U.S. must rediscover spirit of 2008 to stop Ryder Cup rot

Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:39am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Every two years a small group of wonderfully talented, hugely successful American millionaire golfers have to line up like schoolboys to explain why they are no good and why they don't get on as well as their European counterparts.

That has been the scenario after eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups but, despite the myriad inquests, they seem no nearer understanding the reasons than 20 years ago when none of the current group were even involved.

Back then, and in the late 1980s when Europe finally began to chalk up some Ryder Cup wins after decades of total U.S. domination, it still felt like something of a surprise to see the slick product of the PGA of America brought down by their country cousins.

These days, however, with most top Europeans plying their trade on the U.S. PGA Tour and with European names dominating the business end of the sport's world rankings, it is the Americans who arrive at the Ryder Cup hoping to produce an upset.

Often there is very little between the teams and an odd putt here or there could have changed the entire match and the tone of the post-match analysis but this week Europe secured a crushing five-point victory when they won by 16-1/2 to 11-1/2.

The U.S. had the best of the fourballs but were crushed by an aggregate 7-1 in foursomes and were also beaten in the singles.

While winning teams always tend to be happier and are able to gloss over any minor setbacks, by definition the losers have to look for explanations.

What became clear as the weekend unfolded was that Europeans, including captain Paul McGinley and his five vastly experienced vice-captains, really did seem to be a group of friends out for a fun time.   Continued...

Team U.S. players (2nd L-R) Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Jordan Speith watch as Team Europe golfer Jamie Donaldson hits his ball onto the 15th green in his match against U.S. player Keegan Bradley during the 40th Ryder Cup singles golf matches at Gleneagles in Scotland September 28, 2014.   REUTERS/Eddie Keogh