2014 Ryder Cup

FL4WL3SS

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My choices for captain in 2016 start and end with Paul Azinger - bring back the one and only captain that knows how to win one of these things.
 
Also, please, no more Micheal Jordan. Why do I have to keep listening to interviews with this guy at a golf event?
 

fletcherpost

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Anyone hear about Phil's comments in the press conference afterwards, talking about Azinger.
 
"First, he got everybody invested in the process. He got everybody invested in who they were going to play with, who the picks were going to be, who was going to be in their 'pod', when they would play, and they had a great leader for each pod. We hung out together.
 
"The other thing that Paul did really well was he had a great game-plan for us - how we were going to go about doing this, how we were going to go about playing together, if so-and-so is playing well, if so-and-so is not playing well."
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/golf/29404756 that's the link to the video.
 
Seems like a lot of what Phil is talking about is stuff that the European Team has been doing for a while. I mean they really plan it out on the European Team. Garcia was talking about how at the start of the season McGinley was talking to him saying how he wanted him on the team, geeing him up, saying he'd be a key member of the team...this is nine months before a ball's been hit.
 
G-Mac was saying how he knew some time ago, he'd be taking a leadership roll, helping to blood a new player. He knew he wasn't gonna be playing with Rory. In the practice sessions he was playing with Victor Dubuisson, getting to know him, helping him to feel comfortable around the guys, in the players room (Dubuisson has an interesting story, he had a rough childhood re: his parents, and he's a bit of a loner, so it took a bit of work to get him out of his shell, just cos he's pretty shy, but in his interview after the singles Dubuisson said he missed having G-Mac by his side. That level of preparation and mentoring might have been worth a point.)
 
I've already mentioned the caddies in a previous post. But if you think of the work a caddie does on the regular tour, all his work is fed to his charge...but in a team event like this, how the caddies share their knowledge has a real value. Every player on the Euro team praised their captain to the hilt, said he left no stone unturned...from getting Alex Ferguson in to do a motivation talk, to the pictures they have on the walls of the team room, to the preparation in team building and figuring out what pairs may or may not work. Marginal gains - that's what elite sport is all about these days. It seems the US team didn't really do much more than show up and play golf.
 
Watson was a bad choice. Why? Same reason Sandy Lyle is a bad choice. Lyle was pissed off he got passed over, but it was really that he'd lost touch with the players, wasn't on tour enough to be chatting to them , finding out how people tick. I got the feeling Watson as respected as he is as a player, is out of touch with the players today...and that's not good for the Ryder Cup. 
 

inJacobyWeTrust

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fletcherpost said:
Anyone hear about Phil's comments in the press conference afterwards, talking about Azinger.
 
"First, he got everybody invested in the process. He got everybody invested in who they were going to play with, who the picks were going to be, who was going to be in their 'pod', when they would play, and they had a great leader for each pod. We hung out together.
 
"The other thing that Paul did really well was he had a great game-plan for us - how we were going to go about doing this, how we were going to go about playing together, if so-and-so is playing well, if so-and-so is not playing well."
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/golf/29404756 that's the link to the video.
 
Excellent post, spot on.  I caught a few mins of something on the Golf channel before the start of the event where they had Azinger and Nick Faldo at a table with some talking heads.  I was struck by how much Azinger talked about pairings, and matching up his players well to put everyone in the best position to succeed, and implied he wanted to match what the European teams have had for years. In a tournament like the Ryder Cup things like that obviously can make a huge impact, and I'm disappointed and a little surprised that Watson seemed to fail so miserably in that regard.
 

BigMike

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inJacobyWeTrust said:
 
Having Tiger, Dufner and DJ certainly would've helped.
 
Maybe,  tiger's record may make you wonder how much he helps. 
 
And if DJ wasn't out, and Duffner didn't pull up lame the last month or more of the season then you don;t have Patrick Reed on the team
 

fletcherpost

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There's a video of the European post match press conference, or about 2 mins of it. About 90 seconds in Rory is answering a question. You hear a cork pop. Rory gathers himself starts talking again, says "Ladies and Gentlemen, Lee Westwood." Then he starts talking again, general thoughts on the victory...he is passed a flutted glass of champaigne then asked to pass it down the line...he does so, then another glass, he passes it along and loses his train of thought...gets it back then has to pass another glass down the line, then another one...what's really going on is his team mates are taking the piss out of Rory, who is without doubt the game's marquee player, but to them he's just one of the boys, anyway, eventually Rory gives up and says, "what i was trying to say was...'I'm really happy we won the Ryder Cup', or words to that effect...it sums up the European team for me...no egos, no big shots.
 
