With the US team having been handed a firm beating in the recent Ryder Cup, the great and the good have pulled together a task force to try and solve their problems. No matter what great minds they put on the case, however, the answers will not be easy to come by.
A team without its best players
One of the reasons which may explain the defeat of the US team was its very composition. Excellent young players like Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler would have made great additions but were not selected. Besides, the team was weakened by the absence of its best players, the first being Tiger Woods. The man who has already won 105 tournaments would no doubt have given a boost to the team and that must be why he is now part of the task force. Forced to rest due to a back injury, Woods could only cheer his team from a distance. He may have consoled himself by indulging in some of his favourite casino games from the comfort of his home: a simple visit to Gambling Land and we found over 50 different online casino software providers. With his whopping $1.3 billion in career earnings, Woods could easily get his pick if he wanted to spend and win big outside of the golf course.
But to come back to this crushing defeat… When Welshman Jamie Donaldson pitched to within inches of the hole to secure Europe’s sixth Ryder Cup win in the last seven tournaments, there were still several games out on the course – the European team would go on to win by a comfortable five-point margin, their largest in eight years. At the start of the final day Europe led by the same margin that they had trailed at Medinah two years previously but this time there was to be no miracle comeback and the inquisition into US failings had already begun before the last pairings reached the clubhouse.
In the aftermath of the defeat stalwart Phil Mickelson launched an attack on captain Tom Watson and suggested that poor planning had been to blame for another US defeat. Mickelson is now part of an 11-strong task force looking into how the US can reclaim the trophy that they dominated for so many years. The man who Mickelson lauded as the architect of his team’s last triumph at Valhalla in 2008, captain Paul Azinger, has thus far, tellingly, refused to join the task force, suggesting that it is too soon to start searching for a successful formula for 2016. Maybe Azinger is right but it couldn’t harm the team to give some thought about where they went wrong this time round.
- The team lacked unity – Mickelson’s public outburst showed a lack of respect for his captain and suggested that the camp was divided
- The US team lacked experience and were missing a number of key men including Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner and Steve Stricker
- The qualifying period for the US team ended three weeks before that of the European team – this meant that in-form players, such as Billy Horschel, missed out
- Quite simply the US team were not good enough – Europe have four of the top six players in the world and were brimming with confidence. Europeans won three of the four majors this year
Will it make a difference?
It is hard to say whether or not the task force will be able to make a significant difference to the US team’s fortunes ahead of the 2016 tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club but if the Americans continue to fall short of the heart, character and quality shown by Europe then it is very difficult to see them regaining the trophy any time soon.