Monday, October 04, 2010

A Great Win for Europe

I didn't get to watch much of the singles matches today since I had to go to work, but I snuck a peek at the BBC news website and kept up on the results. I can't believe this turned into such a nailbiter with Europe winning by the skin of their teeth.

So, here are a few things that thrilled me this week:
Sergio, Miguel and Jose Maria together on the team. I am a big Spanish golf fan and I don't think I could have gotten over the absence of Jose Maria Olazabal if he hadn't agreed to help out this weekend. I'm thrilled that Miguel Angel Jimenez won his match today. He may not get very many more chances to play for the Ryder Cup and I know the win was a special one for him. And I hope being a part of the team helps Sergio Garcia regain his passion for golf and sets him back on the path to great competitive golf in the future. He's a top ten player and should always be there competing with the best in the sport.

Ross Fisher, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. The pairing of McDowell and McIlroy was spectacular and Fisher and Poulter have the competitive fire that stirs up the crowds. It was great watching them.

Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. How much do I love this pair who brought down the Woods-Stricker pairing? It's unquantifiable. That's how much.

The Molinaris were a great story this week and the half point they earned on Sunday made all the difference. As Colin Montgomerie said, it's that much more difficult to win that extra half a point.

The image of that huge crowd all focused on McDowell and Mahan was just stupendous. I can't imagine the pressure they were feeling. Mahan's of course wasn't as great as McDowell's, after all, McDowell was on home soil. His critics were a lot closer than Mahan's so a failure for him would be much more painful.

I really liked how the teams had to play everyone on Saturday/Sunday. It's a shame the Ryder Cup format isn't like that each time but I guess it would take away from some of the strategic element of the Cup competition.

Not as thrilling but just as interesting:

Corey Pavin didn't seem to have a problem playing all of his players. In 2006 I had a problem with how Lehman didn't play his players, including his picks. But Pavin either didn't have an issue with it or couldn't afford one due to the weather. At least he didn't project a lack of interest or confidence in any of his players and that was great.

I'm a little tired of the US captains always saying "these guys know what they need to do. I don't need to give speeches." They've lost 6 of the last 8 Ryder Cups, I suspect the players might not know what to do. But keep on believing that US captains, I would like to see Europe continue to be successful.

Johnny Miller is fantastic. I don't care what the players think about him. He makes golf watching fun and he says what other people are too afraid to say. I think Phil Mickelson would have been a very successful car salesman. He has the gift of gab and that million dollar smile that would send you away in a way too expensive SUV that you can't possibly afford. And bless Johnny's heart, he said that Lee Westwood is probably the #1 player in the world right now, never mind what the rankings say.

I always question why the Ryder Cup golfers don't play the same way when they aren't playing for the Ryder Cup. These guys this week made huge putts and hit great approach shots. You don't see that any other time on Tour (Bubba Watson might be the exception. He goes for broke every round). I wish they would take a little bit of the Ryder Cup with them back to their respective tours.

.......... So now it's on to the next European Tour event and my patient waiting for the next event that Sergio and Jose Maria play.


Patricia Hannigan said...

Even for Americans it was an exciting and entertaining Ryder Cup. I agree completely on the Spanish golfers too.

AndyD said...

I think Corey Pavin was a bad choice as captain. Did everything wrong that Azinger did right. Vice Versa with Monty and Faldo. The lead was just too much to overcome in the singles still Ricki Fowler was incredible down the stretch.

Miranda said...

I'm not ready to say that Corey Pavin was a bad choice. An odd one, certainly. You don't think of Corey Pavin when you think of the Ryder Cup. But then Fred Couples can't do everything.

I think what separates the winning captains from the losing ones is passion. Pavin could bring in all the motivational speakers in the world, and it wouldn't have made a difference. Even though he may be a fiesty competitor on the course, he's just too quiet to lead a group of spoiled rich guys to a victory that doesn't really mean a whole lot to them. They'd rather talk the Super Bowl or the World Series or March Madness.

I feel for the future of the US Ryder Cup teams after Davis Love takes his turn. He's the last of the best generation of US competitors.