So it looks like the Americans are well on their way to being humiliatingly whipped yet again in the Ryder Cup. This will make it 7 out of 10 losses since the format became USA vs. Europe.
Four biggest goats of the day for the Americans....
4) Davis Love III. Hasn't played well in months. Shouldn't have been counted on to be a stalwart, even though he's got lots of Ryder Cup experience.
3) Tiger Woods. Even if he goes on to break Jack's majors record (which I doubt he'll do, frankly), his shoddy play in the Ryder Cup might be the one dark spot on his career. Seriously, this guy just can't get it done in this event. I have no doubt he's trying hard, but maybe he just subconsciously has a blinder on or something. The 'slump' continues.
2) Phil Mickelson. He changes his balls and his clubs TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE RYDER CUP?!?! He promptly finishes nowhere at the Canadian Open and looked lost out there today. It's one thing to do this when it's just his own career to worry about, but to do it before the major team event of the year is just an insult to the other guys.
1) Hal Sutton. Boy, where to start. First off, pairing Tiger and Phil together wasn't smart because...
a) the two of them don't really like each other b) both are pretty much the same type of player; excellent short game, long drivers who have accuracy problems. If would've made more sense for best-ball to put Tiger with a guy that hits a lot of fairways, like Fred Funk. Also, a pairing with Funk might've recreated a bit of that fun Tiger/O'Meara student/mentor vibe. c) any "intimidation" factor you're going to get from pairing the top two American players in the world is kind of moot when they're up against Monty and Harrington, two Ryder Cup warhorses. d) counting on them to set the tone for your team flies in the face of Tiger's poor career Ryder Cup record and Phil's erratic play in team events (0-5 in last year's President's Cup). Their defeat(s) worked in the exact opposite fashion -- now it's Europe who feel they can't lose.
Also, does anyone else get the distinct vibe that Hal Sutton, no matter how much they play him up on TV as a tough captain, is just nothing more than a Grade-A dick? The guy's been married four times, for crying out loud; that's got to be a hint. You want a captain that is tough but fair, not a drill sergeant.
Unless the USA really steps up, or the European rookies (three of whom have yet to play) falter badly, this thing could be over before the singles matches even begin.
I wouldn't give up on the USA just yet. Remember 1999? They will fight back today and get themselves in a position where they can still take it in the singles matches tomorrow.
Phil Mickelson changing his woods right before the Ryder Cup is a real head-scratcher, though. I thought his ball change was to Tiger's Nike balls because they were playing together in the alternate-shot format yesterday.
You can't look past the stellar play of the Europeans, though. Their putting was just, as an announcer put it, "unconscious."
One side note: both Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke look like different people with all the weight they've lost.
I was lucky enough to attend Friday's matches (and have access to a private chalet on the first tee - thanks to my employer). I had a tough time rooting for the Americans. They showed no emotion, even when they salvaged a half point on the final pairing in the morning matches. The European fans were so much more animated, as were the golfers.
That was the first PGA event I've ever attended. I never understood why anyone would stand in 10-deep crowds to see one or two shots until I got to see it myself. Golf is actually pretty fun live...
I got to see a practice day in 1999 at the Country Club in Brookline and the European fans I saw there were pretty amped for it, just a practice. It's more casual on the practice days for both payers and fans, but it may as well already have been Sunday afternoon for a couple of guys from Ireland I talked with outside the merch tent.
As for this year's matches, I didn't see anything on Friday but given what happened today I don't think I'd have wanted to. As a previous post said you have to credit Europe for how well they played. I'd hoped it would have lit a fire under USA's collective asses, but it didn't happen. Things don't get a whole lot tougher than tomorrow's situation where the US would now need to win 9 1/2 points out of 12 for the cup. I don't see them making up that much ground.
And what about Garcia's putt for bogey on 18 in the morning match? That kind of summed up the whole day. A putt that didn't have any bearing on the points, a putt you might make 1 time out of 50, a putt Garcia didn't even need to attempt, and he drains it just for kicks.
Vampiro gave a tomstone piledriver to the Midget Blue Monkey
This immediately and unequivocally makes him PUBLIC ENEMY #1
The selection of the Ryder Cup teams really has to be looked at - too often the US team consists of players who score all their points in Year 1 and have yet to sink a putt in Year 2...like Kenny Perry
There also is no passion on the US team - the players are all fat cats who want/need a monetary incentive to even play...like Tiger Woods
Folk singers are always liberal pansies, but not me.....I sing for my fellow conservatives...care to hear "Shoot the Hippie out of the Redwood Tree" ?
Bad: ESPN/CBS will follow Tiger even more obsessively than usual while ignoring action from the other players. Good: The unintentional humor factor as the announcers have to fill all this time while barely (or possibly not at all)