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2014 Ryder Cup Discussion Thread

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And there you have it folks. I saw on Twitter that not 5 min after the Ryder Cup was over, Dufner tweeted something like, "Azinger 2016." And he wasn't even part of the team.

Actually think Azinger would be a great choice.

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Maybe. I just don't see the passion from most of the US players that I see in many of the Europeans. At least if it is there, it's different.

It's easy to have "passion" when you're winning.

The U.S. team showed "passion" in 1999. 2008. They even showed quite a bit of passion the first 1.9 days of 2012.

Ditto "camaraderie" or any of the other words you want to use.

How much "passion" did the Euro teams who were beat 5&4 show this year? Not a lot. Yet those same players showed quite a bit when they closed out a close match on the 17th or 18th hole, or blew Rickie Fowler out with a birdie/eagle blitz.

Possibly you're right and it's all about the captain (for what it's worth I thought Tom Watson was not a good choice as captain and I didn't change my opinion over the course of the tournament) but I do think the players need to take a little of the responsibility when things go wrong time and again, regardless of captain.

When teams are so closely matched as to be basically 50/50, a 5% swing toward one side (good captaining, good pairings, good ordering of players, etc.) is enough to win 15.5 to 12.5.

Nobody's saying it's "all about the captain."

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It is not all about the captain BUT we did get crushed in fourball alt shot. That to me falls on the captain for poor pairings. The Ryder cup was lost in the afternoons.

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It's easy to have "passion" when you're winning.

The U.S. team showed "passion" in 1999. 2008. They even showed quite a bit of passion the first 1.9 days of 2012.

Ditto "camaraderie" or any of the other words you want to use.

How much "passion" did the Euro teams who were beat 5&4 show this year? Not a lot. Yet those same players showed quite a bit when they closed out a close match on the 17th or 18th hole, or blew Rickie Fowler out with a birdie/eagle blitz.

When teams are so closely matched as to be basically 50/50, a 5% swing toward one side (good captaining, good pairings, good ordering of players, etc.) is enough to win 15.5 to 12.5.

Nobody's saying it's "all about the captain."

Fair enough, mate. I guess, like I said, there's a lot of soul searching going on and Tom Watson has come in for a good deal of flak, much of which is pretty well deserved IMO. I don't dislike the guy, in fact quite the opposite, but the chap earlier in the thread who said he came over as an obstinate old man (or words to that effect) isn't far wide of the mark - he did to me. I know a lot of people have said how wrong Phil was to criticise Tom in the press conference but Tom also said on more than one occasion that he had a good plan, it's just that the players didn't execute it. From the outside it looked like the exact opposite of a close knit team.

One interesting fact I stumbled over was regarding all past ryder cup performances. Looking at some of your 'senior' players going into the cup their records in the cup were

Phil Mickelson Won 11, lost 17, drew 6 - 41%

Jim Furyk Won 8, lost 15, drew 4 - 37%

Compare that to Bubba Watson who people have refered to as 'need not apply' etc

Bubba Watson Won 5, lost 5 drew 1 - 50%

Look at the core of the European team and you have stats more like Lee Westwood 57% return, Graeme McDowell 63% return and Ian Poulter 73% return. Yep, they've been on more winning teams but individually they've performed better cup after cup. I don't think it basically was a 50/50 match up. In the cauldron that is the Ryder Cup our guys seem to perform better. And I think (though you may well disagree) that it's the fact they are so close knit that helps that to happen.

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Your Bubba Watson stats are wrong (the team USA section for the Ryder Cup website has had them wrong ever since it was created). He's never won a foursomes or singles match

His new record supports the view of those calling for him not to be picked

2010 = 1-3-0

2012 = 2-2-0

2014 = 0-3-0

overall 3-8-0 = 27%

For me the more telling  story here is the difference between home and away. Bubba is known not to be the most worldly individual, and away from America his stats of 1-6-0 (14%) don't justify consideration yet alone selection. I do wonder if America would be better served by simply abolishing the qualification system and selecting 12 picks precisely to allow them to accommodate form players or those who are capable of beating the qualification system but whom you've lost complete confidence in to play the Ryder Cup. I still think Bubba has a role to play in American cups, but I'd be very wary taking into Europe again. I'm sure America has golfers with greater character

