From the very first match in last weekends Presidents Cup, it was over as a competitive event. When Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas beat Charl Schwartzel and Hideki Matsuyama 6 & 4 it set the tone for one of the biggest none events in golfing history. As a contest the match was over after day one and the American team only needed one point on the final day to secure the victory. The television networks must have been very impressed with that!
This was the Americans 10th win in 12 events and despite every effort to try to make the games more competitive it is virtually impossible when the Americans can field a team that, all but one of them, qualified to play in the Players Championship and that person was Phil Mickelson. Without doubt, the current American squad is one of the strongest teams ever assembled and as many of them are still in their twenties it seems unlikely that the International Team will be able to muster any stronger challenge in two years time. The International Captain Nik Price had only 4 players in the worlds top 25 to pick whereas the Americans had 10 so it looked a mismatch even before the event started.
What effect will this have on next years Ryder Cup? One of the cornerstones of Europe’s successes has been the team spirit that they have managed to produce, so have probably punched above their weight to record some great victories. Unfortunately for Europe the old guard is past their best now and there doesn’t look to be a crop of new players that are coming through of sufficient quality whilst team spirit and bonding wont be enough to carry them through. On the other hand, several of this American squad have grown together through the Junior and College scene and many of them have developed close friendships with each other and the Europeans cant rely on having a superior team spirit anymore. In addition the Americans have had a chance to try out different pairings in this event and so go into the Ryder Cup much better prepared than the Europeans.
All in all the Americans look set to dominate team golf for several years to come and another Presidents Cup walkover like this one could signal the end of the event. Hopefully the Ryder Cup will be a better contest though that seems extremely unlikely and a continued run of American victories could set back the momentum and hysteria the event has created following European success. Hopefully it wont be as embarrassing as The Presidents Cup but we wouldn’t hold your breath.