What happened the Americans (the "Strongest " team in their history) in the Ryder cup. A week on from the fall out.
Let's call a spade a spade here. The American team suffered their most embarrassing defeat since the miracle in Medina. They were the red hot favourites going into the weekend but were hockeyed out of it by a cohesive European side. The Americans looked tired , aloof and not interested. It was not a matter of the European team playing excellently. The Europeans won because the American team played so badly. So what went wrong?
I wanted to write this post last week but I had a feeling there would be news leaking out.
Tiger lost all his matches. In the press conference on Monday Tiger looked like he had fallen asleep. He had won a tour championship for the first time in 4 years and that had taken alot out of him. That was Sunday. He travelled Monday with team and was visibly fatigued. When Tiger practiced on the Tuesday he only played certain holes which indicated he would be playing a foursome but in fact Jim Furyk played him in every match. A bad mistake. Tiger is 40 years old now and should of sat out at least one of his matches in favour of Reed or Tony Finau.
The Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka Divorce.
The world number 1 and the two times major winner are rumoured to have a busy up on the team plane on the way to France. Dustin is rumoured to have had an affair with Yassie Safai. His fiance Paulina Gretzky is good friends with Brooks and his girlfriend so this came to a head on the flight to Paris. Not a great start to team building! The pair had to be separated in the European players lounge on the Sunday also. These former best friends caused a frosty atmosphere in their teams. The affair hitting the headlines on the eve of the Ryder Cup didn't help DJ's performance either.
Captain America Patrick Reed
Patrick would want to practice what he preaches after doing an interview with the New York times claiming to have been blindsided by his Captain by not playing him with his former winning teammate Jordan Spieth. The pair performed brilliantly together at Hazeltine but for some reason Jim Furyk picked Spieth and Thomas to pair up. Reed was left out of 2 sessions because of this and was paired up with Tiger after this. He was not happy about this. It looks like Spieth didn't want to play with Reed who is not a very likeable character at the best of times. Spieth was very diplomatic in the post interview but Reed wasn't having any of his"BS". But at doesn't matter if the pairing gets the job done . If it was me I would of been sending this guy out in every session.
After Phil throwing the toys out of the pram 4 years ago and absolutely nailing Tom Watson to his cross , it looks like the living ghost of Tom Watson has come back to haunt him. Phil was horrendous at this years Ryder Cup. Phil is currently 194th in the world for driving accuracy. So why would his captain play him in a foursome where alternate shots are played. It beggers belief but everyone knew why! Phil would throw a strop if he was left out! The result was disastrous and Phil lost all his matches on the first day. He was benched on the Saturday for obvious reasons. On Sunday he conceded on the 16th hole with a snap hook into the water. Not the best way to end your Ryder Cup career.
Bubba told some reporters that's some of the team we're under the weather and Bubba himself was feeling drained. It does explain alot in hindsight if there was an illness in the team because Tiger looked shocking. Jeglag comes into it also. The team arrived on Monday from the states so may of been jetlagged in practice.
We all know the thick rough suited the Europeans more. But the Europeans also had alot more homework done on the course. Only 4 of the American team practiced the course before the Ryder Cup. Justin Thomas and Bubba came to the course before hand so the lack of course knowledge really did affect their game.
The European Team
So how can different countries with different cultures come together and beat an American team that are on top of their own games individually. Europe wanted it more. Ryder Cup veterans like Garcia and Poulter were a risk but they paid off. The old guard didn't let the team down and they came through. They wanted it more. They did their homework too and knew the course more. Players like Mollinari and Tommy Fleetwood were hitting the fairways for fun. Something essential on the Paris course.
It was a sweet win for the Europeans who were all but written off. Some American golf journalists such as Alan Shipnok got their just deserves by claiming America had the Ryder Cup wrapped up for the next decade and they would win in Paris by a landslide. He was right about the landslide (Europe won by 7 points).