Fred Couples isn’t the only loser with Jim Furyk named last week as the American Ryder Cup captain.
We lose, too.
We’re losing, forever it seems now, the chance to see Couples in charge at what may be the world’s most popular golf event.
This felt like Couples’ last chance to seize the biggest stage in golf that’s still left for him to rule. It felt like our last chance to see this true star govern the Americans with his curious and charismatically quirky style. Every visit to the media center would have held more entertaining possibilities than what any other potential captain could deliver, beyond Phil Mickelson.
Back when the American Ryder Cup task force was first formed, there was a glimmer of hope Couples would get back in line for a chance to captain, that he wouldn’t be frozen out anymore, not with the players taking command of the process.
It turns out the players can be every bit as cold-hearted as the PGA of America was when it turned its back on Couples for the unpardonable sin of taking the Presidents Cup job first. Of course, Couples didn’t get passed over by the players because he took the Presidents Cup job (three times). He got passed over because he was too far removed from this new American team dynamic. He got passed over because he wasn’t as involved in the player coup as Furyk was, wasn’t as involved in building the new construct. He wasn’t as important as Furyk was in creating the new culture.
Really, given the American team’s new inner workings, it would have been an upset for Couples to get the job, but, instead, it’s an upset to anyone who has come to appreciate the magnetic nature of Couples and his peculiar charms.
With Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson looking as if they’re naturally lined up to lead after Furyk, it stinks that we’ll likely never see Couples as the American Ryder captain.