Sunday, September 21, 2008

Final Thoughts

I have several thoughts swirling around in my mind right now.

1. NBC has apparently bought into that 'cash cow' advertising plan by talking up Anthony Kim every chance they can get. Once upon a time, NBC was pretty neutral, but not today. They did their best to make Kim's win over Sergio the absolutely greatest win ever despite the fact that Sergio's Ryder Cup record comes from the pairs matches and not the singles. Kim's win wasn't that big of a deal today since he wasn't really taking a point from the Europeans. It wasn't likely Sergio was going to get a point in the singles to begin with. Thanks to this, I watched much of the day's coverage with the mute button on. At least Sergio wasn't the only one to hit into the water on 7.

2. JB Holmes - two years ago, I wrote here that I wanted to see JB make the Ryder Cup team. He made the team as a pick and I heard nothing but negative comments from Johnny Miller about it for all three days. At least Dan Hicks had the guts to call him on it when JB won his singles match today. Don't get me wrong, I love Johnny Miller. But he was wrong about JB.

3. Also two years ago, I wrote here that the top US ranked players were sucky in the Ryder Cup and that my Ryder Cup team wouldn't include them. Over in the side bar, you can see who I would have picked for a Ryder Cup team two years ago. Mickelson and Furyk, two guys I would have left off the team, did recover a bit this time around and actually won some points. Mickelson did still lose in the singles so I'm not sold on him yet. Azinger had a good idea for having 4 picks instead of two. And he used his picks for guys who aren't spoiled by their fame or riches like the top guys seem to be. All of this brings me to my one stunning comment that will no doubt be contentious in some circles: The US team loses because Tiger's on the team. He seems to be a wet blanket on the team and brings them down. When he can't win a session on Friday or Saturday, the others look around and say, "gee if the greatest player ever can't win, then we can't." And he doesn't seem to be much of a team player.

4. Why did Azinger have all of those assistant captains if they were all together and not spread out amongst the groups? Whenever I saw them today, they were all together. How much good did that really do? I think maybe Stockton, Floyd and Browne just wanted free tickets to the event.

5. More on NBC, they didn't seem to give equal time to the Europeans who won their matches. I didn't see an interview with Justin Rose after he beat Mickelson. Luckily, Rose is keeping a diary for some newspaper in England and I can read his thoughts later there and on his website.

6. Now for Faldo and the European team: I don't know why people aren't questioning Paul Casey's pick over Darren Clarke. Casey didn't do well this week and he hadn't been doing well on tour lately. Everyone focused on Ian Poulter instead which I think is a little unfair. And some will debate Sergio and Lee sitting out of the Saturday morning matches. They could have won a point that morning if they were healthy enough to go, but they could have won a point that afternoon had they been paired together instead of apart. Obviously they were split up in the afternoon in an attempt to get two points, and unfortunately ended up with I think maybe just a half. And now that we know that Lee and Sergio both lost their singles matches today, armchair quarterbacks will be questioning Faldo's decision on the Saturday pairings even more. It's easy to question the decisions after you know what the result is. I think Faldo did well with the team he had.

7. Robert Karlsson finally got his due today, winning his singles match. He didn't get any respect last time around because he drew Tiger in singles. This time, America saw what the folks in Europe knew all along - the man's one of the most formidable golfers in the world.

8. Oliver Wilson, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter emerged as stars for the European team this week. Wilson may not have done well today, but he extended his match further than many thought he would and he had to deal with the Kentucky crowd and Boo Weekley.

Final miscellaneous thoughts: The 13th man of the American Team wasn't the crowd as Azinger claimed during the opening ceremonies, it was the guy who gave Kenny Perry his putter earlier this year. And finally, Heaven help the world if Boo Weekley and Michelle Wie ever got together. Neither one of them are scholars.

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