Well that sucked. Unless you were pulling for Europe I suppose! I have so many things to say on the matches that I almost don’t know where to start. I suppose we can start with individual player comments. I am going to keep this focused on the Americans since pretty much everyone on the European team played well (with the exception of a few players).
I think the best format is a stock up, stock down review. Let’s start with the stock up guys.
PATRICK REED: The most polarizing figure on the team played incredibly. He was unbeaten and earned 3.5 out of the 4 points he played for. I thought his enthusiasm and cockiness were something the US team has been missing lately. He was demonstrative and backed up his brash gesturing with great play.
JORDAN SPIETH: The Sunday loss was brutal, but he won two other matches and halved the other. He paired beautifully with Reed to create a formidable team America can rely on in future Ryder Cups. His steady play and solid putting translated well to match play.
JIMMY WALKER: The point totals don’t back it up, but he played very well. He gritted out some crucial halves with Fowler. Overall, his game was very solid and he putted well.
Alright, now on to the stock down guys. This is, admittedly, the toughest thing for me to do. I don’t like to be negative or trash these guys.
BUBBA WATSON: He went winless in the matches. Overall his play was not up to the caliber of his opposition. He continues to play poorly in these competitions. His putting and overall sloppiness on the course leaves him vulnerable in Ryder Cups.
WEBB SIMPSON: Quite simply should not have been on the team. He was a questionable pick. He played terribly in the opening match and didn’t play again until Sunday. No more left to say.
TOM WATSON: Every comment I heard him make during the matches seemed like coach speak. He referred to leading matches early and winning the matches. To me, he said nothing of any substance. His decisions to play Phil 36 holes and sit Spieth/Reed will be particularly scrutinized. He is a giant in the game and his legacy deserves respect. I just don’t think he was the correct selection for the captaincy.
The next question you might be asking is how do we fix what ails the US in the Ryder Cup? I would first suggest checking the citizenship of McIlroy, McDowell, and Rose. We could use them on the American side. All kidding aside, I do have a few ideas.
- Increase the captain’s picks to six. This would allow you to reward those who played well on the points list, but have significant room for well-performing players going into the matches. It also amplifies the captain’s duties, putting importance on that selection.
- Move the captain’s picks back until one week before the competition. Wouldn’t you have loved to have Billy Horschel on this team?
- No gimmicks on the captaincy. Pick players in their late 40’s as we used to and any older men selected should be reserved for overlooked players. One example is Larry Nelson, who should have been the captain long ago. I don’t think you need to over think these selections.
- Practice the alternate shot format! We lost those sessions 7-1. If you split those matches we win the Cup. I don’t know the best way to do this, but getting to know the players and how their styles mesh would be a great first step. We played well in the other formats, but these sessions were the back-breaker.
It was a disappointing result, but it wasn’t as much of a beating as the final score indicated. After all the analysis and all the verbal warfare (I don’t think it’s worth discussing what Phil said in the press conference), it all comes down to how you play. The Euros played better. They make a lot of putts in this competition. However, they are beatable and I look forward to the matches in 2016 at Hazeltine. If you know someone there, let’s tee it up!
GO USA!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations to Team Europe.