Watching the Sky Golf channel earlier this week the various experts were asked what they were looking forward to in 2018. The ex-Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley commented that one of the things he was looking forward to is next year’s Ryder Cup held in Paris. I found the fact that he was looking forward to it a little surprising. It was similar to turkeys looking forward to Christmas as to think we have any chance of winning the Ryder Cup next year was completely deluded in our opinion. In fact, the future is so bleak as far as European golf is concerned that this may very well be the last time that Europe can even make any sort of contest out of the event.
What are the reasons for this bleak outlook? Firstly, there is the fact that the top 3 ranked players in the world are all Americans and there are two more in the top ten. The only ray of light in the list is the Spaniard Jon Rahm at number four as he looks to be a possible contender for the world number one spot in the near future. However, he will be a Ryder Cup rookie who hasn’t experienced the pressure of such an event before. After Rahm the next Europeans in the list are Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy. All are now veterans of the competition and have various problems with their putter which will be amplified by the extra pressure they will be under. The only way the Europeans can make a match of it is if they trick the golf course up to such an extent that it negates the Americans greater power and length. Thick rough between the 300 and 330 yard markers might be one way of going about it so at least the Europeans who don’t have the power may have a chance and if they make the greens unnaturally slower than what the Americans are used to that may help but to us it appears a hopeless task.
If next years event looks one sided the following matches look totally hopeless. The European flagbearers from previous years will be 40 or over by the time the event returns to the US in 2020 whilst the current crop of American players will still be in their twenties. The Ryder Cup has been a great event and it will be a shame to see it become a non-contest but the future for Europe looks bleak.