I could tell you exactly what the difference is, but you can read it on The Golf Channel.com. Tournaments are weighted much more to the years of the matches than before. Suffice it to say that its a huge difference from the old system, which had been in place for 11 years.
Curtis Strange chatted about the change last week at the Office Depot Father-Son Challege. Curtis was the captain before Hal Sutton. Yes, he got beat, just like most of the U.S. captains during the past decade. It probably wont make much of a difference in the team makeup, but every little bit helps.
On the surface, Strange doesn't see how the change wil make much difference.
(The status quo) is not working because the guys are not playing any good, Strange said bluntly. Thats the bottom line.
Let me ask this question ' who would have been on this team if the present rules were in place for the last two years? It would be interesting to see.
If this were a monthly column instead of a semi-weekly one, I would have an answer for that. But since it isnt, Ill have to guess. There might have been one or two ' Todd Hamilton would probably have made it, possibly Steve Flesch. But the team would have been basically the same.
However, in this competition usually decided by a point or two, one hot player could make a world of difference. One player could win two matches instead of losing two and turn a 14 - 13 loss into a 15-13 win.
Strange, though, isnt ready to say it will be the difference between a possible win and a possible loss. He is advocating something else ' why not require each side to use more players in the Friday-Saturday partner rounds?
I would say play 10 players a day, said Curtis. Why not?
Well, er, its always been played with eight players - four teams against four teams - in each session except the Sunday singles. He believes THAT is where the real change should be made, instead of the qualification requirement. That doesnt necessarily benefit a U.S. team that got clobbered the last time out. But he doesnt see the logic in continuing to only play two-thirds of your squad.
I think the reason weve always played eight is because weve always liked the matches really close, he said. The knock over the years is that they (the Europeans) werent as deep as we are. Now theyre just as deep ' or deeper. So ' lets go play 10!
They might say, We dont have enough daylight. Well, kick them in the (rear) and make them play faster! Go off two tees - I dont care!
Strange, if he were Ryder Cup commissioner, would take it a step further. He would have every player play five times in three days ' in every partnership situation and the Sunday singles.
If someone comes up lame, youd give up half a point! In football, they dont stop a play if someone gets hurt. Crazy!
But I say that because you select the best 24 players in the world to go play golf. And to have a guy who qualified for this team to not play but one or two matches ' I just think the guys want to compete. The more people who play, the more the best team is going to win. You get a true sense of how this team is.
Curtis says the PGA of America may be considering this even as we speak. The brass constantly weighs the pros and cons of everything involved with the Ryder Cup, even if a once-in-11 year change doesnt exactly sound like it. The qualification requirement, change, for example, was on the front burner for a period of time.
I will say this ' theyve been thinking about this for awhile, he said. This isnt because of the last Ryder Cup.
I will say this about them ' theyre always thinking well ahead. Its such a big deal for them. Theyre always thinking ahead, and I think theres a lot of sentiment ' you know, lets change things up a little bit.
And, for the record, Strange agrees with the the latest change.
What they did is obviously for the better, he reasoned.
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