I am not one for stats in a competition like the Ryder Cup. Each player, regardless of their history have to perform when the time comes. I guess that is the same for every tournament, but a head-to-head event like the Ryder Cup is something special.
During this year’s Ryder Cup, there were three things that made the difference: the Captian’s, the singles matches, and the interaction between player and fans. Each played a significant role as to why Team USA played to victory!
First the Captains. Of the two, Davis Love III had the more talented team. His philosophy of team first paid off. His focus on ensuring the team was more important than any one player was demonstrated when he choose Ryan Moore over Bubba Watson. Additionally, Love had many weapons and the two most dominant were….well, it is impossible to determine just two. However, if I had to choose, I would go with Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson. Both came through when needed and provided inspirational leadership during the entire event.
Darren Clarke was equally brilliant. His plan to always come out quick and strong worked fairly well, however he was outmatched in the singles matches. I am not so sure that letting a couple of the players sit for most of the matches was the best move, but once he picked a path, he stuck to it. And because of that, I believe he did inspire the most out of the inexperienced team he had.
The singles matches were amazing! Everyone focuses on Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy as an epic battle. Well, it was until the 12th hole and I believe Rory became emotionally tired. Next was Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia. This was by far the most exciting match of the day. 19 birdies and they halved the match; it was amazing to watch.
In the singles matches, most pivotal match was between Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose. Fowler’s win stopped Team Europe’s momentum. If he had lost that match, Team Europe would have tied the score and maybe the tides of fortune would have changed. Fowler did not panic and he continued to keep the pressure on Rose. As the match wore on, Rose could not withstand Fowler’s solid play!
The last point was the fans and players interaction. Before any ball was struck, the media created animosity between Europe and USA. How would the unruly US fans treat the players? Except for a few loud mouth fools (who were ejected and rightly so), the fans were awesome. The players themselves instigated much of the noise and interaction. They taunted each other and the fans. As a result, the atmosphere around the golf course was more akin to a football game than golf. This atmosphere effected more of the inexperienced European players the most and helped propel Team USA to a win.
The Ryder Cup was very exciting for both teams, but mostly for the fans. If future Ryder Cup’s are as exciting as this year, then L’Albatros course in France better be prepared for something special!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!