Sutton Wants His Team to Let Go


04 Ryder CupBLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- I try to be logical, to disavow all this talk about karma and unity and spirit at The Ryder Cup. The Europeans have won two of the last three and three of four because theyve simply made more birdies, right?
Well, I was on the job for less than seven hours and logic crumbled just as soon as the Europeans shuffled off their transatlantic flight Monday afternoon. They were loose, laughing and together, like high school buddies on a road trip. Stylish, too, with suede, tan car coats and matching shoes against a gray slack.
Sergio had his hand in a bag of Doritos. Lee Westwood held court with four of his teammates. Frenchman Thomas Levet happily recounted a flight that certainly wasnt Boise to Spokane on a turbo prop.
It was zero class, he said. One above first class. You could get manicures, pedicures, massages, the food was amazing and the champagne was nice, too.
It was loud up front, Padraig Harrington said. Its incredible. Just last week we were trying to beat each other and now were already coming together as a team.
Apparently, the Euros wont need the kind of advice that Captain Hal Suttons going to dispense to his charges.
Let go, Sutton told me. I want em to let go. Let go of their games. Let go of their brains. Just let go.
It may not be easy for Americas superstar duo. Early buzz has people wondering if Elin will be by Tigers side, and if Phil crossed some ethical line by signing with Callaway while still under contract with Titleist. The press will no doubt press for answers and it could put both men on guard.
If they can push through the cadre of advisors that generally flank both Phil and Tiger, straight talking Sutton and his 81-year-old sidekick curmudgeon Jackie Burke will cut through the distractions and put their two horses where they need to be -- on track with blinkers on.
Sutton will also demand that his players bring a sense of urgency to the opening matches. They wont know the pairings until you and I know on Thursday.
Theres too much waiting on the next guy, he explained. I want each guy to be thinking about making birdies on his own. I want our guys to have their foot on the accelerator.
The Europeans, meanwhile, didnt seem to be in any hurry. They looked to be having a mighty fine time.
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