American Ryder Cup Players Don't Care
Here in the United States we don’t understand the rest of the world’s love for soccer (okay, football everywhere else). It is also obvious to this writer that the Americans don’t have any love for the Ryder Cup either.
Captain Lehman talks all about teamwork, but the reality is that we really don’t care. Our Ryder Cup “team” is made up of a group of guys that compete weekly to beat each other. They don’t know how to cooperate. That’s not why they play the game. Maybe when they were in college they played for the love of the game, but with tournament purses over $1 million for the winner, it’s all about the money. The Ryder Cup might be interesting to the Europeans, but it doesn’t fill the top American stars’ wallets and takes away two weeks from making money.
The top players like Tiger, Incorporated & Phil, Incorporated are money-making machines. A recent article in Ad Age mentioned that Tiger made $87 million last year. So far, he’s also earned more than $500 million during his 10 years on tour. Why does he care if his team wins the Ryder Cup? I wouldn’t.
Let’s take the USA Basketball team during the Olympics. For years we were satisfied having the top college players go for the gold. If we won, great. If we didn’t, maybe next time. Then, we said, let’s dominate by allowing professionals to play. Now, we are always expected to win. Yet, there are times when the best players in the world lose to a bunch of no-name, second tier, pro-wannabees. Why is that? Because both the Olympics and the Ryder Cup are actually “team” competitions.
There’s no “I” in team, but there sure is an “I” in Tiger and Phil. The Americans, especially the icons of golf, aren’t a patriotic lot. They may love their country, but if it keeps them away from a tournament weekend payday, why waste two weeks playing for just travel expenses?
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in Brookline, Mass 1999? That’s a very easy statement to make considering the
preparation and effort that this particular side put in under Tom Lehman.
Believe you me that defeat hurt. In my view the American players are too
pre-occupied with their image and how the media portray them. The fist pumping
antics of Di Marco did make me laugh though. Your mentioning of the financial
side of the game doesn't make sense, the majority of the members in the
European side are extremely wealthy and are certainly not thinking about "lost
of earnings". Golf is not always about the money, greed and materialism have
warped your journalism and thinking my friend. As usual a crass loud mouthed
yank has a case of the sour grapes, don't worry next week you can go back
to shouting "get in the hole"!!!!.
Lee - A proud European and an even prouder Irishman
compete to beat each other.
If your theory was correct, then neither team would really "care".
I believe that being chosen for the Ryder Cup team is more of a feeling of pride
for the Europeans pros (both sides actually)...most probably the most important
representation of their side of the world that happens every two years.
Again, if your theory was correct, why would the Europeans be patriotic?
Montgomerie doesn't play for England, Clarke doesn't play for Ireland, etc.
I really don't agree with your Tiger Woods theory either. Tiger felt like a
teacher to the younger players and, although he didn't play exceptionally
well, he had team spirit.
Phil Mickelson and the remainder of the team, I assure you, are quite patriotic.
Just look at how much they give to their country in charity.
It is an honor to play for either side. Neither Tiger nor Phil are playing for
None of those team players said, "nah, I don't want to play for the USA."
The flaw as to why the Americans lose every two years
lies in our selection process.
The American team had: Tiger - at the top of his game.
Furyk: at his present maximum ranking
Zack Johnson: a rising star ? (maybee)
"Good enough group": Campbell, Toms, DiMarco
Captain's picks (they were the "best of the rest").
We must admit rookies and picks performed better than expected. And overall, the american team fought well and, in the first two days, most matches were very close. We knew before the start Mickelson was out (psychologically)
The european team had:
Montgomery on the come back and with a very good year (+ his Ryder Cup history.
Solid performers also at the top of their game: Clarke, Garcia, Westwood, Harrington
Still performing good: Olazabal, McGinley (?)
And mostly, coming to the top of their game: Donald, Howell, Stenson, Casey (this was the significant segment of their team).
Harrington and Karlsson underperformed, but had good matches.
Overall, better golfers. And don't give me that money motivation excuse. Why do athletes perform better in the end of season championship series when they make much less money than in the regular season ? Fun in competition and Pride.
It's the same in world basketball competition. People think the ballers are losing because they're not trying 100%. That's jibberish. They're losing because it's a different game, just like the Ryder Cup. In both sports, the U.S. is having a hard time adapting to the differences in the competition. Best ball and alternate shot are tailored more to the European squad. The U.S. used to have superior players and could win regardless but now, like basketball, Europe is equal, so the U.S. gets whomped.
I've never seen Tiger take one swing where it didn't look like he was trying to hole it, $500 million or not.
