Can't blame European Captain Nick Faldo for Garcia, Harrington and Westwood goose eggs in Ryder Cup
LOUISVILLE, KY – No one has felt the heat more than European Captain Nick Faldo this week, who hasn’t made a decision without someone calling it “boneheaded” or “English-biased".
Now that the Americans have officially clinched the Ryder Cup, thanks to nothing short of genius Captaining by Paul Azinger, it’s only just begun for Faldo.
I was in the European Tour hospitality tent this afternoon chewing the fat with some European vets, who said the love-hate relationship between Faldo and the press all dates back to his Open Championship win at Muirfield in 1987. For those like me who were still learning the alphabet that year, in the winner’s ceremony, Faldo said the press could smooch his bottom. For winning one of the classiest events in sports, it sure ruffled some feathers.
Faldo has had a bulls eye on his back for the twenty years since. Wait a sec, I just realized I jumped all over him on Friday night myself. It rubs off I guess.
Faldo was visibly irked last night in the press room as he was grilled about leaving Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia out of the line-up for Saturday foursomes. He even got in a little spat with one member of the media who was trying to convince him he should have told the media about Garcia and Westwood before leaving the club.
Faldo is sure to be reamed again tonight after he saved his guns for the the last four matches this afternoon, while putting players like Oliver Wilson and Soren Hansen in the meat of the lineup.
But it was Garcia who rolled over early Sunday, capping off a winless 0-2-2 record. He never really threatened Ryder Cup rookie Anthony Kim, who looked more like Garcia in these situations than Sergio himself.
Open winner Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood also turned in goose eggs. Had Faldo not selected Ian Poulter, the 2008 Cup could have been a blowout.
That said, I’m not saying the press shouldn’t go after Faldo. There is nothing quite as entertaining as European tabloids going off the handle, which they’re in the process of doing right now. I can hear them hammering on their keyboards with fervor as we speak.
As for Paul Azinger, he hit all the right buttons. While it’s American tradition to pick new captains for every Ryder Cup, there should be some serious consideration to ask ‘Zinger to take the helm for 2010.
Here’s another random thought: It’s funny how while the Europeans dominated the Ryder Cup from 2002 to 2006, then couldn’t win majors. Now that Harrington has won three majors in the last two years, they get smoked in the Ryder Cup. Is that a coincidence?
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I want to see the U.S. team start responding to this hypocrisy. Call out Westwood for being a crybaby.
Come on Tuck, that's like predicting the Lakers would still beat the Pistons four games into the 2004 Finals.
I don`t think Westwood can take critiscism, he`s very like the Americans in that regard.