Captain Davis Love III Blows The Ryder Cup For The United States- Bruce’s Thought Of The Day
This one will be debated for a long time. An epic choke job by team USA at the Ryder Cup, leading by four points headed into the final round the Americans found a way to NOT WIN ONE MATCH on the 17th or 18th hole all day.
The four point deficit ties the all time Ryder Cup record, equaling team USA’s comeback in 1999.
For my money, while the pundits will debate this shot and that shot, this save or that great putt by Justin Rose on 17, this cup was lost when captain Davis Love III decided to “rest” the red hot and dynamic duo of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley for the four ball competition Saturday afternoon. The duo combined for three straight wins, two were blow outs, yet over thinking and “panzification” killed the Americans’ momentum in my opinion.
I rip baseball players for wanting a day off, or managers for coddling players but, my gosh, at least in baseball there is some physical movement. Why a golfer would ever need to “rest” is something that does not resonate with me. IT’S GOLF!
The Americans had all the mojo, they were sinking all the putts, saving all the pars and then Love struck with a strategic blunder of epic proportions!
The Euros came out firing on Sunday winning the first five matches and grabbing all of the momentum. In order, Luke Donald beat Bubba Watson 2 & 1, Ian Poulter continued his Ryder dominance with a 2up win over Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy (who showed for his tee time only minutes before his set time) defeated Webb Simpson 2 & 1, Justin Rose sank HUGE putts on 16, 17 and 18 to nip Mickelson and Paul Lawrie finished off the five match carnage with a 5 & 3 trouncing of Brandt Snedeker. By then the Euros had all the energy and momentum and they never let up.
German Martin Kymer, who didn’t even play Saturday, sunk a pressure filled putt on 18 to render the final match between Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari moot. Kymer looked like he was on the ropes against Steve Stricker who also struggled a bit. Stricker nailed a huge putt on 18 to save par then watched as Kymer finished off the remarkable comeback with a six foot comeback putt to retain the cup for Europe.
It will be debated, why would Love bury Woods at the end? The final match is usually like being picked to play right field in pick up baseball. Love clearly thought the Americans would wrap up the trophy well before the final match. Woods and Stricker were the only American team to scuffle badly on Friday and Saturday.
My guess is that Love had no confidence in either so he buried them both on the back end. Conversely, European captain Jose Maria Olazabel sent out his fire power early, so early that McIlroy showed just minutes before his time to tee. The world’s number one player was third out. Right ahead of him, the guy who used to wear funny pants all the time, Ian Poulter was the rock and source of much needed energy all weekend long.
Let it also be said that this was one of the most exciting and pressure filled sporting events I have ever watched. I was literally on the edge of my seat. It was incredible theater, drama, and thrills. It ended badly for the Americans and this one will sting for a long time coming.