Ryder Cup: What we would have liked to see

The Ryder Cup deserves great credit for staging a wonderful tournament, and for drawing some of the world’s best players. But there was at least one occasion on Sunday when the cream was better…

Ryder Cup: What we would have liked to see

The Ryder Cup deserves great credit for staging a wonderful tournament, and for drawing some of the world’s best players. But there was at least one occasion on Sunday when the cream was better than the “true” gold and bolder than the stuff on the streets of Manhattan.

The LPGA and the International Golf Federation held a two-day exhibition match at Newport which was a stroke-play event with the players receiving both the head and neck tattoos as a ‘badge of honour’.

The match had a line-up of 28 of the most famous names in women’s golf, but there was a slice of football at its centre as the event’s host, Kyburz FC had its players wear matching horns as a ‘loot’.

Let’s take a look at some of the moments that made the Ryder Cup.

The vagueness of the tie

Ryder Cup won’t decide who plays best – Tom Watson

Tom Watson said at the media conference on Sunday that Europe should not win the Ryder Cup on this course as they weren’t technically favourites. That goes some way to explaining their glorious draw against Europe in Wales – the French links course at Celtic Manor seems to be as good as or better than anyone’s on paper, but Europe lost both of the previous Ryder Cups on it.

Phil Mickelson was so confused that he had to apologise

Is Phil Mickelson truly a genius or is he suffering a semantic loss of time on Sunday?

The American’s headmaster moment came when he was asked if he was disappointed that the three players in his group – Watney, Lee Westwood and Robert Karlsson – did not all win their fourballs. He said they didn’t play well enough together.

“I don’t even know that it was unanimous,” he said. But the real question that was asked was: did Phil Mickelson know what was going on?

The Ryder Cup needs a future and it needs Greg Norman to show up

It’s not like my much-feted lifetime achievement award can solve the problems going on at The Ryder Cup. There are seemingly too many of them to list in a small space. The Guardian, at its highest, suggested that they are embarrassed by the sport – luckily it doesn’t involve the very production crew who have produced this blog in recent years.

As the event gets older, the controversy and troubles mount. For the 2020 edition, the organisers and their organising committee are hoping that Greg Norman, given the chance, will come up with some game ideas.

Good luck to you though sir, especially as a host of less familiar names are present and correct with no experience of these things.

It’s time to bring in the taste police.

To quote Mark Teixeira, Phil Mickelson should not have nicked the US match ball! I understand that it wasn’t inscribed with a player’s name, but it is a professional match and therefore all players should play like professionals, lest the hosts have to celebrate that they are regarded as a ball-stealing bunch.

It was a pre-record as part of the LPGA ‘make sure you notice the foreigners, they’re not English’, and Mickelson’s shtick worked too well. It’s a shame, really, and an example of how out of touch the American public are with what goes on over here.

The Ryder Cup is a wonderful event, and has caused the writing to be taken off the wall for some, but ultimately it’s a sport which attracts only one side of the argument.

The general gallery at Celtic Manor merely appreciated the entertainment and seemed to be too busy themselves to come to the rescue.

If they want to end the spectre of anti-English sentiment that’s a sign that the people of Britain haven’t really been listening to the debate about the sporting benefits of Brexit, but what’s important now is to take decisive steps now to make sure people know about the benefits of the EU.

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