You might say that such a proposal devalues the rankings but I don't see that it does in honesty. The ranking is only an expression of money anyway. It's not as if people will stop playing because it no longer gives them a passport into the Ryder Cup. The qualification was bolted onto the rankings, not the other way round. In any event, the rankings would still form the point of reference that most discussions that will take place in the selection panel face. Nearly every international sports team I can think of is the subject of a selection process base don observed performance. Golf must be pretty unique. The only comparison I can think of is Olympic teams where a qualification standard is required, or in the US a trial

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Actually think Azinger would be a great choice.

Interesting if Azinger gets picked and the US still lose? Who will those poor players have to blame then haha? :( Players need to man up and take responsibility, the Ryder cup was lost because the US simply didn't hit as many good shots as We(the europeans) did.. Winning gets done by nothing less than good shots, pairings don't matter.. I used to play regional level with a guy who I did not like very much, but guess what, he hit the ball to 10 feet all the time. Boils down to this: If you hit more good shots/good putts than the other pairing, you win.

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Your Bubba Watson stats are wrong (the team USA section for the Ryder Cup website has had them wrong ever since it was created). He's never won a foursomes or singles match

Appologies for that - it was the US section of the Ryder Cup official site I was looking at, thought it would have it right. The other half of the equation still holds true (unless the site got that wrong as well?) The 'backbone' of the US team haven't had all that much more success.

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I have little doubt that there's been at least two golfing generations pass through the US for whom the cup meant very little. I also sense that there might be a generation starting to emerge (those who used to watch the failures of Woods and Mickelson on television) who are a tad fed up with it. They'd be mid twenties by now. I think this bodes well for the future. I do think it's time America looked at clearing out the failed generation. Indeed, it was something Azinger said himself on the subject of 'experience'. Players who can only point to a track record of failed experiecne aren't actually bringing that much to the team other than a losing culture and expectation of more. Better to start with undamaged players with no scar tissue who don't know where the boundaries are. Another one who might need looking it as Rickie Fowler with a record of 0-3-5. I'm inclined to regard this as a quirk at this stage, but not a single outright point in 8 games!!! That's pretty awful

It'll be interesting to see how Azinger gets on with his pod system at Hazeltine against Darren Clarke. I note Paul's already talking down expectations and looking at a longer temporal horizon (sensible). A pod system is only a management model after all, albeit this one has been lifted from special forces. Like any management model, it's only as good as the people applying it. New Zealand have used it in the past for rugby and made it work very well. Wales tried it, under Graham Henry, and it failed.

I'm also trying to work out what sort of team Europe will have in 2016 (never easy admittedly) but you'd have thought that Westwood will be earning his first stripe in vice captaincy (Clarkes partner in fourballs). I'd be surprised if Bjorn will appear too. He's widely expected to captain 2018 and will be earning his second stripe, so Darren has two vice captains already. He'll want someone (possibly two) who've done the job previously. Montgomerie and / or Woosnam. You'd be very surprised if Stephen Gallacher played.He'd need to qualify and he didn't manage that this time round. I suspect there's at least three vacancies that are foreseeable

Luke Donald might recover his form by then. Ian Poulter will be a tough one, as his career could go either way from here at about 38. His experience of standing toe to toe on American soil though will see him involved in some form

Of the emerging players Shane Lowry and Super Joost will be to the fore you would hope, with Molinari also expecting to be improving still, as too should be Weisberger or Blixt in the mid to late 20's. England has a few players as well, and there's always the likes of Casey, Colsearts or Fisher who might regain form

It could be that we end up replacing Bjorn, Gallacher, Westwood, and Donaldson with  Donald, Luiten, Lowry and Weisberger