I don't think we ever saw anything like that with Woods (or Mickleson).
 
Here's the vid.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W51aClPLVI
 

Infield Infidel

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McGinley had some really nice words for Tom Watson
 
 
"Tom is a competitor," McGinley said of the eight-time major champion. "There's no tougher competitor in the game of golf than Tom Watson. We all know that. He's incredibly disappointed. I saw him this morning and he is very disappointed, of course, but you know what? He's got that smile, that steely grin.
"He's a hard man, I've said that from day one. And he's a man I respect. In the last two years, I have respected him even more. I feel very privileged to have been on this journey with Tom, who has been a great hero of mine throughout my life. That was a win-win situation."
http://espn.go.com/golf/rydercup14/story/_/id/11611757/paul-azinger-says-pga-america-emulate-europe-ryder-cup-model (at the end of this story)
 

Freddy Linn

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A veteran of multiple U.S. teams told me in the aftermath, “A lot of s--- went on behind the scenes that people don’t know about. It will all leak out eventually. People talk about Hal Sutton and Lanny Wadkins, but Watson is going to be remembered as 10 times worse.”
 
 
All of this and more was laid out in detail in his 2010 book “Cracking The Code.” Says Azinger, “McGinley says he read my book. So did Colin Montgomerie [Europe’s captain in ’10]. No American captain has said that. There’s a template there that worked. It’s stupid to not at least look into it.”
 
 
Corey Pavin [Azinger’s clueless successor] never picked up the phone and called me until two weeks before the matches began. And I think he did it only because he was being criticized in the media for not having done it.
 
Alan Shipnuck's postmortem, with a bunch of great quotes from Azinger.

 
 

luckysox

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I'm surprised no one here is talking about Phil just tossing Tom Watson under the bus, then driving over him, then reversing just to make sure. It was VERY interesting to see that happen in the immediate post-game news conference, with Watson two seats away. Was he over the line, one more example of the selfish Americans? Or was he right to say what said when he said it, so it would get everyone's attention and put the entire US Ryder Cup process under scrutiny now so that maybe something can change later.

Now, I think Phil is right, though it was hard to watch, and I felt for Watson. I thought Watson was awesome in his M-Th pressers, but man, he sounded like a man without a plan once the matches started. He sounded overwhelmed, angry st the players, and as if he had no clue his players might not perform well for him just because he's Tom F'in Watson. And the US (or PGA of America, more accurately) seems also to be without a plan. This seems to be in both the micro and macro level.

Bring Azinger back. Find two guys you want in the Captain's pipeline who won't be playing (Stricker? Furyk? Jerry Kelly? Justin Leonard? Stewart Cink?) and make them vice captains. Find one older but not OLD GUARD player who has the respect of tour guys and who has played Ryder Cup before and have him be the 3rd captain, responsible for keeping the guys who don't play in the right frame of mind, and "into" the matches even when not playing. A few former captains might be great here - Davis, Lehman, or even guys like Fred Couples or Kenny Perry. Then everyone get on the pod system boat, and row together in the same direction. There's your damn template. Tweak as necessary with the help and input of former captains. Have continuity with the vice captains that are in the pipeline. Stop reinventing the wheel.
 

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How about creating the "pods" a bit farther out?  Since they all live in the same neighborhoods in Florida, have the pods go out and play alternate shot a bunch.  Bet some money on the matches, and try and see which pairs can actually play together.  Christ, if we care about winning, do something about it.  And I'm not sure Zinger is the choice.  maybe make him an assistant and go with a younger guy who actually is in touch with the players - O'Meara?  Leonard?  Maybe a Lumpy Herren.  Enough with the legend approach...it's why guys like Ted Williams can't manage, but role players can.....
 

