Ryder Cup Redux
When the Walker Cup teams were finalized a few weeks ago the US team had the glitzy names and more pedigree. Most ‘experts’ favored the Americans due to this perception. This lazy opinion was formed due to overlooking the fact that the Euro boys can play too and that they’d have a nice home field advantage at Royal Lytham. In the end the GB&I team out putted, out thought, and out classed the US team in every facet of the game on their way to a 16.5 to 9.5 beat down.
I felt like GB&I captain Nigel Edwards simply let his guys go out and play while US Captain Spider Miller micro managed. How else can you justify not playing red hot U.S. Amateur champ Bryson DeChambeau for all of the 4 sessions? DeChambeau finished the matches with a 2-0-1 record, in case you were wondering. GB&I dominated the matches even though Paul Dunne, he of British Open fame, went 1-2-1. There’s no doubt course knowledge played a distinct advantage. I think GB&I also had a deeper team thanks to the USGA selecting two mid-ams for their squad.
Hey, I’m the biggest proponent of mid-am golf that you’ll ever find. And I do like the fact that the USGA has Walker Cup spots for reigning mid-am champs. But to have two of them on your team weakens it. Of the 20 players for both teams, 18 are 26 and younger. That age means they’re basically college kids that play every day. A mid-am likely has a job and a family that takes away from their preparation. If GB&I was using the same formula for their squad this approach would make sense. Until then, make a change if you want to win, stick with the kids.
In the brief amount of the matches I could watch, the golf was played at a very high level and Royal Lytham looked great. The problem is that I didn’t see much of it at all, and only about 10 minutes live. Why is that? Because live action was never on TV in the U.S. Sky Sports had it live in Europe. In the U.S. we could only see the Walker Cup matches streaming on WatchESPN. What the fuck? My hunch is that with the USGA in bed with Fox the matches couldn’t be on the Golf Channel. I also believe that because the matches were across the pond that gave the R&A broadcast rights, which is why ESPN had their access (remember, they have the British Open). If I have all that right, then fuck ESPN for not showing anything but a two our highlight show on Sunday. I realize it was opening weekend for the NFL, but I don’t need another show with Merrill Hoge telling me who a good fantasy pick is for a back up kicker spot. Fuck you ESPN. Fuck you.