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post #109 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

 

 

Tom is in a no lose situation. NOBODY expects the USA to win this year. If he can magically put a W on the board, he's a magicman and should coach the next Ryder Cup team too!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

whats going to be interesting is if Watson goes with struggling experienced big name players like Sneds, Dufner, Webb, Zach ... OR ... a crop of young guns that might have better record on paper this year, but are inexperienced in match play (Kirk, TOdd, Stroud, etc).

We shall see ...

Completely agree

I think the first thing to blow up is this myth of 'experience'. I'm afraid experience is this sort of context is only really any good if its experience of winning. America's team is riddled with experienced losers. A losing culture becomes an expectation.

Tom needs to balance expectations here and make the team fun to be in. He needs to liberate and allow them to play unburdened. He needs them to win friends and heap the pressure onto Europe and see where it takes them

So the question I'm asking is who would you regard as your best prospects that fit this typology

1: Rookie
2: Long off the tee
post #110 of 336

If Tom hands a Captain's pick to an "experienced" guy not in the top 12 I'll be disappointed. Not only will this guy's true Ryder Cup experience be that of losing Ryder Cups, but he will have also lost in his bid to get into the top 12 as well!

 

Just take the top 12 and leave off the guys that could not get it done when they had a whole year to do it. If they really wanted to be on this team and were good enough, they'd have qualified. 

post #111 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJH999 View Post



I don't know about Phil. He's played shit golf all year and now after a 62, he's a lock? If he plays well at the PGA, then yes he should be in. Also, when is the last week to earn points and when do the captains make their picks?

 



He seems to have picked it up - I look for a strong PGA from him. Played well in both the Scotland Open and the Open Championship. Was sick Thu and Fri but played very well over the weekend at the WGC. He's ready to break out.

And, with his win at the PGA, will be in on points.
post #112 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJH999 View Post


I would feel more comfortable with Sneds rather than Chris Kirk or Turdo Sandowich or whatever..Dufner's bulging dicks are a concern, I hope he can recover in time for the ryder cup if he is an AQ

 

I'm really hoping Sneeeedeker makes it. He's got so much more talent than most of these other guys being considered for picks and I think he's a good "team" guy and can get hot with the putter. I just don't know if he's done enough these past couple months. His game is definitely headed in the right direction.....I think if he can get a top-10 at the PGA, he's got a decent chance of getting picked.

post #113 of 336

Tom went for experience in 1993, but as you say, these were selections who'd experienced winning.

 

Can you imagine who on the Sunday morning an inexperienced player is going to turn to for advice about what he needs to do to win?

 

Tiger - "sorry son, I've only been playing this century, can't help"

Mickelson - "Make sure you don't get drawn against Justin Rose. I beat Peter Hanson this century though if that helps?". 

Furyk - "Don't ask me, I screwed up at Celtic Manor" (in truth Jim's singles record is a good one)

 

The answer to the question of who the inexperienced player turns to is Tom Watson and Ray Floyd isn't it?

 

This is what America needs to do I think, as their current predicament reminds me a little bit of where we were in 1983, a match that lit the blue touchpaper, but the significance of which tends to have been overlooked by history. If we hadn't competed as well as we did in 1983, I'm not so sure there'd have been a first win 1985

 

Last month Sergio was contending in the Open and on completion of his round was asked 'a friendly' about what this tournament (the Open) meant to him. Expect the usual platitudes to flow regardless of their sincreity, but Sergio isn't wired like that. "Second best competition in the world" was his answer. The supplementary question  was asked with a sense of forboding (for Gods sake you're on European TV, don't nominate an American event). But his answer was sure footed "Ryder Cup"

 

So a golfer contending for the Open, wasted no time in nominating the Ryder Cup, a competition with no prize money, or ranking points, as being the one that meant the most to him. How many American's do you honestly think would say that? (I'll return to this) as I also think it's worth dwelling on the fact that Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter have both given the same answer before now. But the traditional American way would be to dismiss their claims, because none of them have won indvidual majors. This tacit dismissal of them of course, only fires them up more. If America's players did but realise it, they, their media, their galleries, and their administrators motivate the European team

 

Colin Montgomerie = 65.3%

Sergio Garcia = 64.3%

Ian Poulter = 80%

 

Spot the pattern? Those to whom the RC actually means something, just happen to have the best records. Coincidence? Yeah it must because they haven't won majors have they. I'd say not myself. You take your own view though, but I'd suggest its worth taking a positive look at any players who you feel possess that fire

 

But it means something to America too? Well we know it does because players agents put out press releases now and then to say it does. Similarly players can underline their commitment by tweeting it. I suggested to someone last week in Florida that America doesn't really get the Ryder Cup, and she bit my head off. What she described however was a temporary interest with luke warm player enthusisasm at best. It wasn't her fault. She didn't have the reference point capable of allowing her to observe the difference between the two teams. We start building to this almost the moment the previous finishes. Players will frequently cite qualification as one their seasons major goals. 