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I have little doubt that there's been at least two golfing generations pass through the US for whom the cup meant very little. I also sense that there might be a generation starting to emerge (those who used to watch the failures of Woods and Mickelson on television) who are a tad fed up with it. They'd be mid twenties by now. I think this bodes well for the future. I do think it's time America looked at clearing out the failed generation. Indeed, it was something Azinger said himself on the subject of 'experience'. Players who can only point to a track record of failed experiecne aren't actually bringing that much to the team other than a losing culture and expectation of more. Better to start with undamaged players with no scar tissue who don't know where the boundaries are. Another one who might need looking it as Rickie Fowler with a record of 0-3-5. I'm inclined to regard this as a quirk at this stage, but not a single outright point in 8 games!!! That's pretty awful

It'll be interesting to see how Azinger gets on with his pod system at Hazeltine against Darren Clarke. I note Paul's already talking down expectations and looking at a longer temporal horizon (sensible). A pod system is only a management model after all, albeit this one has been lifted from special forces. Like any management model, it's only as good as the people applying it. New Zealand have used it in the past for rugby and made it work very well. Wales tried it, under Graham Henry, and it failed.

I'm also trying to work out what sort of team Europe will have in 2016 (never easy admittedly) but you'd have thought that Westwood will be earning his first stripe in vice captaincy (Clarkes partner in fourballs). I'd be surprised if Bjorn will appear too. He's widely expected to captain 2018 and will be earning his second stripe, so Darren has two vice captains already. He'll want someone (possibly two) who've done the job previously. Montgomerie and / or Woosnam. You'd be very surprised if Stephen Gallacher played.He'd need to qualify and he didn't manage that this time round. I suspect there's at least three vacancies that are foreseeable

Luke Donald might recover his form by then. Ian Poulter will be a tough one, as his career could go either way from here at about 38. His experience of standing toe to toe on American soil though will see him involved in some form

Of the emerging players Shane Lowry and Super Joost will be to the fore you would hope, with Molinari also expecting to be improving still, as too should be Weisberger or Blixt in the mid to late 20's. England has a few players as well, and there's always the likes of Casey, Colsearts or Fisher who might regain form

It could be that we end up replacing Bjorn, Gallacher, Westwood, and Donaldson with  Donald, Luiten, Lowry and Weisberger



Donaldson was the standout rookie on the European team and hit the winning shot that will go down in history, he consistently comes in the top 10 on the ET and was leading the Race to dubai up until Rory won the open..

He will be in the next Ryder Cup team.

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I believe all of that to be complete nonsense.  The USA didn't lose because they didn't try as hard or because they didn't care as much.  They lost because they got smoked in foursomes.  I think that comes down to two things:

They need to prepare how to play that format better - which (I believe) is mostly on the Captain to put together the right pairs and make sure that they are on the same page (like McGinley apparently did for months in advance)

Everyone seems to forget that we absolutely smoked Europe in foursomes just 2 years ago....

I think we can play that format just fine.

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I think you're right Crim. One of the most important things America mustn't do is simply look for the most recent, obvious, and palatable explanation and target that as the reason they've lost. If they do, then all they'll continue doing is going round and round in circles.

Captains, course set up, tactics, team spirit, poor players, poor management, foursomes, singles, fourballs, hell some of you are even trying to add this spurious one of population count to the ledger now. We've heard it all before. Just insert which ever excuse suits the spirit of the day, pat yourselves on the back, and content yourselves with the warm feeling that one more heave in that direction will sort it all out for you. There is a problem though. It hasn't done

The issues America faces run much deep, they aren't confined to a single mobile area of explanation that conveniently flits about to suit the prevailing narrative. It's more structural, systemic and has a little bit of culture thrown in too if you want to look at formative influences.

Zinger is right, it is a repair job, even though it's always possible that you might achieve the occasional result on home turf.

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Who will those poor players have to blame then haha? :(

Players need to man up and take responsibility, the Ryder cup was lost because the US simply didn't hit as many good shots as We(the europeans) did..

Winning gets done by nothing less than good shots, pairings don't matter.. I used to play regional level with a guy who I did not like very much, but guess what, he hit the ball to 10 feet all the time.

Boils down to this: If you hit more good shots/good putts than the other pairing, you win.

