And yesterday, why not pair Tiger with Bradley during the afternoon session?
Davis Love was miserable. Old school. We have to do it a certain way. And now you tell me he's UNC. Dump him.
Remember when Curtis Strange...
I'm not gonna do this.
A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
Some questions cannot be answered
Who’s gonna bury who
We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
---Over the Rhine
Sunday was just choke day. We set ourselves up Saturday, and knocked ourselves down on Sunday. Holes 17 and 18 killed us on Saturday and Sunday. Nobody on the US team could finish with a flourish. Only one good finish would have probably been enough.
Amazing finish by Justin Rose, though. Never seen better under that kind of pressure. Justins are apparently good for that every 12-13 years.
Man, if your Mom made you wear that color when you were a baby, and you're still wearing it, it's time to grow up!
Worst US international coach since Larry Brown in 2004?
All that said, the players collapsed. The order set us up to do it and have the pressure build and the confidence build on the other side, but our guys just collapsed. Simpson had Poulter in hand and blew it. Kuchar was awful in singles, as he was in '10. Furyk choked away a full point to zero in about 5 minutes (and to Sergio, to boot!). When he pulled it deep into the trap on 17 I knew the whole thing was over. Mickelson played really well and was victimized by Rose's ridiculously clutch putting down the stretch, but he's got to just put it on the green on 18 and make par to get his half a point. Stricker's inability to get even half a point against Kaymer, who actually dumped one in the water on the back nine, is inexcusable.
I'll say this for DL III - pairing Bradley and Mickelson was a stroke of genius, and Simpson/Bubba was also a great team. But putting Stricker on the course on Friday afternoon and sitting Bradley was a horrible mistake (if you must give Phil some recovery time for singles, I guarantee Woods/Bradley would have made it 11-5, and it's not like Keegan needed to rest as he was guzzling jet fuel all week). The Sunday order was a mistake. And wasting captain's picks on Furyk and Stricker was the worst mistake of all, setting the table for everything that followed. I wasn't calling for Mahan and/or Fowler (although I thought maybe Watney would be a good choice), but in retrospect maybe that would have been the way to go. If you need experience and senior leadership, take one of those older guys, but you don't need two of them when both have more experience losing than winning Ryder Cups. Mahan and Fowler didn't really earn it and their games have been off, but they wouldn't have been any worse.
My "when I knew the whole thing was over" moment was Mickelson/Rose on 17. Phil just barely misses a chip-in, then Rose bombs in a long birdie. In the span of less than five minutes, we went from a fleeting vision of a 2-&-1 win to all square, heading to 18. You know how sometimes there's a moment in a sports event, and even though nothing's decided, even though it's still close, and even though there's still lots of game left to play, you just know in your gut how things are going to end? That was it for me. It was the golf equivalent of the Helicopter Play.
I think I was still deluding myself when Rose poured it in on 17, but you're right, that could have been the time it was over - it was apparent everything was going their way. I actually had a sick feeling the moment Poulter chipped in on the first hole, solidified about seven minutes later when McIlroy showed up five minutes before his tee time and managed to par a couple holes and get his feet underneath him.
This Europian team played sensationally all three days. The first two, they got burned time and again with putts that lipped out or missed by less than an inch. The last day, how many chip-ins did they make. How many putts that had been just missing the first two days fall in?
The last two groups on Saturday, were remarkable. I thought that that was a game changer; had a sinking feeling afterwards. The swing by Donald on 17 was the smoothest I've seen. His shoulders were so soft and the transition down just breezed with no tension. Wow. When you have that kind of play on the last two holes to keep the score getting beyond reach, well, that was scary. Tiger did lay in 5 birdies on the back and they still lost to 5 in-a-row by the best Ryder Cup player in history. Come on, they were great.
Donald was an assassin Sunday. I think going in you'd have to think that Bubba had a more than even chance. But, even for Donald, his iron play and putting were beyond belief, were beyond belief except for that swing on 17. You put a swing on a ball in a do or die situation for your team, you can do anything. He did. Meanwhile, if a few putts that Bubba had been making for four matches had gone, well, he did win two of the last three they played. You do the math. Rory had been playing unexceptional golf until Sunday. You alomost miss your starting time, anything after that going to bother you? You are not going to be playing with calm and forget about everything but the shot at hand? No, the picks going out earlier for the US, I think that you cannot fault Davis. And, by the way, Rose was unbelieveable throughout the tournament; he had had a great season but took it up to an entirely different level. Three birdies to win, one 35 feet.