 

So I'd be looking for players to whom it means something. A determined player who is there to fight and give his all, and when that's exhausted, someone who digs again, and finds another 10%. These types of players are a sight more formidable opponents than someone who just turns up and expects that they'll be allowed to win by dint of their world ranking and roll call of majors.

 

With that in mind I'd have little doubt about taking Keegan Bradley and even asking him to take the first shot. He turned up at Gleneagles. That was enough for me. That would tell me that this guy is sincere in his desire to represent his country and fight for it. Anyone can tweet their support, but when he was called, he answered. Some of the excuses for not going to Gleneagles were genuine of course and those players deserve the benefit of the doubt, but some were limp. Aberdeen is only 2 hours from Gleneagles, and something tells me these guys use helicopters anyway. No evidence that Furyk's game suffered at Liverpool for the 24 hours he took out of schedule was their Phil? Quite the opposite actually. You could argue he put in an enhanced showing

 

Try asking yourself this:

 

Your country calls you (for that's what Tom Watson represents) and you don't answer

What would happen if your sponsor called you to Gleneagles?

 

I suspect that 95% of the American players would answer the latter, but only 5% answered the former

post #114 of 336

Keegan and Phil will be picked (if Phil doesn't qualify) because they make as good a pair as any we'll have this year (not saying much, I know)

 

With Tiger likely out, I think the other pick goes to Webb. Personally, I just can't see Tom going for a rookie on a hunch.

post #115 of 336

Who you would pick, and who you think Tom will pick, are of course two different things (I've always regarded variants on the first as being the better conversation, but that's just personal), but here's a potential angle

 

Some of us were on Tiger's case early, and I have to say, I was flabbergasted at the sheer number of former great players and respected commentators who seemed prepared to pick an injured player blind. I can't think of many (if any) occasion, where an injured player has enhanced a team, (El Cid perhaps?)

 

Anyway, it looks as if America is going to Scotland Tigerless, and I for one think they'll play better for it, but...... does this leave the path open for Tiger to perform a vice captain's role? Would Tom want him? Would you ask him? He has said in the recent past that he aspires to captain a team one day, and it's been noticeable that the formula that Europe has developed successfully is to introduce captains and vice captains and then promote them. 

 

The generation of players who America is going to be relying on will be Tiger cubs, might he be the inspiration who could fire them unburdened by the responsibility of playing, and similarly, they're unburdened of having to play alongside him

post #116 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post

 

Some of us were on Tiger's case early, and I have to say, I was flabbergasted at the sheer number of former great players and respected commentators who seemed prepared to pick an injured player blind. I can't think of many (if any) occasion, where an injured player has enhanced a team, (El Cid perhaps?)

 

Anyway, it looks as if America is going to Scotland Tigerless, and I for one think they'll play better for it, but...... does this leave the path open for Tiger to perform a vice captain's role? Would Tom want him? Would you ask him? He has said in the recent past that he aspires to captain a team one day, and it's been noticeable that the formula that Europe has developed successfully is to introduce captains and vice captains and then promote them. 

 

The generation of players who America is going to be relying on will be Tiger cubs, might he be the inspiration who could fire them unburdened by the responsibility of playing, and similarly, they're unburdened of having to play alongside him

 

Some of us were on Tiger's case early, and I have to say, I was flabbergasted at the sheer number of former great players and respected commentators who seemed prepared to pick an injured player blind. I can't think of many (if any) occasion, where an injured player has enhanced a team, (El Cid perhaps?)

 

The reticence to let go of a fading superstar is, alas, often all too prevalent. The insistence that Tiger must play in this year's Ryder Cup is vaguely reminiscent of the England selectors of the early 1990s, who simply couldn't conceive of a Test squad that didn't include Ian Botham.

 

Does this leave the path open for Tiger to perform a vice captain's role? Would Tom want him? Would you ask him? He has said in the recent past that he aspires to captain a team one day, and it's been noticeable that the formula that Europe has developed successfully is to introduce captains and vice captains and then promote them. 

