Ryder Cup Spotlight: "What Now?"

As the 2006 Ryder Cup looms nearer, the U.S. team may start to feel the pressure of being one of the first undedog American teams in Ryder Cup history. The Americans, despite a star-studded cast featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jim Furyk, have lost an unheard of two consecutive Ryder Cups. Whether or not the U.S. team will win this year is uncertain, but we can look to the future of U.S. vs. the World golf and see that U.S. dominance may be on life support. The U.S. has already began to struggle in all international sports including a let down at the inaugural World Baseball Classic, last year's bronze at the World Basketball Championships, and this year's terrible pool play at FIFA. The Internationals may all be getting better. The new question for American golf is, "How did it get to this, and how do we improve." Looking at the U.S.'s top players vs. the European's top players would definitely favord the American team. Tiger, Lefty, and Furyk vs. Sergio, David Howell, and Colin Montgomerie. Obviously the U.S. has the star strength, but where we have started to fail is the lack of "B" players to match up to the Europeans solid roster all the way through. This year's U.S. roster will feature four rookies, some of which will certainly require player's badges to get into the parking lot at the K Club. The main problem we have with the Ryder Cup is that we need to get more solid players, especially ones who know how to play match play the "right way". That leads me to my next point, there is an area where the Europeans have us; match play. It is a statement of pure fact that Europeans favor match play over the long, slow torture of stroke play. Growing up playing many matches is certainly an advantage for the European Teams. How do we correct this problem? We need our major junior golf associations such as the International Junior Golf Tour and the AJGA and even the local PGA chapters to run more invitational match play tournaments to introduce the game's young elite to the world of match play. Succesful pros such as Aussie Adam Scott have criticized stroke play itself for a lack of American iniative to win big tournaments. In stroke play, mediocre or top ten finishes will still pay big check, and will still make millionaires who keep their tour cards. That iniative to win could easily be instilled in the youth by switching a couple of tournaments each year to match play events. Moving back to this year's Ryder Cup, the Americans may still win despite the high number of Cup rookies as we do have some aspects of the Cup in our favor. I think the biggest advantage is the K Club itself, an Americanized Arnold Palmer course with tree-lined fairways and speedy greens. At least a non-links course couldn't hurt the Americans in any way. Also, the Americans have some momentum coming off a tremendous victory at the President's Cup as Chris DiMarco's putt was easily one of the greatest moments in team golf history. The Ryder Cup will begin at the K Club in Dublin, Ireland on September 21st.

0 Response to "Ryder Cup Spotlight: "What Now?""

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger