Let us just say this: There are very few things in sports more intense than match play golf with so much on the line. National and continental pride are very important, you know. We all like to feel good about where we live. Us Americans just couldn’t stand for being second in team golf to the European Union yet again. And this time we did it without Tiger Woods. GO AMERICA!
So, as the Kentucky whiskey flows freely after a resounding 16 1/2-11 1/2 American win, let’s recap our impressions of the 37th Ryder Cup.
It’s pretty much obligatory that we start with more dap for Anthony Kim, isn’t it? You should know by now that we just can’t get enough of this guy. And what did he do to open singles play Sunday but show just how damn good he is by ambushing Sergio Garcia 5 and 4.
It was an absolute thrashing. After Sergio put the ball in the water — twice — on No. 7 then missed a short putt (that NBC commenters though Kim should concede) on No. 11 the match was all but over.
We can only hope this springboards young Anthony to bigger and better things. By all means he has the game and the confidence to seriously challenge Tiger. More so than Phil Mickelson ever did.
Speaking of Phil, what an awful disappointment he was this Ryder Cup. This event has been a struggle for Phil ever since Brookline in 1999. This year was no different, and he capped it by winning just one hole against Justin Rose on Sunday to lose 4 and 2.
Phil has lost each of his last four singles matches dating back to 2002. That’s pretty unacceptable considering without Tiger he’s considered the best player on the American team and perhaps on both teams.
We’ve been pretty critical of the way in which Kenny Perry went about getting onto the Ryder Cup team, skipping majors to rack up points at the lesser tournaments, but he came out swinging at this event in his home state. The ends justify the means.
Especially when you beat Henrik Stenson 3 and 2 to get a full point for your team on Sunday. Also, when your 84-year old dad is walking the course with you in his bib overalls like the true Kentucky good ‘ol boy that he is, well, we think that’s pretty damn cool.
Perry called it the greatest experience of his life. Indeed, now the old man can fade into the Champion’s Tour sunlight.
Contrary to popular belief, Perry wasn’t the only Kentuckian (Kentuckyite?) doing the home crowd right around Valhalla. J.B. Holmes started the event as one of those guys you probably had never heard of if you don’t follow golf closer than most.
Holmes is from Campbellsville, Ky., lettered in golf at his tiny high school 10 times (10 TIMES!!!), was lightly recruited to the University of Kentucky, eventually made himself into SEC Player of the Year and onto the PGA Tour. Impressive.
Oh, and he can flat BOMB the ball. The dude hits it a ton and played very well, earning a full point against Soren Hansen on Sunday. Good work Mr. Holmes, all the people of Kentucky surely thank you.
Speaking of hillbillies, Boo Weekley is one of the most refreshing characters I’ve seen in golf. The 35-year old Ryder Cup rookie played a strong game all week, didn’t lose a single match and also offered the most hilarious quotes. Take this for example:
“I can tell you right now these pants I’ve got on are probably the most expensive thing I’ve ever owned. They feel like a pair of silk underwear when you’re getting ready to go hunting. They’re unreal.”
Oh and this:
“It’s time for a new era. It’s all on paper that we’re underdogs. You don’t know what you have got until you get out there and play with it.
“It’s like getting a new pack of hounds when we were growing up and going deer hunting. You don’t know what kind of dogs you have until you run them; so let’s run them (the US team) and see.”
It’s about time we had a normal guy who likes fishing and hunting (two things which we don’t do but we hear that’s what normal guys do) and happens to be a damn good golfer. By all accounts he kept the team loose and it translated onto the golf course. U.S. captain Paul Azinger certainly picked him for his game, but his personality paid huge dividends.
Jim Furyk might be the most under-appreciated golfer of his generation. Furyk is known for his bizarre looking swing that doesn’t look like anything anyone would ever teach you. But what’s lost is the fact that he’s really damn good. He ended up being in position to end clinch the Ryder Cup and did so.
He’s won 21professional events including the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields. We just wanted to say Furyk is more than a guy with a funky swing. He’s definitely one of the best players any of us will ever watch.
Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia were not very good. These were supposed to be Faldo’s big dogs and between the three of them they won exactly zero matches.
Uh, probably not what Nicky had in mind. Hell, Westwood lost to one-birdie-in-34-holes-before-singles Ben Curtis on Sunday. All that losing by their best players was enough reason why the Euros were unable to retain the cup. There’s just no way they could win if these three weren’t playing at the top of their collective games. And so it was.
Ian Poulter put to rest all that talk about being an awful pick by European captain Nick Faldo. Poulter is not only a snappy dresser, but can now say he put all the doubters to rest at this year’s Cup. He was Europe’s best player for the whole week and at points carried the team on his back.
It just wasn’t enough.
Congrats to, um, us on a fantastic week of golf. It’s good not to play second fiddle to a bunch of Euros at least for another couple years.