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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Will It Happen a Third Time?

Tonight I'm not going to write much, as there isn't much to say at this point. Team Europe -- especially the superteam of Fleetwood and Molinari -- have simply played better than Team USA, who will need another miracle if they hope to retain the Cup.

European superteam Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari

Perhaps this Ryder Cup will remind Team USA that, while getting your organizational operations streamlined is important, it's not what wins Ryder Cups. The European Tour owns "their side" of the Ryder Cup and has essentially put control in the players' hands ever since Tony Jacklin first captained the team. The PGA Tour doesn't own their side -- rather, the PGA of America does. The now-notorious "Committee" finally put the players in control in their hands.

In a very real sense, the PGA Tour is about a quarter century behind the Euro Tour. It's important to remember that the Euros didn't suddenly become a juggernaut overnight. Any beliefs the US players may have entertained that they would do so weren't rooted in the real world.

The US players have only one real hope to hang onto as they enter the final day. That hope is their tradtional strength in singles. I think there's a reason for that, and it's the same reason they seem to struggle in the team sessions. Team play is a learned skill, one which the Euro players tend to learn as youngsters because they play more teams growing up. I think the US players will learn those skills eventually, especially with the younger players coming in.

But today, if the US makes a successful comeback, it'll be because they're more skilled at individual play than team play. We'll see if they can muster those skills today.

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