Several people have taken this overly simplified position and it really has no legs. Obviously winning requires better shot making and putting. The issue is why are European players with higher scoring averages, lower world rankings and less success at majors making better shots and more putts than their American counter parts in these competitions. Obviously there’s a psychological component to this. Anyone who has ever played this game knows the mental aspect is hugely significant. How many of us have not had that terrible round of golf when we can’t get our minds off of the problem we‘re dealing with at work or the argument we just had with our spouse? The discontent with the leadership that some of the American players have expressed could easily have created just that type of distraction. Not having an input in the process could also have created just enough doubt in the minds of some players to create problems. I know they’re all professional but that doesn’t make them immune to mental distractions. We’re not talking about complete implosion here. None of the American guys played terrible but I’m sure the sub-conscious belief that they have not been put in a good position to win whether it’s because they haven’t been rested enough or they sat out when they didn’t want to be or they’re paired up with the wrong partner, etc. might be just enough mental distraction for them to miss that 6’ straight uphill putt that they would normally make 99 times out of 100 while their opponent who feels it doesn’t even matter if I make this because we’re gonna win anyway, we always do, sinks a fifty footer. If this was a one- time thing then you could make a case for “hey they just played better this weekend” , but when time, after time, after time the team who is superior on paper gets their head handed to them, there has to be some psychological/leadership factor involved.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RetroJFrancisco

Interesting if Azinger gets picked and the US still lose?

Who will those poor players have to blame then haha? :(

Players need to man up and take responsibility, the Ryder cup was lost because the US simply didn't hit as many good shots as We(the europeans) did..

Winning gets done by nothing less than good shots, pairings don't matter.. I used to play regional level with a guy who I did not like very much, but guess what, he hit the ball to 10 feet all the time.

Boils down to this: If you hit more good shots/good putts than the other pairing, you win.

Several people have taken this overly simplified position and it really has no legs. Obviously winning requires better shot making and putting. The issue is why are European players with higher scoring averages, lower world rankings and less success at majors making better shots and more putts than their American counter parts in these competitions.

Bingo.

As I've said several times now, if each match is essentially a coin flip (they are), a 5% shift means one team wins - on average - 15.5 to 12.5. Just a 5% change.

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Matches where a lead was establsihed that didn't result in a win

Singles

Jordan Spieth 3 up after 9 - LOST

Hunter Mahan 4 up after 7 - HALVED

Jim Furyk 1 up after 14 - LOST

Webb Simpson 1 up after 17 - HALVED

Victor Dubuisson 1 up afrer 17 - HALVED (Zach Johnson also held one hole lead after 11)

Stenson and Gallacher held early one hole leads after 4 or 5 which resulted in losses

Fourballs

Bjorn & Kaymer 1 up after 17 - HALVED

Garcia & McIlroy 1 up after 15 - LOST

Fowler & Walker 1 up after 15 - HALVED

Bjorn & Kaymer 2 up after 4 - LOST

Foursomes

Furyk & Kuchar 1 up after 5 - LOST

Walker & Furyk 1 up after 17 - HALVED

Spieth & Reed 1 up after 17 - HALVED

Johnson & Kuchar held a 1 up position after 4 and ended up losing

Estimating the overall net swing is difficult due to how and when you'd consider an advantage significant enough to expect it to be converted, having been established

If we restrict it to the 17th in the first case where matches were halved, then America has a loss of half a point (1 pt net) and a new score of 16-12

The two matches where significant leads were surrendered came in the singles. Spieth and Mahan. There is a clear 1.5 pt swing here (14.5 - 13.5)

I think it possible to argue that Furyk's eclipse in the singles to a loss was cancelled out by McIlroy & Garcia's in the opening fourballs, which I think leaves Fowler & Walkers fourball as the only notable winning position surrendered unaccounted for.

