Monday, October 4, 2010

Ten Things We Learned From This Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup ended with Europe snatching it back by a point. The matches were incredible, but what did we really learn? Dive in and see ...

1.) Johnny Miller needs to go -- My colleague Jonathan Wall does a weekly roundup of the television coverage during golf events, and it is always a great read. While I usually agree with him, this week I'm on the complete other side of the boat. Johnny Miller is so horrible at his job that it makes watching golf seem like one of those college classes you hated attending. Not only does he comment that every third or fourth putt is easy, but he made an Oakmont reference AT THE RYDER CUP! I Tweeted a lot about Miller this week and got hardly any negative feedback from viewers. That should tell NBC something about having him on for the next Ryder Cup. We lose Gary McCord at the Masters for a body-bag joke and this guy can't say something controversial and get fired? Life isn't fair.

2.) The Europeans are better golfers than the Americans -- For years it seemed that the Americans should win this event anytime it was played. Our bucket of talent was miles deeper than the Europeans, and while they had scrappy golfers that could Seve it around the golf course, it was never anything too intimidating. That isn't the case now. From top to bottom the Europe roster was better, and the Americans would have gladly taken Justin Rose and Paul Casey on their team if they could have. As Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods continue to age and the young Europe talent continues to gain experience, this thing could turn into a traditional rout.

3.) Players should vote for captains after the matches, and if their approval rating is high enough, should get another year to captain -- Imagine if you were CEO of a company and you did all the right moves. Is that company going to let you go anytime soon? Nope, of course not. Now, imagine you are a captain of a Ryder Cup and make all the right calls. Why aren't you allowed another year to show off your skills? I think after the matches, all 12 players and vice captains should be forced to fill out a comprehensive analysis of the captain, and if the number scores a high enough percentage, that captain is asked back. I would have loved to see 'Zinger go up against Colin this week.

4.) Hunter Mahan's chip was not a choke job -- You can't blame Hunter for that chip shot on the 17th hole to lose the match to Graeme McDowell. Blame the way he played all day long before that ... blame the tee shot he hit there that came up a good club short ... hell, blame his caddie, but you can't blame Mahan for chunking that chip. He knew he needed to hole it, and was trying to pick a wedge clean so it could fly past the fringe and have a shot of going in. He didn't execute it, but he was going to lose anyway.

5.) Players need to stick to their routine -- If you do something the same for 101 weeks in a row, and it worked, why would you suddenly change that just because there is a person working alongside you? Too many times this week it seemed guys like Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson were trying too hard to help the other out, instead of just going through the usual routine that got you there.

6.) Sun Mountain sucks -- Just thought I'd make that clear once more.

7.) Monday finishes are awesome -- I know that it must suck for people that have to go to actual jobs, but the Monday finish in golf is so great during football season. It gives golf a chance to be highlighted, and the focal point of the sports world.

8.) Tiger Woods might never lose another singles match -- For some reason, when Tiger gets on the tee at a Ryder Cup in a singles match, he just turns it to another level. No, he didn't play great during the week with Steve Stricker, but when he got down to the less insane Molinari brother early on Monday, he just decided he wasn't going to lose that.

9.) It's easy to hate a lot of the Europeans, and that's a good thing -- For one time every two years, it is okay to openly root against certain golfers. Guys like Edoardo Molinari and Ian Poulter are exactly the reason the Ryder Cup is great, because as an American I am forced to hate them, and I'm sure some Europeans could say the same thing for Tiger and Anthony Kim. Hating the other team is a key component in the fun of these matches.

10.) We need a way to combine the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup every four years -- Screw the Olympics, how great would it be if we had some World Cup for golf every four years where the International team, the American team and the European team all went at it for four days of team competition. I don't know how it would work, but it would be awesome, and it would give us more chance to make fun of Camilo Villegas.


Matt said...

Great article, Shane. I can't agree more with most of them, but #1 especially. There were many points where Miller almost forced me to turn it off. Thankfully, the remote has a mute button not too far from the off button.

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Loopin' For the Lama said...

Shane, as we all discussed a number of times during the yahoo chat, Miller is bad at the best of times, during the Ryder Cup he is even worse.
Question for you: as an American fan, would you rather have CBS with Faldo and Feherty covering the matches?

Also, given that I'm not a Euro or American I can watch the matches with a relatively unbiased opinion. Players from the 2010 matches that are easy to hate:
Euros - Ed Molinari, Ross Fisher was a bit annoying
USA - Jeff Overton, Phil

However, the Euros might have more guys that are easy to love.

JC said...

Great article, Shane. You are right on about Miller. One question: What's your issue with Camilo Villegas?

Anonymous said...

World Cup of Golf would be unbelievable! FEDEX who ships worldwide would benefit from the add work and scrap their attachment to the PGA debacle. badgerbreeze

Anonymous said...

Is this article a grade school project? Do you even play golf? Please, next time do a little research before writing about something you obviously know nothing about. Thanks buddy.

Anonymous said...

How about the uniforms - why couldn't the US team have uniforms tht we could tell they were Americans - how about some good old red, white and blue? It took me a while each time I turned it on to figure out which guys were ours!
The caddies were the only ones who you could positively say were on the American side!

greenfee said...

#9 Careful! When Paul Casey said a very similar thing a few years ago he was slaughtered in the US. But I know what exactly what you mean and agree with you.

[konoimo] >-< said...

Oh man AMEN that Johnny Miller has to go!!!

But he is funny sometimes... He said if Phil Mickelson couldn't chip, he'd be selling used cars in San Diego. Thats some funny stuff...