A curious choice from the European Ryder Cup committee this past week, Bernhard Langer - a Ryder Cup stalwart - was chosen to captain the 2004 European team. It is a prestigious role that requires a huge amount of work and preparation. His success in the matches has certainly earned him the honor.
But its that very success that presents the problem, in my view. Langers play, especially in important events, may put him in a position to qualify for a competitive spot on next years team. His clutch play certainly would make him a strong consideration for a captains pick.
Since the captaincy has grown in importance, it is impossible to be an effective playing captain. Making a player of Langers ability virtually unavailable by giving him this role jeopardizes the Europeans effort to field the strongest possible team in 2004. The responsibilities of the captaincy will certainly impact Langers play over the next 15 months, but if he does qualify, what then? If he comes close, will they be relieved that the distractions help him come up short, or concerned that they dont have the 12 best players available?
And what of Nick Faldo? Word has it that Ian Woosnam will captain the squad in 2006. Will Faldo, the most successful European Ryder Cupper in history, ever get his wish to captain a team? All very interesting questions as we begin the long buildup to the most exciting event in the game.
Old guys are hot ' its invigorating for golf Tom Watson, 'Walrus' Stadler, Freddy Couples, Kenny Perry times three. Now its 'Jake Trout' ' Peter Jacobsen, landing a whopper in Hartford.
We thought, by now, young bodies and now new technology wouldve taken over. Instead, the kids are yet to master high-tech. But the sweet oldies are using new weapons to dominate I think the old boys have discovered technological Viagara.
Over the weekend a non-televised, non-sanctioned golf event took place at The Pines in Orrville, Ohio. Overshadowed by the Senior British Open and GHO, this one was special to me and other members of Phi Delta Sigma fraternity at the college of Wooster a reunion to compare waistlines, hairlines and generally torture one another while playing , what was at times, hideous golf.
But as it turns out, two of the teams went to sudden death before a trend continued ... the over-40 foursome took the title and the coveted red and gray jackets.
You see, golf served as something to do between laughs. And while taking time to remember those we lost during the past year ... as we move on and again go our separate ways, the golf will bring us together again next summer playing for a $2-dollar nassau, for bragging rights and to amuse one another.
Ive never seen so many guys improve lies, consume beverages, and genuinely enjoy one anothers company so much while hacking away in some sort of bastardized version of golf. Well never be 19 again. But it sure is fun to feel like it, if only for a day.
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