Plantiers Wart

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And I absolutely believe Phil did what was right.  Watson made a ton of missteps.  Why did Bradley have to sit all day Saturday if Phil did - are they joined at the hip?  And not playing the young guns friday afternoon was just clueless.  Playing Webb first thing was a bad move.   
 

FL4WL3SS

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This all sounds like sour grapes, honestly. Placing blame on the captain is ridiculous. The players all fucking sucked except Reed and Speith.

Fuck Mickelson and Fuck every one else that is blaming anyone but the players.
 

TFP

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FL4WL3SS said:
This all sounds like sour grapes, honestly. Placing blame on the captain is ridiculous. The players all fucking sucked except Reed and Speith.

Fuck Mickelson and Fuck every one else that is blaming anyone but the players.
Well Mickelson went 2-1-0 and wasn't even given a chance on Saturday. Sour grapes or not, he didn't play poorly. Jimmy Walker also played pretty well too.
 
That said, I agree with your sentiment and point. I think Watson did a really shitty job (and criticized his moves in real time) but in the end it's on the players. Europe just played better, and they deserved to win. I think the future is bright though, Reed, Spieth, Fowler, and Bradley will be fixtures for years to come and they clearly have the emotion and drive to compete. I can't wait until guys like Furyk, Phil, and Bubba are no longer the old guard.
 

FL4WL3SS

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The Four Peters said:
Well Mickelson went 2-1-0 and wasn't even given a chance on Saturday. Sour grapes or not, he didn't play poorly. Jimmy Walker also played pretty well too.
 
That said, I agree with your sentiment and point. I think Watson did a really shitty job (and criticized his moves in real time) but in the end it's on the players. Europe just played better, and they deserved to win. I think the future is bright though, Reed, Spieth, Fowler, and Bradley will be fixtures for years to come and they clearly have the emotion and drive to compete. I can't wait until guys like Furyk, Phil, and Bubba are no longer the old guard.
Bingo.

2016 is going to be a lot more fun and I think there will be a changing of the guard. Like you said, guys like Mickelson and Furyk (guys on a lot of losing teams) will no longer be on the team abd replaced with guys like Reed and even Uhlein and Koepka.
 

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luckysox said:
I'm surprised no one here is talking about Phil just tossing Tom Watson under the bus, then driving over him, then reversing just to make sure. It was VERY interesting to see that happen in the immediate post-game news conference, with Watson two seats away. Was he over the line, one more example of the selfish Americans? Or was he right to say what said when he said it, so it would get everyone's attention and put the entire US Ryder Cup process under scrutiny now so that maybe something can change later.

Now, I think Phil is right, though it was hard to watch, and I felt for Watson. I thought Watson was awesome in his M-Th pressers, but man, he sounded like a man without a plan once the matches started. He sounded overwhelmed, angry st the players, and as if he had no clue his players might not perform well for him just because he's Tom F'in Watson. And the US (or PGA of America, more accurately) seems also to be without a plan. This seems to be in both the micro and macro level.

Bring Azinger back. Find two guys you want in the Captain's pipeline who won't be playing (Stricker? Furyk? Jerry Kelly? Justin Leonard? Stewart Cink?) and make them vice captains. Find one older but not OLD GUARD player who has the respect of tour guys and who has played Ryder Cup before and have him be the 3rd captain, responsible for keeping the guys who don't play in the right frame of mind, and "into" the matches even when not playing. A few former captains might be great here - Davis, Lehman, or even guys like Fred Couples or Kenny Perry. Then everyone get on the pod system boat, and row together in the same direction. There's your damn template. Tweak as necessary with the help and input of former captains. Have continuity with the vice captains that are in the pipeline. Stop reinventing the wheel.
 
I know we had some discussion of this earlier in the week, but the full story is beginning to leak out in bits and pieces.
 
http://espn.go.com/golf/rydercup14/story/_/id/11636089/captain-tom-watson-ripped-us-team-ryder-cup-meeting-angering-phil-mickelson
 
If the ESPN story above is even remotely close to the truth, my opinion of Watson - who I have always admired  - will end up taking a nosedive.  And my opinion of Mickelson - a man I have hated because of his phony posturing - will rise immeasurably.
 
