8 Things I Learned from the Ryder Cup
We all know by now that the Ryder Cup came down to the final singles match between Hunter Mahan and Graeme McDowell, and how it ended with Europe reclaiming the Ryder Cup, by 1-point -14 1/2 to 13 1/2. Over the past four days of some of the most exciting golf in recent history, I learned eight things from watching the the 38th Ryder Cup, some of them may surprise you, and others may not.
1. It’s about being a team player and keeping it classy. Even though Hunter Mahan took the loss really hard, and let his emotions overtake him during the press conference. His team mate Phil Mickleson stepped in, took the microphone and partially took the blame for the teams loss. It’s true that Hunter didn’t lose the cup because of his singles match, it lost due to the abysmal play by the USA team during session 3 that ended up costing them the cup in the end.
2. Jeff Overton will forever be known as “Baby Boom!” The raw emotion that this Ryder Cup rookie showed was contagious, and no one looked the most at home in the Ryder Cup “Gortons Fisherman” bucket hats. Overton said it best after winning his singles match, “It’s not necessarily about winning or losing.It’s about the experience of having a great sport like this and just the camaraderie and the fun.” Jeff, is another player that gained a lot of new fans, mine included.
3. Rickie Fowler proved why he was a great Captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, despite having never won a tournament in 2010. Four birdies in a singles match to halve the match, he gained a ton of new fans and showed why he has a promising future ahead of him. I also think people will embrace his bold style choices on the golf course. I have a feeling bright orange Puma Golf Cell Fusion golf shoes will be in demand this holiday season and everyone will want to be like Rickie, who showed us that even the young Ryder Cup rookie can show poise under pressure.
4. Naming your fabric RainFlex, isn’t a good idea, when it fails to keep the USA Ryder Cup team dry and they are uncomfortable to wear in Wales. Sorry, but Sun Mountain dropped the ball by providing faulty rain suits to the U.S. Ryder Cup team, and handling the situation poorly from a PR and media standpoint. When the PGA has to go and buy rain suits from the merchandise tents, because their official providers suits don’t work, that’s never good for business. Except if you’re ProQuip!
5. Corey Pavin, has to be one of the worst Ryder Cup Captain’s in the history of the tournament. Lacking any ability to motivate his team, and always giving robotic responses to the media, made it very hard for me to like him as a Captain. That’s why Jason Sobel and members of the media loved’ referring to him has “Borey.” I get that it’s the players who win and lose the Ryder Cup, and not the Captain, but why was Pavin following Zach Johnson’s singles match? Pavin had to have known that the Ryder Cup was coming down to the last match between Hunter Mahan and Graeme McDowell. The only thing that I liked about Pavin was his selection of Rickie Fowler as his Captain’s pick.
6. The PGA might want to rethink how it selects its Captain’s. The missteps by Pavin and lack of any charisma, really hurt the U.S. team in my opinion. The Captain should have the ability to motivate be a good strategist, and be flexible. Pavin never budged on his singles lineup after he made them Saturday evening, unlike Colin Montgomerie who made last minute changes. Being rigid and inflexible are not good qualities your leader should have.
7. Colin Montgomerie’s success can be attributed to his Captain’s pick of Luke Donald who played brilliantly going 3-1-0, hitting solid iron shots, and putting extremely well. McDowell, Westwood, and Poulter also helped with sealing Monty’s legacy. I have to wonder how Paul Casey feels about being looked over and missing out on the Ryder Cup?
8. Somebody must have told Dustin Johnson he was playing in the Ryder Cup, because he finally came to play on the last day, when he smoked Martin Kaymer in a rematch of the final round of the PGA Championship. The entire Ryder Cup, Johnson always looked very out of sorts, putting poorly, and out of it. It was nice to see him bounce back.
What did you learn from watching the Ryder Cup?