I tended to think of Monty as being a man on a mission. He did have a 58.8% record in the States, but his strength was on home turf 79.4%
From what we've seen of Buuba, he's much more of a homer. In fact he's a bloody philistine, and probably struggles with anything non American.
Also if he were subjected to the abuse and barracking that the American's served up for Montgomerie I doubt he'd last more than a couple of holes before he walked off the course and refused to play on. He's not so much bad tempered but weak mentally unless everything is laid out on a plate for him. That fragility can be worked on very easily. You don't sense he has Colins cussedness
Undoubtedly this team has the capacity to land safely, and go into the game with more goodwill running towards them than any team since 1981. Even the 9/11 match held over, and played in 2002, had some residual ill feeling for the poor behaviour of the Americna galleries and players from 1999. Tom is more aware than most about the need to try and dilute the impact of a hostile crowd. To no small extent the crowd issue is purely down to Tom Watson and the tremendous resevoir of goodwill that he's built up personally over the decades. Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed would have the capacity to wipe that out in the course of a morning press conference. Bubba in particular. He just conforms with that stereotype, and it makes him an easy target (and you know the stereotype I'm referring to Johnny!). Tom is going to need to muzzle him. I detect that the media are already preparing the ground to put him in the cross hairs and target him. He's demonstrated a few times that he's the weak link outside of his comfort zone (geographic ones) and if a hostile crowd turn on him, I doubt he'll cope.If he starts on his "thanks to the Lord" routine he'll wind them up good and proper. Crikey we even passed a law yesterday that withdraws state subsidy from any nursery found guilty of teaching creationism as fact. It puts it in the same bracket a religious extremism. No one batted an eye lid. Tom needs to tell his team not to incite the crowd unless they really want a war. But out numbered and out shouted as they will be, it would be one of the most stupid tactics they could deploy.
That's why I don't believe Bubba is Monty. Colin had a much greater international perspective and a determination under the bad temper. Bubba you sense is just a mardy arse and his forays overseas to date would offer you little encouragement that he's going to stand up if subjected to this kind of examination. Hell, he can't even cope with rain in Kentucky and the disapproval of his own countrymen in places. Multiply this by 10 and you could get closer to what he could draw down not just on himself, but the others as well. I honestly wouldn't let him do a press conference if I were Tom, and I'd have Phil with him as much as possible
Talking of Peter Perfect, he's another one who I'm not sure stands up to the hostility of Ryder Cup. I did go back and check his home and away record out, as the stats I posted the other day looked too bad to be true. I can't remember where I sourced them from, but I tried running them through Wiki myself this time, noting them down as I went along. I've now got a different set!!!
Now you would be right to say he isn't "cowardly" as you simply can't achieve what Phil has in the game otherwise, but there is a question mark to my mind still. How many majors has Phil lost? I don't know - which is why I ask. I'm not asking how many has he not won. That's a different question. How many should he have won? How many could he have won?
His Ryder Cup Cup record in Europe is:
4 wins - 10 loses - 4 halves = 30% (so far as I can establish)
In the US this rises to
10 wins - 8 loses - 2 halves = 55%
I've no idea if a 25% differential is normal? (I wouldn't be shocked to discover it is) His last 2 away Ryder Cups have been 1 win 7 losses and 1 half though = 16%. In the last decade he's managed just a solitary clean point, a singles win against Peter Hanson. You have to go back to 2002 and a foursomes match against Pierre Fulke and Phillip Price to find his last win at the Belfry
That's not good enough
I think the wheels have come off team America now though, and Phil has to be picked (in truth he's going to qualify by right) and I'd be relieved if I were Tom. As I said somewhere else, he's exactly the sort of golfer you want, especially in a fourball, despite his record in that format, but I question his true level of fighting spirit and determination. Just about all his success has come on home territory with a remarkably adoring crowd making him feel loved. My heart says don't pick him, my head says pick him, and that's where I am with my view of Phil (not that its worth anything). He strikes me as being that guy who squares up to you, and then says to his friends "don't hold me back, don't hold me back guys" and they turn round and say "we're not"
This could be his stage though, but then the last time he had a Tigerless landscape to impose himself on as the alpha player (Valhalla) he failed, 1-2-2, but he could be the key to the American team
And I've found you a transatlantic flight for about $700 by the way Johnny going into Ringway from New York area (admittedly its not direct, but hey)