Had America held their nerve better, they'd probably have lost 14.5 to 13.5, or got a tie at 14 each

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Several people have taken this overly simplified position and it really has no legs. Obviously winning requires better shot making and putting. The issue is why are European players with higher scoring averages, lower world rankings and less success at majors making better shots and more putts than their American counter parts in these competitions. Obviously there’s a psychological component to this. Anyone who has ever played this game knows the mental aspect is hugely significant. How many of us have not had that terrible round of golf when we can’t get our minds off of the problem we‘re dealing with at work or the argument we just had with our spouse? The discontent with the leadership that some of the American players have expressed could easily have created just that type of distraction. Not having an input in the process could also have created just enough doubt in the minds of some players to create problems. I know they’re all professional but that doesn’t make them immune to mental distractions. We’re not talking about complete implosion here. None of the American guys played terrible but I’m sure the sub-conscious belief that they have not been put in a good position to win whether it’s because they haven’t been rested enough or they sat out when they didn’t want to be or they’re paired up with the wrong partner, etc. might be just enough mental distraction for them to miss that 6’ straight uphill putt that they would normally make 99 times out of 100 while their opponent who feels it doesn’t even matter if I make this because we’re gonna win anyway, we always do, sinks a fifty footer. If this was a one- time thing then you could make a case for “hey they just played better this weekend” , but when time, after time, after time the team who is superior on paper gets their head handed to them, there has to be some psychological/leadership factor involved.

The ranking system is flawed? It over-plays the OWGR points to the U.S. Tour events? Or maybe the differentials between the points for the places moving down the finishing positions is flawed? Or, as you imply, the rankings are far too simplistic here.

How much matchplay has the average U.S. Tour pro played on his way up cf. his European counterpart? Maybe there's a big difference there - I don't know.

On the "no-one played terrible" - I'm not so sure that fits with Simpson! He was lucky to have faced Poulter in the singles.

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How much matchplay has the average U.S. Tour pro played on his way up cf. his European counterpart? Maybe there's a big difference there - I don't know.

I don't see how this matters, it's golf. These guys have been playing "match play" their whole lives. A lot of these dudes (Phil for example) have match play practice rounds for money. Do you know who the two winners of the Accenture Match Play championships before Jason Day was?

Matt Kuchar (2013) and Hunter Mahan (2012). Hell, Hunter even beat Rory McIllroy to win the damn thing. These guys know how to play match play. I'm more on the side of the coin flip thought. Either team can win, but sometimes you just go on a roll and get more heads than tails. Obviously playing the right players helps (Jordan and Patrick Reed in the afternoon), but there was no guarantee they would win...they would have been playing G-Mac and Victor....

I'm not saying Europe is getting lucky, I'm saying that this event is still VERY even IMO, and Europe seems to be more clutch.

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I don't see how this matters, it's golf. These guys have been playing "match play" their whole lives. A lot of these dudes (Phil for example) have match play practice rounds for money. Do you know who the two winners of the Accenture Match Play championships before Jason Day was?

Matt Kuchar (2013) and Hunter Mahan (2012). Hell, Hunter even beat Rory McIllroy to win the damn thing. These guys know how to play match play. I'm more on the side of the coin flip thought. Either team can win, but sometimes you just go on a roll and get more heads than tails. Obviously playing the right players helps (Jordan and Patrick Reed in the afternoon), but there was no guarantee they would win...they would have been playing G-Mac and Victor....

I'm not saying Europe is getting lucky, I'm saying that this event is still VERY even IMO, and Europe seems to be more clutch.


Fair enough - just throwing a thought out there. I agree it's still close - it has been since the mid-80s. I guess the amount of airtime and written word on on this recent issue is a good thing - it shows people still want the Ryder Cup and want it to be great tear up played in a good fashion. Come on America - get it sorted :beer: .

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I'm not saying Europe is getting lucky, I'm saying that this event is still VERY even IMO, and Europe seems to be more clutch.

On Saturday afternoon on the back 9 of foursomes, I made note of where things stood: 6 1/2 - 5 1/2 Euro lead EUR had commanding lead in one match (easy win) EUR led two matches 1UP USA led one match 1UP If USA just split those 3 up for grabs matches, it's 9-7 going into Sunday. Hell, we might've gotten breaks and snuck away with all 3 to go up 8 1/2 - 7 1/2. Of course, EUR won two of the three, split the third to be 10-6 up. USA looked flat for that back 9. We all sensed it. Over that hour though, anything coulda happened. It was close, but EUR had the passion.

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