The 2018 Ryder Cup
How about a post-script to the Ryder Cup won by Europe over the USA by a resounding 17-1/2 to 10-1/2 score.
This is, of course, nothing new. The American team now has gone without victory on foreign soil since 1993. That’s six consecutive defeats away from home.
There are always gut-wrenching events that follow some these losses.
Like the time Phil Mickelson openly criticized his captain Tom Watson for his failure to lead, not to mention poor pairings for many of the matchups.
Like after last Sunday’s meltdown outside Paris, when the wife of Patrick Reed accused Jordan Spieth of scuttling the teaming of Spieth with her husband, Patrick.
Let’s cut through all of this.
The Americans are the better golfers. The Europeans are a better team.
The camaraderie of the Europeans is unmatched. They somehow manage to the intangible of pulling together to find a way to win.
European Ryder Cup Team
Oh, the American team has had some success in capturing the Ryder Cup.
They won at home two years ago at Hazeltine in Minnesota, and in 2008 at Valhalla in Louisville, and in 1999 at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
But it’s been Europe 9 of the 12 confrontations.
U.S. captain Jim Furyk selected Tiger Woods, Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau as his three picks beyond the roster established by performance this season.
U.S. captain, Jim Furyk
Europe’s captain, Thomas Bjorn picked Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey as his four selections. Bjorn went with veterans to support a relatively young team.
Finau was a bright spot for the Americans. He won two of his three matches.
But Woods, Mickelson and DeChambeau went 0-10.
Mickelson only played in two of the matches. He was overmatched.
Tiger, after his enormous triumph in Atlanta last week in the Tour Championship lost all four of his matches.
Meanwhile, Europe’s captain’s choices won 9 lost 4 and halved one.
You have to be a monumental second-guesser to blame Furyk for his picks.
Who wouldn’t want Tiger and Phil on this team?
The fact is, despite all the talk and looks of togetherness the Americans exhibit, the Ryder Cup means more to the European golfers.
Exhibit A is Sergio. The veteran Spaniard didn’t even make the cut in all four majors this season. But Garcia won three of his four matches to vindicate Bjorn’s faith in him.
I realize, his final victory in his singles match came long after the Ryder Cup was decided.
But it was symbolic. It represented the final exclamation point on a great day for the Europeans. The 36-year old Garcia was brought to tears as he embraced the man he conquered, Rickie Fowler, then his wife Angela, before his teammates mobbed him.
Many thought Sergio Garcia’s Ryder Cup days were long gone.
I believe we have to recognize great drama in sports, even if it may be the “other” team achieving it. Sure, Americans wanted the U.S. to win the Cup.
But in a disappointing outcome, it is good, and even proper, to tip our hats to the performances and wonderful stories of those who beat the teams and players we support.
Instead of rancor and finger-pointing, let’s applaud, and appreciate the winners.
The 2018 Ryder Cup is a good place to start.