Topgolfgears Morning 9: The U.S. Ryder Cup Team “still doesn’t get it” | Praising Patrick Reed

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1. Why the U.S. can’t win a Ryder Cup on the road…maybe
Our Gianni Magliocco places the blame on…insularity
“As far as myths go, the rumors that have circulated across Europe throughout the years over what percentage of United States citizens hold passports is a pretty good one. The number that broadcast was always so far under the actual reality, and it is now common knowledge that more Americans hold passports today than at any other time in their history. Still, the myth was evidence of how the rest of the world saw the United States as living inside its little bubble. While the insistence on declaring the winners of the Super Bowl and World Series as World Champions, despite both competitions only possessing sides from the United States, is another detail that supports the rest of the world’s view that the United States is an inward-looking country.’
“How does this insular culture pertain to this year’s failure at the Ryder Cup?…Well, earlier this year, The French Open was held at Le Golf National. A perfect opportunity for Team USA’s 12 members to play the course in tournament conditions, an experience that would undoubtedly have helped them when they arrived to do battle against Europe in September. How many of the 12 players turned up? One. Just one solitary member decided it was worth the effort to get on a plane, travel across the Atlantic ocean and spend a week in Paris getting accustomed to Le Golf National in championship conditions. That man was Justin Thomas, and funnily enough, he was the USA’s best performer over the three days of action in Paris, collecting four points for his country.’
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2. They still don’t get it
The takes are hot on the the other side of the pond! Steve Scott at the Courier says the U.S. Ryder Cuppers continue to fail to understand what it means to be a team.
  • “The difference is that the Europeans get the team dynamic, and the USA clearly still don’t. Tiger Woods returned to the team last week to record an 0-4 record, looking as unengaged and uncomfortable in the Ryder Cup as he ever has.”
  • “Woods can’t even bring himself to wear the team uniform – I don’t blame him entirely for this as the US team clothier dresses them in the wost possible combinations of the world’s most successful colour scheme, red, white and blue.”
  • “But Woods wore his waterproof trousers over his team uniform on both Saturday and Sunday when the temperature was edging towards 20 degrees. It’s a small thing but indicative that he is tolerated as a special case and isn’t a real team player.”
  • “It’s not just the team. The US media encouraged the old hubristic attitude over the last two years that the Hazeltine win and the so-called TASKFORCE! was ushering in period of domination.”
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3. DJ & BK dustup?
While details are lacking, multiple reports suggest best bros Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka nearly came to blows in the Ryder Cup team room.
  • Golf Channel report...”The source of the friction was not known, and the dust-up was considered unusual because Johnson and Koepka appear to have a very close relationship. They often work out together at  trainer Joey Diovisalvi’s Joey D Golf Performance Center in Jupiter, Fla.”
  • “Johnson and Koepka partnered in the Saturday afternoon foursomes, when they lost to Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.”
  • “Johnson’s fiancee, Paulina Gretzky, was reported to have been close by when the alleged incident happened. One of the European players’ wives also was a witness, according to The Telegraph, which also said that “an insider” reported that she was “clearly shocked and upset by the nastiness, which was very threatening.”
4. A defense of Patrick Reed
Rather than being muzzled, Golf Digest’s Joel Beall argues we need more Patrick Reed.
  • “…He seems to embody all the qualities associated with a nemesis. He has now called out Jordan Spieth, one of the most popular players in the sport, on multiple occasions this year. (It’s worth noting here, regarding Spieth’s “ego,” that Jordan was the only American player to watch Bryson DeChambeau in the final singles match after the Ryder Cup had been decided.) That the two have a backstory of a successful partnership is something out of a comic book.”
  • “Reed’s also living up to his “top-five player” proclamation, winning golf’s most prestigious tournament yes but also placing second at the 2017 PGA Championship and nearly winning this year’s U.S. Open. He is only 28, with his advanced stats pointing to further improvement in the years to come. Those hoping Reed would shut up and go away will not get their wish for quite some time.”