 

Would Tom want him as a vice captain? Only if he wants a media fixation on the vice captain that more or less overshadows everything else.

 

He has said in the recent past that he aspires to captain a team one day, and it's been noticeable that the formula that Europe has developed successfully is to introduce captains and vice captains and then promote them. 

 

I don't know whether I see him as a captain. Often, it's the outstanding players who are the most individualistic. The Faldo debacle of 2008 showed the European team what happens when you simply hand the captain's armband to a great individual talent, but whose very talent seemed to thrive on detachment.

post #117 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post

Anyway, it looks as if America is going to Scotland Tigerless, and I for one think they'll play better for it, but...... does this leave the path open for Tiger to perform a vice captain's role? Would Tom want him? Would you ask him?
I would bet my house on this not happening. If the captain were Freddy instead of Tom, then I could see it but no, not happenin in '14.
post #118 of 336

Tiger Woods' chances of getting picked by Tom Watson are now pretty much slim to none.

 

http://espn.go.com/golf/rydercup14/story/_/id/11306973/tom-watson-wary-tiger-woods-back-injury-ryder-cup

post #119 of 336

My own guess is the time must be getting near (I thought it was a month ago) where Tom, Tiger, and the team will benefit from a definitive decision being made and to clear the decks. This Tiger percentage chance watch game is just plain silly and debilitating

 

I'd almost be inclined to ring Tiger (if I were Tom) and simply tell him that much as though you admire his fortitude and determination to fight back, you feel like you've been forced to call time on him. Then in the name of unity offer him the chance to call time on his own campaign and give him some dignity. 

 

Less we forget (injuries aside) his form wasn't exactly good enough to earn a place

 

The one I'm trying to weigh up at the moment is Mickelson. 

 

As someone else has said, a round of 62 doesn't equal pick. Didn't he shoot a 60 earlier this year too? These streaky sorts are normally exactly the types you want in fourballs, and yet too many times Phil's proven soft when the chips have been down. OK he's been outplayed fair and square too, that can happen to anyone, but there is that bit of me thinking he's had his chance and hasn't taken it. I don't sense that we're scared of Phil Mickelson, but we do seem a little bit wary of American producing a young relatively unknown candidate who comes in with now scar tissue and bags of enthusiasm and doesn't know where the ceiling is

post #120 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post

My own guess is the time must be getting near (I thought it was a month ago) where Tom, Tiger, and the team will benefit from a definitive decision being made and to clear the decks. This Tiger percentage chance watch game is just plain silly and debilitating

I'd almost be inclined to ring Tiger (if I were Tom) and simply tell him that much as though you admire his fortitude and determination to fight back, you feel like you've been forced to call time on him. Then in the name of unity offer him the chance to call time on his own campaign and give him some dignity. 

Less we forget (injuries aside) his form wasn't exactly good enough to earn a place

The one I'm trying to weigh up at the moment is Mickelson. 

As someone else has said, a round of 62 doesn't equal pick. Didn't he shoot a 60 earlier this year too? These streaky sorts are normally exactly the types you want in fourballs, and yet too many times Phil's proven soft when the chips have been down. OK he's been outplayed fair and square too, that can happen to anyone, but there is that bit of me thinking he's had his chance and hasn't taken it. I don't sense that we're scared of Phil Mickelson, but we do seem a little bit wary of American producing a young relatively unknown candidate who comes in with now scar tissue and bags of enthusiasm and doesn't know where the ceiling is
He shot a 60 last year in Arizona.
post #121 of 336

I'm not a Phil fanboy but anyone who thinks that he shouldn't be or won't be a pick has to have some pretty negative Phil bias. He obviously hasn't played well this year but the dude is one spot away from an automatic spot, has played on countless teams, is one of the best 10 or 15 players to ever play the game, etc...not to mention the lack of attractive alternatives to take his spot. He will be on the team.

post #122 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydog View Post
 

I'm not a Phil fanboy but anyone who thinks that Phil shouldn't be or won't be a pick has to have some pretty negative Phil bias. He obviously hasn't played well this year but the dude is one spot away from an automatic spot, has played on countless teams, is one of the best 15 players to play the game, etc...not to mention the lack of attractive alternatives to take his spot. He will be on the team.

