him once again in contention.

Jim Furyk showed himself to be a class act by showing up as a last-minute Presidents Cup Captain’s assistant after injury forced him out.

“If I were home this week, I’d be miserable,” Furyk said.

 The 2015-2016 PGA TOUR season begins this week, but I’m not really ready for it. It’s going to take several more years — if at all — before I wrap my head around the notion around the new fall season. For too long, it was the “Silly Season,” where the biggest names in golf took a few months off before beginning the grind again in January.

Rory McIlroy is back in the saddle again for the Frys.Com, so that make sit a little more interesting.

Meanwhile, here in Michigan, the good weather continues. I played Saturday with the temperatures in the upper 50s and bright sunshine. This next week also is supposed to be comfortable. There’s nothing like fall golf in Michigan. Crisp air, beautiful colors with conditions perhaps as good as they are all year. Just makes sure to ask the course whether they’re undergoing aeration before booking a tee time.

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