Wow. I’d never have guessed the Americans would have been crushed in the Ryder Cup for the second straight meeting with an obviously superior European team.
It would be easy to place the blame for the U.S. failure on Tom [photopress:sergio.jpg,full,alignright]Lehman. Sure he probably should have had Scott Verplank out more earlier, but Lehman isn’t really to blame for the drubbing.
Examine the results:
- Sergio Garcia: Sure Stewart Cink smoked him in the final singles matches, but Garcia made it interesting. He also found the ability to putt this week, losing only one match.
- Jose Maria Olazabol: 3-0. That brings his overall record to 18-8-5. Enough said.
- Tiger Woods: After playing like he’d rather be hanging with Elin at Oakland Hills in 2004, Woods played very well this week, dominating his singles match.
- J.J. Henry and Brett Wetterich: Nothing much was expected of these two Ryder Cup rookies and that’s exactly what they delivered.
- Padraig Harrington: 0-4-1. Harrington single handedly gave the Americans an opportunity. One has to wonder whether he would have played five matches if this was being played in Spain.
- David Toms – Clearly not a player who works well in the Ryder Cup format, Toms made a half point in four matches. “Europe just played too well against us and we didn’t perform as a team,” Toms told the Scotsman. Actually it wasn’t the entire team — and Toms is a good place to start.
- Phil Mickelson – It is time someone in the U.S. Ryder Cup leadership asked poor tired Phil whether he actually wants to play in the event because for the second time in four years, Mickelson has had his hat handed to him. He looked pathetic all week, made worse by the Rolex commercials that aired endlessly in Canada and featured Mickelson, discussing his “precision.” If by precesion they mean hitting balls in the water on 175 yard par threes, well I agree that Phil has pinpoint accuracy.
- Chris DiMarco – wasn’t he supposed to be a leader on this team? Instead he played like he has for a large part of this year — badly.
So what should we take away from this weekend’s event?
- The K Club worked as a match play course, but that still doesn’t make it a great course. It is simply too one-dimensional.
- The rookies aren’t going to fix the U.S. team’s problems, and it is very likely that Vaughn Taylor, Brett Wetterich and J.J. Henry will never play on another team.
- If Phil is so tired, perhaps he should simply not be part of the team. As most of the media knows, the only person Phil Mickelson is interested in is Phil Mickelson. That’s why he is a dismal failure in these events.
- Johnny Miller’s concept of ending the Presidents Cup and pitting the U.S. against the rest of the world seems pretty short sighted now. The Americans can’t even beat the European squad. Imagine if that team also had Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir on it?
- Perhaps a better format would be this — have three teams, a U.S. team, a European team and an International squad. The winner would continue to play every two years until defeated. So if the U.S. lost this year, the European team would face the International team two years later. If the European team wins, they would head against the Americans two years later. This would keep players from complaining they have to play these sorts of events too often.