Yep, and he'll be teamed with Keegan at every opportunity. I think it's a given that they'll both make the team one way or another.

post #123 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydog View Post
 

I'm not a Phil fanboy but anyone who thinks that he shouldn't be or won't be a pick has to have some pretty negative Phil bias. He obviously hasn't played well this year but the dude is one spot away from an automatic spot, has played on countless teams, is one of the best 10 or 15 players to ever play the game, etc...not to mention the lack of attractive alternatives to take his spot. He will be on the team.

 

I'd like to dig a little bit closer at his precise record but FWIW, I think i'd lean towards moving past him now. That's not to discount any of the rationale you've put up in support of him. I can't pick a hole in any of that, but I would ask the question why it's never happened for him in Ryder Cup? Something doesn't click, for whatever reason. It hasn't done in the past, and I'm struggling to see why it should suddenly fall into place now? If I replace him though, it has to be on a hunch player, as clearly there's no one whose personal indvidual record stands in the same shadow as Phils, so what ever name you come up with, you're wide open to ridicule. Actually in terms of career achievements, the Captain is the only player currently active who could eclipse Phil!!!

 

I think ultimately there's a soft underbelly about Phil in a fight and that's what puts me off. I can't deny he's better qualified, and indeed equipped from all sorts of persepctives than the alternatives, but I just think some street fighting slugger will give you a better return  .... so its back to Boo then!!!! No... I'm sure I can find someone better

post #124 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post

I'd like to dig a little bit closer at his precise record but FWIW, I think i'd lean towards moving past him now. That's not to discount any of the rationale you've put up in support of him. I can't pick a hole in any of that, but I would ask the question why it's never happened for him in Ryder Cup? Something doesn't click, for whatever reason. It hasn't done in the past, and I'm struggling to see why it should suddenly fall into place now? If I replace him though, it has to be on a hunch player, as clearly there's no one whose personal indvidual record stands in the same shadow as Phils, so what ever name you come up with, you're wide open to ridicule. Actually in terms of career achievements, the Captain is the only player currently active who could eclipse Phil!!!

I think ultimately there's a soft underbelly about Phil in a fight and that's what puts me off. I can't deny he's better qualified, and indeed equipped from all sorts of persepctives than the alternatives, but I just think some street fighting slugger will give you a better return  .... so its back to Boo then!!!! No... I'm sure I can find someone better
Agreed...but you forgot to mention Rich Beem...
post #125 of 336

OK then, the case against Phil Mickelson, and to pick up on Skydogs comment that I'd have to have to have "some pretty negative Phil bias". 

 

In the first case I think I do have some of that bias, but its ranged against him on a different level. We tend to bristle at the way he presents himself as Mr America, the clean living, great family guy you all should want to be. We think there's something intrinsically phoney about Phil. Do you remember the Whacky Races/ Penelope Pitstop. Well there was a character in one of those cars called 'Peter Perfect'. I think we prefer our heroes to be a bit darker and there is something just too stage managed about Phil. I also think we like to feel we're too smart to get taken in by this carefully cultivated all American image and its only something Americans would fall for. The problem with that observation of course is that we did exactly the same over some half decent occasional footballer and full-time celebrity called David Beckham (albeit there were plenty who sneered at him too). So I bristle a little bit at Phil Mickelson who i suspect of being  a bit phoney and soft at the coal face of delivery. The sort of guy who says one thing to appease people because he knows what they want to hear, but then does another etc

 

So having cleared that up a bit, I'm going to move straight to Medinah. Mickelson enjoyed his finest cup since his debut in 1995. Indeed, it was only his second winning appearence. At Medinah, it was what he said after day 1 that caught my attention. I can't quote it verbatim but it was words to the effect of;

 

this has been a real boost for me playing alongside these new, hungry, brave, kids who play exciting golf. Perhaps the roles are changing and we should be supporting them. He also spoke about how he'd been given a new lease of life by them, and felt revitalised

 

It was intended as a complement for Keegan Bradley, but what is he really saying. Or perhaps I should ask, what is he really admitting? It sounded to me as if he were acknowledging that he'd only been going through the motions and not really caring too much. If that's harsh (and I think it probably is) what I suspect he's been guilty of is not giving the archetypal 110%

 

The Ryder Cup is his chance to represent his country rather than himself. It comes round every two years. He should be be hungry for it. He shouldn't need motivating. When he first played in the cup (1995) it might have meant something to him? he went 3-0-0. It wasn't until Keegan Bradley was able to act as his crutch, that he returned a winning percentage again. His personal record in the seven cups bookended by these two is 0-4-3. Remember America has to win. 

