Why a Ryder Cup Loss may be a Win for the US
Posted on September 28, 2014
The 2014 Ryder Cup is now in the books and the results were far from stellar. The beleaguered U.S. team continues a Ryder Cup losing streak now rivaling the 3 loss streak they suffered in the early 2000’s. In the new millennium, the U.S. has suffered continued defeat at the hands of the European team an abysmal 6 times with a record of 1-0-6.
The 2012 U.S. Team loss should have paved the way for Ryder Cup team revaluation, but the glaring collapse on Sunday hid the underlying culprit. While the U.S. Team certainly fields the most popular and recognizable figures, we continue to leave the best players of the moment at home. For this year’s Ryder Cup, America’s two best players were at home with a new baby or watching their SEC Alma Mater duke it out in a nail biting rivalry match up.
The U.S. qualifying process puts far too much weight on previous year Major performances (any weight at all is too much). I assume this move is to ensure the U.S. fields the biggest names because they are more likely to perform well over an extended period of time. Why field big names? Broadcasters most certainly worry that no one will tune in to a Ryder Cup match between no name U.S. players and even more no name European players.
So the Ryder Cup qualification process is placing the U.S. at a disadvantage, how do we correct this? The easiest solution is to implement the European process. The Europeans use world rankings and Race to Dubai earnings. Our best bet is to copy this process with a few places from the world rankings (a few big names to get viewers interested) and the big earners from the FedEx Cup (a few guys on hot streaks to keep viewers interested).
Do you like to think out of the box? Well here are 3 wild card ideas….
Ryder Cup Qualifiers – Designate a few tournaments during the year as qualifiers. This gets you the players who can put up the scores under the pressure of qualifying. It also might bring some attention to some of the lesser attended and viewed venues. Who doesn’t like some extra P.R. opportunities?
Popular Vote – The popular vote in the NBA saw Yao Ming get several All Star nods while not being able to even play, so yes, the Popular Vote probably won’t field the best team, but it sure would create some interesting story lines as guys try and throw up numbers or flash to attract the necessary votes. I can already see TOUR coverage with live voting updates as a player holes out from 220 and his votes soar, or as a player’s stock plummets with a missed 3 footer.
Crony Picks – We just watched an awkward presser as Lefty voiced more than a little annoyance at our current Captain America. Every Ryder Cup includes a little hubbub of a captain picking his buds, why not let the captain pick the hole team? Team chemistry is almost a guarantee. At least we won’t have to hear about the Europeans chumminess leading to their success against us in the alternate shot.
While a loss at the Ryder Cup certainly deflates our national pride, we still live in the U.S.A! We don’t need to win international competitions to get up with a smile on our face, we already live in the greatest country on the greatest place in the world. If by chance, you still need a win to put a smile on your face, just wait for the President’s Cup next year, that is always a lock!
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