Twelve Captains Picks Nah

By Brian HewittSeptember 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker this week, quite naturally, is all about Americas smashing 16-11 Ryder Cup victory over the Euros last week.
Without further ado:
Harry writes: Why do there have to be any automatic selections? Why cant it be all captains choices, putting together a squad much like they do in Olympic basketball now? I would love to see the captain have total control to pair players whose games complement each other, those that are singles specialists, etc. What do you think?
The Comebacker
Interesting thought. But part of the fascination with the build-up to the Ryder Cup is following the point standings, week-to-week, especially as the date for the Ryder Cup nears. Unlike Wall St., the more volatility the better.


Ernest writes: As an avid golf follower, who appreciates the contributions of Corey Pavin, (Im) sorry he has to wait. Everyone in sports understands the chemistry of a team is invaluable and it starts at the top. All you have to do is look at the other sports to see the consistency ' whether its manager, head coach, or in this case the captain ' that he brings to the table. Azinger made the bold decisions to changing the system, did his homework, and even without the best player in the world brought home a victory. He deserves the right to defend if he wants to. Besides, anyone who beats cancer is too tough for me to say he cant do it.
The Comebacker
It says here we havent seen the last of Paul Azinger as a U.S. Ryder Cup captain. And, yes, thats an educated guess.


Bryce writes: In my view, captain Azinger has reverted back to the win at all costs attitude and I was not impressed by his conduct or that of Anthony Kim on Sunday. It looked more like a tailgating party at a football game than a golf match. The lack of etiquette and poor sportsmanship by Anthony Kim was particularly striking and goes against the grain of the Ryder Cup. Perhaps Kim, who is either too young to remember or too brash to care, should be forced to watch the tape of Jack Nicklaus giving Tony Jacklin his putt on the 18th hole and see what a true sportsman looks and acts like.
The Comebacker
Perhaps Bryce should be forced to watch the on-course antics of Sergio Garcia in recent Ryder Cups. Maybe then he will realize there is a difference between enthusiasm and egotism.


David writes:Has there ever been talk of another cup to have the Europeans vs. the Internationals? I would love to see a three-year rotation to accommodate this. It would give all teams two years on, one year off rotation.
The Comebacker
Actually, theres been a lot of talk about this concept. I have no use for the talk. The Ryder Cup is too good. The PGA of America would be foolish to change it.


Ken writes:I think our team played with a lot of heart, intensity and cool. But my hat is off to the Euros also. It is a real pleasure to watch the level of sportsmanship displayed by all of the players and the captains of both teams. It makes me proud to say that I, too, am a golfer.
The Comebacker
Well stated.


Jim writes: I was born and raised in England and left that country over 55 years ago and my heart will always have a place for that country. The reason for that statement is to make a comment regarding Lee Westwood. I was really disappointed in his statements during the tournament, about (Boo) Weekley and the fans. I also was surprised with his comments after the Europeans lost. His whining was one of the sore notes in this years entertainment. It is easy when you are winning, but not so easy when the shoe is on the other foot.
The Comebacker
More than a few e-mails came in bashing Westwood. The Comebacker doesnt think Westwood was the problem for the Euros.


Lauri writes: Congratulations to (the) U.S. team. What is with you freakin news people? Why are you putting the teams (through) this Spanish Inquisition? WHO CARES? It will not change anything. I can't believe the ignorant questions asked! All you want is some sound bite to put them (all) in a bad light. Nick Faldo did the job the way he felt it should be done. You didn't like it? Get someone else next time. THIS TIME IS DONE! Golf is a game of time and conditions, every day is different. GOT THAT? No day will ever be the same. So everyone plays differently. Some days you're ON, and some days you're OFF. Azinger was, as usual, BEING IN CONTROL, acting like a 10-year old.
The Comebacker
I wish, just once, wed hear from somebody with an opinion.Oh, and by the way, Lauri, I think your Caps Lock key is busted.


Dave writes:As I revel in seeing the Cup come back home, two thoughts bother me. First, are Lee Westwood's comments reasonable or at all appropriate from a professional even if true? Second, and perhaps most troubling ' are we seeing the start of the end of Phil's career? I've been a fan ever since his days of winning a pro event as an amateur. His magic seems to be gone, and the fire in his eyes that he used to have wasn't there at all this week, even though he said it was.'
The Comebacker
Phil needs to figure out a way to keep his juices flowing late in the season.


Dan writes: What an effort! Sunday was great. My girlfriend hates golf but she didnt stop watching until the U.S. Ryder Cup team won. Golf just received another fan.
The Comebacker
You know youre on to something when the girlfriends start buying in to a sporting event.


Kevin writes: Please bring up that golf without Tiger (Woods) does exist. I am a huge Tiger fan and always will be and will continue to cheer him on to a win every time he tees it up. However, I think this Ryder Cup just showed the world that there are a lot of other great golfers. Without him in the field it was fun to watch the media have to report on all the golfers involved in this years Ryder Cup and not dwell on Tiger's matches. This may have been a great thing for the PGA Tour and golf worldwide to see that there are some great talents out there even though they do get overshadowed, rightfully so, by Tigers accomplishments. Once again the stage of the Ryder Cup showed what a great game golf is and how great these players truly are.
The Comebacker
Somebody needed to say this.


Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.