Mailbag Ryder Cup Debate Continues


Before we move onto the the subject of the zone in which Vijay Singh now lives and before we tackle the topic of how much of an underdog the Americans will be on their own soil late next year against an International Presidents Cup team that will pick from players with names like Singh, Els, Goosen, Weir, Appleby, Maruyama, Scott, Franco and others, lets close the books for now on the 35th Ryder Cup.
It was a debacle for the U.S. And the readers are still writing. So many suggestions. Here are a few along with appropriate reaction:
Reader: How about you guys giving credit to the Euros for outplaying the Americans??? How about the fact that the American tour is way, way overrated? Why all the excuses? Why all the analysis? Did an overtaxed Hal Sutton make bad choices? This was a match play event which is not really reflected in the rankings or the points. We should have more match play tournaments, maybe convert the PGA to a match play format.
Hewitt Comment: ABC Sports pioneer Roone Arledge is spinning in his grave.
Reader: It is not unlike the way the English always believed that they had the best national soccer team in the world only to inevitably be beaten by some lesser nation and instantly start campaigning to fire the manager but at least in their case they had actually invented the game!
Comment: America has won more Ryder Cups than World Cups. Thankfully.
Reader: My Big Theory--The PGA should stop conducting Ryder Cups at U.S. Open Venues. The players have a mind set that pars win on those courses. They do--in U.S. Opens. They do not in Fourballs. They can in Foursomes--sometimes.
Comment: Luke Donald is a terrific par maker.
Reader: Have you noticed there is no 'i' in Europe and their players exhibited their tremendous team play with incredible efficiency. To develop a sense of team play, perhaps we can lobby for a name change and drop the 'i' in America. How about 'Ameraca'? or 'Uncle Sam's Men'? or 'a-mer-E-an'?
Comment: There is, however, an i in win.
Reader: Any two-year system of ranking any sport is INSANE. Our Cup teams should go right off the world ranking which should be a sliding scale going back one year with a decreasing multiplier so that the last tournament gave full points, gradually reducing to only 5% of points from a year ago. And major points should only be about 30% more than regular tournaments. Not only do we not field our best team when the cup actually happens, the world rankings erroneously give us the added pressure. Add on the media whose number one agenda is reporting train wrecks, looming over their shoulders constantly, so our guys get so beaten down they withdraw in all ways for weeks following the cup. Let's close this paragraph with more insanity: They have to choose afternoon teams during the morning matches! What an unbelievably bad joke.
Comment: Langer didnt seem to mind.
Reader: I commend you on your analogy that the Americans 'look forward' to the Ryder Cup but the Euros 'live' for the Ryder Cup. Nothing could be closer to the truth than that. The Euros are constantly bringing up new, young talent. Nurturing them, teaching them, exposing them to the pressure cooker that is Ryder Cup play. The Americans on the other hand, keep resting our hopes and dreams on the 'old war horses'. We keep saying, 'he's battle tested', 'he lives for these moments', 'yeah he's older but remember when he... There is far too much of that going on. We need to get some younger talent fired up about these matches. The only fire you ever see from Tiger is during the singles matches.
Comment: Oakland Hills was Tiger Woods fourth Ryder Cup. He has been the youngest player on the American team all four times.
Reader: Can you imagine Chris Riley telling Ben Hogan that he was too emotionally tired to play the afternoon match? The American team is just too soft and it appeared to me that some of them did not care about playing for their country. The next Ryder Cup captain needs to be Bobby Knight. Then we would see who wants to play and who doesn't. No one would tell Bobby Knight that he was not going to practice with the team or that he was too tired to play 36 holes.
Comment: The best part about Bobby Knight coaching the U.S. Ryder Cup squad is Charles Barkley wouldnt be a Captains pick.
Reader: I think that coach Sutton had the right idea but, players like Woods, Mickelson, Haas, DiMarco, Toms and Love don't need a college football coach mentality to inspire them to play well. Pride for their country and the belief in their own abilities should be motivation enough.
Comment: Guess that leaves out Lou HoltzBy the way, Sutton talked for two years about heart and pride. So much so that I thought his Captains picks were going to be Dudley Hart and Dicky Pride.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt