And No Not Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining !
There is nothing gallant about losing when the quest itself could have been avoided had the right preparations been in place for the team to actually strive for a win. But now these are and will be the rather asinine stories that will be written about the so called ‘gallant and bravura effort’ put forth by the US Ryder Cup team after their loss of the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor Golf Course in Newport, Wales , this past weekend. Rain delays prolonged the play wherein the singles matches were actually played on Monday instead of on Sunday on what was effectively had been a three day event being turned into a four day event.
Slide show for your perusal.
Coming into the final day of the contest the format was for the four balls to be completed and for the singles match-ups to be played with the Europeans holding a 9 1/2 to 6 1/2 point lead over the US team. And for opposing captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin this was all about determining whether or not their strategies would reap the dividends in the match-ups made in these finals singles matches. A great deal of criticism has been leveled at Pavin and his handling of this US team and much of it has stemmed from the fact that so many of his players were rookies and all but one player had a winning record in the Ryder Cup format. That in of-itself would prove to be something of a crucial disadvantage for the team and no matter how one spins it the motivation and leadership expected from seasoned veterans such as Jim Furyk , Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods simply wasn’t there to make this competition worth remembering or a worthwhile endeavor on the part of the Americans.
Now the writers and US commentators covering this event will have us believe that this was by all means a gallant effort by this US team. But in all actuality nothing could be further from the truth . Albeit that there was some inspirational play by Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler in their singles matches, the writing was already on the wall in terms of the inevitable outcome of the event. While the Europeans’ lead wasn’t an insurmountable one , you simply knew that all they had to do was to retain that lead and then eke out the points needed to make the victory secure. Needing only to obtain 5 points out of a possible 12 to win back the Ryder Cup , Colin Montgomerie’s team went about their task diligently while the support of the European fans were there in droves to show their support for their hometown heroes.
Now while there has been criticism being leveled about both teams in the past as to the unsportsmanlike conduct in previous events this series of matches throughout this tournament has been played with a great deal chivalry by both sides. However one got the feeling that this US team could have done with a bit of boisterous support and some true grit being shown by not only their supporters but also from a number of players on this team. Instead what we got to see were but a few brief moments of heroics before this team succumbed to the inevitable and then with unabashed shame we saw the emotions of Hunter Mahan come to fruition , wherein he took responsibility for the team’s loss having not been able to secure a point in the finals’ singles match that would have led to Team USA retaining the Ryder Cup.
When it’s all said and done this wasn’t about how the Cup was lost but the fact that this US team wasn’t at all good enough for the task at hand. Although the spin-meisters will be in full swing trying to point out that this was a gallant effort by the team having come so close with the final margin of victory being a mere 1 point (14 1/2 – 13 1/2) the truth of the matter was the Europeans were expected to win and win they did.
Now in 2012 the Ryder Cup is due to be played in the United States at Medinah G&C, outside Chicago , Illinois___ and it will be interesting to see whether or not any changes will be made by the PGA as to how the US team is actually made up and what sort of input is made by the team captain as to who his alternatives will be . This much we do know Phil Mickelson’s record in the Ryder up format is not one to be admired as he now has the dubious distinction of having lost more games overall and has the worst points’ total of any American who has ever represented a US team as a member. And all this from the supposed number two player in the world ? This kind of puts into perspective the idiocy shown by such analysts as they sought to make light of this by pointing out what a tremendous effort was put forth by this team. Well there was little here to feel proud of , given the fact that there was no leadership forthcoming from the seasoned veterans on this team and a captain who for all sense and purpose who was completely out of his depth. But hey , this is the sort of stuff that the writers and analysts will tend to harp on about rather than trying to point out the reasons for the failures of a team . And you tend get the distinct impression that in reality the US are ”sore losers” when it comes to team sports where their dominance comes into question .
Now while the Europeans will bask in the glory of having won back the Ryder Cup in home soil at the same time you get the feeling that they will be out to rigorously defend the trophy in 2012 . The chances are that by then the US team in place to challenge for the trophy will be one that no doubt will be more determined to play with a great deal of pride and honor as to the thought of representing their country. It had been long maintained that a number of US players felt that this particular team event wasn’t a worthwhile cause because there was no prize money to be earned . But at the same time it is these same players who are now preening themselves like Cheshire cats at the mere thought that they will get the chance to participate in the Summer Olympics when the game makes a welcome return to the grandest of all stages in front of a worldwide audience of billions. Makes you wonder what all the fuss has been about doesn’t it ?
From my own perspective I do feel that while the biennial event has its followers and its popularity remains intact. It can only remain this way if the level of competition that goes with it is of the highest order . Over the years the level of commitment appears to be there but the telling ingredient that at times seems to be missing is that the play of the teams can either be exhilarating or just plain mediocre. Here it was a little of both with a certain amount of naivete and false bravado being shown by US team captain Corey Pavin as his team was convincingly outplayed from start to finish. History may well show that Pavin captained this team but what it will not show any in great detail are the mistakes that he made strategically. This cloud certainly didn’t have a silver lining and about the only thing did may well have been the rainbow that shone in part after the torrents of rain that fell over the Celtic Manor course that essentially dampened the ardor of the US team and its resolve in trying to retain the Ryder Cup.
Picture gallery for your perusal. By clicking on each frame you can view the picture in its original format.
Your thoughts if any on how the US team lost the Ryder Cup and do you feel that there needs to be a change in the format as to how the players are selected for the US team ? Criticism was leveled at Corey Pavin for having so many rookies on the team and the fact that only one player on the squad had a winning record in this type of format. Simply chime in with a comment as to your opinions if any on the event itself or perhaps the sport of golf in general .
NB Click on the links below to see the profiles of the respective teams and details for the 2012 Ryder Cup event .
Alan aka tophatal …………………………..
Courtesy of Smooth Magazine …….. Stephanie