If "Team USA" had won, the writer would have been beating his chest like Chris Di Marco. I just want to echo the sentiments of the other responders to your insulting article and add the following.
This Ryder Cup mattered to the Americans, make no mistake. They were just not up to it. They prepared much better than us Europeans. They made a huge effort to let everyone know how much it mattered, Tiger took to the role of senior figure like a duck to water (until it came to producing it on the course) and invited the rookies out for dinner, exchanged regular phone calls with the captain - Woosie in contrast scarcely spoke to some of his rookies. They even seemingly stole a march on the Europeans and rolled into town a few weeks ago to do some reconnaissance Fact is, Europe were a hell of a lot better, player for player than America. Woosie didn't speak to every player with regularity before the event - because he didn't need to. When you have players of the calibre Europe have, all you need to do is put them together and watch the leaders amongst the group inspire the rest of the team - you Americans need to realise what Tom Lehman now knows, this group of European players is the finest team in Ryder Cup history, and that we are blessed to be able to reflect on a tournament in which players like Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Jose Maria, Monty et al showed the world that form is temporary, class is permanent.
America don't have players that are good enough. Woods and Jim Furyk apart, there wasn't a single American that would have made the European team. Fact.
If America had won, we would have had another Brookline type "celebration", and it would have been plain for all to see how much it matters. These are a patriotic group of men, proud to get the opportunity to play in an event of this magnitude, proud to get the opportunity to represent their country - not some group of fat cats that couldn't care less. The only thing they lacked in fact was ability. One of our major players played a little below par, Padraig Harrington, but did anyone really notice and if not then why? Well because the team comprised another 11 players who could carry the can. America struggled to get four or five guys playing well in a session. Europe had 7 or 8 players in each of the paired sessions and all bar Harrington played fantastically in the singles (not that Padraig's match mattered at any rate).
So we look forward to Valhalla and thrashing Team USA once again. If it wasn't for a strange day at Brookline we would be looking at 7 in a row. But 4 will suffice. Maybe then we will see the American press forget the navel gazing and just say "we lost, we lost because we weren't as good as Europe" - not we lost because we really don't care about this competition. When this happens, perhaps, guys like Sergio Garcia will not be so insensitive ("There is nothing sweeter than beating the Americans" proclaimed the latest contender for the Paul Casey award for transatlantic relations), but I wouldn't have it any other way. Maybe Chris Di Marco might even learn some class and shake Lee Westwood's hand the next time Lee beats him... I won't hold my breath, but it makes victory taste oh so sweet. Sergio is right - there really is nothing sweeter than beating the Americans.
why the US Team lost, and I think many of them miss the point.
It has nothing to do with money, competitive edge, selection process,
personalities..... etc etc.
At the end of the day you had two teams of very very good golfers, all of whom
wanted to win (otherwise why were they there in the first place). What
happened was that one team played better then the other.
Golf is all about hitting a little white ball with into a hole with a stick in as little
number as shots as possible. Each and every one of those guys is capable of
playing this game very very well and on the day some did play well and others
There is a well known saying that in golf you play against the course not
against your playing companion, its not like tennis, hockey and many other
sports where you are physically playing against the other guy.
At the K Club the Euro's just played the course better, they were the better
golfers. Don't come up with any silly and so called deep thinking reasons.
Its down to their skill on the day, their ability to hit the ball straight.
As any golfer knows you can play a really good round one day and a crap
round the next
So lets not psycho analyse and just enjoy the event and the great golf that
was played by all the participants and wait for the next one.
After all "its only a game"
"I had a writer ask me point-blank on Sunday whether, in the whole scheme of things, it actually mattered to me," he said.
"Wanting to reach out and strangle him, I just bit my tongue, said 'yes', told him he offended me, and walked away.
"I got more jacked up for that than I could ever imagine getting jacked up for an event individually, maybe to a fault at times."
I should start building a case that maybe Sergio doesnt care about winning
majors. We got beat, we were outplayed. They had a deeper team, they were
on their own soil, they had better/more seasoned players top to bottom. I dont
buy that it's because they 'like each other better' or that they 'want it more'.
PUH-LEEZE. They're stacked right now & it shows. Sometimes we just have to
accept that than raking Lehman or Tiger across the coals for perceived shortcomings.
in a way he would NEVER about their major record, or when Casey stops refferring to Americans (the place he receives a portion of his paycheck & education) as "stupid", then you can skewer DiMarco for bad sportsmanship.
Seriously--feel good that you won, glory in being the better team, but spare me that self-righteous B.S. Because that's what it is. But since you wouldnt "have it any
other way" I believe you wont. So I'll just have to wait until the US puts it together, which I believe they will, because these things are cyclical, and develops their own talent better.
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