A week has passed since one of the most one sided Ryder Cups in recent years so it’s time to reflect. A common question since the event has been what went wrong as though we have some divine right to continue winning. As soon as Darren Clarke was made Captain it was a disaster waiting to happen. He’s a lovely chap and thoroughly decent man but he has been carried forward on a wave of emotion in recent years and was never going to be ruthless enough to forge a winning team. That may be a very unpopular view but who else would have picked his best mate Lee Westwood instead of one of the top 20 players in the world Russell Knox. Westwood is still a good player obviously but was his putting ever going to be good enough to provide the necessary magic that a winning Ryder Cup side needs?
Looking at the rest of the team did anyone really see Andy Sullivan or Matt Fitzpatrick beating any of the American players. Sullivan had a good year on the European tour last year but has been way off the pace this year. Fitzpatrick looks like he should still be doing his paper round and although he has undoubted talent and may yet get to be a world class player he is another who this year hasn’t fulfilled his promise. Does anyone really believe that the giant Chris Wood is a world class player I don’t think so at the moment. He is young enough to still be improving but was he ready to play in a winning Ryder cup team certainly not. Danny Willett had a great Masters but in the pop world there is a term a one hit wonder and that seems to me to be Willett. With a young family and a major win, he seems to have lost his focus completely which is perfectly understandable. So that’s 4 losing players in the team out of 12. It was easy to see that Thomas Pieters would have a great match. He hits the ball enormous distances is a great iron player and looks likely to challenge on a world stage in the near future. Cabrerro Bello was a big surprise and the confidence he should have gained from this should help him push forward but can anyone see him reaching the world’s top 20 in the near future? Very doubtful. Kaymer is hit and miss at the moment Rose won a substandard Olympic tournament but putts like a 24 handicapper, Garcia lives on emotion like Pouter used to do Stenson was heroic and McIlroy no matter how much he shouts and fist pumps didn’t do enough.
With their choice as to how the course was set up its hardly surprising that the Americans with a team full of big hitters should make the course as easy as possible. Wide fairways, big greens and very little rough suited them down to the ground. The reaction of some of the European players complaining about is pure sour grapes and relies on short term memory loss about how our courses have been set up in the past.
Paris in two years’ time already looks like another convincing American win with so little world class talent emerging in Europe the only way a European victory can be conceived is if we make the rough a foot high and the fairways as narrow as possible to negate the superior distance advantage of the USA The problem with that is that it also puts McIlroy at a disadvantage. Home advantage is our only hope of victory but it’s hard to see how the Europeans can halt a run of American victories over the next few years.
What’s your view? Let us know in the comments below…