Did that really just happen? For the 2nd time in the last 13 years a team in the Ryder Cup went in to Sunday with a 10-6 lead and for the 2nd time that team has lost. Sunday was meant to be a coronation for the new breed of American golfers. The Keegan Bradley’s and Jason Dufner’s were ready to take the baton from Lefty and Tiger. Woods and Mickelson will still be around for the next couple of cups but no longer will they be the dominate factors on the tee box they may have once been. This was the time for Bubba Watson and his .38 Special concert goers to crank up the noise. I was surprised there were no ‘69 Camaros backed up to the tee box, letting their motors rumble, smoke filling the air, and all you could see was a pink driver cutting through the cloud and Bubba busting out with a fist in the air. Yet, it was evident early Sunday that the power in the stands would not fuel the American’s to a victory.
This effort was reminiscent of the Captain Davis Love III’s career. Always being ready for greatness but not having the chops to put it over the top. It seems, historically, we talk about the Europeans strength in the team sessions and the American’s power house being the singles. For this Cup the script was flipped.
Through the first 2 days, of the 6 European points, 3 were at the hand of Team Woods/Stricker. So, Love strategically placed the two at the end of the singles match-ups. He was hoping, by the time it reached the end of their matches the US was already celebrating a victory. Also, just in case a point was in need Tiger would close it out over the feisty Italian Francisco Molinari (the worlds greatest name). Right out of the gate, the Americans appeared in trouble. They lost the opening 5 matches…yes from up 10-6 to down 11-10! It was a rocky start but hope was provided in the victories by Zack and Dustin Johnson (no relation). Yet again, Americans couldn’t grab the reins and lost the next two before Dufner’s victory. The match-up ironically came down to the two guys that had not won a point for the Americans in their first 3 pairings. Stricker looked like me on Sunday with a classy 3 stroke from the fringe on 17 and a loss on 18. Without a Stricker victory Woods match had no real meaning, other than pride.
Whatever the reason, the Americans lost and in an embarrassing fashion. What has changed in the last 20 yrs? Many of the Europeans have a full time home in Florida and play the PGA more than their predecessors. It’s a new dynamic that may lead to even better European teams. The golf landscape is in a transition from the Woods Era and as he and his peers slowly fade no dominate Americans are stepping up. The scary part is that the Euro’s are already better, by winning 5 of the last 6 cup attempts. Well, as long as the Europeans don’t get bored and decide to start playing the Asians instead of Americans we will have another chance!
Category: Pro Sports