Ryder Cup Open Thread

Here’s an open thread for comments on the Ryder Cup. Leave your comments below.

I’ll start:

Day One was, I think, a real surprise to everyone. The US hasn’t done that well on the first day in many years, and that they did it absent the guy with the bum leg makes it even more amazing.

Or not. I’ve had a theory (expressed earlier) that they might very well do better without the striped one. The media circus is intensified with his presence, and I think perhaps the other players have leaned on him too much.

Hunter Mahan, with two points, certainly has justified the Captain’s Pick at this point. I am still shaking my head at the Justin Leonard – Mahan victory over Garcia and Jiminez. When I first saw that matchup, I thought that it was going to be a blow-out—in favor of the Spanish Armada. But Mahan played well, and Leonard provided some real golf heroics.

As far as Europe goes, it was a disaster. Only a terrible tee shot on 18 by Kenny Perry in the foursomes prevented the day from being a total rout. Johnny Miller has commented several times that Faldo made a mistake in not taking Monty and Darren Clarke. He might be right.

Day 2 Thoughts

With a 9-7 advantage, historical results say that the US should be in the driver’s seat. Over the past several Ryder cups, the US has done better in individual matches than it has in Foursomes and Four Ball. The theory has always been that the US players are better individually, while the Europeans are better at team events.

Saturday was not nearly as decisive as Friday, but the Europeans managed to win just three of eight matches. To be sure, the US won just two, but since they held a considerable lead going in, that was enough.

The JB Holmes – Boo Weekley pairing was genius, as was Justin Leonard – Hunter Mahan. Those guys played as well together as anyone could have hoped.

Garcia is not providing the spark that he has in previous Cups. He gets a pass, though, if he’s ill, as the announcers have suggested.

Mickelson is the other disappointment thus far. I would think that with his creativity and get-out-of-trouble skills, he would excel in these formats. But he’s been much less than, say Mahan or Holmes.

The real under performers on the US Team have been Ben Curtis and Steve Stricker. Curtis played his way on by virtue of a few good finishes at the end of this season. Stricker was a Captain’s pick—he would have been a better pick LAST year, when he finished 1, 2 or 3 four times in tournaments; this year, the magic was a bit gone, as he did that just once. In any case, those two have just half a point each.

Right now, on the American side, Mahan is the MVP, with 3 points.

For the Europeans, there are a host of disappointments, with Harrington leading the way. Possibly the best player in the world right now, Harrington has managed just half a point in the first two days.

He’s not alone. Hansen, Jiminez and Casey also have pulled out just half a point.

The Europeans would be completely out if it if not for the heroics of Ian Poulter, who has scored three in four matches. Poulter is the European MVP right now.

Johnny Miller has harped on this point, but I think he may be right: the European team misses Monty and Clarke. This is just not the same collection of players who have managed to dominate the US over the past two decades.

I expect Sunday’s individual matches to be quite interesting, especially Kim-Garcia and Furyk-Jiminez. On paper, the Stricker-Poulter match looks like a mismatch.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Use the comment link below:

14 thoughts on “Ryder Cup Open Thread”

  1. Amazing how folks can rise to the occasion when the they’re thrust to the center of the stage.

    I don’t know if it’s a lot of ‘leaning on Tiger’. Likely there is as much ‘my talents aren’t really needed here’. There is a difference.

  2. Speaking of Boo, I could not help but notice (believe me, I am not looking for this stuff) when Boo expresses himself, you hear “Great Stuff”, and “What a Guy” from the announcers.

    Garcia behaves similar and the announcers are projecting – who is this guy – and – he is out of control. Perspective is sadly missing and so blatant in the broadcasts.

    Stricker made only 2 good putts and missed many other makables when they were important. Is he really there because of his putting.

    I would have loved to see Rocco against Sergio or Poulter – a real star of this Ryder Cup.

  3. It’s pretty clear that we can’t expect anything akin to real journalism or objective commentary from ANYONE in the media these days—whether in sports, entertainment, economics or politics (ESPECIALLY in politics).

    That said, I think that Boo gets a pass because the media isn’t tired of his act yet. That’ll wear off as soon as he spits into a putting cup or starts whining about how the gods have cursed him and no one else has a bad break.

    FWIW, I actually like Garcia’s passion. I just think it needs to be tempered with a little more maturity—something he has shown a lot more of this year than in the past.

  4. Boo hits his irons great. On tv, looks like he sets his hands and pulls them down and through with the hands well ahead at impact.

    Could cause pulls, but lots of power.

    The match up looks like it will set up a great finish. Hang on to your hats, folks.

  5. Cheering when Sergio hit it in the water…announcers saying Sergio may be like Sevy, trying to “take advantage of the rules”.

    Class-less people in the booth and the stands. Ryder Cup or not.

    What is golf becoming…?

  6. Well, you might expect it to be a partisan crowd. I don’t know that I think it classless. You expect the hometown people to root for the home team. At football games, we cheer at turnovers. At baseball games, there’s a noise when the opponent makes an error. I’ve never watched a hockey game, but I expect fans also cheer at opponent miscues. I’m absolutely sure that European soccer fans don’t sit quietly throughout the game and appreciate their opponent’s efforts.

    Regular golf tournaments are generally quiet … I’ve been to more than a couple. But the Ryder Cup has—thanks to the media—been turned into a regular team sport.

  7. As Johnny said, the play of Sergio and Harrington have been a huge disappointment for the Europeans – 2 guys I think Faldo hoped he could count on with all their Cup experience. Poulton has been a pleasant surprise, as has Rosie.

    While Boo acted out of place, his golf belonged in the Ryder Cup.

  8. Perry says they are the greatest fans in the world?

    “Meanwhile Westwood says some of “some of the stuff that’s been said to me is shameful” of the American fans’ over exuberance. In what he refers to as “the only negative thing about this week”, he isn’t happy at all.”


    Booze, over-the-top, reved up by the American players, need to pick out someone to bully, immaturity, lots of reasons.

  9. Harrington has a bad neck. It has been with him for some time. He had therapy on the course several times this weekend.

    I think fist pumps caused Kenny’s back problem and was probably why Mayhen hit hit tee shot in the dump on 18 to tie his match.

  10. * Tiger sucks up the media attention when he’s in the game. I enjoyed being able to watch some other players for a change.

    * I know that “stuff happens” in golf, but I thought of Kenny Perry “you planned your season around this event and you’re doing what?” A key missed putt and water in the whole on 18.

    * Speaking of water on the 18, how about JB and Boo both going in the drink? It must have been delightful to be a European watching that meltdown.


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