Lawrie and than Rose were the two back breakers for me. And, raise your hand if you thought Lawrie would play out of his mind on the biggest stage there is on the last day? Westwood, who has been chasing greatest for so long, makes a put coming down the stretch that he was missing the first four days. Keymar was rated 1 for 8 weeks so the guy can play.
The older guys. Tiger played well. Anybody who expected him to be exceptional on this weekend, well, you have not been watching the last few years. He put everything into the week before, and instead of making a run on Sunday, he faded, just like he did in every major this past season. Only this week, he played well enough to win had he and Stricker not run into a buzz saw named Pulter. Tiger lipped out on that chip at 18; the guy he was playing against was the best, or second best, ball striker in Europe and played like it on Sunday. Furyk played great on Sunday; Garcia closed Seve-like the last few holes, and put amazing pressure on Furyk. Furyk's put on 17 lipped out. Didn't see that happen to everyone countless times throughout the three days? Garcia played 18 masterfully. That was when I thought Furyk felt the pressure of the world on his shoulders; it was painful to watch how many times Furyk lined up that putt on 18. It looked as if he hit it where he wanted, but overcooked it. I give the credit to Garcia. Garcia, by the way, explained it in exactly that way afterwards. He smiled and explained how he sucked the air out of Furyk and made him make a putt that was missable.
Stricker struggled the entire tournament. He hung in thoughout Sunday and looked like he was going to win. A really good putt by his opponent, a lip out on 17, a great drive on 18, and then an overcooked iron, took away from our seeing whether he could have made a amkeable last putt.
A word about putting Furyk and Stricker on the team. I think that it was a no brainer to put two players with considerable Ryder Cup experience on that team beyond Tiger. No one puts out that young a team without two more. The tournament came down to making putts. Who are others whom Davis might have picked (I really don't know).
I think that Europe had the better team; they didn't get the scores to match their play the first two days, except on the last two matches on Saturday. Sunday they made a remarkable run, and beat the death out of the US. They have something that the US players do not. They come from cultures that do not put such a prize on money, that seem to produce hardier, more gregarious guys, guys who do not have to reach for something that huge purses and American values do not produce. We've seen it for so long now; darn if I can put words around what that "it" is.
There's also the factor of "Europe" as a foe not having a definite, unified feeling. It's easy to focus your attention on beating "the U.S." and turning your focus on any and all negatives of that opponent. It's hard to just hate Belgium, Spain, Northern Ireland, England, Italy, Germany and Sweden and turn that amorphous group into a cohesive bad guy. It's like the Yankees playing the National League All-Stars.
I felt terrible for Jim Furyk, though from watching him and reading some of his comments, he felt even worse.
Don't like to use the word "choke" but it's clear the pressure got to him (and his finish at the US Open gave a preview).
The poor guy took FOREVER over his putts on 17 and 18 and missed them both (don't believe he even grazed the cup on 18).
Poulter on fire with all the gestures and eyes bulging was a scary sight. But absolutely clutch. I now look at him as I might regard some really obnoxious Tarheel (yeah, that doesn't narrow it down much, does it?). I'll be rooting against him for a while.
As painful as the loss was, just another example of why we watch sports -- you just never know.
Though, it looks like the outcome still surprised many.
Game Day: Duke at North Carolina - February 8, 2012
Yeah, kinda forced that in, but what the heck.
Yes and no. Yes, because I'm sure it gave Tarheel fans the same kind of sick feeling in their stomachs (ditto the Bartman play for Cubs fans). But I'm still going with the Helicopter Play in this case because it involved someone actually making a play, not just something fluky or unlucky that happened.
And a golfing buddy told me yesterday that they were making a Halloween mask of Poulter. Now if they would make a Keegan Bradley giving the "putting eye" mask, my wife and I could go to the Halloween Party as the Ryder Cup twins.
1. Furyk and Stricker were not good choices. As others have posted, Tiger and Phil provided experience as did the assistant Captains or whatever. He should have gone with younger guns.
