A few random thoughts on the Ryder Cup 2016:
- I am of course viewing this through the Rose Colored Glasses of an American victory, but I thought it was a very exciting Ryder Cup. I don’t think the final score of 17-11 in any way reflects the closeness of the contest. A couple of shots either way and the final result is quite different.
- I don’t recall ever seeing matches as exciting as the McIlroy-Reed or Garcia-Mickelson contests. Those displayed the absolute best of what match play can be. I was riveted.
- I was glad that the Mickelson-Garcia match ended in a draw. Neither really deserved to lose. Phil recorded 10 birdies and one bogey for a 63. Garcia countered with nine birdies and no bogeys.
- Patrick Reed is a Ryder Cup Stud. He is 6-1-2 in just two Ryder Cups. He pulled off the sort of thing that Ian Poulter or Colin Montgomerie used to pull for the European teams.
- It is telling that for the first time since 1975, every US player won at least one match.
- Davis Love should be the Captain for the next Ryder Cup, too. Why not? While I don’t think that the Captain has much influence over the outcome, I do believe in Karma. DLIII apparently has some good karma.
- By all accounts, this was as much Phil’s team as Davis’. Phil started the insurrection that led to an overhaul of the US Ryder Cup Team process. If the US team did not win this year, I don’t have any idea where they would have gone next. After the matches, Brandt Snedeker said: He realized how this week turned out was going to reflect on him 100 percent, and to have shoulders that big and go out there and realize you’re going to have to shoulder it one way or the other. We all felt invested in that. We were not going to let Phil go down as a scapegoat.
- I was struck by Bubba Watson’s interview after the Cup. He said that being a co-captain was the greatest thing he had ever done in his golf career. He was moved, and so was I. I do not think Watson is the flake that the popular media makes him out to be. He jumped at the chance to go to the Olympics when others were backing down, not only playing golf, but also cheering on other US Olympic team members at their events. Then, when he was not selected to be a player on the Ryder Cup team, he asked to be a co-captain to help in any way he could. Brandt Snedeker credited Watson for sticking with him the entire round and giving the encouragement he needed to win.
- Given the excitement of the matches, the USGA should start a campaign to encourage match play for the American golfer. Match play would inject some excitement into the weekend game, and speed things up as well. In match play, there’s no need to putt out every last six inch putt. And there won’t be any fourth putt for a quadruple bogey.