FanDuel - WFBC

October 04, 2010

Europe Wins Ryder Cup: On the 17th hole in the last match, Graeme McDowell won over Hunter Mahan, giving Europe the Ryder Cup over the United States in the event's first-ever Monday finish. The Americans nearly completed a massive comeback with final-day wins from Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Jeff Overton and Steve Stricker.

posted by rcade to golf at 01:00 PM - 9 comments

Tiger earns 3 points, tied with Stricker (his partner) for most on the US team, and with Donald and Poulter for tournament lead.

posted by grum@work at 02:40 PM on October 04

Seems like I picked the wrong day to spend on a plane flying to India. Sounds like it was a nail-biter (te Ryder Cup, not my flight... although, that had its moments).

posted by JJ at 04:35 PM on October 04

The points don't always reflect the performance: Cink was ridiculously good throughout, but didn't necessarily get the points; Harrington got points when paired up, but was in woeful form. Mickelson and Woods didn't really show up until the singles, and I wonder if that eagle on 12 will bolster Tiger's form for the rest of the year.

Despite the weather and the format change, you couldn't have asked for a better match, played in great spirit, with feisty but respectful galleries and a nice rapport between the teams. Rory McIlroy described the Ryder Cup as an "exhibition" last year; today he called it the best week of his golfing life.

You forget sometimes how there's nothing comparable in the calendar to those moments during the singles where the cameras are cutting frantically between holes to show great shot after great shot, all of them affecting the outcome and sending roars around the course. Not even a final day at a major has that panoramic lens.

posted by etagloh at 04:36 PM on October 04

Is there a reason why Europe generally seems to win the fourballs/foursomes and USA wins the singles?

posted by salmacis at 05:41 AM on October 05

U.S. golfers are better at playing with themselves. Giggity.

posted by dyams at 09:18 AM on October 05

Tiger earns 3 points, tied with Stricker (his partner) for most on the US team, and with Donald and Poulter for tournament lead.

Is there a reason why Europe generally seems to win the fourballs/foursomes and USA wins the singles?

Without wanting to pick a fight with grum, I'd suggest there's a link between a general American attitude regarding individual performances and their (usual) under-performance in the pairs matches - there is, for example, no such thing as "the tournament lead" expressed for an individual's performances. Such a concept does exist of course, in the minds of the observer, but at the end of the day, there are no bonus points on offer for the strongest individual.

Going a little deeper into the golf (and bypassing such sweeping generalisations about nations and their attitudes), growing up as a top amateur golfer in Europe, you tend to play a lot more team events and a lot more matchplay events. If you play for Ireland, for example, you have annual team events for your province at the Inter-provincial championships (Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht), and for your country in both the European Championships and the Home Internationals (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales). You also face annual one-off matches against the likes of the MGA (Metropolitan Golfing Association from New York). In addition, many of the decent young amateurs in Europe are at college in the states* playing college golf. This tends to be more strokeplay than matchplay, but is still "team" golf. In short, about half of your golfing year will be spent representing a team.

My understanding of amateur golf in the US is that the team stuff happens at college (and, as I said, is mostly strokeplay) and, apart from the World Cup (or the Eisenhower Trophy, which will be played at the end of this month in Argentina), you play far fewer rounds as part of a team. The US system inevitably produces better individuals and probably prepares players far more thoroughly for the individual rigors of the PGA Tour, but the European guys have mostly grown up playing in - and relishing - team events. I'm sure it's not the only reason, but equally sure it has an impact.

*Graeme McDowell played college golf in the US before he turned pro (hence his ridiculous accent**), and in the process broke several of the scoring records set by Tiger a few years before - records that were said at the time to be unbreakable. I imagine his emergence this year on the radar of the casual US golf fan has been sudden, but for a lot of people on this side of the water, and in Ireland in particular, it's surprising it hasn't happened sooner.

**The accent is a by-product of his previous strong north west Northern Irish accent and going to college in Alabama. Paraphrasing from a recent interview with him about it: "I had a choice at college - repeat myself all day long and still have no one understand me, or develop enough of a twang that they could follow what I was saying. Having done that for four years, it's an easy habit to slip back into, especially when I'm talking to American media." My favourite line from a press conference during the Ryder Cup came after the second practice day, during which Rory played with Graeme and the Mollinari brothers. A journalist asked him how he'd enjoyed playing with "two Italians and an American". My favourite chant of the week was from the stands at the first tee at the start of the second session. Having previously chanted, to the tune of Guantanamera "One Ian Poulter! There's only one Ian Poulter..." they then started singing: "Two Mollinaris! There's only two Mollinaris..."

In fairness, in that clip, some wag (not without cause) is chanting "One Mollinari, there's only one Mollinari..."

Well. It made me laugh.

posted by JJ at 11:28 AM on October 05

Interesting side issue with the matches that only just occurred to me - Dustin got to play Kaymer, as he would have done in the playoff for the USPGA had he not been penalised for grounding his club in a hazard on the 18th. I wonder if winning 6&4 made him feel better or worse about all that.

posted by JJ at 11:35 AM on October 05

Without wanting to pick a fight with grum, I'd suggest there's a link between a general American attitude regarding individual performances and their (usual) under-performance in the pairs matches - there is, for example, no such thing as "the tournament lead" expressed for an individual's performances. Such a concept does exist of course, in the minds of the observer, but at the end of the day, there are no bonus points on offer for the strongest individual.

Don't worry about me, I'm Canadian. ;)

I was just making a point about how everyone was all doom & gloom about Tiger's chances at the Ryder Cup, yet he performed quite well.

posted by grum@work at 08:17 PM on October 05

JJ, if you're still checking in on this thread (or anyone) ...

Why is it that European Tour players consistently play on the US Tour (I'm betting at the consternation of many Euro fans) - but we rarely see an American head across the ocean, except for The Open?

I mean, I'm sure that on a global scale, the PGA Tour in America provides more exposure and is more lucrative. But, I can't believe that some of these millionaires who clearly take pride in their craft refuse to expose themselves just occasionally to the European style of the game.

If for absolutely no other reason, no matter the makeup of the teams, I will always consider the Euros a notable favorite when the Ryder Cup is played over there, but the Americans will either be a push or tiny favorites (again, in my mind) when played here.

posted by littleLebowski at 07:10 AM on October 07

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.