2. I know Phil asked to sit out Saturday but why let him?
3. When I saw the lineups on Sunday I thought we could use. Went to play and told my partners it was not in the bags.
20 20 hindsight I know.
I happen to like Davis Love. Met him once at a golf tournament dinner many years ago and thought he was very nice and said he rooted for all the ACC teams, including Duke. Steve Stricker is a class act but should not have been playing.
Of course we only gave the Euros a chance. They had to play great to win and they did.
Stricker and Furyk hit shots in the clutch that chokers don't. They didn't leave putts short, two of the three were lip outs, and the third missed by an inch. The Euro's played spectacularly, even mystically, if you believe in that sort of thing. Jose did, and his team delivered. What an amazing ending. Seve! Seve! Seve!
one other thing, you put experienced guys on the team, not just two, because they are the guys who can stand up at the end, who you need to have at the end, these are the guys who can hold together with loss. You don't want a young player with his entire career ahead of him facing the pressure of the final rounds of the Ryder Cup which necessarily means it's all on the line. Striker and Furyk know how to win, and they can hold up to losing. How would it be if it was Bubba, or one of the other young Turks, did not hit shots to give them a chance to make a put and didn't, who hit it in the water on 17, the trees on 18?
How would it be if they did not like Furyk and Stricker, make shots shortly before the last two holes (Striker on Saturday, and on the last on Sunday) that at least pushed back against unrelenting charges in ther closing matches and the devastation that had already occurred that day. What would that mean for their careers. Furyk and Stricker have known the wounds of defeat, have seen what it can do to men who are not up to it, men who have never been their before and because of for real choking (the french guy at the British open that year) never came close again. What if a young Turk had missed a putt that was the
Davis chose these guys and they an stand their ground. Sure they wished that they had won, had closed it, and were pained that they hadn't. There was an entire team of "hadn'ts in front of us Sunday night. They gave it their best, and did not have to do it in the last couple of groups when, if as happened, the walls would come crushing down. Not, in my view, because they deserve it; but we cannot accept pain except for finding a reason for it. The reason I found, this was for Seve, for his protoge who loved him, and for what they did for a group of men from disparate countries, each from their own cultures and heroes. Extraordinary how ethnicity never seems to matter to these guys, how they embraced Oloey, ever since Seve arrived on the scene.
This was one of the most specular events I have seen in Sport. It ends itself terrifically to TV, the announcers and commentators and hole analysts were subperb, and the players put on a great competition. How can anyone keep their eyes' dry at the end? Would it have been the same if the Americans had won. Not for me, and I was rooting for them.
Last edited by greybeard; 10-02-2012 at 01:50 AM.
Anyone who was in the hunt on the last day of the final PGA tournament, anyone who stood to win 10 mill, wasn't done. Snedecker certainly wasn't, nor was Rory for three rounds and I believe four had he not had the biggest scare of his life that would have scarred him for life, and then got a chance.
I think that dumping on Davis' picks is second guessing, and needing a reaon to buffer the pain. You chose Furyk and Striker because they are guys who can putt, who are experienced Ryder Cuppers, for other several reasons. They've been there and can perhaps settle young players who haven't, provide some grounding. Another is that this course was set up for putting. Even from the trees you could give yourself a shot for birdie. Par was a good score on many holes. Furyk is the best American putter not named Snedecker. How well did Snedecker do on the greens. And, Zack Johnson, he let an important match slip away didn't he? Stricker put himself in position to win, hit shots that put him into position two days. On at least one, he made at least one birdie that brought it to the last holes. He made one on the last whole on Friday. Someone made one on top of him.
Another is that if it comes down to the last holes in the last few matches, these great putters have been there. I don't think that most people would say that if, going into the Cup, the US would be in that position, you wouldn't want Furyk or Stricker to be there. Maybe I am wrong.
Third, both Furyk and Stricker were on the team that won the only Ryder Cup the US had won since the dominant Seve era began. They had also been on the losing side. They knew victory and defeat in many tournaments. They could handle missing; I don't think that you want to put a young, budding star in that position. Not one of those young Turks who wanted to go out early, who asked to, were not disappointing. None of them. The team got drubbed.
Last edited by greybeard; 10-02-2012 at 01:00 PM.
Mahan and Fowler for me. Both of them. You're building up your future talent base, as well.