America dropped yet one more Ryder Cup, which certainly really wasn't shocking bearing in mind it was on foreign land where the US has not won since 1993. What is different about this one though had been the easiness by which the European side emerged on top. Typically these Ryder Cup's go right down to the very last matches on the final day, and typically this is when Europe's finest finds a way to succeed. This time there didn't appear to be much excitement from the early going, as the U.S. rarely significantly threatened. |
So now that the outcome is in and basically post mortems have begun, I thought I'd add my two cents here, which is most likely just what it is worth. Many of the reasons for the United States' decline I do think difficult to buy. Plenty of fault goes to Capt. Tom Watson, and I admit there were a few moves that were a bit curious, like playing Phil Mickelson 36 holes on Friday and not any on Saturday. Yet I'm sure whatever Watson's choices were they'd have attracted disapproval. I have still to see a losing captain being praised.
How players get matched I believe is rather overrated. Good golfers in most cases play good golf and most of the time will defeat golfers that are not as good. Sounds clear, I know, but it really comes down to who are the best golfers. The very best participants from Europe typically out-perform the top golfers from the United States, and Ryder Cup 2014 was really an example of that. The top four rated European players were a combined 10-3-5; the top four Americans were 2-11-3. That is a pretty dismal overall performance from any team's top players, and there wasn't any way the Americans would prevail over that.
So why is it that the top players usually not just cannot carry the squad, but are unable to merely hold their own? It is most certainly not because they are not good golfers. They are and have demonstrated it on every level. One of these four American golfers, Bubba Watson has earned two Masters Titles which is arguably the toughest tournament every year to win.
I am aware this is going to sound like psycho-babble, though you might make a case for the fact that different players manage Ryder Cup stress different. I talk in generalities, but I have always believed that the better European players, and maybe even back to Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie always manage to carry themselves with increased confidence. When Phil Mickelson was young I thought he did too, but rarely as of late. He and Tiger Woods, who of course did not play this year, have trudged around the course as if they've got the weight of the world on their shoulders. It's true that is what happens frequently once you’re losing, but until the top American players find a way to play to their capabilities as the Europeans do, I think we can look for more of the same.
Practicing with a wedge can be a quicker way to making improvements is many aspects of your golf game, such as avoiding hitting the ball fat. The wedge has many purposes for your total golf game, and you should spend ample time practicing with it. Jim O'Connell is an avid golfer and writer living in Chicago.
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