Topgolfgears Morning 9: More pairings speculation | Mickelson: Tiger’s never swung better | No love for Jacklin?
1. Pairings speculation, redux
A tweet from the PGA Tour…
“Today’s practice pairings:
Reed, Spieth, JT, Woods
DeChambeau, Mickelson, Simpson, Watson
Finau, Fowler, DJ, Koepka
Casey, Hatton, Olesen, Stenson
Fleetwood, Molinari, Noren, Poulter
Garcia, McIlroy, Rahm, Rose”
Golfweek’s Kevin Casey offered this
2. Bjorn was once critical of the strategy he eventually employed in his captain’s picks?
Our Stuart Bell makes some interesting points…”And for that reason, Thomas Bjorn did not need to load the team with experience, something that Darren Clarke got badly wrong last time out. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight it’s easy to point the finger at the out-of-form veterans Westwood and Kaymer-had they come to the fore it would have been seen as a stroke of genius. But they didn’t and were shown to be just that: out-of-form veterans.”
3. Tiger-Phil pairing? Probably not
Captain Furyk threw cold water on the idea.
“I guess nothing’s out of the realm. They did play some golf yesterday. I think they both mentioned it would be a lot better pairing than it was in the past. You know, I won’t ever say it wouldn’t happen, but it’s probably not too likely.”
4. Mickelson: Tiger is swinging the club as well as he ever has
Mickelson…”It was evident last week when he won, to see the response and the way the people responded to him and the way that people responded to the game, and the excitement level, the energy that he brings. You know, he’s been playing some remarkable golf.”
5. The perils of pairing with Tiger
It’s never easy…Cameron Morfit looks at Woods’ past Ryder Cup pairings–and some rotten results.
6. Rich Hunt on the Ryder Cup
GolfWRX Featured Writer and statistician to PGA Tour pros Rich Hunt joined the TG2 podcast to discuss a variety of subjects, including the upcoming action at Le Golf National.
7. Bubba blue glove
Bubba Watson, in what was apparently not a coordinated marketing stunt for his glove sponsor, did his Ryder Cup press conference yesterday with a blue golf glove on his hand.
8. Stats of note
Golf Channel’s Justin Ray looks at a few key numbers…”Since 2006, the Americans have been outscored by a combined 15 points in the three Ryder Cups contested in Europe. Each side’s star players are the chief reason why. In those three Ryder Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014), European players ranked in the top-ten in the World Ranking have a combined match record of 25-8-9, good for 0.70 points per match. The Americans in the top-ten are 14-27-5 (0.36 points per match) in that same span. Contrast that to 2016 at Hazeltine, where the American top-ten players (9-6-2) outplayed their European counterparts (5-8-0).”
And this on the quality of the squads…”The 2018 Ryder Cup features each of the top-ten in the World Ranking for the first time (the Ranking began in 1986). The average World Ranking of the two teams is 15.1 – the best in this event’s history. The U.S. team is especially stout, with a roster featuring an average World Ranking of 11.2 – best of any team in the event’s history. Eleven of the top-17 players in the world are on the American side, and the lowest-ranked player, Mickelson (25), is the most experienced player in U.S. Ryder Cup history.”
9. Why doesn’t Jacklin get credit?
John Huggan thinks we’d be right to remember Tony Jacklin more in remembering the history of the Ryder Cup.
“Not without justification, Seve Ballesteros has been credited with having more than a little influence in the resurrection of the Ryder Cup. Before 1979, when the continental Europeans became eligible to compete for the Old World side, Great Britain & Ireland’s increasingly futile efforts had reduced the biennial clash to little more than a gentile garden party. Yes, everyone had a jolly nice time. But the Americans always won. Invariably comfortably. That all changed in 1983 at PGA National in Florida when Seve-significantly backed-up by the likes of Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle-made the matches consistently competitive for the first time. Motivated by an agonizing single-point loss that year, Europe didn’t finish second again in the Ryder Cup until 1991.”
“But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The start of the transformation from 1981 at Walton Heath-when Seve did not play because of an on-going appearance money dispute with the European Tour-and two years later in Palm Beach Gardens was not actually initiated by the endlessly charismatic Spaniard. That honor must go to another man controversially omitted from the playing on the ’81 squad. Step forward Tony Jacklin. Without the presence and influence of the former British Open and U.S. Open champion, there might not have been a Seve and, in turn, the Ryder Cup as we know it today.”