We’ve previously opined on the travesty that will happen in September at the 2008 Ryder Cup Matches in Kentucky. To wit: Kenny Perry is doing his best to play on the American squad by avoiding the U.S. and British Opens – the biggest stages in golf – and playing in weaker events to boost his Ryder Cup points and make the team. Again, he’s trying to make one of the biggest events by not playing in big events.
Heading into this week, Perry had won twice this season, both in weak, Tiger-less fields. Well, he did it again on Sunday, beating two guys no one, except their parents, has ever heard of for his third win in a meaningless event. These wins, of course, have shot his Ryder Cup points through the roof and all but assured his place on the team. I can’t stress this point enough: this is not who we want on the team because the United States absolutely needs to win the Ryder Cup, or at least have a good showing.
But the question is: what should we, and captain Paul Azinger, do?
Obviously, fans need to speak out, but we can’t just complain, we need solutions. As a contributor to this site, and one of our resident know-it-alls, I happen to have one.
Rick Rhoden should replace Kenny Perry on the Ryder Cup team as punishment for Perry’s cowardice.
That’s right, former Major League pitcher Rick Rhoden can save us. Besides winning 151 Major League games with a 3.73 ERA, Rhoden is also the seven-time winner of the American Century Championship, including this year. Speaking of this year, he made a clutch seven-foot putt on the 18th hole to win the tournament, which included a field about as dangerous as the one Kenny Perry beat on the same day. Rhoden is the all-time money winner on the celebrity golf tour and has even played in several Senior Tour events and qualified through their Q-School. Kenny Perry didn’t even qualify for the PGA Tour the first two times he tried at Q-School.
Sports in general, even “sports” like golf, do not favor those who cower from the big moments and the best competition. Kenny Perry may want to compete for the USA, but we don’t love athletes that do this stuff. With the Olympics happening around the same time as the Ryder Cup, which people would you want competing for America? Guys like man-ster Michael Phelps, who want to beat everyone? Or the Kenny Perry’s of the world that want to cheat the system and sneak past everyone?
Sure, Kenny Perry is a good golfer, and might contribute to the Ryder Cup team later on this summer. But is this the message we want to send to the European team and all those other no-name golfers on the tour who might want to suit up for Team USA? I say no. No indeed.