If accurate, the emotions behind Watson's reported behavior at the Saturday dinner are understandable - he had just seen his strategy blow up on him as the team got waxed in the afternoon matches.  And to make matters worse, his gamble in sitting Phil and Keegan all day looked foolish.  But he's still the captain and he has a responsibility that is greater than just to indulge his frustrations.  Doing so at that time and place is inexplicable.
 
Now, this is simply one side of the story and I'm sure we'll eventually get the full accounting of what went on.  But that article makes it sound pretty ugly for Watson.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Part of me feels that Mickelson is stumping for the captaincy in 2016. He acted completely different this cup by taking a leadership role and trying to fire up the team. His comments afterwards hint towards a little bit of "I can do it better".
 

cshea

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Yeah, I get the same impression. Phil's campaigning for 2015. The entire post-mortem has been to shit on Watson (which he deserves) and paint Mickelson as the guy inside the room that tried to lead them in spite of Watson.
 

fletcherpost

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cshea said:
Yeah, I get the same impression. Phil's campaigning for 2015. The entire post-mortem has been to shit on Watson (which he deserves) and paint Mickelson as the guy inside the room that tried to lead them in spite of Watson.
 
I thought there might be more discussion about this Lefty/Watson stuff. I was surprised how much the story blew up. I read that Watson slammed the team on the Saturday and the mood in the camp was low, and Mickleson tried to do the rally the troops thing.
 
If it was dfown to talent, the US would have more Ryder Cups these last 20 years, so it's clearly down to planning, execution and an element of variance. It seems Watson sucked in the planning and execution department. When Ryder cups are won and lost by a point here and there, i do think variance plays a part...but this Ryder Cup, US losing by five points...there's a lot wrong that needs to be looked at.
 
That all said, Phil was out of line. The European team tend to keep things in house. I reckon that's what the US team have done up to ths point. I guess it's just gotten a bit much for Phil, being on so many losing teams, knowing how good in terms of talent the US team are. Maybe getting this out in the open will lead to a full scale review of the Captain selection process and the overall preparation and approach to the tournament.
 
The Europeans tend to promote from within. So you might have a few stints as a vice captain, then get the Captain's gig, having seen how the guys before you did the job, you can tweak a few things here and there, but you'll have an idea of what works. 
 
I would hate the RYder Cup to be something only the Europeans cared about. By all accounts (is this true?) it gets the highest worldwide viewing figures for a golf tournament, so from a sponsor's POV it's very attractive to be associated with the event/pay for advertising slots. The match play format guarantees drama and i think viewers like the changing formats from day to day. It's great to see Foursomes and Fourballs, then the big day of singles, which to me is as good as the final round of a major. 
 

Zomp

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fletcherpost said:
 
I thought there might be more discussion about this Lefty/Watson stuff. I was surprised how much the story blew up. I read that Watson slammed the team on the Saturday and the mood in the camp was low, and Mickleson tried to do the rally the troops thing.
 
If it was dfown to talent, the US would have more Ryder Cups these last 20 years, so it's clearly down to planning, execution and an element of variance. It seems Watson sucked in the planning and execution department. When Ryder cups are won and lost by a point here and there, i do think variance plays a part...but this Ryder Cup, US losing by five points...there's a lot wrong that needs to be looked at.
 
That all said, Phil was out of line. The European team tend to keep things in house. I reckon that's what the US team have done up to ths point. I guess it's just gotten a bit much for Phil, being on so many losing teams, knowing how good in terms of talent the US team are. Maybe getting this out in the open will lead to a full scale review of the Captain selection process and the overall preparation and approach to the tournament.
 
The Europeans tend to promote from within. So you might have a few stints as a vice captain, then get the Captain's gig, having seen how the guys before you did the job, you can tweak a few things here and there, but you'll have an idea of what works. 
 
I would hate the RYder Cup to be something only the Europeans cared about. By all accounts (is this true?) it gets the highest worldwide viewing figures for a golf tournament, so from a sponsor's POV it's very attractive to be associated with the event/pay for advertising slots. The match play format guarantees drama and i think viewers like the changing formats from day to day. It's great to see Foursomes and Fourballs, then the big day of singles, which to me is as good as the final round of a major. 
 
