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Monday, September 29, 2014

The Limerick Summary: 2014 Ryder Cup

Winner: Europe 16.5-11.5

Around the wider world of golf: Believe it or not, there was quite a bit of golf going on this weekend. John Cook won the Nature Valley First Tee Open on the Champions Tour (Lee Janzen and junior partner Christopher Meyers won the pro-junior team event); Tyler McCumber won the Ecuador Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Hiroyuki Fujita won the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup on the Asian Tour; Hao Tong Li won the Jianye Tianzhu Henan Open on the PGA TOUR China; Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul won the Taiwan LPGA Party Golfers Open on the TLPGA; and Miki Sakai won the Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open on the JLPGA (the Constructivist has details).

Jamie Donaldson seals the win

Well, the European Team did it again... and that means we're in for another round of finger-pointing and second-guessing.

Apparently it's already begun in the American Team room. Phil Mickelson's comments in the after-round presser seemed to indicate that Tom Watson's "approach to team management" didn't set particularly well with many players on the team. I may do a post about those things later in the week, but one thing is very clear:

It don't matter what the Captain does if the players don't put up the numbers. Wouldn't you all agree?

In this short post I'll just point out some high points from both teams.

The top point getter for the Euros was Justin Rose with a 3-0-2 record and the top US player was Patrick Reed with 3-0-1. Rose has been passed over in past Ryder Cups -- that's unlikely to happen ever again! -- and Patrick Reed was widely maligned by fans and the media before the event. Again, that's unlikely to happen now.

And I should point out, for those who are convinced the Euros have a "magic system" that creates giant killers, that the one US player uniformly singled out for praise by European stalwarts like Darren Clarke was Reed. In fact, Colin Montgomerie told NBC, "If the US team had 12 Patrick Reeds, they wouldn't have been trailing 10-6 Saturday night."

Neither captain did particularly well with their picks: The Euro picks finished 3-5-2, the US picks 2-5-2. (So much for the "magic system.") The US rookies did far better than the Euro rookies -- 6-2-5 vs 5-3-1 (that's 8.5 points to 5.5) -- although I think it's safe to say both teams appear to have bright futures.

But none of these stats is as meaningful as 16.5-11.5, which is Team Europe's margin of victory. (I suppose even those numbers will pale compared to the number of champagne and beer bottles emptied in celebration this week!)

And therefore I submit this bittersweet Limerick Summary (bittersweet for Americans like me) to salute the European Team on yet another dominating Ryder Cup win. Man, this is getting old...
A troubled American Team
Soon found itself swimming upstream
‘Gainst the power of the current
Team Europe, who weren’t
The underdogs they tried to seem.
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