  • “You could argue, does golf need a villain? Well, the despised likes of the New England Patriots and New York Yankees have made for richer, fuller narratives in their sport. Same goes for athletes like boxer Floyd Mayweather and tennis player Lleyton Hewitt in individual games. “The more successful the villain,” Alfred Hitchcock once said, “the more successful the picture.”
5. Big bucks for Pelley?
Geoff Shackelford writes…”It has emerged on the eve of the Ryder Cup that European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley earned an extraordinary financial package of £2.78million last year.”
  • “Pelley’s pay is far in excess of that earned by the previous CEO of the European Tour, George O’Grady, who was on £610,717 when Canadian businessman Pelley succeeded him in 2015.”
  • “Sale is pretty tough in his assessment of no new “bumper” sponsors, yet Pelley’s biggest achievement is the current Rolex series of lucrative events. There have been buzz-creating new formats and strong use of social media to market players and events to his team’s credit as well.”
  • “Not so hot has been an attempted website reboot, the at times blatant milking of the Ryder Cup for revenue and an inability to strengthen ties with the PGA Tour, leading to several more young player defections to the PGA Tour. “
6. An argument for POY?
Well the PGA Tour Player of the Year trophy is widely assumed to already have Brooks Koepka’s name engraved upon it, Lance Ringler at Golfweek writes Sagarin scores make a strong case for Justin Rose.
  • “And Koepka doesn’t even have the best head-to-head record among the group of seven names previously mentioned. According to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Rose is 49-26 against the other six this season. Koepka is fourth in terms of winning percentage.”
  • Of course, all of this gets at the heart of the POY race. Do we reward consistent high-level play or peak achievements?
7. Spectator hit by Koepka’s ball loses sight
…exploded eyeball. Two words that when joined together create an impossibly gruesome image. Unfortunately, that’s the diagnosis for the woman Brooks Koepka hit with a tee shot at the Ryder Cup. Reportedly, she has lost site in the eye and is considering legal action.
  • BBC report…”Mrs Remande also criticised the Paris tournament organisers for “not making contact” after the incident to find out how she was. She also claims there was “no warning shout from the course official when the ball was heading towards the crowd”.
  • “A Ryder Cup spokesperson told the BBC: “It is distressing to hear that someone might suffer long-term consequences from a ball strike….”We have been in communication with the family involved, starting with the immediate on-course treatment and thereafter to provide support, helping with the logistics of repatriation, including providing a transfer for the family from Paris to Lyon. We will continue to offer support for as long as necessary.”
Awful stuff.
8. Garcia saved a bullet for Faldo
Happily, for the Europeans, Garcia contributed more than just backslapping and banter at Le Golf National: he won three points in four matches, taking down Rickie Fowler 2 & 1 in their Sunday singles match.
  • In doing so, Garcia became the European side’s top point getter. When asked about the accomplishment, the Spaniard couldn’t help but take a shot at the man he passed on the list.
  • “This means a lot to me,” Garcia said. “I have passed some of my heroes today-and Nick Faldo.”
  • Burn! Faldo, of course, captain of the 2008 European team, famously said Garcia had been “useless” in the competition at Valhalla in which he went 0-2-2.
9. Numbers of note
Sean Martin of PGATour.com with a few morsels…
  • Rose’s rise…”He finished in the top 10 in 61 percent of his starts this season, the highest percentage this season (Dustin Johnson was the only other player to finish in the top 10 in more than half his starts)….Rose did it with a well-rounded game. He was the only player to finish in the top 30 in all four Strokes Gained statistics: Off-the-Tee (14th), Approach-the-Green (29), Around-the-Green (7) and Putting (17). He rose more than 100 spots in the Strokes Gained: Putting standings since last season, one of the biggest single-season gains in the history of that metric.”
  • Molinari’s too…”Molinari, 35, has gained nearly 20 yards in the past three years, including a nine-yard gain since last season. He did it by hitting the gym – “I was more of a couch guy,” he said – and tweaking his swing and equipment. Molinari also is hitting his irons about 8 yards farther….How important is an extra 20 yards off the tee? Mark Broadie, the inventor of the Strokes Gained: Statistics, said it can decrease a player’s score by three strokes per tournament.”

 

GolfWRX Morning 9: The U.S. Ryder Cup Team “still doesn’t get it” | Praising Patrick Reed

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