US golf falls short again in European-hosted Ryder CupBy Nolan Imsande | 09/30/2014 10:53pm
Hunter Mahan hits out of a bunker during the second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational on Friday, May 23, 2014. Tribune News Service
It is not news that the U.S. was beaten by Europe in the Ryder Cup over this past weekend. I say it is not news because it has become somewhat of a tradition for the Americans to lose the competition that is played every two years.
Europe has owned the U.S., winning six of the last seven. It has been even worse for the Americans on European soil, as they have not won a Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993.
This edition of the Ryder Cup, unlike the one in Medinah, Illinois, in 2012, did not feature a major comeback by Europe (or meltdown by the U.S.). This one consisted of poor play by the players and bad decisions by the team’s captain.
Captain Tom Watson was not on his game this weekend. Watson decided to bench his two best players, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, for the second half of Friday's matches. On Saturday, he decided to bench his most veteran player, Phil Mickelson. The loss then caused Mickelson to question the captain’s decision making. But only part of the blame can be left on Watson as the U.S. players did nothing to help the team.
The top three ranked U.S. players, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar, finished the competition with a combined 2-9 record.
Hunter Mahan was up by four during his match Sunday and ended up only halving it. Both the players and the captain are to blame, but it needs to change. There is no point for the U.S. to play in this competition if it actually compete. Maybe in 2016 when the Ryder Cup rolls into Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, the U.S. will have a different captain and a stronger desire to win. Or maybe the Europeans will feel pity for the Americans and let them win to keep the “competition” interesting. The second scenario seems rather unlikely.