I don't think its something that only the Europeans care about, especially since the Americans are getting embarrassed in it, but I do think most of them grow up wanting a Ryder Cup more than a major.  I remember reading an interview with Sergio Garcia a few years ago and they asked him would he rather sink the winning putt of a major or the winning putt of a Ryder Cup and he said the Ryder Cup because it would mean so much to him AND his teammates.  I could never picture Tiger or Phil or even someone like Furyk saying that.
 
The scary part to me, as someone who genuinely enjoys and cares about the Ryder Cup, is the talent advantage this year was with the Europeans and I don't think that will change for the next one.  Sure, the US had some injury problems (as well as other issues) with Tiger, Dufner, and DJ but are those 3 worth 5 points?  Especially since one of them would have probably taken Reed's place?  Not sure.  In Rory, Rose, Sergio, and Stenson I think the Euros have 4 of the top 5 or 6 players in the world (honestly I'm struggling to think of any Americans that are better).  They've always had the team mentality, now they have the superior talent
 

fletcherpost

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Zomp said:
 
I don't think its something that only the Europeans care about, especially since the Americans are getting embarrassed in it, but I do think most of them grow up wanting a Ryder Cup more than a major.  I remember reading an interview with Sergio Garcia a few years ago and they asked him would he rather sink the winning putt of a major or the winning putt of a Ryder Cup and he said the Ryder Cup because it would mean so much to him AND his teammates.  I could never picture Tiger or Phil or even someone like Furyk saying that.
 
The scary part to me, as someone who genuinely enjoys and cares about the Ryder Cup, is the talent advantage this year was with the Europeans and I don't think that will change for the next one.  Sure, the US had some injury problems (as well as other issues) with Tiger, Dufner, and DJ but are those 3 worth 5 points?  Especially since one of them would have probably taken Reed's place?  Not sure.  In Rory, Rose, Sergio, and Stenson I think the Euros have 4 of the top 5 or 6 players in the world (honestly I'm struggling to think of any Americans that are better).  They've always had the team mentality, now they have the superior talent
 
You know, even if a player says this, i don't buy it. Reminds me of Shearer saying he'd rather win the FA cup with Newcfastle than the league, for the fans etc. In public it's easier to speak of more attainable goals. Winning Ryder Cups is a damn sight easier than winning a major...you're setting yourself up for a fail if you set one's goals on majors, but in the quiet of a locker room, i doubt any pro on the European team would take a Ryder Cup over a major.
 
I always felt outside of Rory that Juston Rose had the mentality to win a major and was clear in his ambitions in that regard. That being said, the Europeans have a few major winners in the team, and i do think that matters coming down the stretch in a Ryder Cup. G-mac and Rose in their singles were nails on the back nine, haning in there for a win and a half...which really put the skids on the US momentum. (off topic ish) By the same token compare Stenson's miss on the last to Kaymer's putt two years ago. I also think that when (and i do think it's when) Fowler wins a major he'll be a different player in Ryder Cups.
 
I just read this: http://www.rydercup.com/usa/news/open-letter-tom-watson-2014-us-ryder-cup-captain Watson's open letter.
 
"As for Phil's comments, I completely understand his reaction in the moment. Earlier this week I had an open and candid conversation with him and it ended with a better understanding of each other's perspectives.
 
The bottom line is this. I was their Captain. In hindsight whatever mistakes that were made were mine. And I take complete and full responsibility for them."
 

steveluck7

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I've read pretty much everything that i could find in the aftermath of the Ryder Cup. Phil's statements in the press conference, while not the best time, seem to have achieved the desired (i assume) result. PGA of America Chairman Ted Bishop has publicly backed Phil's comments and pledged and overhaul to the system from selecting a captain right through the team formation.
They're setting up a task force to "really dive into an open analysis of all aspects of the Ryder Cup to see what we can do to improve and give Team USA its very best chances of success".
Link
 
Thankfully, they're also likely to change the dates that the automatic qualifiers and captains picks are set in 2016. For that team, the auto-qualifiers will likely be finalized after the Deutsche Bank Championship in early September with the capatins picks coming after the Tour Championship so we hopefully won't have a Billy Horschel situation again in 2016 where the hottest american player is sitting at home
Link