Tuesday, October 14

New Ryder Cup Task Force Knows About Losing

ON TUESDAY THE PGA OF AMERICA announced its much (or somewhat?) anticipated Ryder Cup Task Force in the wake of another defeat at the hands of the European squad. Europe has now won three Ryder Cups in a row, six of seven and eight of 10.

The Europeans are simply better at the Ryder Cup during this era, but the reasons why they are superior and why America keeps losing have created a partisan divide in the U.S. golf community. Much of the blame always seems to fall on the captain and his system or approach. (Unless your name is Paul Azinger, the lone winning U.S. captain in the 21st century and saintlike in some circles.)

The new task force will be co-chaired by PGA Vice President Derek Sprague and CEO Pete Bevacqua. The group will have a "blank canvas," as PGA President Ted Bishop recently said. Areas of examination will include the selection of U.S. Ryder Cup captains, the Ryder Cup points system, the deadline for determining the 12-member team, the deadline for captain's picks and the selection of vice captains.

Following are the other members of the task force:

Raymond Floyd
Tom Lehman
Davis Love III
Rickie Fowler
Jim Furyk
Phil Mickelson
Steve Stricker
Tiger Woods
Paul Levy (PGA secretary)

According to ESPN.com, Azinger was also invited to be on the task force. He declined.

"I think this is a great step by the PGA to accomplish what we all wantto win the Ryder Cup," Woods said in the statement at PGA.com. "The Ryder Cup is very important to every player who has the honor to represent his country. I'm excited to be part of this group."

"Competing in a Ryder Cup is the experience of a lifetime," said Love, "and serving as captain is the ultimate honor. Having experienced all roles within this great event, I am deeply committed to serving once more to help direct Team USA to be a force again in the Ryder Cup."

Golf Digest's Luke Kerr-Dineen pointed out that the new task force is a bunch of losers:
It seems the fate of the U.S. Ryder Cup team rests in the hands of 11 men who have collectively won just 16 Ryder Cups and lost 32 more. 
The players' individual combined Ryder Cup record isn't much better: 68 wins, 97 losses and 28 halves. Average that between the eight players on the PGA's 11-man Ryder Cup Task Force and the average career Ryder Cup record is 9-12-4.
Well, of course. Who were they going to get? Since 1985 the United States has won just four of 15 Ryder Cups. Who's out there other than losers?

They could have asked Tom Watson. His record in Ryder Cup matches was 10-4-1. In four Ryder Cup appearances, Watson played on three winning teams. The other squad tied.

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

I do recognize the problem with the composition of the just-named task force. Therefore I'm considering naming my own task force to cure all Ryder Cup ills so America can win again. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Brian Kuehn said...

We need nothing less than the golf equivalent of the Manhattan Project. Gentlemen, we can rebuild our Ryder Cup team. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's best golf team. Ryder Cup 2016 will be that Team. Better than they were before. Better...stronger...faster.

(With my apologies to the writers of the 6 Million Dollar Man)