 

It's worth looking at his sequence actually breaking it at 2004

 

Won, Drew, Drew, Drew

Lost, Lost, Lost, Lost, Won

 

Before 2004 he'd never returned a losing match, after 2004 he never returned a winning one (until Keegan bailed him out). It's synmptomatic again of player whose heart isn't in the effort any more. His performance has dropped, at a time when it actually improved in competition play

 

Tigerists can at least point to this singles record and say there's a role for him in this area provided they could find a fourball partner. Phils fans can't even do that. He's consistent, I'll grant them that, but he's a consistent loser in Ryder Cups

 

Foursomes - 4-5-4 = 46%

Fourballs - 6-8-2 = 43%

Singles - 4-5-0 = 44%

 

Remember America needs players to post 50%+ to win this. Phil Mickelson has played nine Ryder Cups and accomplished this feat twice. He didn't even manage it on the two winning teams he's played on either suggesting that he isn't a totemic player, the sorts of which Europe has built teams around

 

Perhaps the most damning evidence though lies in this idea of him being soft.

 

The answer is 1997, Darren Clarke. The question is what?

 

"who is the only European player that Phil Mickelson has beaten in Ryder Cup singles, in Europe".

 

You perhaps could be forgiven for not being able to dredge the answer up from 17 years ago. I think Phil likes to be popular. He plays better, and feels better about himself when he senses people approve of him,nay, when he senses they adore him perhaps even? So much of brand Mickelson has been built around being popular. Is there a deep rooted insecurity in there? who knows, but this is Ryder Cup and this is Europe. It's the home ground of the hostile opposition and he represents the unpopular. How players respond away from their home comforts tells us quite a bit about their inner strength and depth of character. Do they go Poulterish and stand there and trade? or do they sulk and meekly surrender in the absence of love?

 

Mickelson's record away from the United States is shocking

 

In America   10-8-2 = 55%

In Europe    4-10-4 = 33%

 

Now I think those figures are correct, but if they aren't, they won't be badly wrong.

 

That's an alarming discrepancy, and its built up over enough time now for us to think there's a story behind it. 

 

Why would you countenance selecting someone who has managed just four wins since 1997 on opposition soil? It's actually even worse if you restrict the analysis to the 'high Phil' stage of his career (the post 2004 period)

 

1-7-1 = 16.6%

 

This is a player going through the motions isn't it with no real appetite for the battle anymore? If he had, he could have gone to Gleneagles with his prospective partner. He could have demonstrated by deed rather than guff, just how excited he was by the new young players, and how committed he was to team America. Phil played Aberdeen. He could have cemented his place as a senior statesmen of the team and demonstrated the fact that he was a credible role model to the younger players. He could have.... well shown the same level of commitment as Jim Furyk did (who unlike Phil was nailed on to qualify). Not only that, he could really have done some quality work with Bradley. They could have done the odds and even holes working out who might like to tee of which, they could have discussed their strategies for each hole, and experimented. But Phil didn't show, despite being less then 2 hours drive away.

 

Doubtless he'll tell his pre-cup press conferences how patriotic he is, and how much the RC means to him, (he knows it resonates with his fan base) but its time to judge him on what he does, and see through what he says

 

Fine competition player that is, a great one even, but RC hasn't so far proven to be his stage. It brings out other qualities in a player and involves drawing on things I'm not sure Phil has in his locker. All the evidence of Mickelsons record points to him not being the answer, and although candidates might be slim on the ground, a hungry long hitter with attitude represents the more formidable opponent.

post #126 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post

OK then, the case against Phil Mickelson, and to pick up on Skydogs comment that I'd have to have to have "some pretty negative Phil bias". 

In the first case I think I do have some of that bias, but its ranged against him on a different level. We tend to bristle at the way he presents himself as Mr America, the clean living, great family guy you all should want to be. We think there's something intrinsically phoney about Phil. Do you remember the Whacky Races/ Penelope Pitstop. Well there was a character in one of those cars called 'Peter Perfect'. I think we prefer our heroes to be a bit darker and there is something just too stage managed about Phil. I also think we like to feel we're too smart to get taken in by this carefully cultivated all American image and its only something Americans would fall for. The problem with that observation of course is that we did exactly the same over some half decent occasional footballer and full-time celebrity called David Beckham (albeit there were plenty who sneered at him too). So I bristle a little bit at Phil Mickelson who i suspect of being  a bit phoney and soft at the coal face of delivery. The sort of guy who says one thing to appease people because he knows what they want to hear, but then does another etc
Yes! That paragraph sums up my exact feeling for Phil Mickelson.
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