Less than a year removed from Europe's stunning comeback to claim the Ryder Cup at Medinah, the continent's fourth win in the last five Matches overall, former U.S. captain Hal Sutton provided some pointed words about what could possibly be hindering the American effort.
'We've created some real superstars in the U.S. who have failed us when it comes to (the Ryder Cup),' Sutton explained recently as part of a wide-ranging interview with Golf Magazine. 'They don't fail because they don't have enough talent; they fail because there's too much for them to do.'
A winner of the 1983 PGA Championship, Sutton has first-hand experience with some of the recent struggles for the American squad in the biennial event. As captain in 2004 at Oakland Hills, he oversaw a crushing defeat, as the Europeans triumphed by an 18.5 to 9.5 margin on U.S. soil.
'I mean, we weren't going to win,' Sutton recalled of those 2004 Matches, noting he regretted in hindsight his decision to put Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson together during the first two rounds of competition. 'They were just playing that much better than us.'
With the Americans boasting just one win over Europe since the turn of the century, Sutton reiterated that too much is expected of the best players while also noting the advantage the Europeans create by producing more well-rounded players who can generally keep the ball lower to the ground.
'Tiger's Ryder Cup record (13-14-2) is not very good at all, but everyone expects him to carry the team. He can't get but five points. That ain't gonna win it. So everybody else has got to perform,' he added. 'One of the reasons I think Europe is better than we are is they know more of the game. They have all the shots instead of half the shots ... It's easier for them to learn to adapt to our style than it is for us to adapt to their style.'